Daily Prelims Notes 8 November 2023
- November 8, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
8 November 2023
Table Of Contents
- How ignored landslide warnings led to Subansiri running dry
- PM 2.5, Sulphur Dioxide, and more: What are the pollutants in our air, and how they impact health
- Curbs on fireworks binding on all States: Supreme Court
- Jharkhand launches drive to grant land titles under FRA: Why now, challenges
- The earth’s interior may hold relics of moon-forming mega impact
- The massive displacement in Congo
- Govt begins process of constituting Sixteenth Finance Commission
- NATO formally suspends Cold War-era security treaty as Russia pulls out
- India had highest number of TB cases globally in 2022: WHO
- Centre told social media platforms to take down misleading AI content
- To take schemes to target audience, Govt to advertise on social media
- India opposes inclusion of ‘environment sustainability and trade’ in WTO Ministerial agenda
- NDB to assess India projects portfolio next year
- Where do domesticated silkworm cocoons get their wild colours from?
- Aditya-L1 captures first glimpse of solar flares
- Understanding the fundamentals of how electricity is transmitted
- Supreme court judgement in the Nestle Income tax case sets bad precedent
Section: Places in news
- A large part of the hill on the left side of the Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project collapsed into its reservoir.
- The deposits blocked the only functional diversion tunnel and stopped the flow of water downstream of the dam into the Subansiri River, a major tributary of the Brahmaputra.
- It will be India’s largest HPP when completed.
How a dammed river flows:
- Typically, once a location is selected for a dam, a temporary earthen barrier (coffer dam) and a few diversion tunnels are built immediately upstream to bypass the dam construction site.
- Once the dam is ready, the diversion tunnels (DTs) are closed, and water starts to flow through the multiple spillways.
- In a hydel project, a set of tunnels are also built to carry water from the reservoir to the powerhouse. The water turns the turbines and then goes back into the river. Once the powerhouse is operational, this becomes the main path of the water, and the spillways are used occasionally.
- What happens to Subhansiri?
- The flow downstream was highly reduced after a landslide blocked the only DT in use.
The ‘mistake’ NHPC committed:
- The Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the statutory body that advises the government on policy relating to electricity systems, recommended in April 2022 that the impact of the DTs on the slope stability of the project site should be examined.
- NHPC Ltd, which is implementing the Subansiri Lower Project, ignored the recommendation.
- The site’s history of landslides:
- This is the sixth landslide event on the lower Subhansiri project site.
What will NHPC do now?
- The project will now focus on slope stabilisation.
- The likely option would be to build a temporary sheet pile dyke — a metallic barrier with steel bracing — inside the reservoir to isolate the under-construction spillway gates, and to finish the work after the slope stabilisation process is over.
About Subhansiri river:
- It is a trans-Himalayan river and a tributary of the Brahmaputra River that flows through Tibet’s Lhuntse County in the Shannan Prefecture, and the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
- It is approximately 518 kilometres (322 mi) long, with a drainage basin 32,640 square kilometres (12,600 sq mi).
- It is the largest tributary of the Brahmaputra contributing 7.92% of the Brahmaputra’s total flow.
- It enters India near the town of Taksing and flows east and southeast through Miri Hills, then south to the Assam Valley at Dulangmukh in Dhemaji district, where it joins the Brahmaputra River at Jamurighat in Lakhimpur district. Small tributaries of the Subansiri include Rangandi, Dikrong and Kamle.
Source of this article: Indian Express
- Rising pollution levels in north India have led to focus returning on the Air Quality Index (AQI) score, a measure of air pollution.
AQI Index score:
- The AQI transforms complex air quality data of various pollutants into a single number for ease of understanding. The pollutants include PM 10, PM 2.5, Nitrogen Dioxide, Ozone, Carbon, etc.
|PM 2.5 and PM 10|
|Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)|
|Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)|
|Carbon Monoxide (CO)|
Source of this article: Indian Express
- The Supreme Court clarified that its orders to minimise air and noise pollution caused by firecrackers bind States across the country and not just Delhi National Capital Region.
- The desire to protect the environment has to be a part of the “collective consciousness of society”.
- ‘Green crackers’ are low-emission fireworks that is developed by CSIR-NEERI (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research – National Environmental Engineering Research Institute).
- Green Crackers do not comprise of harmful chemicals like arsenic, lithium, barium, and lead.
- They release water vapour which does not allow the dust to rise and thereby reducing the emissions.
- The manufacturing cost of these crackers will almost be the same, or may even cost less than the traditional crackers
- To differentiate green crackers from the regular ones, the system of Quick Response (QR) coding has been developed.
- These crackers are believed to cause 30 per cent less particulate matter pollution as compared to traditional crackers.
- The approval for these crackers is given by Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO), Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industries.
These green crackers have been named as:
- Safe Water Releaser (SWAS)-
- They will discharge water vapour into the atmosphere, which will dampen the discharged dust.
- It won’t contain sulphur or potassium nitrate.
- There will be a release of a diluent for gaseous emissions.
- There will be a 30% reduction in the amount of particle dust emitted.
- Safe Thermite Cracker (STAR)-
- Does not contain sulphur and potassium nitrate.
- Discharge of less particulate matter.
- Lowered noise level.
- Safe Minimal Aluminium (SAFAL)-
- Does not contain sulphur and potassium nitrate.
- Discharge of less particulate matter.
- Lowered noise level as compared to traditional ones.
Source of this article: The Hindu
Section: Legislation in news
- The Jharkhand government started a special drive, titled Abua Bir Dishom Abhiyan.
- The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, grants the rights of self cultivation and habitation, in the form of Individual Forest Rights (IFR) and Community Forest Rights (CFR).
- The titles cover areas such as grazing, fishing, access to water bodies, resource access, recognition of customary rights, among others.
About Abua Bir Dishom Abhiyan:
- Initiative of: Jharkhand state
- Aim: To give land title certificates to individuals and communities under the Forests Rights Act.
- Forest Rights Committee (FRC) at the village level and a monitoring committee at the sub-divisional and district levelbwill be formed.
- A special Gram Sabha will be held in all the villages, organised by the Panchayat Secretary and Head of each Panchayat, with the instruction that in addition to new claims, the FRCs will also need to consider old pending claims or rejected claims.
- Technological partner in this initiative is the Foundation of Ecological Security (IES), with its partner organisationPhia Foundation in Jharkhand. Another partner is the Indian School of Business(ISB).
- Some forest officials view forest dwellers as encroachers.
- Policy implementation at the ground level.
- Lack of police personnel, mainly forest rangers.
- Lack of coordination among bureaucratic hierarchy
The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA) identify four types of rights:
- Title rights: It gives FDST and OTFD the right to ownership to land farmed by tribals or forest dwellers subject to a maximum of 4 hectares.Ownership is only for land that is actually being cultivated by the concerned family and no new lands will be granted.
- Use rights: The rights of the dwellers extend to extracting Minor Forest Produce, grazing areas, to pastoralist routes, etc.
- Relief and development rights: To rehabilitation in case of illegal eviction or forced displacement and to basic amenities, subject to restrictions for forest protection
- Forest management rights: It includes the right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource which they have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use.
Source of this article: Indian Express
Section: Physical geography
In the news:
- Seismologists have identified two large blobs in the earth’s mantle, one under Africa and the other under the South Pacific region.
- These blobs may be remnants from a collision between the early Earth and a Mars-sized object called Theia, believed to have formed the moon over 4.46 billion years ago.
- The impact released molten rock into space, which later coalesced to form the moon. Some fragments of Theia may have sunk into the earth, forming the mantle blobs.
- Computer simulations supported this hypothesis, suggesting that most of Theia became part of the earth, while residual debris formed the moon.
- The blobs are located about 2,900 kilometers below the earth’s surface and account for about 2% of the earth’s mass, with each being twice the mass of the moon.
- If confirmed, these blobs could serve as evidence of the moon-forming collision on Earth.
- The increased density of the blobs is attributed to their high iron content, and future lunar missions may help verify the model.
- Understanding the moon-forming impact can provide insights into the evolution of Earth and other rocky planets in our solar system, contributing to our understanding of Earth’s uniqueness as a habitable planet.
Source of this article: The Hindu
Section: Places in news
Context: The UN International Organization of Migration (IOM) reported that the number of people who have been internally displaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has risen to 6.9 million.
What is the conflict in the DRC:
- The conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) traces its origins to the 1990s, characterized by two civil wars in 1996 and 1998.
- This conflict stemmed from the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide in 1994, during which ethnic Hutu extremists killed nearly one million minority ethnic Tutsis and non-extremist Hutus.
- Subsequently, the eastern regions of the DRC, bordering Rwanda, have been plagued by ongoing insurgencies carried out by various rebel militant groups.
- The United Nations reports that in addition to M23, over 120 insurgent groups operate in the eastern provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri, and Tanganyika.
- This instability has resulted from violence over territorial control and access to natural resources, extrajudicial killings by security forces, and escalating tensions with neighboring countries, leading to a high death toll.
- Notably, tensions between the DRC and Rwanda continue to escalate as both nations accuse each other of supporting ethnic Tutsi and Hutu-led rebel groups, respectively.
- The resurgence of the Tutsi-led M23 rebel campaign in November 2021 further exacerbated the security situation in the eastern DRC.
- This group frequently launches attacks and has seized control of numerous towns. In November 2022, a ceasefire was brokered between the DRC and Rwanda; however, it failed when M23 rebels declared non-compliance.
- The East African Force and the UN peacekeeping mission, deployed to oversee the withdrawal of rebel groups, were unable to achieve their objectives. Since January 2023, M23 has continued to make advances in the region.
Who are the major actors:
- Prominent rebel groups operating alongside M23 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) include the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and the Cooperative for Development of the Congo (CODECO).
- The ADF, a rebel group based in Uganda, has been active in eastern DRC since the mid-1990s and declared its allegiance to the Islamic State in 2019.
- CODECO purports to safeguard the interests of the ethnic Lendu community against the Hemas and the Congolese army.
- Additionally, the DRC accuses Rwanda of supporting the Tutsi-led M23 group, while Rwanda asserts that the DRC backs Hutu militias responsible for the 1994 Rwandan genocide who fled to eastern DRC.
- The East African Community (EAC) entered the conflict in November 2022 by deploying its troops in eastern DRC to quell the violence.
- These forces originated from Kenya, South Sudan, Burundi, and Uganda.
What is UN International Organization of Migration (IOM):
- IOM stands as the principal intergovernmental organization specializing in the realm of migration, collaborating closely with governmental, intergovernmental, and non-governmental partners.
- Its origins trace back to the aftermath of World War II when Western Europe grappled with upheaval and displacement.
- It was founded in 1951
- IOM achieved Permanent Observer status to the UN General Assembly in 1992, and a collaborative agreement was formalized between IOM and the UN in 1996.
- The organization boasts a membership of 175 sovereign states, along with eight additional states holding observer status.
- Operating across more than 100 countries, IOM maintains an unwavering commitment to promoting humane and well-organized migration that benefits all parties involved.
- Its mission involves delivering services and counsel to governments and migrants
- India is a member of IOM
- IOM’s efforts span four overarching areas of migration management, encompassing:
- Migration and development
- Facilitating migration
- Regulating migration
- Forced migration.
- The World Migration Report is published by IOM.
Some facts about Congo:
- The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a country located in Central Africa.
- It is the second-largest country in Africa and is known for its vast natural resources, including minerals and a significant portion of the Congo rainforest.
- The DRC is bordered by nine countries: Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
- The Capital of DRC is Kinshasa
- The Congo Basin rainforest, which is the second-largest rainforest in the world.
- The DRC is the world’s largest producer of cobalt ore, and a major producer of copper and diamonds
Context: Govt begins process of constituting Sixteenth Finance Commission
More about the news:
- The Indian government has initiated the formation of the Sixteenth Finance Commission, a body responsible for determining the tax-sharing formula between the central and state governments.
- The commission is expected to be constituted later this year, with the announcement of its Terms of Reference and members to follow after state elections.
- States have already submitted their suggestions for these terms.
- Ritvik Ranjanam Pandey, a 1998-batch IAS officer from the Karnataka cadre, was appointed as the Officer on Special Duty for the commission.
- The Sixteenth Finance Commission will operate over a five-year period starting from 2026-27, and its recommendations will be included in the 2026-27 budget.
- The commission’s role is to address vertical imbalances in taxation powers and expenditure responsibilities between the central government and the states, as well as to equalize public services across the states.
- The 15th Finance Commission, led by NK Singh, submitted two reports, one for the financial year 2020-21 and the other for the 2021-26 period, with the latter recommending a 41% share of central taxes for the states, in contrast to the 42% share proposed by the 14th Finance Commission for the 2015-20 period.
What is Finance Commission:
- The Finance Commission is a constitutional body for the purpose of allocation of certain revenue resources between the Union and the State Governments.
- It was established under Article 280 of the Indian Constitution by the Indian President.
- It was created to define the financial relations between the Centre and the states.
- It shall be the duty of the Commission to make recommendations to the President in relation to the:
- the distribution between the Union and the States of the net proceeds of taxes which are to be, or maybe, divided between them and the allocation between the States of the respective shares of such proceeds;
- the principles which should govern the grants in aid of the revenues of the States out of the Consolidated Fund of India;
- any other matter referred to the Commission by the President in the interests of sound finance
- The Commission shall determine their procedure and shall have such powers in the performance of their functions as Parliament may by law confer on them.
- The recommendations made by the Finance Commission are of an advisory nature only and therefore, not binding upon the government.
- The first Finance Commission was set up in 1951
- The Fifteenth Finance Commission was constituted on 27 November 2017 under N.K.Singh
What is the Composition of Finance Commission:
- The President shall constitute a Finance Commission which shall consist of a Chairman and four other members to be appointed by the President.
- Qualifications for members of the Finance commission as per Finance commission act,1951:
- Chairperson – Individual with experience of public affairs
- Member 1 – High court judge or qualified to be one.
- Member 2 – special knowledge of finance and accounts of government.
- Member 3 – special knowledge of economics.
- Member 4 – wide experience in financial matters and administration.
Section: International Groupings
Context: NATO announces formal suspension of Cold War-era security treaty after Russia’s pullout
More about the news:
- NATO has formally suspended the Treaty of Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) in response to Russia’s withdrawal from the agreement.
- The CFE treaty, a key Cold War-era security pact aimed at preventing the massing of forces near mutual borders, had most NATO members as signatories.
- NATO stated that sustaining the treaty when Russia was not adhering to it would be untenable.
- In response to Russia’s finalization of its withdrawal, NATO members who had signed the treaty are suspending its operation.
- This decision is supported by all NATO allies, with a commitment to reducing military risks and preventing misunderstandings and conflicts.
What is Treaty of Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE):
- The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) was signed in Paris in November 1990, following the fall of the Berlin Wall.
- It established limitations on conventional arms and equipment with the primary goal of preventing Cold War adversaries from amassing forces suitable for rapid attacks.
- Its chief objective was to reduce the risk of surprise armed conflicts and the initiation of large-scale offensive operations in Europe.
- The CFE treaty encompassed various key aspects:
- It established comprehensive restrictions on significant categories of conventional military equipment across Europe, ranging from the Atlantic to the Urals.
- The treaty required the destruction of surplus weaponry.
- It effectively ended the Soviet Union’s substantial quantitative advantage in conventional weapons in Europe.
- The treaty introduced verifiable limitations on the categories of conventional military equipment deployable by NATO and the former Warsaw Pact.
- It imposed constraints on conventional arms and equipment.
- The CFE treaty is often referred to as the “cornerstone of European security
Some facts about NATO:
- NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949 also called the Washington Treaty between 30 countries across the world including the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.
- It was the first peacetime military alliance between the United States and non-western countries.
- Currently NATO consists of 31 member countries spanning North America and Europe. The most recent addition to this alliance came in April 2023 when Finland joined as its 31st member.
- NATO’s primary objective revolves around the preservation of the freedom and security of its member nations, achieved through a combination of political and military strategies.
- The core principle of NATO is collective defense, where independent member states pledge mutual protection in the face of external threats.
- The cornerstone of this commitment is enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which states that an attack against any one member nation will be treated as an attack against all.
- The alliance’s headquarters are situated in Brussels, Belgium, facilitating coordination and cooperation among its members.
Section: International Organisation
Context: India had the highest number of TB cases globally in 2022 as per WHO.
More about the news:
- In 2022, India reported the highest number of tuberculosis cases globally, accounting for a staggering 27 percent of the worldwide burden, according to the 2023 Global TB report by the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Among the top eight high burden countries, Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and the Democratic Republic of Congo were also included, with India leading the list.
- India recorded 2.8 million TB cases in 2022, with a case fatality ratio of 12 percent, resulting in an estimated 342,000 deaths, including both HIV-negative and HIV-positive individuals.
- The report emphasizes that multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis, with 110,000 cases recorded in India in 2022.
- Dr. Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO’s Global TB Programme, noted a positive global trend in the number of people diagnosed with TB and treated in 2022, following two years of COVID-related disruptions.
- The report also highlights a global recovery in TB diagnosis and treatment services, showing signs of reversing the adverse effects of COVID-19 disruptions on TB services.
- In 2022, 7.5 million people were diagnosed with TB, marking the highest number since WHO began global TB monitoring in 1995.
- The TB incidence rate increased by 3.9 percent between 2020 and 2022, reversing a two-decade-long decline of about 2 percent per year.
What is Tuberculosis:
- Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious airborne bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
- TB commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect other parts (extrapulmonary TB)
- Tuberculosis spreads from person to person through the air, when people who are infected with TB infection cough, sneeze or otherwise transmit respiratory fluids through the air.
What is Multidrug-Resistant TB (MDR-TB):
- In MDR-TB, the bacteria that cause TB develop resistance to antimicrobial drugs used to cure the disease.
- MDR-TB does not respond to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, the 2 most powerful anti-TB drugs.
- Treatment options for MDR-TB are limited and expensive.
- CBNAAT (Cartridges Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test) is used for early diagnosis of MDR-TB.
What is Extensively Drug-Resistant TB (XDR-TB):
- XDR-TB is a form of multidrug-resistant TB with additional resistance to more anti-TB drugs.
- People who are resistant to isoniazid and rifampicin, plus any fluoroquinolone and at least one of three injectable second-line drugs i.e amikacin, kanamycin, capreomycin are said to have XDR-TB
What is National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination:
- It is a framework to guide the activities of all stakeholders whose work is relevant to TB elimination in India.
- It provides goals and strategies for the country’s response to the disease during the period 2017 to 2025.
- It aims to direct the attention of all stakeholders on the most important interventions or activities that the RNTCP believes will bring about significant changes in the incidence, prevalence and mortality of TB.
- It will guide the development of the national project implementation plan (PIP) and state PIPs, as well as district health action plans (DHAP) under the national health mission (NHM).
What are some other government measures:
- The National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme(NTEP) – Aims to strategically reduce TB burden in India . It was previously known as Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP).
- The National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination – It was launched to achieve the target of ending TB by 2025 in a mission mode. It is a multi-pronged approach which aims to detect all TB patients with an emphasis on reaching TB patients seeking care from private providers and undiagnosed TB in high-risk populations
- Ni-kshay Poshan Yojana(Nutritional Support to TB) – It helps to meet the nutritional requirements of TB patients, especially the underserved
- Patient Provider Support Agencies (PPSA) – To engage the private sector, Patient Provider Support Agencies (PPSA) have been rolled out across 250 districts through the domestic setup and JEET initiative
- Universal Drug Susceptibility Testing (UDST) – To ensure every diagnosed TB patient is tested to rule out drug resistance before or at the time of treatment initiation itself.
- Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan – To bring together all community stakeholders to support those on TB treatment and accelerate the country’s progress towards TB elimination.
- Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres – To decentralize comprehensive primary healthcare including TB care services at the grassroots level.
- Bedaquiline and Delamanid-Newer drugs like Bedaquiline and Delamanid have also been made available for management of DR-TB.
Section: Legislation in news
Context: Centre issues advisory to social media platforms to take down misleading AI content.
More about the news:
- The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has issued advisories to social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, instructing them to remove misleading content generated by artificial intelligence within 24 hours.
- This action follows the recent viral spread of a deepfake video of actor Rashmika Mandanna on social media.
- The advisory references existing legal provisions that platforms must adhere to as online intermediaries, including Section 66D of the Information Technology Act and Rule 3(2)(b) of the Information Technology Rules, which require the removal of impersonation content, including artificially manipulated images, within 24 hours of receiving a complaint.
- Deepfake technology poses a significant challenge, particularly for women, as it adds a new dimension to online harassment.
What is deep fakes:
- A deepfake is an artificially created image or video that convincingly portrays one person as another.
- It represents an advanced form of producing deceptive content, harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence(AI) .
- AI involves programming machines to emulate human intelligence, enabling them to think and act like humans.
- With AI, it becomes possible to generate entirely fictitious individuals and manipulate genuine individuals, causing them to appear as if they said or did things they never actually did.
- The term deepfake originated in 2017, when an anonymous Reddit user called himself “Deepfakes.”
- This user manipulated Google’s open-source, deep-learning technology to create and post pornographic videos.
What are the Global Efforts to regulate Deepfake technology:
- European Union
- The EU has an updated Code of Practice to stop the spread of disinformation through deepfakes.
- The revised Code requires tech companies including Google, Meta, and Twitter to take measures in countering deepfakes and fake accounts on their platforms.
- They have six months to implement their measures once they have signed up to the Code.
- If found non-compliant, these companies can face ﬁnes as much as 6% of their annual global turnover.
- United States
- In July 2021, the US introduced the bipartisan Deepfake Task Force Act to assist the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to counter deepfake technology.
- The measure directs the DHS to conduct an annual study of deepfakes assess the technology used, track its uses by foreign and domestic entities, and come up with available countermeasures to tackle the same.
- In China, it is mandatory for deep synthesis service providers and users to ensure that any doctored content using the technology is explicitly labelled and can be traced back to its source.
- The regulation also mandates people using the technology to edit someone’s image or voice, to notify and take the consent of the person in question.
- When reposting news made by the technology, the source can only be from the government-approved list of news outlets.
What is the Legal Framework Related to AI in India:
- In India, there are currently no specific legal regulations governing the use of deepfake technology. However, existing laws can be applied to address the misuse of this technology, covering aspects such as Copyright Violation, Defamation, and cybercrimes.
- For instance, the Indian Penal Code, which addresses defamation, and the Information Technology Act of 2000, which pertains to sexually explicit material, could potentially be used to combat malicious deepfake usage.
- The Representation of the People Act of 1951 contains provisions that prohibit the creation or dissemination of false or deceptive information about candidates or political parties during election periods.
- Additionally, the Election Commission of India has established regulations requiring registered political parties and candidates to obtain prior approval for all political advertisements on electronic media.
- Despite these measures, they may still be inadequate in fully addressing the multifaceted challenges arising from AI algorithms, including the potential risks associated with deepfake content.
What are the Recent Global Efforts to Regulate AI:
- The world’s inaugural AI Safety Summit, hosted at Bletchley Park in the UK, saw 28 major nations, including the US, China, Japan, the UK, France, India, and the European Union, unite in signing a declaration emphasizing the necessity for global action to address the potential perils of AI.
- The declaration underscores the recognition of significant risks stemming from potential deliberate misuse and unintended control challenges in advanced AI, particularly in domains such as cybersecurity, biotechnology, and the spread of disinformation.
- In response to these concerns, the US President issued an executive order aiming to fortify defenses against AI-related threats and exercise regulatory oversight over safety standards applied by companies in the assessment of generative AI systems like ChatGPT and Google Bard.
- During the G20 Leaders’ Summit held in New Delhi, the Indian Prime Minister advocated for the creation of a global framework governing the development of “ethical” AI tools.
- This shift in New Delhi’s stance signifies a transition from a position of non-interference in AI regulation to a proactive approach, involving the formulation of regulations grounded in a “risk-based, user-harm” perspective.
What is Information Technology Rules, 2021
- IT Rules 2021 were released under section 87 of the IT Act, 2000 for Social-Media, Digital Media, and OTT platforms.
- It covers digitized content that can be transmitted over the internet or computer networks and includes intermediaries such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.
- It also includes publishers of news and current affairs content and also curators of such content over online papers, news portals, news agencies and news aggregators.
- However, e-papers are not covered because print media comes under the purview of the Press Council of India. Newspapers and TV news channels are governed under the Press Council of India Act, 1978 and Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1995 respectively.
- Through the act the digital media is brought under the ambit of Section 69(A) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 which gives takedown powers to the government.
- The section allows the Centre to block public access to an intermediary in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognisable offence relating to above”.
- It also deprives the intermediaries of their “safe harbour protections under Section 79 of the IT Act, 2000.
- Safe Harbour provisions protect the intermediaries from liability for the acts of third parties who use their infrastructure for their own purposes.
- The act provides for three Tier Check Structure part III of the rules imposes three-tier complaints and adjudication structure on publishers.
- Level I: Self-regulation.
- Level II: Industry regulatory body headed by a former judge of the Supreme Court and High Court with additional members from a panel approved by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
- Level III: Oversight mechanism that includes an inter ministerial committee with the authority to block access to content, which can also take suo moto cognisance of an issue and any grievance flagged by the Ministry.
- Social media companies are needed to appoint Content Moderation Officers who will be responsible for complying with content moderation orders.
- The New rules make it mandatory for platforms such as WhatsApp to aid in identifying the originator of unlawful messages.
- The rules mandate the creation of a grievance redressal portal as the central repository for receiving and processing all grievances.
- Intermediaries are required to act on certain kinds of violations within 24 hours, and on all concerns of a complainant within 15 days.
- The rules also hold that Information Disclosure to Competent Authorities may demand pertinent information for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or punishment of crimes. However, it excludes the intermediary from having to disclose the content of the personal message.
Section: National body
Context: The government is planning to take schemes to target audience on social media
More about the news:
- The Indian government is planning to expand its advertising reach beyond traditional media outlets and include websites and social media platforms like YouTube.
- The Central Bureau of Communication (CBC), part of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, is preparing guidelines and rates for this new media, with notifications expected in the coming weeks.
- Traditional media spending by the government has decreased significantly over the past five years, from Rs 1,200 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 264.78 crore in 2021-22.
- The move to digital platforms is driven by the potential for better targeting of specific audiences, tailoring campaigns for different groups such as women and youth, and reaching urban or rural areas.
- In the past five years, the government has spent over Rs 3,700 crore on advertisements across various media.
What is The Central Bureau of Communication (CBC):
- The Central Bureau of Communication is the nodal agency of the Government of India for advertising by various Ministries and organisations of Government of India, including public sector undertakings and autonomous bodies.
- It works under the administrative control of the Information and broadcasting ministry.
- It is headquartered in New Delhi.
- It was set up on 8th December, 2017 by integration of three erstwhile media units of Ministry of I&B, viz namely Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity (DAVP), Directorate of Field Publicity (DFP) and Song & Drama Division(S&DD), all involved in interpersonal communication.
- It undertakes campaigns to inform and educate rural and urban people about the Government’s policies and programmes through available vehicles of communication viz. Print, Audio Visual, Outdoor, Digital and New Media.
- The CBC is headed by a Director General (DG) with its headquarters at Soochana Bhawan, New Delhi.
- CBC operating from Delhi, ROBs from regions and FOBs at the field level are manned by officers of Indian Information Service and Ex-cadre personnel of erstwhile DAVP (Directorate of Advertisement Visual Publicity), Directorate of Field Publicity and Song & Drama Division.
Section: International Organization
Context: India opposes inclusion of ‘environment sustainability and trade’ in WTO Ministerial agenda
More about the news:
- India, along with several developing nations, has opposed the introduction of discussions on environment sustainability and trade at a recent senior officials meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
- India argued that the matter was “too premature” to be taken up by Ministers at the upcoming 13th WTO Ministerial Conference in February 2024.
- India also expressed concerns that linking sustainability issues to trade could be used as a barrier to trade.
- India has consistently opposed global talks on environment issues at the WTO, fearing that these discussions could lead to unjustified trade restrictions, such as the proposed carbon taxes under the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM).
- Many developing countries share these concerns and are not part of the discussions on trade and environmental sustainability at the WTO.
Some facts about W.T.O
- W.T.O is an international institution that oversees the rules for global trade among nations.
- It officially began operations on January 1, 1995, in accordance with the 1994 Marrakesh Agreement, thus replacing the 1948 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
- WTO has 164 member countries and 25 observer countries and governments.
What is the Structure of Governance of WTO
- Ministerial Conference
- The highest authority within the WTO is the Ministerial Conference, which typically convenes every two years. This gathering includes all WTO members, which consist of countries or customs unions. The Ministerial Conference holds the authority to make decisions concerning any aspect of the multilateral trade agreements.
- General Council
- Situated in Geneva, the General Council serves as the WTO’s primary decision-making body, convening regularly to execute the WTO’s functions.
- It comprises representatives, often ambassadors or equivalent officials, from all member governments and possesses the mandate to act on behalf of the Ministerial Conference, which holds infrequent sessions every two years.
- The General Council also convenes, following different procedures, as the General Council, the Trade Policy Review Body, and the Dispute Settlement Body (DSU).
- Three councils, each with jurisdiction over distinct areas of trade, report to the General Council:
- The Council for Trade in Goods (Goods Council)
- The Council for Trade in Services (Services Council)
- The Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Council)
- These councils are responsible for overseeing the implementation of WTO agreements pertaining to their respective trade domains and encompass all WTO members.
- Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB)
- The General Council, in its capacity as the TPRB, conducts trade policy reviews of WTO Members as part of the Trade Policy Review Mechanism) and considers regular reports on trade policy development submitted by the Director-General.
- This forum is open to all WTO Members.
- Dispute Settlement Body (DSB)
- The General Council assumes the role of the Dispute Settlement Body inhandling disputes among WTO members. Such disputes may arise concerning any agreement outlined in the Final Act of the Uruguay Round, which is subject to the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes .
- The DSB holds the authority to:
- Establish dispute settlement panels
- Refer matters to arbitration
- Adopt reports from panels, the Appellate Body, and arbitration
- Monitor the implementation of recommendations and rulings outlined in these reports
- Authorize the suspension of trade concessions in cases of non-compliance with these recommendations and rulings.
- Appellate Body
- Established in 1995 under Article 17 of the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes, the Appellate Body comprises seven individuals and serves a four-year term.
- This standing body hears appeals from panel reports in disputes initiated by WTO Members.
- The Appellate Body may affirm, amend, or overturn the legal findings and conclusions presented by a panel.
- Once the Appellate Body Reports are approved by the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), they must be accepted by the involved parties.
- The Appellate Body is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
What are the stages in WTO Dispute Settlement:
- Once a complaint has been filed with the WTO, there are two main ways to resolve a dispute:
- Mutually Acceptable Solution: The parties reach a mutually acceptable solution, particularly during the phase of bilateral consultations;
- Adjudication: It includes the subsequent implementation of the panel and Appellate Body reports, which are binding on the partiesonce adopted by the DSB.
- The WTO dispute settlement process is divided into three stages:
- Parties’ discussions;
- Adjudication by panels and, if relevant, by the Appellate Body.
- Ruling implementation includes the potential of countermeasures if the losing party fails to implement the ruling.
Section: International Organization
Context: NDB to assess impact of $7.5-billion India projects portfolio
More about the news:
- The New Development Bank’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) is set to conduct an evaluation of its project portfolio in India since its inception in 2015.
- With approvals totaling $7.5 billion, of which $4.2 billion has been disbursed, the evaluation aims to assess the impact and effectiveness of these projects.
- The IEO plans to develop a country strategy for India, helping identify future engagement priorities, sectors, states, and partner institutions.
- The NDB has already funded a range of projects in India, from transport and water sectors to rural roads and ecotourism.
- An evaluation report also highlights the positive impact of NDB’s Covid-19 response programs in India, benefiting millions and generating employment opportunities.
What is New Development Bank:
- It is a multilateral development bank operated by the BRICS statesi.eBrazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
- The New Development Bank was agreed to by BRICS leaders at the 5th BRICS summit held in Durban, South Africa in 2013.
- It was established in 2014, at the 6th BRICS Summit at Fortaleza, Brazil.
- The bank is set up to foster greater financial and development cooperation among the five emerging markets.
- In the Fortaleza Declaration, the leaders stressed that the NDB will strengthen cooperation among BRICS and will supplement the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global development.
- The bank is headquartered in Shanghai, China.
- Unlike the World Bank, which assigns votes based on capital share, in the New Development Bank each participant country will be assigned one vote, and none of the countries will have veto power.
- The first regional office of the NDB was setup in Johannesburg, South Africa. The second regional office was established in 2019 in São Paulo, Brazil, followed by Moscow, Russia.
- The Bank has an initial authorized capital of 100 billion dollars and an initial subscribed capital of 50 billion dollars.
- Membership in NDB is open to any member of the United Nations.
- In 2018, the NDB received observer status in the United Nations General Assembly
What is the Governance Structure of NDB:
- The Bank is governed by a Board of Governors made up of the finance ministers of the five BRICS countries, and a Board of Directors.
- Voting power within the Board is based on each country’s shares in the bank.
- While new members can join the NDB, the five BRICS countries will retain a minimum of 55% of total shares.
- The NDB’s management includes a presidency which rotates among BRICS members, and four vice presidents who are selected from the remaining BRICS countries.
- V. Kamath, from India, was the first elected president of the NDB
- Egypt became the latest member of NDB.
Fig 1.-Voting Share of NDB
Subject: Science and Tech
Silk, the queen of fibres, is drawn or reeled from cocoons of the silk moth (Bombyx mori). Humans domesticated it more than 5,000 years ago in China, from the wild moth (Bombyx mandarina). India is the world’s second largest producer of raw silk after China.
- Caterpillars, also known as silkworms, of both these species feed exclusively on leaves of mulberry plants (genus Morus).
- The domesticated moth-is much larger than its wild progenitor, and thus extrudes a longer silk fibre to build its larger cocoon, up to 900 meters long. But it depends wholly on human care for its survival and reproduction.
- Since having been domesticated, it has lost the ability to fly, and since its need for camouflage no longer exists, it has also lost its caterpillar and adult-stage pigmentation.
Carotenoids and flavonoids
- ‘Wild’ silks – which include the muga, tasar, and eri silks – are obtained from other moth species: namely, Antheraea assama, Antheraea mylitta, and Samia cynthiaricini.
- These moths survive relatively independently of human care, and their caterpillars forage on a wider variety of trees.
- Non-mulberry silks comprise about 30% of-all silk produced in India.
- These silks have shorter, coarser, and harder threads compared to the long, fine, and smooth threads of the mulberry silks.
- The ancestral mulberry moth makes brown-yellow cocoons. In contrast, domesticated silk moth cocoons come in an eye-catching palette of yellow-red, gold, flesh, pink, pale green, deep green or white.
- Human handlers selected the differently coloured cocoons whenever they emerged, possibly in the hope of breeding for coloured silks.
- We know today that the cocoon’s pigments are derived from chemical compounds called carotenoids and flavonoids, which are made by the mulberry leaves.
- Silkworms feed voraciously on the leaves, absorb the chemicals in their midgut, transport them via the hemolymph – arthropods’ analogue of blood – to the silk glands, where they are taken up and bound to the silk protein.
- Mature caterpillars then spin out the silk proteins and associated pigment into a single fibre. The caterpillar wraps the fibre around itself to build the cocoon.
- The adult moth hatches from the cocoon. In this process, the fibre is broken in many places.
- Superior quality silk however comes from an unbroken fibre, so unhatched cocoons are used for reeling.
- The differently coloured cocoons arise from mutations in genes responsible for the uptake, transport, and modification of carotenoids and flavonoids.
- The mutant strains have become a valuable resource for scientists to study the molecular basis of how, in a relatively short span of 5,000 years, artificial selection generated such spectacular diversity.
The gene called apontic-like
- Domesticated and ancestral mulberry silk moths can be interbred to produce hybrid offspring.
- The hybrid caterpillars, like their wild parent, made the pigment called melanin.
- But when the B. mandarina-derived copy of apontic-like was mutated, the hybrid failed to make melanin.
- Both versions of the apontic-like gene make the same protein. Therefore, the difference between them was attributable to differences in sequences that regulate when and where the gene was turned ‘on’ or ‘off’.
- Silk is an acme of domestication, comparable in its success to basmati rice, alphonso mangoes, and the golden retriever. Today, the tools are at hand for scientists to make and compare genetically identical hybrid silk moths that differ only in which of a gene’s two parental versions is inactivated: domesticated or ancestral.
- This paves the way for scientists to work out – gene by gene – all the key steps that led to silk moth domestication. Hopefully, someday soon, similar techniques will become available for us to analyse domestication in rice, mangoes, and dogs.
Subject: Science and Tech
Section: Space technology
The High Energy L1 Orbiting Xray Spectrometer (HEL1OS) payload, onboard the AdityaL1 spacecraft, has captured the first glimpse of solar flares.
About Aditya-L1 Mission
- Aditya-L1 is the first space based observatory class Indian solar mission to study the Sun from a substantial distance of 1.5 million kilometers. It will take approximately 125 days to reach the L1 point.
- Aditya-L1 is also ISRO’s second astronomy observatory-class mission after AstroSat (2015).
- The spacecraft is planned to be placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrangian point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system.
- The mission aims to provide valuable insights into the solar corona, photosphere, chromosphere, and solar wind.
- The primary objective of Aditya-L1 is to gain a deeper understanding of the Sun’s behavior, including its radiation, heat, particle flow, and magnetic fields, and how they impact Earth.
Payloads and its Objectives
- Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC)
- – Studies the solar corona.
- – Observe dynamics of Coronal Mass Ejections.
- Solar Ultra-violet Imaging Telescope (SUIT)
- – Captures images of the Solar Photosphere and Chromosphere in near Ultraviolet (UV).
- – Measures solar irradiance variations in near UV.
- Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS)
- – Functions as a Soft X-ray spectrometer.
- – Studies X-ray flares from the Sun across a wide X-ray energy range.
- High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS)
- – Acts as a Hard X-ray spectrometer.
- – Investigates X-ray flares from the Sun across a wide X-ray energy range.
- Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX)
- – Studies solar wind and energetic ions.
- – Analyze their energy distribution.
- Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA)
- – Gather data on plasma characteristics and composition in the interplanetary space.
- – Provides insights into solar wind interactions with the environment.
- Advanced Tri-axial High-Resolution Digital Magnetometers (MAG)
- – To measure the low-intensity interplanetary magnetic field in space.
- – It has two sets of Magnetic Sensors:
What are Lagrange Points?
- Lagrange points are special positions in space where the gravitational forces of two large orbiting bodies, such as the Sun and the Earth, balance each other out.
- This means that a small object, such as a spacecraft, can stay at these points without using much fuel to maintain its orbit.
- There are five Lagrange Points, each with distinct characteristics. These points enable a small mass to orbit in a stable pattern amid two larger masses.
Lagrange Points in the Sun-Earth System:
- L1: L1 is considered the most significant of the Lagrange points for solar observations. A satellite placed in the halo orbit around the L1 has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation/ eclipses. It is currently home to the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Satellite (SOHO).
- L2: Positioned directly ‘behind’ Earth as viewed from the Sun, L2 is excellent for observing the larger Universe without Earth’s shadow interference. The James Webb Space Telescope orbits the Sun near L2.
- L3: Positioned behind the Sun, opposite Earth, and just beyond Earth’s orbit, it offers potential observations of the far side of the Sun.
- L4 and L5: Objects at L4 and L5 maintain stable positions, forming an equilateral triangle with the two larger bodies. They are often used for space observatories, such as those studying asteroids.
What is the Significance of Exploring the Sun?
- Understanding Our Solar System: The Sun is the center of our solar system, and its characteristics greatly influence the behavior of all other celestial bodies. Studying the Sun enhances our understanding of the dynamics of our solar neighborhood.
- Space Weather Prediction: Solar activities, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, can impact Earth’s space environment.
- Understanding these phenomena is crucial for predicting and mitigating potential disruptions to communication systems, navigation, and power grids.
- Advancing Solar Physics: Exploring the Sun’s complex behavior, including its magnetic fields, heating mechanisms, and plasma dynamics, contributes to advances in fundamental physics and astrophysics.
- Enhancing Energy Research: The Sun is a natural fusion reactor. Insights gained from studying its core and nuclear reactions can inform our pursuit of clean and sustainable fusion energy on Earth.
- Improving Satellite Operations: Solar radiation and solar wind affect the functioning of satellites and spacecraft. Understanding these solar interactions allows for better spacecraft design and operation.
Subject: Science and Tech
Energy exists in many forms, like light, sound, heat, etc., power and power transmission also exist in many forms. However, electric power transmission is more complicated because of the multiple phases of electric current, and factors like voltage, impedance, frequency, etc.
Basics of Power supply
- Any power supply system has three broad components: generation, transmission, and distribution.
- Electricity is generated at power plants as well as at smaller renewable-energy installations.
- Then it is transmitted using a distributed network of stations, substations, switches, overhead and underground cables, and transformers, among other elements.
- Finally, it is distributed to consumers in a standardized way, befitting the needs of various machines and applications.
How electricity is transmitted?
- First, in any conductor that transports electric current, the transmission efficiency is higher at lower current and higher voltage.
- This is because the energy loss during transmission increases as the square of the current, whereas the amount of voltage increase corresponds on a 1:1 basis with the amount of current decreased.
- That is, if voltage is increased by five units, the amount of current will drop by five units, but the amount of energy lost will be reduced by 25 units.
- This is the purpose of transformers: they increase the voltage and reduce the current before feeding into transmission lines, and the reverse when receiving current to be supplied to consumers.
- Second, the cables that move the current still have some resistance, which results in some energy loss.
- The amount of loss can be controlled by adjusting the cable’s thickness: the thicker it is, the less energy is lost, but the cost increases. So when the cost of the cable’s material is high, the cables are thinner.
- Third, the longer the distance of transmission, the lower the transmission cost.
- All these factors are further complicated by the use of alternating current (AC).
- AC can be modified more easily in transformers than direct currents (DC) and also has higher transmission efficiency.
- But when the AC frequency is higher, the amount of resistance the current encounters in the material increases.
- Engineers model all these factors for a given network to understand how much electrical energy will be lost between generation and consumption.
- In a three-phase AC circuit, each wire transmits an AC current in a different phase.
- From a power station, the wires are routed to transformers that step-up their voltage.
- Then, they are suspended from transmission towers, which must be stable and properly wired, as they travel long distances.
- Insulators in contact with the wires draw away some current if there is a surge in the line; circuit-breakers ‘break’ the circuit if there is too much.
- The towers are also grounded and equipped with arresters that prevent sudden increases in voltage — such as due to a lightning strike — from affecting the wires.
- Similarly, dampers prevent vibrations in the wires from affecting the towers’ stability. Switches are used to control the availability of current and to move currents between different lines.
Operation of grids
- As mentioned earlier, transmission is situated between production and distribution.
- A national grid includes all three components, and as a result transmission also has to account for the particulars of power production at different types of sources, at various locations, and how and where that power is consumed.
- For example, some sources — like coal-fired or nuclear reactors — can produce energy continuously, whereas renewable energy sources are intermittent.
- So grids also have storage facilities that store electrical energy when there’s a surplus supply and release it in times of deficit.
- Grids also need to respond to failure in different parts of the network and prevent them from carrying over to other parts, adjust voltages in response to demand, control the AC frequency, improve the power factor etc.
A grid becomes a wide-area synchronous grid if all the generators connected to it are producing an AC current at the same frequency. India’s national grid is also a wide-area synchronous grid. Such grids result in lower power cost but also require measures to prevent cascading power-supply failures.
Section: External Sector
In News: Supreme Court’s (SC) recent ruling states that no automatic international treaty benefit, including a lower withholding tax, is available to foreign companies operating in India.
- The issue involves Nestle and some other EU companies claiming lower withholding tax of 5% instead of the 10% based on the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) that India had signed with Switzerland and other EU countries.
- This was done on the basis of invoking the most favoured nation (MFN) clause in the tax treaties.
What do the DTAAs mean for taxation?
- India’s bilateral DTAAs with the Netherlands, France, and Switzerland — all three countries are members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — require imposing a 10% withholding tax (tax on dividends paid by Indian entities of foreign companies to the residents of Netherlands, France, and Switzerland).
- This provision allows India to sign tax treaties with other countries to avoid an income being taxed twice.
- These DTAAs also contain an MFN provision.
What does the MFN clause say?
- If India extends a preferential tax treatment to any third country “which is a member of the OECD”, the same treatment should be accorded to the Netherlands, France, and Switzerland under their respective DTAAs.
- Now India’s DTAAs with Slovenia, Colombia, and Lithuania have a lower withholding tax requirement of 5%. Hence the other countries are claiming the 5% rate as per the terms of MFN clause.
What was the issue before the courts?
- When India signed DTAAs with these countries, they were not OECD members but joined the group later.
- When the matter initially came before the Delhi High Court, it held that under the MFN provision, the preferential tax in, say, the India-Slovenia DTAA should extend to the India-Netherlands DTAA.
What does the Supreme Court ruling say?
- The Supreme Court overruled the HC order and held that when the India-Netherlands DTAA was signed, Slovenia was not an OECD member. Thus, the benefits given to Slovenia, which became an OECD member later, do not apply to the India-Netherlands DTAA.
- Further SC noted that for MFN clause to come in effect, a separate notification for the same under Section 90 of the Income-Tax Act needs to be issued.
- This ruling will impose a tax burden estimated to be ₹11,000 crore on foreign investors. It may also lead to opening past cases.
Why is the judgement problematic?
- One of the foremost challenges foreign investors face in India is the uncertainty in taxation measures.
- Taxation-related improbabilities arise not just due to the actions of the executive but also the judiciary. This makes doing business in India difficult for foreign players.
- The critical question here is why the MFN clause could not be given effect in India without notification for the same under Section 90 of the Income-Tax Act.
- The SC judgement freezes the provisions of a treaty in time when there is nothing in the DTAA treaties that says that it applies only to countries that were members on the day the treaty was signed.
- SC has used domestic interpretative techniques to interpret a term in an international treaty.
- Such an interpretation defeats the purpose of including non-discrimination standards such as MFN in economic treaties.
- MFN in a treaty ensures that future benefits given to a third country by one of the treaty-signing countries become automatically available to its treaty partners.