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Published on Apr 3, 2024
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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 3rd April 2024




Kerala-Centre dispute over States’ borrowing powers


  • Prelims & Mains – Polity

Context: The Supreme Court on Monday declined any interim relief to Kerala in its suit seeking that the Union government relax its borrowing restrictions to enable the State to borrow additional funds.


  • Kerala moved the top Court last year accusing the Union government of arbitrarily imposing a Net Borrowing Ceiling (NBC) on the State, which brought it to the brink of a financial crisis as it could not no longer pay salaries and pensions or fulfil other essential financial commitments.

Fiscal autonomy under the Constitution

  • Article 293 of the Constitution permits States to borrow only from within the territory of India on a guarantee from the consolidated fund of the State and within such limits as outlined by the legislatures of each State.
  • The subject “Public Debt of the State” finds mention in Entry 43 of the State List of the Constitution and thus the Parliament cannot legislate or administer upon such matters.
  • If a State wishes to borrow from the Centre, then such a transaction will be regulated by the FRBM Act, 2023.
  • Pertinently, under Article 293(3), the State has to obtain the consent of the Centre to raise “any loan,” if “any part of the previous loan” extended by the Centre is outstanding. The NBC has been imposed by invoking the powers of the Centre under this provision.

About Net Borrowing Ceiling (NBC)

  • The NBC imposes a limitation on borrowings of a State from all sources including open market borrowings.
  • The Union government decided to deduct liabilities arising from the public account of the States to arrive at such a cap. Additionally, borrowings by State-owned enterprises, where the principal and/or interest are serviced out of the Budget or through assignment of taxes, cess or any other State revenue, are also deducted from the NBC.
  • The NBC for States is fixed at 3% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) or ₹8,59,988 crore in absolute terms for the Financial Year (FY) 2023-24 as recommended by the 15th Finance Commission.

Source: The Hindu

Heat Waves


  • Prelims & Mains – Climate Change

Context: The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) announced that India will see more than average heat wave days in this year’s hot weather season (April to June).


  • The announcement comes even as India is already struggling to keep up with its power demand, which increases significantly during summer season.

About Heat wave:

  • A period of abnormally high temperatures is called a heat wave. The IMD declares a heat wave if the maximum temperature of a weather station reaches at least 40 degrees C in the plains and at least 30 degrees C in hilly regions, with a departure of around 4.5-6.4 degrees C from the normal maximum temperature. The IMD can also declare a heat wave if the actual maximum temperature crosses 45 degrees C, and a ‘severe heat wave’ if it crosses 47 degrees C.
  • Qualitatively, a heat wave can also occur when the temperature of the air becomes fatal to the human body.
  • Heat waves in India are typically recorded between March and June, and tend to peak in May.
  • A study published in the journal PLOS Climate in April 2023 found heat waves all over the world are getting more “recurrent, intense and lethal” due to climate change.
  • Heat waves can make people ill, lower agricultural output, trigger water scarcity, increase energy demand, and affect ecosystems and air quality.

Source: The Hindu



  • Prelims – Current Event

Context: Recently, the International Energy Agency (IEA) launched the Clean Energy Transitions Programme annual report 2023.


  • The CETP Annual Report 2023 provides an in-depth overview of the program’s accomplishments during the past year.

About Clean Energy Transitions Programme (CETP)

  • The Clean Energy Transitions Programme (CETP) is launched by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2017.
  • It is a flagship initiative aimed at accelerating progress toward a global net-zero energy system.
  • It leverages the insights and influence of the world’s leading energy authority to accelerate clean energy transitions, particularly in emerging and developing economies.

Three Pillars of Activity:

  • Setting Transition Goals: The first pillar assists emerging and developing countries in establishing clean energy transition goals aligned with the Paris Agreement and UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Multilateral Coordination: The second pillar facilitates collaboration among organizations like the Group of 20 (G20) and UN-affiliated bodies.
  • Global-Level Support: The third pillar enables and accelerates clean energy transitions globally.

Source: IEA



  • Prelims – Art & Culture

Context: Recently, Kerala Kalamandalam, a prestigious deemed university for arts and culture, has lifted gender restrictions for boys to learn Mohiniyattam.


  • This historic move was unanimously approved during the governing council meeting of the Kalamandalam. Starting from the next academic year, boys will be eligible for admission to the Mohiniyattam course, which was previously restricted to female students.


  • Mohiniyattam is an Indian classical dance form that originated in the state of Kerala.
  • It derives its name from the word ‘Mohini’, a female avatar of Lord Vishnu.
  • Its roots date back to the age-old Sanskrit Hindu text on performing arts called ‘Natya Shastra’.
  • Mohiniyattam used to be performed by Devadasis (temple dancers) in temples during the rule of the Chera kings from 9 to 12 C.E.
  • The dance form developed further as a performing art during the 18th and 19th centuries due to the patronage of several princely states.


  • It is conventionally a solo dance performed by female artists.
  • It adheres to the Lasya type that showcases a more graceful, gentle, and feminine form of dancing.
  • It emotes a play through dancing and singing, where the song is customarily in Manipravala, which is a mix of Sanskrit and Malayalam language.
  • The dance is characterized by its graceful swaying body movements with no abrupt jerks or sudden leaps.
  • More than the footwork, emphasis is given to hand gestures and Mukhabhinaya or subtle facial expressions.
  • The hand gestures, 24 in number, are mainly adopted from ‘Hastha Lakshana Deepika’, a text followed by Kathakali.
  • Costumes in Mohiniyattam include plain white or ivory cream traditional sari embroidered with bright gold-laced brocade.
  • Musical instruments include Mridangam, Madhalam, ldakka, flute, Veena, and Kuzhitalam(cymbals).

Source: The Hindu



  • Prelims – Polity

Context: Supreme Court issued notice to the Election Commission of India on a petition calling for counting of all Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) paper slips in elections.


  • The petition argues that the current practice of sequential VVPAT verification, where only five randomly selected EVMs are verified, causes undue delay. Instead, the plea suggests simultaneous verification and deploying more officers for quicker counting.


  • VVPAT is an independent verification system attached to the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) that allows voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended.
  • It was first introduced in India in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Components of VVPAT

  • VVPAT Printer
  • VVPAT Status Display Unit (VSDU)

Working of VVPAT

  • When a vote is cast, a slip is printed containing the serial number, name, and symbol of the candidate and remains exposed through a transparent window for 7 seconds.
  • Thereafter, this printed slip automatically gets cut and falls into the sealed drop box of the VVPAT.

Verification Using VVPAT

  • The results of EVMs can be verified using the slips kept in the drop boxes of VVPAT machines.
  • Voter verification, however, is only done in extreme circumstances, such as when there are accusations of fraud or miscalculation.
  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has the authority to request that votes be verified using VVPAT slips in response to such complaints.

Significance of VVPAT

  • The VVPAT helps to detect potential election fraud or malfunction in the Electronic Voting Machine.
  • It provides a means to audit the stored electronic results.
  • It serves as an additional barrier to change or destroy votes.
  • The EVMs with VVPAT system ensure the accuracy of the voting system with fullest transparency and restores the confidence of the voters.

Source: Live Law

Phosphorus Problem


  • Mains – GS 3

Context: The global phosphorus problem is gaining attention with limited phosphorus reserves, contamination issues, and disruptions in the fertilizer market.


  • In Discovered more than 350 years ago, phosphorus is an indispensable nutrient that helps plants to grow. Its primary use is in manufacturing synthetic fertilizer to increase crop yields, making it crucial to food security. Phosphorus is a key ingredient in animal feed and is also used to produce steel, food additives, electric car batteries, certain pesticides and household cleaning products.


  • It is a chemical element with the symbol “P” and atomic number 15. It is an essential element for life and has various important properties and applications.
  • Phosphorus readily forms compounds with other elements, especially oxygen, forming various phosphates. It is highly reactive and can spontaneously combust in the air, producing white smoke.
  • Phosphorus compounds are crucial in biology, as they are a fundamental component of DNA, RNA, and ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
  • Phosphorus is commonly found in the Earth’s crust in the form of various phosphate minerals, such as apatite.
  • Phosphorus compounds are used in the production of fertilizers, as they are necessary for plant growth. It is also used in detergents, where phosphate compounds help break down and remove stains.
  • Phosphorus is utilized in the production of steel and other metallurgical processes.

Issues/Challenges associated with Phosphorus:

  • Phosphorus is scarce and primarily found in specific geological formations. This is a major geopolitical concern. Morocco and the Western Sahara region possess the world’s largest phosphorus reserves, but these reserves contain cadmium, a harmful heavy metal that can accumulate in the kidneys of animals and humans when consumed.
  • The extraction and removal of cadmium from phosphorus resources are costly processes. Cadmium-laden fertilizers can contaminate crops, leading to potential health risks, such as heart disease.
  • Excessive fertilizer application leads to phosphorus runoff in water bodies. Excessive phosphorus promotes algal blooms, depleting oxygen in water bodies and causing fish deaths. Algal blooms can also be toxic to humans, leading to respiratory issues and other health problems.
  • Out of all the countries, only six have significant reserves of cadmium-free phosphorus. „ Among them, China imposed export restrictions in 2020, and several EU nations stopped purchasing from Russia.
  • Extracting and processing phosphate rock is energy-intensive, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation.

Way Forward:

  • There is a need to develop advanced technologies for efficient phosphorus recovery from sewage and various waste streams. This could include using innovative filtration, precipitation, and ion exchange processes to extract and recycle phosphorus for use in fertilizers or other applications.
  • Implement precision agriculture techniques that utilize sensor networks, AI, and data analytics to optimize phosphorus use on farms. This ensures that crops receive the exact amount of phosphorus they need, reducing excess runoff into water bodies.
  • There is a need to establish a circular economy for phosphorus, where products containing phosphorus are designed for easy recovery and recycling, reducing the need for mining and reducing environmental impact.
  • There is a need to develop an international framework for phosphorus management, similar to global climate agreements. This would promote collaboration and coordinated efforts to address phosphorus concerns on a global scale.

Source: UNEP

Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q1.) With reference to the Clean Energy Transitions Programme (CETP), consider the following statements:

  1. The Clean Energy Transitions Programme is launched by the International Energy Agency.
  2. It is a flagship initiative aimed at accelerating progress toward a global net-zero energy system.
  3. The program focuses on emerging markets and developing economies.
  4. Its goals are in line with the objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

How many of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. Only three
  4. All four

Q2.) Consider the following pairs:

Classical Dances        States

  1. Bharatanatyam –  Tamil Nadu
  2. Sattriya –                   Assam
  3. Kathakali –              Kerala
  4. Mohiniyattam – Karnataka

How many of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. Only three
  4. Only four

Q3.) With reference to the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), consider the following statements:

  1. VVPAT is an independent verification system attached to the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
  2. It allows voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended.

Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!!

ANSWERS FOR ’  3rd April  2024 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st

ANSWERS FOR  2nd April – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – c

Q.2) – c

Q.3) – c