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Current Affairs 18th December 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam


Context: India’s fastest solar-electric boat named Barracuda has been launched at the Navgathi Panavally Yard in Alappuzha, Kerala.

About Barracuda

  • India’s fastest solar-electric boat, named Barracuda after a fast and elongated fish, is a collaborative creation by Navalt Solar and Electric Boats and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd.
  • This innovative vessel, known as Saur Sakthi, is set to operate from Mazagon Dock in Mumbai.
  • It boasts impressive features including a maximum speed of 12 knots and a continuous operation capacity of 7 hours on a single charge.
  • Equipped with dual 50 kW electric motors, a robust marine-grade LFP battery, and a 6 kW solar power system, Barracuda stands out as an environmentally friendly option.
  • It offers a silent, vibration-free experience and has the capacity to carry up to 12 passengers along with cargo.

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ENACT Partnership

Context: The ENACT (Enhancing Nature-based Solutions for an Accelerated Climate Transformation) Partnership has welcomed six new countries and UNEP into its collaboration at COP 28.

About ENACT Partnership

  • Initiative Launch: ENACT, short for Enhancing Nature-based Solutions for an Accelerated Climate Transformation, was jointly initiated by Germany and Egypt, in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
  • Launched by: Germany and Egypt, along with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) launched it in the COP27 Conference (2022), held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
  • Participating Nations:
    • Founding members: Canada, European Union, Spain, Malawi, Norway, South Korea, Japan and Slovenia.
    • New partners: France, U.S.A. ,Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Pakistan, and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) have joined during the COP28
  • Objective: The primary goal of ENACT is to synergize global actions to effectively address issues such as climate change, degradation of land and ecosystems, and biodiversity loss, utilising Nature-based Solutions.
  • Key Aims:
    • To enhance the climate resilience and protection of at least 1 billion people who are vulnerable to climate change impacts.
    • To safeguard and maintain the health of up to 2.4 billion hectares of natural and sustainable ecosystems, contributing to global climate mitigation efforts by preserving and restoring carbon-rich environments.
  • Secretariat: The secretariat for the ENACT initiative is managed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Diel Vertical Migration

Context: Diel Vertical Migration (DVM) has been recently in the news due to its role in carbon sequestration.

About Diel Vertical Migration

  • Diel Vertical Migration (DVM), a synchronised movement observed in deep-sea marine animals, particularly zooplankton, where they swim up to the ocean’s surface at night and return to deeper waters during the day.
    • Organisms residing in the deep sea, especially within the mesopelagic zone (200-1,000 metres depth), ascend to the epipelagic zone (the uppermost layer extending up to 200 metres from the surface) at dusk.
    • This movement is primarily motivated by the pursuit of food.


  • Feeding and Predator Evasion: The nocturnal ascent of these marine creatures facilitates their feeding on surface phytoplankton while simultaneously avoiding predators that are active during the day.
  • Greatest Biomass Movement: DVM is recognized as the largest biomass movement on a daily basis globally, witnessed in all the world’s oceans.
  • Role in Carbon Sequestration: This migration plays a pivotal role in carbon sequestration.
    • Mesopelagic organisms consume surface plankton, thereby absorbing carbon from the ocean’s upper layers.
    • This carbon is then transported to deeper waters during their descent.
    • If these creatures are consumed by predators, the carbon is transferred, eventually ending up as carbon-rich waste.
    • This waste sinks to the ocean floor, effectively trapping the carbon for extended periods, often spanning thousands of years.

Product Linked Incentive

Context: The new industrial policy, under development for two years and drafted last December, is sidelined as the government focuses on the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme.

About PLI Scheme

The Product Linked Incentive (PLI) is a government initiative to boost domestic manufacturing in specific sectors by offering financial rewards to companies based on their incremental sales.

  • Objective and Scale: Launched in March 2020, the PLI scheme targets enhancing India’s manufacturing capabilities and reducing dependence on imports.
    • The government announced the scheme across 14 key sectors.
    • This initiative is expected to create around 60 lakh new jobs and achieve an additional production of 30 lakh crore over the next five years​​.
  • Sectors Covered: Initially, the scheme focused on three industries – mobile manufacturing and electric components, pharmaceuticals, and medical device manufacturing.
    • It expanded in November 2020 to include ten more sectors: Electronic/Technology Products, Pharmaceuticals, Telecom & Networking Products, Food Products, White Goods (ACs & LED), High-Efficiency Solar PV Modules, Automobiles & Auto Components, Advance Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery, Textile Products, and Specialty Steel.
    • Later, in September 2021, Drones and Drone Components were also added​​.
  • Incentive Structure: The scheme offers financial incentives to boost domestic manufacturing of advanced technology products and attract investments in the automotive manufacturing value chain.
    • The incentives are applicable for sales of products manufactured in India over a period of five consecutive years, starting from April 1, 2022​​.
  • Sector-Wise Implementation: Different ministries are responsible for implementing the PLI scheme in their respective sectors.
    • For example, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology manages the electronics and IT hardware sector, which includes mobile phones, specified electronic components, laptops, tablets, etc.
    • The budget outlay for this sector is substantial, with INR 400 billion for electronics manufacturing and INR 73.25 billion for IT hardware​.
  • Impact on Food Processing and Other Sectors: In the food processing sector, the PLI scheme supports the manufacture of specific food product segments and helps in branding and marketing Indian food products internationally.
    • Similarly, in the medical devices sector, the scheme targets various devices, including cancer care, radiology, imaging, and implants.
    • The scheme is also significant in the speciality steel sector, focusing on five categories of speciality steel products​.

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