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Current Affairs 23rd February 2024 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Raisina Dialogue

Context: Recently, Raisina Dialogue 2024 was organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.

About Raisina Dialogue

  • Focus: Geopolitics and geoeconomics
  • Goal: Addressing global challenges
  • Location: New Delhi, India (annual since 2016)
  • Attendees: Diverse stakeholders (political, business, media, civil society)
  • Format: Multi-stakeholder discussions with leaders and thought leaders
  • Organiser: Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in partnership with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs
  • 2024 Theme: “Chaturanga: Conflict, Contest, Cooperate, Create”
  • Thematic Pillars:
    • Tech Frontiers: Regulations & Realities
    • Peace with the Planet: Invest & Innovate
    • War & Peace: Armouries & Asymmetries
    • Decolonising Multilateralism: Institutions & Inclusion
    • The Post 2030 Agenda: People & Progress
    • Defending Democracy: Society & Sovereignty

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No Confidence Motion

Context: A motion of no confidence brought by the opposition against the ruling government in Haryana was defeated.

About No Confidence Motion

  • A no-confidence motion is a parliamentary process that allows the opposition to challenge the government’s majority and ability to govern.


  1. Member tables notice: A member submits a written notice to the Speaker, specifying the reasons for the motion.
  2. Speaker checks order: The Speaker determines if the motion is in order.
  3. Seeking leave: The member requests permission from the House to move the motion.
  4. Voting on leave:
  • Members in favour of granting leave stand up.
  • If at least 50 members rise, the Speaker grants leave.
  • If fewer than 50 members rise, leave is denied.
  1. Discussion: If leave is granted, the motion is discussed within 10 days.
  2. Voting on motion: The House votes on the motion.
  • If the motion is passed, the Council of Ministers must resign.

Related Information:

  • A motion of no confidence can be moved only against the Council of Ministers and not against an individual Minister.
  • The no-confidence motion doesn’t require specifying reasons. Even if reasons are mentioned, they are not part of the motion itself.

Interpol Notices

Context: Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization) faces concerns of misuse, particularly with less-reviewed blue notices.

International Criminal police Organisation (Interpol): An Overview

  • About: Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization, is an essential entity in global law enforcement, facilitating international police cooperation.
  • Established: 1923
  • Members: 194 member countries.
  • Notices: It issues various types of notices, including Red, Yellow, Blue, Black, Green, Orange, and Purple, each serving a distinct purpose in combating transnational crimes and assisting law enforcement agencies.

Blue Corner Notices

  • Purpose: Blue corner notices, or “enquiry notices,” are used to collect additional information about a person’s identity, location, or activities in relation to a crime.
    • They are pivotal in investigations that require international cooperation to gather evidence or track individuals who might not yet be charged with a crime.
  • Usage Example: In January 2020, a blue corner notice was issued to help locate the fugitive Nithyananda, demonstrating its utility in cross-border law enforcement efforts.

Red Corner Notices

  • Purpose: Red corner notices are more severe and are issued to seek the arrest or detention of wanted persons with a view to extradition.
    • These notices are based on valid national arrest warrants and are used for individuals charged with or convicted of serious crimes.
  • Legal Impact: While they significantly restrict the freedom of movement of the subject and may lead to arrest, Interpol cannot compel member countries to arrest an individual, leaving the final action to each country’s discretion.
  • Usage Example: A red corner notice was issued against Nirav Modi in connection with the Punjab National Bank scam, illustrating its role in pursuing high-profile fugitives.

Concerns of Misuse

  • Political Targets: Critics argue that some countries exploit these notices to pursue political refugees, dissidents, or opponents under the guise of law enforcement, with notable accusations directed at countries like Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, and Tunisia.
    • This misuse raises concerns about the politicisation of Interpol’s mechanisms, potentially undermining its neutrality and effectiveness.
  • Oversight and Reforms: In response to these concerns, particularly regarding red corner notices, Interpol has introduced stricter oversight measures to ensure that the notices adhere to its constitution, which prohibits interventions or activities of a political, military, racial, or religious character.
    • However, the blue corner notices, due to their less scrutinised nature, remain vulnerable to potential exploitation, with their numbers significantly increasing over the past decade.


Context: The Central Government has given its consent for the acquisition of over 200 BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and related equipment for use by the Indian Navy.

About Brahmos Missile

  • Type: Supersonic cruise missile capable of being launched from land, sea, and air platforms.
  • Developed by: BrahMos Aerospace Private Ltd., an India-Russian joint venture.


  • Two-stage system:
    • The first stage: Uses a solid propellant booster for initial acceleration
    • The second stage: A liquid ramjet, propels it to speeds close to 3 Mach during cruising.
  • Speed: BrahMos is among the world’s fastest operational cruise missiles, with a speed of Mach 2.8 (nearly 3 times the speed of sound).
  • Launch weight: ranging between 2,200 and 3,000 kg.
  • Range: Latest extended-range variant of the weapon with a range of around 450 km.
  • “Fire and Forget” principle: capable of executing various flight paths to its target.
  • Cruise altitudes: Up to 15 km and descend to as low as 10 metres for terminal approach.
  • Weight: Between 200 and 300 kg.
  • Guidance System: Integrated with stealth technology to reduce its visibility to radar and other detection methods.
    • Equipped with an inertial navigation system (INS) for maritime targets and a combined INS/Global Positioning System for land targets.


Context: Recently, physicists representing 19 European and one India research group comprising the Antihydrogen Experiment: Gravity, Interferometry, Spectroscopy (AEgIS) team have led to a significant achievement in demonstrating the laser cooling of Positronium.

About Positronium

  • Positronium is a quasi-atom formed by an electron (e-) and its antimatter counterpart, a positron (e+).
  • It has a short lifespan, typically annihilating in 142 nanoseconds, emitting gamma rays.
  • With a mass twice that of an electron, positronium is the lightest and only purely leptonic atom.
Leptonic Atoms
A type of atom where the nucleus is absent, and the structure is formed solely by the binding of leptons (e.g., electrons, positrons)

About the Experiment

  • Positronium atoms were cooled from ~380 Kelvin to ~170 Kelvin.
  • Cooling was achieved in one dimension using a 70-nanosecond pulse from an alexandrite-based laser system.
  • The experiment required technological innovations in beam inputs, laser alignment, timing, control systems, and detection techniques.
  • Laser Selection: The lasers used ranged from deep ultraviolet to infrared frequencies.

Significance of the Experiment

  • Serves as a precursor to creating antihydrogen atoms and measuring the gravitational acceleration of antihydrogen by Earth.
  • This could lead to the development of a gamma-ray laser with potential applications in various fields, including probing inside atomic nuclei.
  • Bose-Einstein Condensate Potential:
    • A Positronium Bose–Einstein condensate would allow all particles to occupy the same quantum state.
    • It could enable the production of coherent gamma-ray light through matter-antimatter annihilation, offering new tools for both fundamental and applied physics research.

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