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Current Affairs 3rd July 2024 for UPSC Prelims Exam

State Capacity


State capacity measures a government’s ability to provide public services.

About State Capacity

  • State capacity refers to the capability of a government to provide public goods and services effectively to its citizens.
  • It is often seen as a key determinant in differentiating wealthy, developed countries from poorer, underdeveloped ones.
  • Indicators:
    • Tax Revenue to GDP Ratio: This is a primary indicator used to assess state capacity. A higher tax-to-GDP ratio indicates a state’s effective capability in tax collection, which is crucial for funding public services.
    • Number of State Employees per Capita: This indicator includes metrics such as the number of police officials and judicial officers (judges and court staff) per capita.
      • It is used to evaluate the state’s ability to enforce laws and maintain order, as well as to administer justice.


  • Overemphasis on State Size: Critics argue that measuring state capacity primarily through tax revenue and the number of state employees focuses too much on the size of the state rather than its effectiveness.
    • A large state apparatus doesn’t necessarily mean effective service delivery.
  • Efficiency Overlooked: There is concern that a smaller, more efficient state might deliver public goods and services more effectively than a larger, less efficient one.
    • This calls into question the direct correlation between the size of the state and its capacity.
  • Causal Link Unclear: Critics like Bryan Caplan point out that the success of wealthy countries is often tautologically attributed to strong state capacity without clear evidence establishing a causal link.
    • They suggest that economic growth might allow for the expansion of the state rather than being a direct result of it.


  • Refocus on Rule of Law: Instead of measuring state capacity by size (through tax collections or headcount), it is recommended to assess the state’s ability to uphold the rule of law and deliver justice efficiently.
    • This approach focuses on the quality of governance rather than merely its quantitative aspects.
  • Consider Efficiency Metrics: Introducing metrics that measure the efficiency of public service delivery could provide a more nuanced understanding of state capacity.
    • These could include measures like the speed and fairness of the judicial process, the effectiveness of law enforcement, and public satisfaction with government services.

SCO Summit


The Indian delegation reached Astana (Kazakhstan) to participate in the SCO summit.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

  • Formed: June 15, 2001 (Successor to Shanghai Five group)
  • Founding Members: Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
  • SCO Countries:
    • 9 Member States: India, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan.
    • 3 Observer states: Afghanistan, Belarus, Mongolia.
      • In 2022, at the Samarkand SCO Summit, the process of raising the status of the Republic of Belarus within the Organization to the level of a member state has begun.
    • 14 Dialogue Partners: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bahrain, Egypt, Cambodia, Qatar, Kuwait, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Sri Lanka.
  • Headquarters: Beijing, China
  • Official Languages: Russian, Chinese
  • Goals:
    • Strengthen regional security and good neighbourliness
    • Promote economic cooperation among members
    • Foster cultural and educational exchange
    • Create a stable and peaceful region
  • Principles:
    • Internally: “Shanghai Spirit” (mutual trust, benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diversity)
    • Externally: Non-alignment, openness
  • Decision-Making:
    • Council of Heads of States (CHS): Meets annually, decides major issues
    • Council of Heads of Government (CHG): Meets annually, sets economic strategy
  • Other Mechanisms:
    • Regular meetings on various topics (foreign affairs, defence, culture, etc.)
    • Council of National Coordinators – Coordination body.

India and the SCO

  • India’s relations with SCO member states stretch back centuries, enriched by shared cultural and spiritual heritage.
  • India was granted observer status in the SCO in 2005 and became a full member in 2017.
  • As a member, India has hosted important SCO meetings, including the Council of Heads of Government in 2020.
  • India’s involvement in the SCO aids in regional trade access and enhances its global stature, while also addressing regional security concerns and fostering economic collaboration.

Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)


The Defence Ministry is developing a strategy to involve the private sector in the timely completion of the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).

About India’s Indigenous AMCA Fighter Jet

  • The AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft) is India’s indigenous fifth-generation fighter jet project.
  • Spearheaded by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • Indian Air Force’s (IAF) latest addition aimed to have stealth capabilities.
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is a key manufacturing partner.
  • Comparison with Other Fifth-Generation Fighters: Only a few countries have built a fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft.
    • The list of the aircraft currently in service includes the F-22 Raptor and F-35A Lightning II of the US, the Chinese J-20 Mighty Dragon, and the Russian Sukhoi Su-57.

Features of AMCA

  • Stealth: AMCA, weighing 25 tons, is designed with stealth features making it less detectable by radar.
  • Fuel and Weapons: Equipped with a larger fuel tank of 6.5 tons and an internal weapons bay for indigenous weapons.
  • Engine: Two variants of engines are planned:
    • The initial AMCA Mk1 with the existing GE414 engine and
    • The subsequent Mk2 with the more powerful 110kN engine.

Importance of AMCA

  • Strategic Edge: AMCA will enhance the IAF’s capabilities with modern stealth features, advanced weapons, and fuel capacity.
  • Self-reliance: Part of India’s push towards self-reliance in defence technology.
  • Innovation: Incorporates cutting-edge technology, like a multirole radar signature, making it a formidable asset in air combat.
  • Advanced Systems: Outfitted with powerful sensors and advanced avionics to engage and counter threats effectively.
  • Materials and Design: Utilises special materials and design features for a reduced radar signature.
  • Significance in Military Strategy: AMCA will provide the IAF with advanced capabilities and contribute to India’s defence technology sector, representing a significant step towards indigenous military advancements and strategic autonomy.

Gandhi Nagar Sanctuary – Cheetah Relocation


Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh is designated as the second home for cheetahs in India due to overpopulation at Kuno National Park.


  • An assessment showed that Kuno National Park’s carrying capacity for cheetahs has been exceeded, resulting in a 25% reduction in the chital population, the primary prey for cheetahs.
  • Cheetahs face competition from native leopards, impacting the cheetahs’ ability to thrive due to shared prey resources.
  • The African cheetahs and their offspring are not the only predators in Kuno, leading to heightened interspecies competition.

Translocation Plan

  • The forest department plans to translocate surplus cheetahs to Gandhi Sagar to help restore ecological balance in Kuno.
  • Initially, cheetahs will be placed in a 64 sq km enclosure in Gandhi Sagar.
  • The first challenge at Gandhi Sagar involves removing leopards from the cheetah enclosure to prevent immediate predator conflict.

Challenges at Gandhi Sagar

  • Predator Density: Apart from leopards, the sanctuary hosts sloth bears, striped hyenas, gray wolves, golden jackals, jungle cats, Indian foxes, and marsh crocodiles.
  • Prey Base Concerns: A 2021 study indicated that although the sanctuary is in reasonably good health, it suffers from extremely low ungulate densities, which could challenge the cheetahs’ survival.
  • Monitoring Challenges: The sanctuary’s authorities face the challenge of monitoring the health of a species that was extinct in India for over seven decades.

Project Cheetah’s Broader Implications

  • Steering Committee Considerations: There is a proposal under consideration to introduce a larger cat into Kuno to potentially reduce leopard numbers and ease pressures on the park’s ecosystem.
  • Human-Wildlife Conflict: This introduction could increase human-animal conflicts if leopards are pushed out of their natural habitat.

Examples, Case Studies and Data

  • Initiative to Achieve Net Zero Carbon target (GS 3): “Pachathuruthu” translates to “green space” or “mini forest” in Malayalam.
    • The project is aimed at transforming barren land into vibrant, biodiverse spaces by planting a variety of trees and native plants.
    • The primary goal is to enhance natural biological diversity and contribute to carbon sequestration, thus helping mitigate climate change effects by absorbing excess atmospheric carbon.

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