Home   »   Current Affairs 4th May, 2023

Current Affairs 4th May 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Current Affairs 4th May 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Context: Recently, Asian Development Bank (ADB) president has said the bank will explore the option of raising resources via rupee-denominated bonds.

About Asian Development Bank (ADB)

  • It is a regional development bank (ADB) established on 19th December 1966. It is headquartered in Manila, Philippines.
  • Goals: It envisions a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific. It aims to eradicate extreme poverty in the region.
  • Functions: It assists its members, and partners, by providing loans, technical assistance, grants, and equity investments to promote social and economic development.
    • It facilitates policy dialogues, provides advisory services, and mobilizes financial resources through financing operations that tap official, commercial, and export credit sources.
  • India was one of the 31 initial member countries.
  • Voting rights within ADB: It is modelled closely on the World Bank and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion to members’ capital subscriptions.
    • Among the five largest shareholders are Japan and the United States (each with 15.6% of total shares), the People’s Republic of China (6.4%), India (6.3%), and Australia (5.8%).

About Rupee-Denominated Bonds

  • They are debt products that aid in the raising of funds in local currency from international investors.
  • These bonds can be issued by both the government and private businesses.
  • These bonds are available to investors from outside India who want to invest in Indian assets.

Current Affairs 3rd May 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam


Fit for 55 Package

Context: The European Parliament has voted to approve a combination of policies as part of the “Fit for 55” package.

About Fit for 55 Package

  • Fit for 55 refers to the EU’s target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
  • The proposed package aims to bring EU legislation in line with the 2030 goal.
  • It plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels in line with the European Climate Law.

Framework for reaching the EU’s Climate objectives:

  • EU’s carbon market: Emissions Trading System includes fully integrating aviation into the mechanism and extending it to cover shipping emissions.
    • It also compels power generators and heavy polluters to curb their pollution by 62 percent by 2030.
  • Establishes a parallel carbon market to cover fossil fuels used to power cars and heat buildings from 2027.
  • Social Climate Fund: To help governments soften the blow of higher prices for vulnerable consumers. The fund will be made available from 2026.
  • It establish the world’s first carbon border tax, known as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, in a bid to avoid EU companies being undercut by regimes with less stringent green policies.
Fit for 55 Package
Fit for 55 Package


Mercy Petition

Context: Recently, Supreme Court found it inappropriate to direct the government to commute the death penalty of accused in the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.

About Mercy Petition

  • Mercy Petition involves saving an innocent person from being punished due to miscarriage of justice or in cases of doubtful conviction.
  • The concept of Mercy Petition is followed in many nations like USA, UK, and Canada etc. including India.
  • As per the Constitutional framework in India:
    • Under Article 72, the President has the power to grant pardons and decide on mercy petitions.
    • Under Article 161 of the Indian Constitution, the Governor of State also possess the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites and remission or suspend, remit or commute the sentence of a convict against state law.

Process of Filing a Mercy Petition

  • There is no statutory written procedure for dealing with mercy petitions.
  • In practice, after extinguishing all the reliefs in the court of law, either the convict in person or his relative on his behalf may submit a written petition to the President.
  • A convict under the sentence of death is allowed to make the petition within a period of seven days.
  • The petitions are received by the President’s secretariat on behalf of the President, which is then forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs for their comments and recommendations.
  • The Home Ministry in consultation with the concerned State Government discusses the merits of the petition.
  • After the consultation, recommendations are made by the Home Minister and then, the petition is sent back to the President for his/her decision.

Supreme Court Judgment

  • Supreme Court in Ranga Billa Case: Pardon is entirely a discretionary remedy and grant or rejection of it need not be reasoned.
  • Kehar Singh v. Union of India, 1989: SC held that the grant of pardon by the President is an act of grace and therefore, cannot be claimed as a matter of right.
  • Dhananjoy Chatterjee alias Dhana v State of West Bengal, 1994: The powers of mercy petition have to be exercised by the President/Governor on the aid and advice of the respective Council of Ministers.

Judicial Review:

  • President’s pardon/rejection/delay is subjected to judicial review. However, the court does not interfere if the process of the decision taken by the President under Article 72 was not arbitrary or unreasonable.
    • Pardon: It removes both the sentence and the conviction and completely absolves the convict from all sentences, punishments and disqualifications.
    • Commutation: It denotes the substitution of one form of punishment for a lighter form. For example, a death sentence may be commuted to rigorous imprisonment, which in turn may be commuted to a simple imprisonment.
    • Remission: It implies reducing the period of sentence without changing its character. For example, a sentence of rigorous imprisonment for two years may be remitted to rigorous imprisonment for one year.
    • Respite: It denotes awarding a lesser sentence in place of one originally awarded due to some special fact, such as the physical disability of a convict or the pregnancy of a woman offender.
    • Reprieve: It implies a stay of the execution of a sentence (especially that of death) for a temporary period. Its purpose is to enable the convict to have time to seek pardon or commutation from the President.


National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)

Context: Recently, Go First approached the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and sought the admission of its insolvency plea.

About National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)

  • It is a quasi-judicial body in India that adjudicates issues relating to Indian companies.
  • The tribunal was established under the Companies Act 2013 and was constituted on 1 June 2016 by the government of India.
  • It is based on the recommendation of the Balakrishna Eradi committee on law relating to the insolvency and the winding up of companies.
  • Under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, the NCLT also serves as the Adjudicating Authority for insolvency proceedings.
  • When the NCLT grants an insolvency petition under the IBC, 2016, the case cannot be dismissed, even if the party agrees to settle. However, the Supreme Court can authorize it by citing Art. 142.
  • The benches of the National Company Law Tribunal are headed by a retired judicial member or a High Court judge who is already serving and a Technical member from the ICLS (Indian Corporate Law Service) Cadre.
  • Appeals: Decisions of the tribunal may be appealed to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal.
  • Power: No criminal court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding regarding any matter which the Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal is empowered to determine.
National Company Law Tribunal
National Company Law Tribunal


Avian Influenza (H5N1)

Context: Having one of the world’s largest livestock reserves, India is at “risk and vulnerable” to the ongoing outbreaks of avian influenza (H5N1) worldwide.

What is Avian Influenza?

  • About: Avian influenza (AI) or Bird Flu is a highly contagious viral disease that affects both domestic and wild birds.
  • Pathogen: it is caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses.
  • Transmission: Avian influenza viruses can be transmitted directly from wild birds to domestic poultry or indirectly e.g., through contaminated material.
    • The virus spreads directly from bird to bird via airborne transmission or indirectly, through faecal contamination of material, feathers or feed
  • Infection in humans: Bird flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with bird flu viruses have occurred.
    • The most common route of virus transmission is direct contact with infected birds, either dead or alive, or contact with contaminated surfaces or air near the infected poultry.
  • Symptoms: It may cause mild to severe illness or sudden death in birds. Domestic poultry like chickens are particularly vulnerable.
  • Concerns: The widespread H5N1 outbreaks have substantial economic impact, resulting in significant losses to the poultry industry and threatening food security, apart from raising animal welfare and environmental concerns.
  • Efforts to control and prevent the spread of avian influenza include surveillance, culling infected birds, and implementing biosecurity measures in poultry farms and markets.
  • India has been dealing with influenza since 2006-07 and there is no vaccine for high-pathogenic avian influenza.

Types of Influenza Virus

  • There are four types of influenza viruses: influenza A, B, C, and D
  • Influenza A and B are the two types of influenza that cause epidemic seasonal infections nearly every year.
  • Influenza C mainly occurs in humans but has been known to also occur in dogs and pigs.
  • Influenza D is found mainly in cattle. It’s not known to infect or cause illness in humans yet.

Avian influenza Type A viruses

  • Type A viruses are classified based on two proteins on their surfaces – Hemagglutinin (HA) and Neuraminidase (NA). There are about 18 HA subtypes and 11 NA subtypes.
  • Several combinations of these two proteins are possible e.g., H5N1, H7N2, H9N6, H17N10, H18N11 etc.
  • All known subtypes of influenza A viruses can infect birds, except subtypes H17N10 and H18N11, which have only been found in bats.


Tropical Cyclones

Context: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted that Cyclone Mocha is likely to form over the southeast Bay of Bengal this week.

What are Cyclones?

  • Cyclones are rapid inward air circulation around a low-pressure area whereas anti-cyclones are circulation of winds around a high-pressure area.
Pressure system Pressure condition at the centre Pattern of wind direction
Northern Hemisphere Southern Hemisphere
Cyclone Low Anticlockwise Clockwise
Anti-cyclone High Clockwise Anticlockwise
  • Types: There are two types of cyclones.
    • Tropical cyclones (also called typhoon or hurricane, an intense circular storm that originates over warm tropical oceans).
    • Extra Tropical cyclones (also called temperate cyclones or middle latitude cyclones or Frontal cyclones or Wave Cyclones).
  • Cyclone season in India: Typically, tropical cyclones in the North Indian Ocean region (Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea) develop during the pre-monsoon (April to June) and post monsoon (October to December) periods.

About Tropical Cyclones

  • A tropical cyclone is a warm-core, low pressure system without any “front” attached, that develops over the tropical or subtropical waters, and has an organized circulation.
  • Tropical cyclones develop in the region between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer.
How are Tropical Cyclones formed
How are Tropical Cyclones formed

How are Cyclones named?

  • Cyclones that form in every ocean basin across the world are named by the regional specialized meteorological centres (RSMCs) and Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs).
    • There are six RSMCs in the world, including the India Meteorological Department (IMD), and five TCWCs.
  • In 2000, a group of nations called WMO/ESCAP (World Meteorological Organization/United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), which comprised Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand, decided to start naming cyclones in the region.
  • After each country sent in suggestions, the WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones (PTC) finalized the list.
  • The WMO/ESCAP expanded to include five more countries in 2018 — Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
  • The list of 169 cyclone names released by IMD in April 2020 were provided by these countries — 13 suggestions from each of the 13 countries.
Tropical Cyclone
Tropical Cyclone


WTO Information Technology Agreement

Context: WTO had recently ruled against India for exceeding maximum rate committed by India under WTO Information Technology Agreement.

About Information Technology Agreement (ITA)

  • The Information Technology Agreement (ITA) was concluded by 29 participants at the Singapore Ministerial Conference in 1996.
  • The list has since grown to 82 members, making up about 97 per cent of world trade in IT products.
  • At the Nairobi Ministerial Conference in 2015, over 50 members concluded the expansion of the Agreement to cover an additional 201 products.
  • Major products covered under the agreement: Computers, telecommunication equipment, semiconductors, semiconductor manufacturing and testing equipment, software, scientific instruments.
  • Major requirements under the agreement: Customs duties must be zero for all products specified in the Agreement.
    • Make a commitment to tackle non-tariff barriers in the IT sector. Keep products under the agreement under review to examine if further expansions are needed.

World Trade Organization (WTO):

  • The WTO was established on January 1, 1995, to replace GATT and to serve as the international organization responsible for regulating and promoting global trade.
  • It is based on the principles of free trade and non-discrimination among its member countries.
  • The WTO has a dispute settlement mechanism, which allows member countries to resolve disputes related to trade disputes through a formal process.



Context: Recently, Pakistan’s Punjab province reported its first case of monkeypox, days after the country declared itself free from mpox prompting authorities in Punjab province to take emergency measures.

About Mpox (monkeypox):

  • It is a viral zoonotic disease caused by the monkeypox virus.
  • Monkeypox virus was initially discovered in lab monkeys in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the year of 1958. The first human case of mpox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
  • Zoonotic Disease: Monkeypox is a zoonotic virus meaning it belongs to a class of infections  spread between people and animals by viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi. Some can be severe and life-threatening, such as rabies and others may be milder.
  • Types: There are two known types (clades) of mpox virus:
    • Clade I- originated in Central Africa
    • Clade II- originated in West Africa
      • Clinical presentation of monkeypox resembles that of smallpox, a related orthopoxvirus infection that has been eradicated
  • Symptoms: Common symptoms of mpox are a skin rash or mucosal lesions, which can last 2–4 weeks accompanied by fever, headache, muscle aches, back pain and low energy,  unlike Smallpox, it causes the lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy),
  • Mode of Transmission: Human-to-human transmission of mpox occurs through direct contact with body fluids, lesions, prolonged face-to-face contact, including sexual contact, and indirect contact with contaminated clothing or bedding.
  • Treatment: There are no specific treatments for monkeypox virus infection.  The European Union has recommended a Small Pox Vaccine, Imvanex to treat monkeypox.
  • Fatality Rate: Typically, up to a tenth of people ill with monkeypox may die, with most deaths occurring in younger age groups.
  • Spread of disease: In 2017, Nigeria had a large outbreak, with cases being reported till today.
  • Global health emergency: Till 2022 more than 16,000 cases of the virus were identified in 75+ non-endemic countries (Europe and US). WHO declared monkeypox a global health emergency.

Monkeypox in India:

  • The first case of monkeypox was confirmed in Kerala in 2022, after a person who had returned to Kerala from UAE developed symptoms of the disease.
  • Given the increasing reports of cases of monkeypox in non-endemic countries, the Union Health Ministry has issued ‘Guidelines on Management of Monkeypox Disease’ in 2022.

Sharing is caring!

Download your free content now!


We have received your details!

We'll share General Studies Study Material on your E-mail Id.

Download your free content now!

We have already received your details!

We'll share General Studies Study Material on your E-mail Id.

Incorrect details? Fill the form again here

General Studies PDF

Thank You, Your details have been submitted we will get back to you.