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  • Celeste Saulo of Argentina has been appointed as the first female Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
    • She has served as the director of Argentina’s National Meteorological Service since 2014.
  • The leadership election of the World Meteorological Congress takes place every four years.



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  • World Environment Day is celebrated every year on June 5th to raise awareness and encourage action for the protection of our planet.
  • It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme during the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment in 1972.
  • The inaugural World Environment Day, themed “Only One Earth”, took place in 1973.
  • Over 150 countries participate in various activities to celebrate this day.
  • The 50th anniversary of World Environment Day will be hosted by Côte D’Ivoire, with the theme of “solutions to plastic pollution”.
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Research analyst

  • As per reports, many finfluencers are now “renting out” research analyst (RA) licences for a fee.
    • A finfluencer — as a financial influencer is usually called — is one who gives the ordinary investor information and advice on an array of financial topics such as stock market trading, personal finance and mutual funds.
  • Several finfluencers were quoted in the report as saying that their applications are being rejected as RA regulations are very strict in India.
  • Currently, in India, to become a registered RA, a person must hold a post-graduate degree or a professional qualification and market experience of five years.
    • However, most finfluencers do not meet this criterion.
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Bima vahaks

  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) issued draft guidelines for Bima Vahaks.
  • It seeks to establish a dedicated distribution channel at the level of Gram Panchayats.
  • Bima Vahaks, a core component of IRDAI’s ‘Insurance for all by 2047’goal, aims to improve accessibility and availability of insurance in country.
  • Three pillars of entire insurance ecosystem:
    • Insurance customers (policyholders),
    • Insurance providers (insurers) and
    • Insurance distributers (intermediaries).

Objectives of Bima Vahak guidelines

  • Establish dedicated distribution channel focused on enhancing insurance inclusion and creating awareness in every Gram Panchayat.
  • Identification and development of local resources within each Gram Panchayat, with a special focus on encouraging onboarding of women as Bima Vahaks to gain the trust of locals.
  • The guidelines propose Corporate Bima Vahaks and Individual Bima Vahaks for the distribution channel.
    • Corporate Bima Vahak would be legal persons registered in accordance with the respective laws and engaged by an insurer.
    • Individual Bima Vahak could be any individual appointed by an insurer or appointed by a Corporate Bima Vahak.
  • Activities assigned to Bima Vahaks include collecting proposal information, KYC compliance, coordination and support in policy, claims-related servicing, etc.


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Helmand river

  • Iran and Afghanistan are locked in a long-standing dispute over water sharing from the Helmand River.

About Helmand River

  • The Helmand is Afghanistan’s longest river.
  • It originates near Kabul in the western Hindu Kush mountain range and flows in a southwesterly direction through desert areas for a total of about 1,150 kilometers before emptying into Lake Hamun, which straddles the Afghanistan-Iran border.
    • Lake Hamun is the largest freshwater lake in Iran.
    • It used to be one of the world’s largest wetlands fed by Helmand.
  • It is separated from the watershed of the Kabul River by the Unai Pass.
  • The Helmand River is a vital source of water for both sides, supporting agriculture, livelihoods and ecosystems in the region.


The dispute

  • Afghanistan and Iran signed the Helmand River Treaty in 1973 to regulate the allocation of river water.
    • But the accord was neither ratified nor fully implemented, causing disagreements and tensions to persist.
  • Iran has accused Afghanistan of violating its water rights for years, arguing that far less water than the amount agreed to in the 1973 treaty flows into Iran.
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  • The government recently permitted the import of Needle Pet Coke (NPC) for making graphite anode material for lithium-ion batteries as a feedstock and not for any other purposes.
  • The DGFT, however, said that the sulphur content in the NPC should be less than 0.8 per cent, which would be monitored by state pollution control boards.


  • Petroleum coke or petcoke is a spongy, solid residue from oil distillation.
  • It is a coal substitute and can be burned for fuel in the same manner as coal.
  • It notably has a higher energy content and is easier to transport and store.
  • It is a byproduct created when bitumen is found in tar sands.
  • There are two distinctive grades of Petroleum Coke Calcinable or Green Petcoke and Fuel Grade Petcoke.
    • Uses of High Grade pet coke is mainly as an additive or as a source of carbon
      • Electrodes for electrometallurgical industries, Synthetic Graphite, Aluminum Anodes
    • Uses of Fuel grade Petcoke– as fuel in the Cement manufacturing, Power Industry, Alumininium Refining, Steel Manufacturing, Lime Klins and Industrial Boilers.


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  • EIACP Programme Centre at Raipur has created a world record by taking a LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) pledge of over 12.38 lakh by people to conserve environment.


  • It is a project funded by Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
  • It is one of the Central Sector sub-scheme being implemented in alignment with Mission LiFE.
  • The Environmental Information System (ENVIS) is renamed EIACP (Environmental Information, Awareness, Capacity Building and Livelihood Programme).
    • ENVIS came into existence as a planned programme in 1983.
  • ENVIS EIACP serves as a one-stop platform for the dissemination of environmental information, informed policy formulation on various facets of the environment and facilitation of alternate livelihoods through green skilling.
  • It is dedicated to raising awareness, building capacity, and promoting sustainable actions among individuals and communities across India.


  • It was first proposed by the Indian PM at COP 26 (Glasgow).
  • It is envisioned as an India-led global mass movement that will nudge individual and collective action to protect and preserve the environment.
  • It emboldens the spirit of the P3 model, i.e. Pro Planet People.
  • It functions on the basic principles of ‘Lifestyle of the planet, for the planet and by the planet’.
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  • A successful training launch of a medium-range ballistic missile, Agni-1 was carried out by the Strategic Forces Command from APJ Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha.
  • The user training launch successfully validated all operational and technical parameters of the missile.


  • The Agni series of missiles are the mainstay of India’s nuclear delivery options.
  • The development of Agni missiles started in early 1980 under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
  • The Agni 1 to 4 missiles have ranges from 700 km to 3,500 km and they have already been deployed.


  • Last year, India successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V that can strike targets at ranges up to 5,000 km.
    • It is aimed at boosting India’s nuclear deterrence against China which has missiles like Dongfeng-41 having ranges between 12,000-15,000 km.
  • India also successfully test-fired indigenously-developed new generation medium-range ballistic missile Agni Prime.
    • The missile’s strike range is between 1,000 km and 2,000 km.


  • Conceptualised by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam to enable India to attain self-sufficiency in the field of missile technology.
  • The missiles developed under the programme were (P-A-T-N-A) :-
    • PrithviShort-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile
    • AgniIntermediate-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile
    • TrishulShort-range low-level surface-to-air missile
    • Nag– Third-generation anti-tank missile
    • AkashMedium-range surface-to-air missile
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Myristica swamps

  • Climate change and human intervention are threatening the Myristica swamps of Kerala.


  • These swamps are found in the Sacred Groves or evergreen forest patches and are included in the littoral and swamp forest groups.
  • They have evolved over millions of years and are comprised of old-growth trees.
  • In India, these unique habitats occur in the Western Ghats and a smaller distribution exists in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • The 55-acre Kammadam Kavu is the largest in Kerala.
    • This grove is home to a Myristica swamp over 2-3 acres.
  • The Myristica swamp, like a mangrove, is found inside a forest. But mangroves thrive in saline water, Myristica requires freshwater.
  • This species has stilt roots, or knee roots that pop up above the water level to breathe creating a varied habitat for many life forms.
  • Found in freshwater areas, these groves harbour endemic and endangered plant species including those with medicinal properties.
    • One of the most endangered endemic species is the Myristica malabarica, a wild relative of nutmeg used extensively in Ayurveda.
    • Myristica fatue, which is very rare with just under 20 trees in Kerala.
    • The Syzygium travencuricum is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ in the IUCN Red Data book.
  • Amphibians like frogs, toads and caecilians also flourish in these swamps as these species prefer mating and reproduction in waterlogged patches.
  • These groves also have close ties with indigenous rituals and religion.
  • They have deities related to snake and tree worship, and are protected by local communities, attached to temples or privately owned.
  • Threats– main causes for the destruction of the swamps are human intervention, mismanagement of rivers and climate change.



  • It is essential to keep the rivers healthy, as the waterbodies nurture these swamps.
    • If the rivulets disappear, the Myristica swamps will disappear.
    • With rivers drying out, the swamps are being invaded by semi-evergreen and deciduous species such as legumes, white dammer, terminalia and woody climbers, large flowering plants and invasive species.
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  • Government-owned engineering consultancy firm Engineers India Ltd.(EIL) is studying prospects and feasibility of developing salt cavern-based strategic oil reserves in Rajasthan.
  • Rajasthan, which has bulk of requisite salt formations in India, is seen as the most conducive for developing salt cavern-based strategic storage facilities.


  • UNLIKE underground rock caverns, which are developed through excavation, salt caverns are developed by process of solution mining, which involves pumping water into geological formations with large salt deposits to dissolve the salt.
  • Process is simpler, faster, and less cost-intensive than developing excavated rock caverns.
  • Unlike rock caverns, salt cavern-based storages can be created and operated almost entirely from the surface.
  • Salt cavern-based oil storage facilities are also naturally well-sealed, and engineered for rapid injection and extraction of oil.


  • The entire SPR programme of the United States has so far been based on salt cavern-based storage facilities.
  • The US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the world’s largest emergency oil storage, consists of four sites with deep underground storage caverns created in salt domes along the Gulf of Mexico coast in Texas and Louisiana.
    • These have a cumulative capacity of around 727 million barrels.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organisation in which India is an ‘Associate’ country, recommends that all countries should hold an emergency oil stockpile sufficient to provide 90 days of import protection.



  • India currently has an SPR capacity of 5.33 million tonnes, or around 39 million barrels of crude, that can meet around 9.5 days of demand.
  • Construction of strategic oil reserves facilities is managed by Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Limited (ISPRL), special purpose vehicle, under Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
  • The country’s three existing strategic oil storage facilities — at Mangaluru and Padur in Karnataka, and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh — are made up of excavated rock caverns.
  • The country is in the process of expanding its SPR capacity by a cumulative 6.5 million tonnes at two locations — Chandikhol in Odisha (4 million tonnes) and Padur (2.5 million tonnes).
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