Neutral citation system

Theme: Judiciary

Source: The Indian Express

Why in news?

Chief Justice of India (CJI) announced that the Supreme Court will adopt a “neutral citation system” for its judgments. The Delhi, Kerala, and Madras HCs have already introduced neutral citation.

What is a “citation”?

  • Acase citation is essentially an identification tag for a
  • Typically,it would contain a reference number, the year of the judgment, the name of the court that delivered that judgment, and a shorthand for the journal publishing the judgment.

What is a neutral citation?

  • Aneutral citation would mean that the court would assign its own citation- distinct from those given by traditional Law
  • LawReporters are periodicals or annual digests that publish judgments, often with an editorial note to make it accessible for lawyers to refer to

Why is a neutral system good or necessary?

  • Judgments mention citations while referring to precedentsand often use citations from different Law
  • Withartificial intelligence (AI) enabled translation of judgments and transcribing of court proceedings, a uniform citation is necessary.

How will the SC implement the neutral citation system?

  • The initiative is for neutral citations for all judgments of theSupreme
  • First tranche will be till January 1, 2023, then the other tranchewill be till judgments from 2014 and then finally we will go back to 1950

Lab-Grown Diamond

Theme: Science & Technology; Achievements

Source: PIB

Why in news?

Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has approved a proposal to award a five-year research grant to encourage indigenous production of lab-grown diamonds (LGD) machinery, seeds and recipe to Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-Madras).

What are lab-grown diamonds?

  • Lab-grown diamonds are diamonds that are produced usingspecific technology which mimics the geological processes that grow natural
  • They are not the same as “diamond simulants” – LGDs arechemically, physically and optically diamond and thus are difficult to identify as “lab-grown.”
  • The materials such as Moissanite, Cubic Zirconia (CZ), White Sapphire, YAG, etc. are “diamond simulants” that simply attempt to “look” like a diamond, but they lack the sparkle and durability of a diamond and are thus easily identifiable.
  • to “look” like a diamond, but they lack the sparkle and durability of a diamond and are thus easily identifiable.It is hard to differentiate between an LGD and an Earth Mined Diamond, which require advanced equipment

How are LGDs produced?

  • There are are multiple ways in which LGDs can be produced.
  • The most common (and cheapest) is the “High pressure, high temperature” (HPHT) method.
    This method requires extremely heavy presses that can produce up to 730,000 psi of pressure under extremely high temperatures (at least 1500 celsius).
  • Usually graphite is used as the “diamond seed” and when subjected to these extreme conditions, the relatively inexpensive form of carbon turns into one of the most expensive carbon forms.
  • Other processes include “Chemical Vapor Deposition” (CVD) and explosive formation that creates what are known as “detonation nanodiamonds”.

What are LGDs used for?

  • LGDs are most often used for industrial purposes, in machines and tools.
  • The pure synthetic diamonds have high thermal conductivity, but negligible electrical conductivity. This combination is invaluable for electronics where such diamonds can be used as a heat spreader for high-power laser diodes, laser arrays and high-power transistors.

World Bank Group

Theme: Important International Institutions

Source: The Indian Express

Why in news?

The US President (Joe Biden) announced that the US is nominating Ajay Banga to lead the World Bank (WB). He said that the Indian- American business leader is uniquely equipped to lead the global institution at this critical moment in history.

About World Bank:

The World Bank is an international organization dedicatedto providing financing, advice, and research to developing nations to aid their economic

  • The bank predominantly acts as an organization that attempts to fight poverty by offering developmental assistance to middle- and low-income countries.
  • The World Bank was created in 1944 out of the Bretton Woods Agreement, which was secured under the auspices of the United Nations in the latter days of World War II
  • The World Bank is headquartered in Washington, D.C
    The WB is the collective name for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Development Association (IDA), two of five international organisations owned by the WB Group.The World Bank is related to the UN, though it is not accountable
    either to the General Assembly or to the Security CouncilWorld Bank Group

The World Bank Group consists of five organizations:
1.The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
•The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) lends to governments of middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries.
2.The International Development Association
•The International Development Association (IDA) provides interest-free loans — called credits — and grants to governments of the poorest countries.
3.The International Finance Corporation
•The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector.
•It asisst developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and
4.The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
•The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) was created in 1988 to promote foreign direct investment into developing countries to support economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve people’s lives.
•MIGA fulfills this mandate by offering political risk insurance (guarantees) to investors and lenders.
5.The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
•The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) provides international facilities for conciliation and arbitration of investment disputes.President of the World Bank:
•The President of the WB, who is the President of the entire WB Group, is responsible for chairing meetings of the boards of directors and for overall management of the Bank.
•Traditionally, the President of the Bank has always been a U.S. citizen nominated by the US, the largest shareholder in the bank.
•The nominee is subject to confirmation by the board of executive directors to serve a five-year, renewable term.
•The boards of directors consist of the WB Group President and 25 executive directors. The President is the presiding officer and ordinarily has no vote except to break a tie.

Social Stock Exchange

Theme: Economy; Secondary Market

Source: The Hindu & Economic Times

Why in news?

Leading bourse NSE said it had received the final approval from markets regulator SEBI to set up social stock exchange (SSE) as a separate segment on its platform.

About Social Stock Exchange:

  • The idea of the Social Stock Exchange (SSE) as a platform for listing social enterprise, voluntary and welfare organisations so that they can raise capital was mooted in the Union Budget 2019-20.
  • It works under the market regulator SEBI.
  • The aim of the initiative is to help social and voluntary organisations which work for social causes to raise capital as equity or debt or a unit of mutual fund.
  • It provides new and cheaper sources of financing for social welfare projects, while showcasing India’s independence from foreign aid.
  • The social stock exchange will act as a medium between social enterprises and fund providers. Investors can choose entities that are creating measurable social impact and provide funds only to those organisations.

Social Enterprises:

•Social enterprises are non-governmental organisations and are of two types: non-profit organisations (NPOs) and for-profit social enterprises (FPEs).
•An NPO is a charitable trust or a charitable society not operating for profit, whereas an FPE is a company or corporate body in the social space, operating for profit.
Criteria for registration for NPO:
•According to SEBI, a non-profit organisation has to be at least 3 years old.
•The organisation must have a valid income tax certificate.
•It must spend at least Rs 50 lakh annually and a minimum Rs 10 lakh of that fund last year.
How does it raise funds?
•NPO raises funds through issuance of instruments like Zero Coupon Zero Principal (ZCZP), donations through mutual fund schemes or other means specified by Sebi.
•FPEs can raise funds through issue of equity shares on the main board, SME Platform or innovators growth platform of stock exchange.
•They can also raise funds through equity issue to an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF), including social impact or issue of debt instruments.

Whale stranding

Theme: Conservation

Source: The Indian Express

Why in news?

14 pilot whales were stranded near the shore of Kalpitiya, a town located on Sri Lanka’s west coast.

What is whale stranding and why does it happen?

  • Whale stranding, also known as beaching, is a phenomenon inwhich whales are stuck on land, usually on a
  • Otheraquatic animals like dolphins and porpoises are also known to beach.
  • Mostof the stranding events involve single animals but sometimes, mass strandings, consisting of hundreds of marine animals at a time, can
  • Amongthe major hotspots for the beaching of aquatic animals are Tasmania, New Zealand‘s Golden Bay and Massachusetts’s Cape Cod in the United

Cause of the stranding:

Thereasons for mass strandings are several, including the topography of the region, illness, human activities and increasing noise pollution in the oceans.

Kaziranga National Park

Theme: Conservation

Source: The Hindu

Why in news?

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change recently sought a “factual report” on the rhino population enumeration conducted in the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve in March 2022.


  • Itwas declared as a National Park in
  • Ithas been declared a tiger reserve since
  • Itwas declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in
  • Itis recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife


  • Itis the home of the world’s most one-horned
  • Much of the focus of conservation efforts in Kaziranga arefocused on the ‘big four’ species – Rhino, Elephant, Royal Bengal tiger and Asiatic water
  • Kazirangais also home to 9 of the 14 species of primates found in the Indian
  • Itis also one of the last remaining homes of the endangered and endemic western hoolock gibbon, the only species of apes found in
  • Itis home to approximately 478 species of both resident and migratory
  • Itis one of the last homes of the critically endangered Bengal florican.

About Indian Rhinoceros:

  • Indianrhinoceros, also called greater one-horned rhinoceros, the largest of the three Asian
  • The three species of rhino in Asia — Greater one-horned,Javan and
  • One-horned rhinos is identified by a single black horn and a


  • Itis confined to the tall grasslands and forests in the foothills of

the Himalayas.

  • TheGreat one-horned rhino is commonly found in Nepal and

in Assam, India.

  • Rhinos are now found in four Protected Areas in Assam:Pabitora Wildlife Reserve, Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park, Kaziranga National Park, and Manas National

Protection Status:

  • Javanand Sumatran Rhino are critically endangered and the Greater one-horned (or Indian) rhino is vulnerable under the IUCN Red
  • Itis the only large mammal species in Asia to be down-listed

from endangered to vulnerable in the IUCN Red list in 2008.

  • Allthree listed under Appendix I (CITES).
  • Greater one-horned rhino is listed under the Schedule I of theWildlife Protection Act,

Conservation Efforts by India:

  1. NationalRhino Conservation Strategy:
  • Itwas launched in 2019 to conserve the greater one-horned

2. New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019:

  • Thefive rhino range nations (India, Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia) have signed a declaration ‘The New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019’ for the conservation and protection of the country

3. Indian Rhino Vision 2020:

  • Indian Rhino Vision 2020 was an ambitious effort to attain awild population of at least 3,000 greater one-horned rhinos spread over protected areas in the Indian state of Assam
  • Projectto create DNA profiles:
  • The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change(MoEFCC) has begun a project to create DNA profiles of all rhinos in the country.
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