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05 Feb, 2024

13 Min Read

Copper Reserves

GS-I : Indian Geography Minerals

India to send industry delegation for copper mining opportunities in Zambia. The Mines Ministry has proposed sending an Indian industry delegation to copper-rich Zambia to discuss potential copper exploration and mining projects in the southern African country.

China Nonferrous Mining Corporation (CNMC) is among the largest producers of copper in Zambia.


  • Copper is a good conductor of electricity and is ductile.

Alloys - Alloyed with iron and nickel to make stainless steel.

    • Alloyed with nickel to make ‘morel metal’.
    • Alloyed with aluminium to make ‘duralumin’.
    • Alloyed with zinc it is known as ‘brass’ and with tin as ‘bronze’.
  • Copper is widely used in sectors like construction, consumer durables, transportation, and industrial manufacturing.
  • It is also used in clean energy technologies including solar panels, EVs, and energy efficient motors.

Reserves in India - 46 million tones; Rajasthan (50%); Madhya Pradesh (24%); Jharkhand (19%); 7% in AP, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka etc.

As per International Copper Association India, domestic copper demand grew by 16% in FY2022-2023, while demand for copper in clean energy technologies grew by 32%.

Reserves across globe - Chile has the world's largest copper reserves of any country by far, with 190 million metric tons as of 2022.

  • It is also the world's largest copper producer, having produced some 5.2 million metric tons of copper from mines in 2022.


  • It got its name from the Zambezi River.
  • The country is located in southern Africa.
  • Zambia is a landlocked country of rugged terrain and diverse wildlife, with many parks and safari areas.
  • On its border with Zimbabwe is the famed Victoria Falls, plunging into the narrow Batoka Gorge.

Zambia has about 6 per cent of the world’s copper reserves and was the eighth-largest producer of copper in 2022.


Practice of Veli

GS-I : Art and Culture Art and Culture

In a fishing village of Andhra Pradesh, the practice of social boycott among the Vaddi community has adverse social and economic consequences.

  • Veli is the practice of social boycott.
  • Those subjected to social ostracisation are not allowed to speak to other villagers and in some cases, compelled to abandon their homes and seek refuge elsewhere.
  • Many times, the veli is motivated by politics, caste, or economics.
  • An informal grama peddalu (village elders), also called a kula (caste) panchayat, of six or seven members nominated for a year by the community (they are never re-installed), takes a call on veli.

The age-old practice of veli has been followed to maintain social order within the community.

  • The grama peddalu may also enforce tappu (wrong), a monetary penalty against ‘wrongdoers’.
  • In a parallel government, they may impose both or just one, depending on how severe they feel the ‘wrongdoing’ is.
  • The pedda (elder) Vaddi heads this informal panchayat that decides on several matters that the community considers important socially and economically, including marriage and extra-marital affairs.


Universal Basic Income (UBI)- Analysis

GS-II : Governance Policies and Programmes

Universal Basic Income (UBI) can strengthen welfare architecture and unlock the nation’s latent demographic potential.

UBI - It is an income support mechanism typically intended to reach all or a very large portion of the population regardless of their earnings or employment status.

Objective- To provide enough to cover the basic cost of living and provide financial security.

Principles – The fundamental principles of UBI include

    • Universal
    • Unconditional
    • Periodic
    • Cash payment
    • Individual

A universal basic income provides a monthly stipend that would ensure that a person would be above the poverty line without any other source of income.

A minimum income guarantee, on the other hand, is at the discretion of the government of the day - it can be equal, more or less than the poverty line expenditure.

What is the significance of UBI?

  • Resource manangement- Universality and unconditionality would mean that the government does not need to spend time and resources in assessing eligibility of the potential beneficiaries.
  • Poverty reduction- It would bring everyone’s income above the poverty line, giving people enough money for their basic needs and necessities.
  • Basic income pilot in Hyderabad, WorkFREE, has seen increased health insurance coverage among participants.
  • Fights unemployment- It would act as act as security net for the millions of people who will be left jobless by the tech revolution.
  • It can be used to promote self-employment among the citizens and increase the employment opportunities in the economy.
  • Promote entrepreneurship- It would cover the risks involved in starting new business and foster the entrepreneurial ideas in the country.
  • Social empowerment- It guarantees an income for non-working parents and caregivers, thus empowering important unpaid roles, especially for women.
  • Impetus to social capital- Basic income programmes from around the world show evidence of people being able to invest in better housing, healthcare, education, savings etc.,
    • SEWA pilot project in Maharashtra revealed that the cash transfers helped increase school enrollments from 69.6% to 70.6%.
  • Crisis recovery- Basic income can help people cope with crises like automation, unemployment, climate change, pandemics and inequality.

The Economic Survey of India suggested a UBI of Rs 7,620 per annum

What are the challenges in providing UBI?

  • Fiscal feasibility- An UBI that covers the entire population would require huge amount of public spending estimated at 5-10% of GDP.
  • Economic burden-The fund for UBI would be generated by raising taxes, cutting other public expenditures, or increasing fiscal deficit, thus having both political and economic implications.
  • Labour market distortion- UBI is independent of work status which might reduce the motivation and incentive for work, education and skill development.
  • Dependency- UBI would create a culture of dependency which may lead to mindless expenditures and add to debt.
  • Behavioural effects- UBI might increase the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other harmful substances, especially among men, who might misuse the money intended for the household.
  • Social acceptability- It might also challenge the existing norms and values of work, merit, responsibility and solidarity, and create social divisions and conflicts.


Pinanga Subterranea

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Biodiversity & Environment

  • Pinanga subterranea is a species of palm tree native to Borneo.
  • It's the 1st known species of palm to flower and fruit almost exclusively underground.

This rare phenomenon has only been recorded in one other plant group, the orchid Rhizanthella.


Peregrine Lunar Lander

GS-III : S&T Space mission

  • The Peregrine Lunar Lander, also known as Peregrine Mission One, is a lunar lander built by Astrobotic Technology, U.S.

It was launched recently carrying payloads for NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services program.


International Education Day

GS-II : Governance Education

  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared January 24 as the International Day of Education in 2018.
  • The day celebrates the role of education in peace and development and aims to raise awareness of the value and impact of quality education.

In 2024, UNESCO is focusing on promoting anti-racist guidelines and addressing racism in textbooks with the theme - ‘learning for lasting peace’.


Religious processions

GS-II : Governance Judiciary

  • The Supreme Court ruled that the concentration of a religious community in a particular area is not a valid reason to deny permission to another religious community to hold events or prayer meetings.

The court also ruled that religious processions cannot be rejected based on religious grounds.


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