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05 Dec, 2022

28 Min Read

India is experiencing an increase in cyber attacks.

GS-III : Internal security Cyber Security

India is experiencing an increase in cyber attacks.

  • A major cyberattack recently crippled the country's premier medical institute, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences New Delhi (AIIMS).

More on the news:

  • Most of its servers went down, as did the National Informatics Centre's (NIC) e-Hospital network.
  • The critical health data of several individuals at the helm of the country's government was stored on AIIMS servers.

More Information on Cyberattacks:

  • Cyberattacks are unwanted attempts to steal, expose, modify, disable, or destroy information by gaining unauthorized access to computer systems.
  • Typically, ransomware-seeking entities carry out such attacks to prevent networks from functioning after encrypting data, and organizations are sent demands, which are frequently negotiated and paid without informing law enforcement.


  • Cyberterrorism is frequently defined as any planned, politically motivated attack on information systems, programmes, or data that threatens or results in violence.

The Importance of Medical Institute Cyberattacks:

  • Cyber attacks on medical institutions are becoming more common, and the pandemic has served as a watershed moment.
  • During the pandemic, hackers and criminal syndicates recognised these institutes' reliance on digital systems to optimise medical functioning and store and handle large volumes of patient data, including their reports.
  • Because the data available here is extremely valuable, it is an obvious target for cyber attackers and ransom seekers.

What are the causes of the increase in cyberattacks?

Growing reliance on technology:

  • As we progress, more and more systems are being moved to virtual space to improve access and usability.
  • The downside to this trend is that such systems are becoming more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Asymmetric and clandestine warfare:

  • Unlike conventional warfare, which involves the loss of lives and eyeball-to-eyeball combat, cyber warfare is covert warfare with the benefit of plausible deniability, which means that governments can deny their involvement even when caught.
  • As a result, cyber warfare has increasingly become the preferred venue for international conflict.


  • Health is not classified as critical information (CI) infrastructure: The health and medical sectors are not classified as critical information (CI) infrastructure in most countries.
  • The health and medical sectors are not classified as critical information (CI) infrastructure in most countries.
  • While an organisation such as AIIMS New Delhi could be considered a "strategic and public enterprise," health is not specifically mentioned as a CI infrastructure.

Inadequate skill set:

  • Due to a lack of skills on their team, nearly two-thirds would find it difficult to respond to a cybersecurity incident.
  • According to the survey, 50% of all respondents would find it difficult to respond to and recover from a cyberattack due to a lack of skills on their team, and less than 25% of companies with 5,000 to 50,000 employees have the people and skills they require today.
  • Poor Prioritization: According to the survey, while approximately 85% of cyber leaders agree that cyber resilience is a business priority for their organization, one of their most significant challenges is gaining decision-makers’ support when prioritizing cyber risks over a variety of other risks.
  • These contradictory findings suggest that emphasizing cyber resilience as a business priority is necessary but insufficient.

Major Government Initiatives for Cyber Security


  • It is an organisation of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology with the objective of securing Indian cyberspace.

Cyber Surakshit Bharat Initiative:

  • It is an initiative from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) that aims at creating a robust cybersecurity ecosystem in India. This program was in association with the National e-Governance Division (NeGD).

National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC):

  • NCIIPC is a central government establishment, formed to protect critical information of our country, which has an enormous impact on national security, economic growth, or public healthcare.

Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C):

Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre):

  • It is an installation under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

Information Technology Act, 2000:

  • IT Act of 2000 came into effect in India on 09 June 2000. IT Act states in its preamble that the purpose of the legislation is to provide legal recognition to electronic transactions.

Way Forward

National cyber security strategy is required:

  • This incident serves as a wake-up call for organizations across industries to strengthen cyber security measures; it is also critical to push for and announce a national cyber security strategy.

Cybersecurity readiness:

  • That strategy will serve as a guiding document to motivate and monitor institutes' cyber readiness, as well as to improve capacity on a variety of fronts, including forensics, accurate attribution, and cooperation.

Budgetary priority:

  • Significant budgets must be allocated by various ministries to ensure that cyber security measures do not fall to the bottom of the priority list.

Capacity enhancement:

  • To address the emerging sophisticated nature of threats and attacks, the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) and CERTIn must be strengthened, and sectoral CERTs must be established in many areas, including health.

Source: The Indian Express

Project Great Indian Bustard

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Conservation

Project Great Indian Bustard

  • The Supreme Court (SC) recently requested that the Centre review the concept of 'Project Great Indian Bustard (GIB)' to save endangered birds.

Important Points:

  • The Supreme Court established a three-member committee to evaluate the feasibility of laying high-voltage underground power cables.
  • The committee was directed by the SC to submit an updated status report on steps taken to protect the GIB.
  • Project GIB is similar to 'Project Tiger,' which was launched in 1973 to save big cats.

Demands of the Supreme Court:

It requested reports from the chief secretaries of Rajasthan and Gujarat on the following topics:

  • the installation of bird diverters in priority areas
  • All bird diverters must meet the quality standards set by the court-appointed committee.
  • Determine the total length of transmission lines in the two states where electric wires must be undergrounded to prevent the electrocution of birds.

About Great Indian Bustard:

  • It is the most critically endangered bird species in India.
  • It is most common in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • One of the world's heaviest flying birds, found only on the Indian subcontinent.
  • Rajasthan's State Bird


  • According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) 2021 report, they are on the verge of extinction, with only 50 to 249 remaining.
  • Ardeotis nigriceps (scientific name)
  • It's a large bird with brown and white feathers and a black crown and wing markings. It is one of the world's heaviest birds.
  • Males have whitish necks and underparts with black breast bands that are narrow.
  • Females are smaller, have a greyer neck, and usually have no or an incomplete breast band.


  • Arid grasslands, untamed.
  • Most GIBs were discovered in Jaisalmer and the Indian Army-controlled field firing range near Pokhran, Rajasthan.
  • Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh are among the other states.
  • The species is found in the Indian Subcontinent, with former strongholds in the Thar desert in the northwest and the Peninsula's Deccan tableland.
  • This species lives in flat or gently undulating arid and semi-arid grasslands with scattered short scrub, bushes, and low-intensity cultivation.


  • According to Wildlife Institute of India research, there are approximately 150 Great Indian Bustards left in the country, with approximately 128 birds in Rajasthan and less than 10 birds each in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka.
  • This year has seen a total of seven bustard deaths (2022).
  • The IUCN classification for this species is Critically Endangered.
  • Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act.
  • Hunting, agricultural intensification, and power lines are all threats to the bird.
  • It has an extremely small population that has been rapidly declining.
  • Widespread hunting for sport and food hastened its demise, which has been accelerated by vehicular access to remote areas.
  • High-intensity poaching persists in Pakistan, and egg collecting was common in many states during the early nineteenth century.

The current threats, however, are primarily caused by:

  • Habitat loss and degradation as a result of widespread agricultural expansion and mechanisation of farming.
  • Irrigation, roads, electricity pylons, wind turbines, and constructions are examples of infrastructure development.
  • Industrialization and mining
  • Habitat management that is well-intentioned but misguided.
  • The absence of community support.
  • According to the Wildlife Institute of India, high-tension wires from power companies are a major threat factor, killing about 15% of the GIB population due to collisions with power lines.

Indian Initiatives for GIB Protection

'An Integrated Approach to Habitat Improvement and Conservation Breeding of the Great Indian Bustard':

  • The Ministry with financial support from National Authority for Compensatory Afforestation Funds has sanctioned an outlay of Rs. 33.85 crores for the duration of five years for the program titled ‘Habitat Improvement and Conservation Breeding of Great Indian Bustard-an integrated approach.

The objective :

  • to build up the captive population of Great Indian Bustard and to release the chicks in the wild for increasing the population and also to promote in-situ conservation of the species.

Task Force:

  • The Ministry has also constituted a Task Force for suggesting Eco- friendly measures to mitigate the impacts of power transmission lines and other power transmission infrastructures on wildlife including the Great Indian Bustard.
  • The Great Indian Bustard has been included in Appendix I of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) on the basis of a proposal submitted by India.
  • It was also the mascot of the prestigious 13th CMS Conference of Parties held in Gandhinagar giving wider publicity for the conservation of the species.
  • Important habitats of Great Indian Bustards are designated as National Parks/Sanctuaries for their better protection.
  • The species have been identified for conservation efforts under the component ‘Species Recovery Programme’ of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS)-Development of Wildlife Habitat.

Directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT):

  • NGT ordered a time-bound action plan for the implementation of mitigation measures such as the installation of bird diverters and their regular maintenance and monitoring by power agencies.
  • A Bustard conservation breeding center in Rajasthan has been set up in Jaisalmer.
  • Conservation Reserves: Great Indian Bustard habitats to be declared as conservation reserves.

Way Forward

  • Bird deterrents should be installed as soon as possible in priority areas.
  • It now requires an urgent acceleration in targeted conservation actions to avoid functional extinction within a few decades.
  • Develop priority-area landscape conservation strategies.
  • Consolidate identified core breeding areas across the species' range by establishing strict refuges during prime breeding months (March–September).
  • Systematic, country-wide population monitoring on alternate years for the next ten years will be used to assess the efficacy of these conservation actions.
  • Starting an ex-situ conservation breeding program as a precaution against extinction.
  • The local people and their active participation are critical

Source: The Indian Express

Russia’s Advanced Fuel Option for KKNPP

GS-III : Economic Issues Energy

Russia’s Advanced Fuel Option for KKNPP

  • Rosatom, Russia's state-owned nuclear energy corporation, recently offered a more advanced fuel option to India's largest nuclear power plant in Kudankulam (KKNPP), Tamil Nadu.
  • It will be able to run its reactors for an extended two-year cycle without stopping to load new fuel.

Kundankulma Nuclear Power Plant Reactors (KKNPP) Update:

  • TVEL Fuel Company, a subsidiary of Rosatom, is the current supplier of TVS - 2 M fuel for the two VVER 1,000 MWe reactors that power the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP).
  • Because this fuel has an 18-month fuel cycle, the reactor must be shut down for fresh fuel loading every one and a half years.
  • TVEL now offers the more modern Advanced Technology Fuel (ATF), with a 24-month fuel cycle.

Benefits of the Update:

  • It will ensure greater efficiency, additional power generation due to the reactor's extended operation, and significant savings in foreign exchange required to purchase fresh fuel assemblies from Russia.

What is nuclear energy?

  • The process of splitting atoms in a reactor to heat water into steam, turn a turbine, and generate electricity is known as nuclear energy.
  • Inside nuclear power plants, nuclear reactors and their equipment contain and control the chain reactions that produce heat through fission, most commonly fueled by Uranium-235.

Nuclear Power Generation Emissions:

  • Nuclear energy produces no emissions. It emits no greenhouse gases or pollutants into the atmosphere.

Use of Land:

  • A 1,000-megawatt nuclear plant requires 360 times less land than a similar-capacity wind farm and 75 times less land than solar plants, according to US government data.

Importance for India:

Thorium availability:

  • India is the leader in the new nuclear fuel resource known as Thorium, which is regarded as the nuclear fuel of the future.
  • With the availability of Thorium, India has the potential to be the first country to realize its dream of becoming a fossil-fuel-free nation.

Reduces Import Bills:

  • Nuclear energy will also save the country about $100 billion in annual imports of petroleum and coal.
  • Solar and wind power are unquestionably the most stable and dependable sources of energy.
  • However, despite their numerous advantages, solar and wind power are unstable and highly dependent on weather and sunlight conditions.

Clean Fuel:

  • Nuclear power, on the other hand, is a relatively clean, high-density, reliable energy source with a global presence.

What are India's Nuclear Energy Initiatives?

  • India has made a conscious decision to investigate the possibility of harnessing nuclear energy for power generation.
  • Homi Bhabha developed a three-stage nuclear power programme in the 1950s in this direction.
  • The Atomic Energy Act of 1962 was enacted with the goal of using two naturally occurring elements, Uranium and Thorium, as nuclear fuel in Indian nuclear power reactors.
  • In December 2021, the Government of India informed Parliament that ten indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) would be built in fleet mode, and that it had granted "in principle approval" for 28 additional reactors, 24 of which would be imported from France, the United States, and Russia.
  • The Centre has given in-principle (first step) approval for the construction of six nuclear power reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra in December 2021.
  • The Jaitpur Project is an important component of India and France's strategic partnership.
  • Jaitapur would be the most powerful nuclear power plant in the world. Six cutting-edge Evolutionary Power Reactors (EPRs) with an installed capacity of 9.6 GW would generate low-carbon electricity.
  • The six nuclear power reactors, each with a capacity of 1,650 MW, will be built with technical assistance from France.

India nuclear power plants:

India currently has 22 operational nuclear power reactors with a total installed capacity of 6780 MegaWatt electric (MWe).

Among the major power plants are:

  • Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS), in Maharashtra
  • Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS), in Rajasthan
  • Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS), in Tamil Nadu
  • Kaiga Generating Station (KGS), in Karnataka
  • Kudankulam Nuclear Power Station (KKNPS), in Tamil Nadu
  • Narora Atomic Power Station (NAPS), in Uttar Pradesh
  • Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS), in Gujarat
  • Among these, 18 reactors are Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) and 4 are Light Water Reactors (LWRs).

Source: The Hindu

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes

GS-III : S&T Health

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes

A man from Germany recently had the worst experience of his life after being bitten by an Asian tiger mosquito.

Asian Tiger Mosquito

  • Also known as the forest mosquito or Aedes Albopictus. Tiger mosquitos are an exotic species named after the single white stripe down the center of their head and back.
  • Native to Southeast Asia's tropical and subtropical regions.
  • Later, it spread to many European countries.


  • bites mostly during the day,
  • Many viral pathogens are present, including the yellow fever virus, Chikungunya fever, filarial nematodes such as Dirofilaria immitis, and the Zika virus.
  • Also a dengue fever carrier
  • Common signs and symptoms include:
  • Several stomach pains
  • Continued vomiting and nausea
  • Breathlessness
  • The gums and nose are bleeding.
  • Fatigue and perpetual tiredness


  • According to the WHO, the number of reported dengue cases has more than doubled in the last two decades, rising from 505,430 cases in 2000 to more than 5.2 million in 2021.

Control and prevention:

  • Preventing mosquito breeding, preventing mosquitos from accessing egg-laying habitats, and properly disposing of waste.
  • Every week, cover, empty, and clean domestic water storage containers.
  • Wearing mosquito-resistant clothing and educating the community about the dangers of mosquito-borne diseases.

Source: Firstpost


GS-III : S&T Space


  • The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C54 was successfully launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
  • This was PSLV's 56th flight, and the PSLV-C54 rocket's final mission of the year.

What kind of satellites were launched?

Bhutan Nano Satellite-2 (INS-2B):

  • The INS-2B satellite is a joint mission between India and Bhutan, carrying two payloads.
  • NanoMx, a multispectral optical imaging payload developed by the Space Applications Centre (SAC) APRS-Digipeater, a collaboration between DITT-Bhutan and URSC, was successfully deployed.
  • The significance of INS-2B is that it will provide Bhutan with high-resolution images for the management of the country's natural resources.
  • The launch of the new satellite is part of India's efforts to support Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck's plans to use advanced technology for Bhutan's development, including ICT and space technology.
  • The collaboration also fits in with India’s “neighbourhood first” policy.


  • The Anand three-axis stabilized Nano satellite is a technology demonstrator for miniaturized electro-optical payload and all other sub-systems like TTC, power, onboard computer and ADCS from Pixxel, India was also placed in the orbit successfully.


  • As the payload, Astrocast, a 3U spacecraft, is a technology demonstrator satellite for the Internet of Things (IoT). This mission includes four Astrocast Satellites. ISISpace QuadPack dispensers contain these spacecrafts.
  • The dispenser guards the satellite against contamination.

Thymbolt Satellites:

  • The Thybolt is a 0.5U spacecraft bus with a communication payload that will enable rapid technology demonstration and constellation development for multiple Dhruva Space users using their own Orbital Deployer over a one-year period.


  • Earth Observation Satellite-06 (EOS-06) is a third-generation Oceansat satellite designed to collect ocean colour data, sea surface temperature data, and wind vector data for use in oceanography, climatic, and meteorological applications.

Source: The Financial Express

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