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28 Apr, 2023

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World bank logistic performance index 2023

GS-II : Important reports Important reports

  • India is now ranked 38th out of 139 nations in the Logistic Performance Index (LPI) 2023 of the World Bank.
  • From its previous rankings of 44th in 2018 and 54th in 2014, this is a notable improvement.
  • Earlier, the Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) Report 2022 was published by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

About Logistics Performance Index (LPI)

  • It was developed as an interactive benchmarking tool to assist nations in identifying the possibilities and problems they have in their performance on trade logistics and what they can do to enhance their performance.
  • Six factors are used to analyse various nations:
  • efficiency of border and customs management clearance.
  • infrastructure relates to trade and transportation quality.
  • the simplicity of organising inexpensive overseas shipments.
  • the proficiency and excellence of logistical services.
  • the capability of tracking and tracing shipments.
  • the regularity with which deliveries arrive at recipients before or on time as promised.
  • 139 nations can be compared using the International LPI 2023.
  • Finland and Singapore are this year's Top Performers.

Logistics Industry

  • The logistics sector includes all aspects of the supply chain, primarily transportation, inventory control, information flow, and customer support.
  • For a nation's economy to function, logistics are crucial. It has to do with how resources are generally gathered, stored, and transported to their final destination.
  • With the underlying presumption of a powerful logistics industry, it is a differentiating sector that can significantly impact any country's exports, hence adding a substantial competitive edge.
  • It determines the effectiveness of the nation's supply chain as well as having an impact on it globally.

What elements contributed to India's enhanced logistical performance?

  • PM Gati Shakti Initiative: The government unveiled the PM Gati Shakti programme, a National Master Plan for multimodal connectivity, in October 2021.
  • By 2024–25, this project hopes to increase economic growth and lower logistics costs.
  • The National Logistics Plan (NLP) The National Logistics Policy (NLP), introduced by the PM in 2022, aims to ensure rapid last-mile delivery, eliminate transportation-related problems, save manufacturing companies time and money, and assure the desired speed in the logistics industry.
  • India's increase in LPI and other indicators demonstrates the success of these policy actions.
  • India rose five positions in the infrastructure score from 52nd in 2018 to 47th in 2023, according to the LPI research.
  • The government has made investments in trade-related soft and hard infrastructure to link the key economic hubs situated in the country's interior regions to port gateways on both coasts.
  • India rose from 44th place in 2018 to 22nd place for foreign shipments in 2023 as a result of this investment.
  • India's efforts to improve its logistics performance have mostly relied on technology.
  • The government has created a platform for supply chain visibility through a public-private collaboration, which has helped to significantly reduce delays.

India's Potential

  • Infrastructure, technology, and the appearance of new service providers are all contributing to the rapid growth of the logistics business in India by lowering logistics costs and offering high-quality services.
  • Additionally, government regulations and taxation policies have a significant impact on the sector's innovation.
  • According to certain figures used by the government, India's logistics expenditures account for roughly 13–14% of its GDP.
  • In contrast to the global norm of 8%, India's logistics expenses have ranged between 14 and 18 per cent of GDP, according to the Economic Survey 2022–23.

Government Initiatives

  • Logistics Master Plan: Rather than adopting an industry-based strategy, this project adopts a regional strategy. The strategy will incorporate a number of initiatives and tasks to increase the proportion of intermodal and/or multimodal transportation. Accordingly, the coordinated construction of necessary infrastructure (such as utility and gas pipelines and optical fibre cable networks) is planned.
  • Federal Logistics Regulations: A draught national logistics law is currently undergoing consultation. The One Nation, One Market goal would be supported by a unified legal framework for the One Nation, One Contract paradigm, which would also offer a flexible regulatory environment (one bill of lading across modes).
  • The PM Gati Shakti programme, a National Master Plan for multimodal connectivity, was unveiled by the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2021 with the goal of lowering logistics costs and boosting the economy by 2024–2025.
  • The National Logistics Policy (NLP), introduced by the Prime Minister in 2022, was created to provide speedy last-mile delivery, put a stop to transportation-related problems, save time and money for the industrial sector, and ensure the desired speed in the logistics sector.

Way forward

  • The government's actions will boost the logistics industry's development.
  • Increased efficiency in the movement and storage of goods across the nation will result from integration in the form of a multimodal network of transportation and warehousing.
  • In order to eliminate waste and promote quicker delivery of commodities from port to port, city to city, and state to state, there is also a need for better warehousing, cold storage facilities, and expanded first and last-mile connectivity.

Source: Indian Express

Smuggling of Gold

GS-III : Economic Issues Economy Offence

  • Airports discovered more than 63% of this illegal gold.
  • The Department of Revenue Intelligence recently conducted the Golden Dawn Operation across India, seizing 101.7 kg of illegal gold valued at Rs 51 crore.
  • Despite the fact that India receives a legal import of about 800-1,000 tonnes of gold each year, the illicit market is thought to be about 4,000 tonnes larger.

How much gold enters India illegally?

  • In FY 2021–22, 833 kg of smuggled gold totalling approximately Rs 500 crore was seized, according to the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence's (DRI) Smuggling in India Report 2021–22.
  • Smuggling from the Gulf region had decreased in 2020–21 as a result of flights being cancelled owing to the Covid–19 pandemic.
  • In the five years leading up to August 2020, 16,555 smuggling instances involving more than 11 tonnes of gold were busted at airports all throughout India.
  • The data given only represents the gold that was actually taken; nevertheless, considerably more gold may have been smuggled in than what the authorities discovered.
  • The World Gold Council (WGC) estimates that due to the increase in the import duty on gold from 7.5% to 12.5%, smuggling might rise by 33% to 160 tonnes in 2022 compared to the pre-Covid period.
  • The majority of the gold smuggled into India during the past ten years has come from Maharashtra, followed by Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  • India imports enough to meet more than 90% of its needs. India was the world's second-largest gold importer in terms of value in 2021.
  • In 2009, China surpassed India as the world's top gold consumer, according to a recent World Gold Council report. India purchased 611 t of gold jewellery in 2021, behind only China (673 t), but still far ahead of all other gold-consuming markets.

What is Smuggling?

  • The illicit transportation of goods is known as smuggling. These products can be lawful (like alcohol and tobacco) illegal (like illegal drugs and weapons), or both. Another type of smuggling is the illegal trafficking of immigrants.
  • Smuggling affects the economy and national security negatively on a number of levels. Encouraging crime, supporting terrorism, and creating and circulating black money internationally, can further destabilise nations.

North East Smuggling Route:

  • According to the DRI Report, Bangladesh and Myanmar were used to smuggle 73% of the gold that was seized.

  • Myanmar supplied 37% of all the gold captured in FY22. West Asia provided 20% of it.
  • According to numerous international sources, the towns of Muse and Ruili, which are on the Chinese and Myanmarese sides of the border, respectively, are used to smuggle gold into Myanmar from China.
  • Ruili is in the Dehong Dai Prefecture of Yunnan Province, China, and Muse is in the Shan State in northeastern Myanmar.

How much gold is imported into India?

  • Additionally, increasing gold imports made through authorised channels, represent a significant outflow of foreign currency.
  • A rise from Rs 2.54 lakh crore in 2020–21 to Rs 3.44 lakh crore in 2021–22 was reported for imports.
  • India is the world's second-largest gold consumer after China, importing around 900 tonnes of gold annually, with consumption reaching 797.3 tonnes in 2021 (the most in the previous five years), according to the World Gold Council.
  • India imports refined gold as well as gold dore bars.
  • Gold dore bar imports accounted for 30% of all official imports of the yellow metal into India over the previous five years.

Issues related to smuggling

  • Price distortion: Products that are smuggled into the country are sometimes offered for a lot less than those that are legally imported. Smuggling eliminates free competition for businesses by putting them in unfair rivalry with others who have paid taxes.

  • Increase in Unemployment: The labour market (employment base) is eroded when unfair competition in the market is exacerbated by the collapse of industries. Professionals, skilled workers, and unskilled workers are all still without jobs.
  • Health Concerns: Most illegal products, including drugs, are of poor quality and dangerous to the lives of those who consume them. It might put customers at risk for a number of illnesses.
  • Smuggling is harmful to national security because it can lead to unrest, particularly when illegal items like firearms are involved. Such commodities wind up in the hands of a select few individuals who can use them to undermine the security of the nation's residents.
What is the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence?
  • It serves as India's primary intelligence, investigation, and operations agency against smuggling.
  • It reports to the Ministry of Finance's Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).
  • A Director General with the status of Special Secretary to the Government of India serves as its administrator.
  • By actively stopping the smuggling of weapons, gold, drugs, fraudulent Indian currency notes, antiquities, wildlife, and environmental goods, DRI aims to protect India's economic and national security.
  • Additionally, it helps to stop the spread of illegal currency, business fraud, and trade-based money laundering.
  • Its main office is in New Delhi.
Way Ahead
  • Counterfeiting and smuggling must be addressed with strong public policy and enforcement.
  • In addition to cracking down on grey markets domestically, law enforcement and tax agencies need to step up their game with stronger cross-border coordination and trade-data reconciliations.
  • Declaring an Anti-Smuggling Day is necessary, and cooperation with other nations is required to make this a worldwide endeavour.

Source: The Hindu

Genetic Markers

GS-III : S&T Bio technology

  • Preterm delivery is a leading cause of Neonatal fatalities (deaths among live newborns within the first 28 completed days of life) and problems worldwide. Recently, Indian researchers working on the Garbh-Ini program have discovered 19 genetic markers linked to preterm birth.
  • An improvement in maternal and neonatal outcomes could result from the identification of genetic markers linked to preterm delivery and from the prediction and close monitoring of high-risk pregnancies.

What is Preterm Birth?

About: Preterm birth

  • sometimes referred to as premature birth, is the birth of a child before the gestational period of 37 weeks is complete. Based on gestational age, there are many types of preterm birth:
  • fewer than 28 weeks, which is incredibly premature
  • extremely premature (28–32 weeks)
  • (32–37 weeks) Late to moderate preterm.
  • It is a serious problem for public health, especially in India and Southeast Asia, and is linked to newborns' delayed mental and physical development as well as higher disease risks as they age.
  • Every ten births occur preterm around the world.
  • In India, over 13% of newborns are born preterm each year. 23.4% of preterm births worldwide occur in India.


  • Compared to newborns born at or after 37 weeks of gestation, preterm infants have a two- to four-times-higher risk of dying soon after birth.
  • These infants' chance of developing ailments including Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cancer increases as they get older.

How do genetic markers work?

  • About: Genetic markers, usually referred to as DNA markers or genetic variations, are distinct DNA sequences linked to specific features, attributes, or diseases.
  • DNA sequences or specific changes in the DNA sequence, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), the most prevalent kind of genetic marker, can serve as genetic markers.
  • They are used to find and examine genetic variations that may be connected to diseases, disorders, or other biological features in genetics research and clinical practice.
  • Inflammation, apoptosis, cervical ripening, telomere maintenance, selenocysteine biosynthesis, myometrial contraction, and innate immunity are among the critical biological processes that these SNPs are known to control.

Read Also: R21 Malaria Vaccine

Source: Indian Express


GS-III : S&T Space

  • Recently, SpaceX launched its Starship cruise ship from the Super Heavy rocket in an unmanned test mission. The upper-stage Starship, however, was unable to separate from the lower-stage Super Heavy, and as a result, the vehicle exploded.
  • Elon Musk established the for-profit business SpaceX in 2002.

What is the Starship Project?

  • Known as Starship as a whole, SpaceX's Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket are a fully reusable transportation system intended to take both passengers and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
  • A starship will be able to transport 250 metric tonnes of throwaway cargo and up to 150 metric tonnes of fully reusable cargo.
  • Several Raptor engines that run on liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid methane (CH4) power the Starship Super Heavy.
  • The first-stage booster is powered by 33 Raptor engines altogether.
  • To refuel the Starship spaceship in low-Earth orbit, it uses tanker vehicles, which are essentially ships without windows.
  • At Starbase, one of the first commercial spaceports in the world created for orbital missions, Starship is developed and produced.

What are Space X's other major projects?

  • Falcon 9: The Falcon 9 is a reusable, two-stage rocket designed to carry passengers and payloads reliably and securely into Earth orbit and beyond.
  • SpaceX boasts that Falcon Heavy is by a factor of two the most powerful rocket in the world.
  • At liftoff, its 27 Merlin engines, spread across three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores, produce more than 5 million pounds of thrust.
  • In a gas-generator power cycle, Merlin engines employ liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1) as rocket propellants.

Starshield and Starlink:

  • Globally accessible high-speed, low-latency broadband internet is offered through Starlink.
  • Its largest constellation of cutting-edge satellites, which are in a low orbit around the Earth, enables its high-speed, low-latency service.
  • To aid in efforts to maintain national security, Starshield makes use of the technology and launch capability of Starlink.
  • Starshield is intended for use by the government, whereas Starlink is intended for consumer and business use.

Source: Indian Express

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