Published on Mar 29, 2024
Daily Current Affairs
Current Affairs 29 March 2024
Current Affairs 29 March 2024


  1. India TB Report 2024
  2. Prime Minister of India Honored with Bhutan’s Highest Civilian Award
  3. Heatwaves
  4. Sickle Cell Anaemia
  5. Great Indian Bustard
  6. Scalable Instructable Multiworld Agent and AlphaGeometry
  7. Gulaal Gota

India TB Report 2024


The India TB Report 2024, released by the Union Health Ministry, indicates a significant achievement in the fight against tuberculosis (TB). The gap between the estimated number and actual reported cases of TB is narrowing, signaling improved detection and reporting mechanisms. This development is crucial as the unreported cases, often referred to as “missing cases,” are assumed to have not received treatment, posing a risk of continued transmission of the infection to others. Closing this gap is a pivotal step towards India’s ambitious goal of eliminating TB by 2025, underscoring the progress made in tackling this public health challenge.


GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is the India TB Report?
  1. About Tuberculosis
  2. TB Cases in India: Statistics and Trends
  3. India’s TB Elimination Target: Goals and Challenges
  4. Efforts to Achieve TB Elimination Target of 2025 in India
  5. Improvements in TB Treatment Protocols and Vaccines

What is the India TB Report?

Publication and Overview:

  • The annual India TB Report is released by the Central TB Division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, under the National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP).
  • Initiated in 2001, the report encompasses policy modifications, program execution updates, and performance indicators at the state and district levels.
Key Highlights:
  • The bulk of TB cases continue to be reported by government health centers, although there has been a rise in notifications from the private sector.
  • In 2023, out of the 25.5 lakh cases reported, nearly 33% or 8.4 lakh cases originated from the private sector, a substantial increase from 1.9 lakh cases in 2015.

Mortality Rates:

  • The mortality due to TB infection remained consistent at 3.2 lakhs based on the provided data.

However, India witnessed a decline in TB mortality from 4.94 lakhs in 2021 to 3.31 lakhs in 2022.

Missing Cases:

  • The report highlighted a reduction in missing TB cases, with 2.3 lakh cases reported in 2023 compared to 3.2 lakh cases in the previous year.
  • This diminishing gap is attributed to the government’s Ni-kshay portal, which tracks all TB patients.

Achievements and Recommendations:

  • The report indicates that India met its 2023 objective of initiating treatment in 95% of diagnosed TB patients.
  • Additionally, 58% of diagnosed individuals were offered a test to determine drug resistance to first-line drugs, a significant rise from 25% in 2015.
  • The report advocates for drug susceptibility testing to ensure that individuals with drug-resistant TB receive appropriate medication from the outset, rather than being immediately treated with first-line drugs.

About Tuberculosis

  • TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer.
  • Each day, over 4000 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease
  • TB is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs.
  • Transmission: TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air.
  • Symptoms: Cough with sputum and blood at times, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats.
  • Treatment: TB is a treatable and curable disease. It is treated with a standard 6 month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information, supervision and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer.
  • Anti-TB medicines have been used for decades and strains that are resistant to 1 or more of the medicines have been documented in every country surveyed.
  • Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a form of TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to isoniazid and rifampicin, the 2 most powerful, first-line anti-TB drugs. MDR-TB is treatable and curable by using second-line drugs.
  • Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) is a more serious form of MDR-TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to the most effective second-line anti-TB drugs, often leaving patients without any further treatment options

India’s TB Elimination Target: Goals and Challenges

India has set an ambitious target of eliminating tuberculosis by 2025, five years ahead of the global sustainable development target of 2030. Here are the goals and challenges in achieving this target:

  • Target Goals: India’s national strategic plan 2017-2025 aims to report no more than 44 new TB cases or 65 total cases per lakh population by 2025. The plan also aims to reduce TB mortality to 3 deaths per lakh population by 2025 and eliminate catastrophic costs for affected families.
  • Current Incidence: The estimated TB incidence for 2021 stood at 210 per lakh population. However, achieving the target is a big task as the plan had envisaged an incidence of only 77 cases per lakh population by 2023.
  • Mortality: The estimated TB mortality for the year 2020 stood at 37 per lakh population, which is higher than the 2025 target of 3 deaths per lakh population.
  • Catastrophic Costs: The plan aims to reduce catastrophic costs for the affected family to zero. However, the report states that 7 to 32 per cent of those with drug-sensitive TB, and 68 per cent with drug-resistant TB experienced catastrophic costs.
  • Challenges: India faces several challenges in achieving the TB elimination target, including inadequate funding, weak health infrastructure, low awareness, and poor treatment adherence.
  • End TB Strategy: The goals are in line with the World Health Organisation’s End TB strategy that calls for an 80% reduction in the number of new cases, a 90% reduction in mortality, and zero catastrophic cost by 2030.

Efforts to Achieve TB Elimination Target of 2025 in India

  • Active Case Finding: The government is actively looking for TB cases among vulnerable and co-morbid populations and screening for it at health and wellness centers.
  • Notification System: A Ni-kshay portal has been established to track notified TB cases, and the private sector has been called upon to notify all TB cases.
  • Improved Diagnostic Tests: The pandemic has led to improved access to more accurate molecular diagnostic tests like CB-NAAT and TureNat, with 4,760 molecular diagnostic machines covering all districts of the country. Additionally, 79 line probe assay laboratories and 96 liquid culture testing laboratories have been set up for the diagnosis of multi and extremely drug-resistant TB.
  • Universal Drug Susceptibility Test: The government has implemented a universal drug susceptibility test, which determines antibiotic susceptibility for all newly diagnosed cases, ensuring patients are given effective treatment from the outset.
  • Community Engagement Program: The government launched a community engagement program in which Ni-kshay mitras adopt TB patients and provide them with monthly nutritional support. So far, 71,460 Ni-kshay Mitras have adopted about 10 lakh TB patients under the program.

Improvements in TB Treatment Protocols and Vaccines

Treatment Protocols:
  • Newer drugs like Bedaquiline and Delamanid have been included in the government’s free basket of drugs for TB patients. These oral drugs can replace the injectable kanamycin, which has severe side effects like kidney problems and deafness.
  • Shorter three- and four-month courses of anti-tubercular drugs are being researched instead of the existing six-month therapy to reduce treatment duration and dropouts.
  • The government has included newer drugs in the National List of Essential Medicines, giving them the power to regulate the market price.
  • Researchers are studying newer ways of preventing TB infection, as the existing BCG vaccine offers limited protection to adults and doesn’t prevent people from getting infected or re-activating a latent infection.
  • Trials are underway to test the effectiveness of a vaccine called Immuvac, developed using mycobacterium indicus pranii antigens, in preventing TB. It was initially developed to prevent leprosy.
  • Researchers are testing the vaccine candidate called VPM1002, a recombinant form of the BCG vaccine modified to express TB antigens better, resulting in better immune system training and protection against TB.
  • Researchers are studying whether the existing BCG vaccine booster shot should be given to household contacts of a person with active tuberculosis.

-Source: Indian Express

Prime Minister of India Honored with Bhutan’s Highest Civilian Award


During his two-day State visit to Bhutan, the Prime Minister of India was bestowed with Bhutan’s highest civilian award, the ‘Order of the Druk Gyalpo’. He holds the distinction of being the first foreign Head of Government to receive this honor. Additionally, India and Bhutan have solidified their bilateral relations by exchanging several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and signing agreements across various sectors including energy, trade, digital connectivity, space, and agriculture. Notably, the two nations have finalized the MoU for the establishment of rail links, marking a significant milestone in their cooperation and connectivity efforts.


GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Order of the Druk Gyalpo Award
  2. Key Pacts Signed by India and Bhutan
  3. Significance of Bhutan for India
  4. Challenges in India-Bhutan Relations

Order of the Druk Gyalpo Award

Definition and Significance:

  • The Order of the Druk Gyalpo is Bhutan’s highest civilian award, honoring individuals who have made remarkable contributions to society, reflecting values such as service, integrity, and leadership.

Selection Criteria:

  • Recipients are chosen based on their exceptional achievements and significant positive impact on society.
  • Their contributions are evaluated against Bhutanese values, emphasizing holistic development, cultural preservation, and regional harmony.

Special Recognition:

  • The selection of the Indian Prime Minister as the first foreign Head of Government to receive this award highlights the robust bilateral relations between India and Bhutan.

Recognition of Leadership:

  • The award acknowledges the Prime Minister’s leadership qualities, characterized by an unwavering commitment to progress, closely aligning with Bhutan’s national vision of achieving Self-Reliance.

Acknowledgement of Accomplishments:

  • The Prime Minister has been recognized as a transformative leader, elevating India from an ancient civilization to a dynamic hub of technology and innovation.

Commitment to Environmental Sustainability:

  • The award also acknowledges the Prime Minister’s dedication to environmental protection and investment in renewable energy, contributing to India’s comprehensive progress.

Key Pacts Signed by India and Bhutan

Railway Connectivity:

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was finalized to establish rail links between India and Bhutan, including the Kokrajhar-Gelephu and Banarhat-Samtse rail links.

Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricants (POL):

  • An agreement was established for the general supply of POL and related products from India to Bhutan, facilitating supply through designated entry/exit points.

Recognition of Bhutan Food And Drug Authority (BFDA):

  • An agreement was reached for the official recognition of BFDA’s control by the Food Safety and Standards Authority Of India (FSSAI), promoting ease of doing business and reducing compliance costs.

Cooperation in Energy Efficiency and Conservation:

  • An MoU aimed to assist Bhutan in enhancing household energy efficiency through initiatives like promoting a star labelling program and institutionalizing the training of energy auditors.

Pharmacopoeia, Vigilance, and Testing of Medicinal Products:

  • This MoU aimed to bolster cooperation and information exchange in medicine regulation, allowing Bhutan to accept the Indian Pharmacopoeia and procure generic medicines at affordable prices.

Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) on Space Cooperation:

  • A roadmap was established to further develop space cooperation through exchange programs and training initiatives.

Digital Connectivity:

  • Renewal of the MoU on Peering Arrangement between India’s National Knowledge Network (NKN) and Bhutan’s Druk Research And Education Network was signed.
  • This MoU seeks to bolster digital connectivity between India and Bhutan, benefiting scholars and research institutions in Bhutan.

Significance of Bhutan for India:

  • Strategic Buffer State: Bhutan’s location between India and China serves as a strategic buffer state, enhancing India’s security interests.
  • Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity: India’s assistance in defense, infrastructure, and communication has contributed to maintaining Bhutan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • Border Infrastructure Development: India’s support in building border infrastructure, including roads and bridges, has strengthened Bhutan’s defense capabilities and ensured territorial integrity.
  • Doklam Standoff Support: During the Doklam standoff with China in 2017, Bhutan played a crucial role by allowing Indian troops to enter its territory to resist Chinese incursions.
  • Trading Partner: India is Bhutan’s largest trading partner and primary export destination.
  • Hydropower Development: Bhutan’s hydropower potential is a significant revenue source, with India’s assistance in developing hydropower projects.
  • Financial Assistance: India provides financial assistance for Bhutan’s development projects.
  • Cultural Ties: Strong cultural ties exist due to shared Buddhist traditions, with India helping preserve Bhutan’s cultural heritage, and Bhutanese students studying in India.
  • Environmental Stewardship: Bhutan’s commitment to being carbon-neutral aligns with India’s efforts to promote environmental sustainability. India supports Bhutan in renewable energy, forest conservation, and sustainable tourism, contributing to Bhutan’s carbon-neutral goals.

Challenges in India-Bhutan Relations:

China’s Increasing Presence:

  • China’s growing economic and military influence in Bhutan, particularly along the disputed border, poses a challenge to India’s strategic interests in Bhutan.

 Border Incursions:

  • Incidents of border incursions by Chinese forces along the India-Bhutan border have raised concerns.
  • The Doklam standoff in 2017 was a significant flashpoint that could strain India-Bhutan relations if similar disputes escalate.

Hydropower Projects Concerns:

  • While India has been a major partner in Bhutan’s hydropower sector, there have been concerns in Bhutan regarding the terms of some hydropower projects, seen as too favorable to India.
  • Public opposition in Bhutan to Indian involvement in the sector has arisen.

Trade Imbalance:

  • India is Bhutan’s largest trading partner, but Bhutan faces a trade imbalance, importing more from India than it exports.
  • Bhutan seeks greater access to the Indian market to reduce the trade deficit.

-Source: The Hindu



Recently, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an alert warning of heatwave for 40°C in Thrissur and 39°C in Kollam and Palakkad districts of Kerala.


GS  III- Environment (Climate change)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Heat Wave
  2. Criteria for Heat Waves
  3. Health Impacts

About Heat Wave

  • A heat wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season in the North-Western and South Central parts of India.
  • Heat waves typically occur between March and June, and in some rare cases even extend till July.
  • Higher daily peak temperatures and longer, more intense heat waves are becoming increasingly frequent globally due to climate change.
 Criteria for Heat Waves
  • The heat wave is considered when the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C for Plains and at least 30°C for Hilly regions.
  • If the normal maximum temperature of a station is less than or equal to 40°C, then an increase of 5°C to 6°C from the normal temperature is considered to be heat wave condition.
  • Further, an increase of 7°C or more from the normal temperature is considered as severe heat wave condition.
  • If the normal maximum temperature of a station is more than 40°C, then an increase of 4°C to 5°C from the normal temperature is considered to be heat wave condition. Further, an increase of 6°C or more is considered as severe heat wave condition.
  • Additionally, if the actual maximum temperature remains 45°C or more irrespective of normal maximum temperature, a heat wave is declared.
 Health Impacts
  • The health impacts of Heat Waves typically involve dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke.
  • It also causes heat cramps, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps and sweating.
  • The extreme temperatures and resultant atmospheric conditions adversely affect people living in these regions as they cause physiological stress, sometimes resulting in death.

Source: The Hindu

Sickle Cell Anaemia


Amidst the unavailability of essential drugs to treat Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) at district healthcare institutions, there is growing concern about the challenges faced by people from marginalised Indigenous Tribal communities in managing the treatment of SCD.


GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Sickle Cell Anaemia
  2. Symptoms
  3. Treatment
  4. Indian Government Initiatives to reduce Sickle Cell Anaemia
  5. About the National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission

Sickle Cell Anaemia

  • Haemoglobin which is tasked with carrying oxygen to all parts of the body, has four protein subunits — two alpha and two beta.
  • In some people, mutations in the gene that creates the beta subunits impact the shape of the blood cell and distorts it to look like a sickle.
  • A round red blood cell can move easily through blood vessels because of its shape but sickle red blood cells end up slowing, and even blocking, the blood flow.
  • Moreover, sickle cells die early, resulting in a shortage of red blood cells that deprive the body of oxygen.
  • These obstructions and shortages may cause chronic anaemia, pain, fatigue, acute chest syndrome, stroke, and a host of other serious health complications.
  • Without treatment, quality of life is compromised and severe cases can become fatal in the initial years of life.

The symptoms of sickle cell anaemia can vary from person to person, but common symptoms include:

  • Painful episodes (sickle cell crisis)
  • Anaemia
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Delays in growth and development
  • Joint pain
  • frequent infections

Currently, there is no cure for sickle cell anaemia, but treatments are available to manage the symptoms and prevent complications.

  • Pain management
  • Blood transfusions
  • Antibiotics to prevent infections
  • Hydoxyurea, a medication to reduce the frequency of sickle cell crises
  • Stem cell transplantation in some cases
Indian Government Initiatives to reduce Sickle Cell Anaemia
  • The Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Rural Health Mission in different States are undertaking outreach programmes for better management and control of the disease.
  • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs launched a portal wherein people can register themselves if they have the disease or the trait, in order to collate all information related to SCA among tribal groups.
  • In the Budget, the Union Health Minister said the government plans to distribute “special cards” across tribal areas to people below the age of 40.
    • The cards will be divided into different categories based on the screening results.
    • The mission will receive funding under the National Health Mission.

National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission:

  • The mission aims to tackle the significant health challenges associated with sickle cell disease (SCD), with a particular focus on the tribal population.
  • It represents a crucial milestone in the Government’s ongoing efforts to eliminate SCD as a public health issue by 2047.

Objectives of the Mission:

Provision of Affordable and Accessible Care:

  • Ensure that all SCD patients have access to affordable and easily accessible healthcare services.
  • Improve the availability and affordability of SCD treatments and medications.

Quality of Care:

  • Enhance the quality of care provided to SCD patients.
  • Implement measures to ensure that healthcare facilities meet the required standards for SCD management.

Prevalence Reduction:

  • Implement strategies to reduce the prevalence of SCD in the population.
  • Focus on early detection and prevention methods to minimize the number of new SCD cases.

Health Promotion:

  • Raise awareness about SCD through health promotion campaigns.
  • Provide pre-marital genetic counseling to educate individuals about the risks associated with SCD.


  • Conduct universal screening programs to identify SCD cases at an early stage.
  • Emphasize the importance of early detection and prompt intervention to prevent complications.

Holistic Management & Continuum of Care:

  • Develop a comprehensive management approach for individuals with SCD.
  • Establish coordinated care across primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare levels.
  • Ensure adequate treatment facilities at tertiary healthcare institutions.

Patient Support System:

  • Establish a robust support system for SCD patients.
  • Provide guidance, counseling, and emotional support to patients and their families.

Community Adoption:

  • Encourage community involvement in SCD prevention and care.
  • Promote the adoption of preventive measures and support systems within local communities.
Coverage Targets:
  • The mission aims to reach a total of 7 crore people.
  • Provide screening, counseling, and care services for individuals with SCD within a three-and-a-half-year timeframe.

-Source: The Hindu

Great Indian Bustard


Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) has constituted an expert committee to balance the conservation and protection of the endangered Great Indian Bustard bird population with the country’s international commitments to promote Renewable sources of energy.


Prelims, GS-III: Environment and Ecology (Species in News, Conservation of Biodiversity)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the Great Indian Bustard
  2. About the Habitat of Great Indian Bustard

About the Great Indian Bustard

  • The Great Indian Bustard is one of the heaviest flying birds in the world often found associated in the same habitat as blackbuck.
  • GIBs are the largest among the four bustard species found in India, the other three being MacQueen’s bustard, lesser florican and the Bengal florican.
  • The GIB is Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, and comes under the Appendix I of CITES, and Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Threats to the GIB include widespread hunting for sport and food, and activities such as mining, stone quarrying, excess use of pesticides, grassland conversion and power projects along with the expansion of roads and infrastructures such as wind-turbines and power cables.

About the Habitat of Great Indian Bustard

  • The Great Indian Bustard’s habitat includes Arid and semi-arid grasslands with scattered short scrub, bushes and low intensity cultivation in flat or gently undulating terrain. It avoids irrigated areas.
  • GIBs’ historic range included much of the Indian sub-continent but it has now shrunken to just 10 per cent of it.
  • Among the heaviest birds with flight, GIBs prefer grasslands as their habitats. Being terrestrial birds, they spend most of their time on the ground with occasional flights to go from one part of their habitat to the other.
  • GIBs are considered the flagship bird species of grassland and hence barometers of the health of grassland ecosystems.
  • They feed on insects, lizards, grass seeds etc.

-Source: The Hindu

Scalable Instructable Multiworld Agent and AlphaGeometry


Google DeepMind has recently unveiled several AI products centered around Predictive AI Models, including SIMA (Scalable Instructable Multiworld Agent) and AlphaGeometry.


GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is SIMA?
  2. What is AlphaGeometry?
  3. Predictive AI: Unveiling Future Insights

What is SIMA?

Definition and Distinction:

  • SIMA is an AI Agent, differing from AI models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Google Gemini.
  • While AI models are trained on extensive datasets and are primarily limited to processing information, an AI Agent like SIMA can independently process data and execute actions.

Application in Gaming:

  • SIMA serves as a game-assisting AI, enhancing the overall gaming experience by actively participating in gameplay.
  • It functions as a generalist AI Agent capable of performing a variety of tasks, acting as a virtual companion in virtual environments ranging from exploring dungeons to constructing castles.

Language Processing and Comprehension:

  • SIMA is proficient in understanding human commands, having been trained to process human language effectively.
  • It can interpret and execute instructions, whether it’s building a castle or locating a treasure chest, accurately comprehending the intent behind such commands.

Learning and Adaptability:

  • A distinctive feature of SIMA is its capacity for learning and adaptation, evolving through its interactions with users to better cater to their needs and preferences.

Collaboration and Training:

  • Google DeepMind partnered with eight game studios to train SIMA across nine different video games, including titles like Teardown and No Man’s Sky.
  • Through this collaboration, SIMA acquired various skills encompassing navigation, menu utilization, resource mining, and piloting spaceships.

Testing Environments:

  • SIMA was evaluated in four distinct research environments, one of which was the Construction Lab in Unity, to assess its performance and capabilities in diverse settings.

What is AlphaGeometry?

  • AlphaGeometry is a specialized AI system developed by DeepMind to address intricate geometry problems.
  • Distinct from general-purpose AI models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Google’s Gemini, AlphaGeometry is specifically crafted for tasks related to geometric reasoning.
Technological Fusion:
  • The system melds advanced neural language modelling techniques with a symbolic deduction engine, honing in on algebraic and geometric reasoning.
  • Neural language models utilize neural network architectures, computational models inspired by the human brain’s structure and functionality.
  • Symbolic deduction employs logical reasoning methodologies that manipulate symbols and logical rules to deduce conclusions from given premises. This involves representing statements with symbols like variables and logical operators and applying logical rules based on predefined inference rules.
Operational Mechanism:
  • AlphaGeometry synergizes neural language models for intuitive idea generation with symbolic deduction for precise and logical reasoning.
  • When confronted with geometry problems, AlphaGeometry employs its language model to propose potential geometric constructs that could facilitate problem-solving.
  • These propositions guide the symbolic deduction engine in making further deductions, enabling a systematic approach to the solution.
Performance and Evaluation:
  • AlphaGeometry’s efficacy was assessed using a benchmark set of geometry problems sourced from the International Mathematical Olympiads (IMO).
  • The system exhibited remarkable performance, successfully solving a considerable portion of the problems within the competition’s time constraints.
  • AlphaGeometry outperformed previous AI systems specialized in geometry and approached the performance levels of human gold medallists in the IMO, underscoring its proficiency and potential in geometric problem-solving.

Predictive AI: Unveiling Future Insights

Predictive artificial intelligence (AI) is a groundbreaking technology leveraging machine learning to uncover patterns from historical data and forecast future events. Unlike traditional AI, which primarily analyzes past data, Predictive AI focuses on visionary capabilities, enabling organizations to anticipate outcomes, market shifts, and make strategic decisions with unprecedented foresight. Here’s how it works:

Understanding Predictive AI:

Utilizing Vast Data:

  • Predictive AI relies on access to vast datasets, known as “big data,” to perform accurate analysis and identify intricate patterns.

Leveraging Machine Learning (ML):

  • Machine learning, a subset of AI, is employed in predictive AI to train computer programs to identify data patterns without human intervention.
  • ML algorithms process large datasets autonomously, enabling predictive AI models to analyze vast amounts of data efficiently.

Pattern Recognition:

  • Predictive AI learns to associate specific types of data or occurrences, identifying patterns that indicate future events.
  • By examining hundreds or thousands of factors, Predictive AI can discern patterns and forecast events that may recur in the future.

Predictive AI vs. Generative AI

Common Ground:

  • Both predictive and generative AI leverage machine learning and access to extensive datasets to produce outputs.

Diverging Objectives:

  • Predictive AI employs machine learning to extrapolate future outcomes, while generative AI focuses on creating content.
  • For instance, predictive AI may forecast weather patterns to alert fishermen of upcoming storms, while generative AI could write a novel imagining various interactions between weather and fishing voyages.


  • While both types of AI use statistical analysis to predict patterns, their goals, machine learning models, and use cases differ significantly.

-Source: Indian Express

Gulaal Gota


In Jaipur, Rajasthan, the age-old tradition of celebrating Holi continues. This celebration involves the practice of “Gulaal Gota,” a unique tradition dating back around 400 years.


GS I: Culture

What is Gulaal Gota?

Description and Composition:
  • Gulaal Gota is a small ball crafted from lac, filled with dry gulaal, and typically weighs approximately 20 grams when filled.
Lac and Its Sourcing:
  • Lac is a resinous substance derived from specific insects, with the female scale insect being a primary source.
  • It takes about 300,000 insects to produce 1 kg of lac resin. Besides resin, lac insects also yield lac dye and lac wax.
  • The primary sources of lac are Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
Manufacturing Process:
  • Crafting Gulaal Gotas involves boiling lac in water to render it malleable, shaping it, introducing coloration, heating it, and subsequently inflating it into a spherical form using a blower known as “phunkni.”
Artisanal Legacy:
  • Gulaal Gotas are predominantly crafted by Muslim lac artisans, referred to as Manihaars, in Jaipur. These artisans acquired their lac-crafting skills from Hindu lac artisans in Bagru, a town proximate to Jaipur.
Historical Significance and Cultural Preservation:
  • Established in 1727 by Sawai Jai Singh II, Jaipur, renowned for its vibrant cultural heritage, dedicates a lane at the Tripoliya Bazaar to the Manihaar community, known as “Manihaaron ka Raasta.”
  • This lane serves as a central marketplace for trading lac bangles, jewelry, and Gulaal Gota, safeguarding the city’s artistic heritage.
  • Historically, during the Holi festival, kings would traverse the city on elephant back, dispersing Gulaal Gotas to the populace, and the royal family would commission Gulaal Gota for the festival at their palace.
Challenges and Government Interventions:
  • The demand for bangles made solely from lac has waned due to Jaipur evolving into a center for manufacturing inexpensive, chemical-laden bangles.
  • To support Lac Bangle and Gulaal Gota artisans, the Indian government has issued “artisan cards,” enabling them to access benefits from governmental schemes.
  • Additionally, there’s a call from Gulaal Gota artisans to procure a Geographical Indication (GI) tag, aiming to protect their product from counterfeit production and enhance awareness of its unique regional authenticity.

-Source: Indian Express