Daily News Analysis 5 May 2023

 Table of Contents


  • A boost for science, a wider window to the universe

Facts for Prelims

  • World Press Freedom Index 2023
  • Buland Bharat exercise
  • What is behind Manipur’s widespread unrest?

A boost for science, a wider window to the universe


The construction of LIGO-India is a leg-up for gravitational wave science and the universal progress of science that transcends borders

What are Gravitational Waves?

  • Ripples in space-time created by colossal events like black hole mergers, supernovae explosions, and neutron star collisions
  • Discovered in 2015 by LIGO
  • Not light but ripples in the fabric of the universe itself

The History of LIGO

  • A research initiative started by the US National Science Foundation in the late 1970s
  • The world\’s largest gravitational wave observatory with facilities in Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana
  • Uses lasers to detect ripples in space-time through interferometry
  • Provides new clues about merging black holes, neutron stars, and the origin of the universe

LIGO as an Experiment

  • LIGO is an experiment of pre-eminent scale and complexity
  • The data LIGO collects have far-reaching implications in many areas of physics
  • Astronomers can now \”hear\” the universe through gravitational waves
  • Provides opportunities for scientific talent and inspires the next generation of STEM leaders

Benefits of Collaboration

  • LIGO-India is a collaboration between the LIGO Laboratory, India’s RRCAT, IPR, IUCAA, and DCSEM
  • Joins the global network of detectors in the US, Italy, and Japan
  • Pushes the boundaries of science and technology and helps unlock the universe’s greatest mysteries
  • Provides scientists with a wider window into the universe and inspires the next generation

LIGO-India\’s Funding

  • LIGO-India is a ground-breaking collaboration fueled by a $320 million investment from India
  • Creates new opportunities in Maharashtra’s Hingoli district
  • Projects like LIGO-India can create jobs across the technical workforce

What is LIGO-India?

  • LIGO-India is a major milestone for gravitational wave science and universal progress
  • The observatory will help answer fundamental questions about the cosmos
  • A resource for students, researchers, and educators throughout local communities
  • A way to accelerate discovery and innovation in India and around the world

LIGO\’s Impact on Astronomy

  • LIGO has opened an entirely new way of observing the universe
  • Gravitational waves provide new insights into black holes, neutron stars, and the early universe
  • Provides a complementary approach to observing the cosmos alongside light and the electromagnetic spectrum


LIGO-India is a collaboration that transcends borders and will benefit the global community.Provides an opportunity to further our understanding of the universe and inspire future generations of scientists.A testament to the power of collaboration and investment in scientific research and discovery


World Press Freedom Index 2023



India’s ranking in the recently released 2023 World Press Freedom Index has slipped to 161 out of 180 countries.

About World Press Freedom Index 2023

  • Annual report by Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
  • Compares media freedom in 180 countries and territories
  • Ranking based on political, legislative, economic, sociocultural, and safety categories
  • India ranks 161 out of 180 countries, slipping 11 ranks since the 2022 report

India\’s Ranking in World Press Freedom Index 2023

  • India\’s press freedom has gone from \”problematic\” to \”very bad\”
  • Neighboring countries Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Afghanistan have better ranks than India
  • India\’s ranking is the lowest among its neighboring countries except for Bangladesh, Myanmar, and China
  • India\’s lowest ranking is in the safety of journalists category, at 172 out of 180 countries

Norway\’s Ranking in World Press Freedom Index 2023

  • Norway ranked first for the seventh consecutive year
  • Norway has the highest level of press freedom in the world
  • Other countries in the top 5 are Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and Costa Rica
  • The United States ranks 44th, dropping 6 ranks from the previous year

About Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

  • International NGO that defends and promotes media freedom
  • Headquarters in Paris, France
  • Has consultative status with the United Nations
  • Defines press freedom as the ability of journalists to produce and disseminate news in the public interest independent of interference and threats to their safety

Definition of Press Freedom by RSF

  • Press freedom is the ability of journalists to select, produce, and disseminate news in the public interest
  • Press freedom should be independent of political, economic, legal, and social interference
  • Journalists should be able to work without threats to their physical and mental safety
  • RSF defines press freedom as a fundamental human right and a necessary condition for democracy and development.


Buland Bharat exercise



Recently, the Army held a ‘Buland Bharat’ exercise in Arunachal to test synergy in simulated war conditions.

Buland Bharat – An Integrated Exercise

  • Buland Bharat is a training exercise to simulate war conditions in high altitude areas.
  • The exercise was held at Mandala High Altitude Firing Ranges in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The objective of the exercise is to test troops and equipment in simulated war conditions and extreme weather.
  • The exercise lasted for a month and culminated in a test exercise.

Surveillance and Firepower Training

  • The exercise involved synergised surveillance and firepower training.
  • Infantry and artillery radars, weapon systems, and direction of fire from the air were practised.
  • Plans for integrated firepower were validated, with synchronised firing from artillery guns and fire support components of the infantry.
  • The exercise involved the coordination of Special Forces, Aviation, and Central Armed Police Forces deployed in West Kameng and Tawang districts of Arunachal Pradesh.

Communication and Distance Testing

  • Uninterrupted communication on multiple media was tested over long distances.
  • Communication tests were conducted in extreme weather conditions.
  • The exercise aimed to validate communication plans for use in high altitude areas.
  • Communication was tested between different branches of the military and police forces.

Gajraj Corps

  • The exercise was held under the Gajraj Corps.
  • The Gajraj Corps handles major responsibilities from counterinsurgency to the Line of Actual Control in West Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The Tawang area is included in the responsibilities of the Gajraj Corps.
  • The Gajraj Corps is responsible for maintaining security in high altitude areas.

Significance of the Exercise

  • The exercise aimed to test troops and equipment in high altitude areas and extreme weather.
  • Buland Bharat validated plans for integrated firepower and communication in high altitude areas.
  • The exercise involved coordination between different branches of the military and police forces.
  • Buland Bharat is significant for maintaining security in high altitude areas, including the Tawang area.


What is behind Manipur’s widespread unrest?



The large-scale arson and violence claiming the life of at least one person on May 3 and 4 followed a “tribal solidarity rally” against the reported move to include the Meiteis in the ST list.

Manipur’s Ethnic Composition

  • Manipur is divided into the Imphal Valley (playfield) and surrounding hills (galleries)
  • The valley is home to the non-tribal Meitei community who make up 64% of the population and dominate politics
  • The hills are home to over 35% recognised tribes but are politically underrepresented
  • Meiteis are mostly Hindus or Muslims, while tribes are mostly Christians

Meitei Argument for ST Status:

  • The Manipur High Court directed the State to pursue a 10-year-old recommendation to grant ST status to the Meitei community
  • Meiteis were recognised as a tribe before the merger of the State with India in 1949
  • ST status is necessary to preserve Meitei culture and language, as well as ancestral land
  • Constitutional safeguards are needed against outsiders buying land in the shrinking Imphal Valley

Tribal Groups’ Opposition to ST Status for Meiteis:

  • Meiteis have a demographic and political advantage, as well as higher levels of education
  • ST status for Meiteis could lead to loss of job opportunities and allow them to acquire land in the hills, pushing out tribals
  • Meiteis already have access to benefits associated with SC, OBC, or EWS status
  • Many tribal groups see this as an attempt by valley dwellers to make inroads into hill areas of the State

Reasons for Unrest in Manipur:

  • The State launched an eviction drive, seen as targeting a specific tribal group, in February
  • Anti-drug drive and destruction of poppy fields led to tensions with ethnic groups from Myanmar
  • March 10 protest against eviction of Kuki village residents
  • Some pro-government groups claim vested interests are trying to scuttle Chief Minister’s crusade against drugs

May 3rd Protest:

  • A “tribal solidarity rally” against the reported move to include Meiteis in the ST list led to large-scale arson and violence
  • At least one person was killed
  • This was the largest protest since the eviction drive in February
  • The Manipur government withdrew from the suspension of operations with two Kuki extremist groups accused of inciting the protesters.




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