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Current Affairs 5 March 2024 for UPSC And State PSC Exam

Project Seabird

In News- The Defence Minister is set to open two large piers and seven towers, comprising 320 residences for Navy officers and Defence civilians, under Project Seabird at the Naval Base Karwar in Karnataka.

Project Seabird About

  • Location and Name: INS Kadamba, also known as Naval Base Karwar or Project Seabird, is situated near Karwar in Karnataka, India.
  • Initial Construction and Commissioning: The base’s first construction phase, known as Project Seabird, concluded in 2005, with the commissioning ceremony held on May 31, 2005. The development of the base’s second phase started in 2011.
  • Current Status and Future Projection: At present, INS Kadamba is the third-largest naval base in India. It is anticipated to become the largest naval base in the eastern hemisphere after the completion of the expansion Phase IIB.
  • Extent of Construction: The construction during Phase I covered an area of 11,169 acres.
  • Key Deployments: The base serves as the home for the Navy’s aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.

Project Seabird History

  • Post-1971 War Insight: Following the Indo-Pak War of 1971, India recognized the need for an additional naval base due to congestion and security concerns at Mumbai Harbour, affecting its Western Fleet.
  • Project Initiation: Officially approved in 1985, the foundation stone for the naval base in Karwar, Karnataka, was laid by Rajiv Gandhi on October 24, 1986.
  • Significance: This project is distinguished by being the first in India to feature a sealift facility and an innovative transfer system for the docking and undocking of ships and submarines.
  • Phase One Completion: In 2005, the inaugural phase was completed, featuring a deep-sea harbour, breakwaters, dredging operations, a township, a naval hospital, a dockyard uplift centre, and a ship lift.
  • Second Phase Beginnings: The development of the second phase of INS Kadamba started in 2011, is aimed at enhancing the base’s capacity.
  • Expansion Plans: Phase 2 is segmented into parts 2A and 2B, focusing on enlarging docking facilities for more warships, adding a new Naval Air Station, and executing other expansion projects.
  • Future Projections: Upon final completion, it will emerge as the largest naval base in the Eastern Hemisphere, with provisions to host approximately 32 warships, 23 submarines, and hangars for various aircraft.

Women, Business and Law Index

News- In the World Bank’s Women, Business and Law index, India has seen its position rise to 113th among 190 countrie


  • Objective: The index is developed by the World Bank to gauge the impact of laws and regulations on women’s economic opportunities.
  • Scoring System: It operates on a scale from 0 to 100, where a score of 100 signifies that women and men have equal legal rights.
  • Areas of Evaluation: The index assesses laws and regulations across eight key areas affecting economic participation: Mobility, Workplace, Pay, Marriage, Parenthood, Entrepreneurship, Assets, and Pension.
  • Purpose of Data: Provides objective and measurable benchmarks to track global advancement towards legal gender equality.

Highlights of 2024 Index

  • Report Edition: The 2024 report marks the 10th edition.
  • Global Scores: No country achieved a full score in the index, highlighting a universal lack of equal rights for women.
  • India’s Position: Improved to 113th among 190 countries.
  • Legal Rights in India: Women in India have access to 60% of the legal rights that men do, which is below the global average of 64.2%.

Accelerating Progress Toward Gender Equality in Business and the Law: Actions for Governments:

  • Law Reform and Policy Enhancement: Intensify reforms and policies to bolster women’s capacity to engage in employment and entrepreneurship.
  • Enhancement of Legal Protections: Strengthen legislation regarding women’s security, childcare accessibility, and entrepreneurial ventures.
  • Supportive Framework Establishment: Develop supportive structures for the effective execution of laws that advocate for gender equality.
  • Equal Pay and Job Opportunity Laws: Implement reforms ensuring equal remuneration for equivalent work and remove barriers to women’s participation in industrial roles.
  • Maternity and Paternity Leave Expansion: Broaden leave entitlements for new parents and outlaw the termination of employment due to pregnancy.
  • Sexual Harassment Prohibition: Ban sexual harassment across workplaces, public areas, educational institutions, and digital platforms.
  • Parental Financial Assistance and Childcare Quality: Offer financial aid to parents of young children and set high standards for childcare services.
  • Corporate Quotas and Procurement Policies: Enforce mandatory quotas for female representation on company boards and integrate gender-sensitive criteria in public procurement.
  • Equal Retirement Benefits: Guarantee equal pension benefits for women, considering career breaks for childcare purposes.

National Leopard Survey

News- The 2022 National Leopard Survey in India has unveiled mixed results regarding the population of leopards, revealing a nuanced story of conservation success and ongoing challenges. While there’s a notable increase in leopard numbers within and around tiger reserves, the scenario looks grim in areas beyond these protected zones.

Survey Highlights

The survey estimates a total leopard population of 13,874, marking a significant leap from the 7,910 estimated in 2014. However, the real comparison begins with the 2018 figures when technological advancements provided a clearer picture.

A commendable 21% increase in leopard numbers was observed in areas surrounding tiger reserves from 2018 to 2022. Conversely, a slight 1% decline was noted in regions outside these protected areas, raising concerns over human-leopard conflict and poaching.

Core of the Matter

The survey points towards a lopsided distribution of the leopard population, with a significant portion residing within a small fraction of their overall habitat range. This uneven distribution underscores the pressing need for focused conservation efforts beyond the protected areas.

Challenges Unveiled

  • Human-Leopard Conflict: The adaptability of leopards to live near human settlements, while a testament to their resilience, has rendered them susceptible to conflicts, often leading to fatal outcomes for these majestic cats.
  • Poaching: Alarmingly, leopards continue to fall prey to illegal poaching activities, driven by a high demand for their body parts in illegal wildlife trade markets. Historical data suggests a worrying trend of leopard poaching, with thousands of these animals killed over the past decades.
  • Habitat Fragmentation: The development of infrastructure and mining activities without adequate environmental safeguards is fragmenting the leopard’s habitat, posing yet another hurdle to their survival.

Conservation Imperatives

The survey underscores the imperative need for a holistic approach to leopard conservation that extends beyond the boundaries of tiger reserves and protected areas. Addressing the root causes of human-leopard conflict, tightening the noose around poaching activities, and mitigating habitat fragmentation are critical to ensuring the survival of this species.

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