top of page

20April 2023

State of World Population Report, 2023

News:  UN Population Fund (UNFPA) released the State of World Population Report, 2023



  • The world’s population hit the 800-crore mark in November 2022.

  • India will become the most populous country by mid-2023.

  • The population of India is pegged to reach 142.86 crores against China’s 142.57 crores.

  • The United States have a population of about 34 crores and stands in 3rd place.

  • It also predicted 

    • Just eight countries will account for half the projected growth in global population by 2050 i.e. the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania. 

    • While two-thirds of people now live in a country where lifetime fertility corresponds with zero growth.



Quantum Mission

News: Union Cabinet approved the ₹6,003 crores National Quantum Mission (NQM).

About Quantum Mission:

  • The mission was budgeted for ₹8,000 crore in the Union Budget of 2023.

  • It will fund research and development of quantum computing technology and associated applications.

  • Quantum mission aimed at the development of a reliable class of computers that work several times faster than the speediest machines of today and also facilitate exponentially secure communication networks, with wide applications.

  • Quantum computers work on the principles of quantum mechanics.

  • The plan involves developing Intermediate scale quantum computers:

    •  they will have  20-50 physical ‘qubits’ in three years, 

    • 50-100 physical qubits in five years and 

    • 50-1,000 physical qubits in eight years. 

    • Just like bits (1 and 0) are the basic units by which computers process information, ‘qubits’ or ‘quantum bits’ are the units of process by quantum computers.

  • Other aim include 

    • developing satellite-based secure quantum communications between ground stations over a range of 2,000 kilometres within India, 

    • long distance secure quantum communications with other countries, 

    • inter-city quantum key distribution over 2,000 km as well as multi-node quantum network with quantum memories are also some of the deliverables of the mission.

  • Development of navigation systems

    • Mission will help develop magnetometers with high sensitivity in atomic systems, atomic clocks for precision timing, communications and navigation. 

  • It also includes fabrication of quantum materials such as superconductors, novel semiconductor structures, and topological materials for fabrication of quantum devices.

  •  Thematic Hubs (T-Hubs): 

    • Four thematic hubs would be set up in top academic and National R&D institutes on the domains of ‘quantum computing’, ‘quantum communication’, ‘quantum sensing and metrology’ and ‘quantum materials and devices’. 

    • The hubs will focus on the generation of new knowledge through basic and applied research as well as promote R&D in areas that are mandated to them.

  • Only six countries so far have some capability in this domain. This mission will bring India to the forefront along with them.


Galapagos Islands

NEWS: An unknown coral reef was discovered by a scientific expedition with abundant marine life off Ecuador's Galapagos Islands


About Galapagos Island:

  • They are located in the Pacific Ocean off the Ecuadorian coast.

  • It ispresent on either side of the Equator with an underwater wildlife spectacle with abundant life.

  • Geology of the Island:

    • Three major tectonic plates Nazca, Cocos and Pacific meet at the basis of the ocean, which is of significant geological interest.

    • The Galapagos are very young with the largest and youngest islands, Isabela and Fernandina, with less than one million years of existence, and the oldest islands, Española and San Cristóbal, somewhere between three to five million years. 

  • It is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978.

  • Mount Azul is the highest point of the Galapagos Islands. 


About Coral Reefs

  • Corals are marine invertebrates i.e. the animals not possessing a spine.

  • Each coral is called a polyp and thousands of such polyps live together to form a colony, which grows when polyps multiply to make copies of themselves.

  • Corals share a symbiotic relationship with single-celled algae called zooxanthellae.

  • The algae provide the coral with food and nutrients, which they make through photosynthesis, using the sun’s light.

In turn, the corals give the algae a home and key nutrients. The zooxanthellae also give corals their bright colour.

bottom of page