1. World Air Quality Report 2023 –


  • India has been identified as the world’s third most polluted country, as per the World Air Quality Report 2023 by Swiss organisation IQAir, with an average annual PM2.5 concentration of 54.4 micrograms per cubic meter.
  • Bangladesh and Pakistan surpassed India in pollution levels, becoming the most and second most polluted countries, respectively.
  • 9 out of the top 10 most polluted cities in the world are from India. India’s air quality deteriorated compared to the previous year, with Delhi emerging as the world’s most polluted capital city for the fourth consecutive time.
  • Begusarai in Bihar is labelled as the world’s most polluted metropolitan area, with an average PM2.5 concentration of 118.9 micrograms per cubic meter.
  • Around 136 million Indians (96% of the Indian population) face PM2.5 concentrations (seven times) higher than the World Health Organization’s recommended levels of 5 micrograms per cubic meter.
  • Over 66% of Indian cities have reported annual averages higher than 35 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3).
  • 5 pollution, primarily from burning fossil fuels, is linked to increased rates of heart attack, stroke, and oxidative stress, with severe health implications.


  1. New Electric Vehicle Policy 2024 –


  • In a significant development, the Government of India has greenlit a strategic policy aimed at positioning India as a prime manufacturing hub for electronic vehicles (e-vehicles).
  • This initiative is not only geared towards bolstering the nation’s technological prowess but also aligns with the overarching goal of fortifying the ‘Make in India’ campaign.

Highlights of the Policy-

  • Duty Reduction for EV Imports- The policy slashes customs duty rate to 15% (applicable to Completely Knocked Down – CKD units) will be imposed on EVs with a minimum CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) value of USD 35,000 or above for a total period of 5 years.
  • Import Cap and Investment Prerequisites- While allowing reduced-duty imports, the policy caps the number of imported EVs at 8,000 per year. Manufacturers must invest a minimum of Rs 4,150 crore (∼USD 500 Mn) to avail duty concessions. There’s no ceiling on the maximum investment, incentivising substantial capital infusion into the sector.
  • Manufacturing and Value Addition Requirements- To promote local manufacturing, companies must set up operational facilities within 3 years and achieve a minimum domestic value addition (DVA) of 25% within the same period, escalating to 50% within 5 years from the date of issuance of approval letter by the Ministry of Heavy Industries.
  • Maximum Import Allowance- If the investment exceeds USD 800 Mn, up to 40,000 EVs can be imported, not exceeding 8,000 per year. Companies can carry over any unused annual import limits.
  • Duty Limit- The total duty waived on imported EVs will be capped at the investment made or Rs 6484 Cr (equal to incentive under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for Automobile and Auto Components), whichever is lower.
  • Bank Guarantees- The bank guarantee will only be returned upon achieving 50% DVA and making an investment of at least Rs 4,150 crore or to the extent of duty foregone in 5 years, whichever is higher.


  1. India and Brazil hold First Inaugural ‘2+2’ Dialogue –


  • India and Brazil conducted their first-ever ‘2+2’ defence and foreign ministerial dialogue, discussing cooperation in key areas.
  • The talks focused on expanding cooperation in various areas, including energy, critical minerals, technology, and counter-terrorism.
  • The ‘2+2’ defence and foreign ministerial dialogue involves the participation of the defence and foreign ministers of two countries, along with their respective counterparts, to discuss strategic and security-related issues, as well as diplomatic matters.
  • India conducts ‘2+2’ dialogues with key strategic partners: theUS, Australia, Japan, UK and Russia. The US holds the oldest and most significant ‘2+2’ talks partnership with India.