Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs – 8th September 2023



Today’s Topics List:

  1. G 20 : Five thigs to Note

  2. Spotting Dark Patterns

  3. Efforts of a DM: Consequences



G 20 : Five thigs to Note


  • On September 9th 2023, world’s top leaders will gather in New Delhi for the G20 Summit to discuss the global challenges of our times and to possibly find a direction towards resolving some of them.

India and Multilateral conferences:

  • India has hosted multilateral conferences, events and summits earlier, none of the below could have rivalled the scale and importance of the G20 Summit of 2023,
    • UNESCO conference in 1956,
    • The Asian Games of 1982,
    • The Famous NAM summit of March 1983,
    • The Common wealth games of 2010,
    • The india – Africa Forum summit in 2015.

Prominence of the G 20 Summit 2023,

  • For the first time, leaders of all permanent members of the United nations Securty council – P 5 Countries will be in New Delhi at the same time.
    • Chinese president Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have chosen to give the summit a miss but will be represented by miniters.

What to take out of the summit?

  • Building a consensus in a polarised world:
  • Ukraine – Russia conflict has polarised the grouping and the biggest challenge that India will have is to negotiate a compromise document in the G 20 comminique.
    • G 7 Nations wants condemnatory language on Russia’s actions and words.
    • Russia and China will allow none of that.
    • The Bali Summit in 2022 succeeded to formulate a language that was acceptable to both the US – led western alliance and Russia- China’s bloc. The same is expected from this summit.

Expansion of the reach of Foreign Policy:

  • G20 meetings and priorities were taken to every part of the country, where it held 200 plus meetings across more than 50 locations.
    • Some critics has seen this as a political campaign by Narendra Modi.
    • But, it has ensured wide spread awareness of India’s Presidency across cities and even tire – 2 towns.
    • This could result in a situation where foreign policy and diplomacy become a talking point in India’s elections

Deliverables, the Present and the future:

  • India is discussing and ambitious set of proposals across sectors such as – sigital public infrastructure, gender, development, multilateral reforms, climate change, health and future pandemics, use of technology.
    • Sherpas will have to come up with final actionable concrete outcomes for the leaders declaration.
  • These deliverables are also being discussed so they can be implemented by the future presidencies – Brazil and South Africa and Next.

Vocie of the global South

  • India has taken up the mantle of leading the developing and underdeveloped world during G20 Presidency.
    • The economic hardships de to Covid -19 induced pandemic and Russia Ukraine war endangered issues of food security and a crisis in fuel and fertiliser prices, which have hit the developing and under developed countries the most.
    • India organised the Voice of Global South Summit in January 2023.
    • The views and concerns expressed by these countries, which comprise 85% of the world’s GDP and 75% of global trade, were brought to the table of the G20.
  • India has also advocated expansion of G 20 by including African Union, that has 54 countries. Till now it has only one African Country – South Africa.
    • If G20 expands to G21 by the end of New Delhi’s membership, Delhi’s claim to permanent council membership will also be strengthened.

The China’s Conundrum:

  • China, has become the biggest challenge of India’s G 20 membership.
    • Its stranded ties over ongoing border standoff will be underlined by Chinese president’s absence from the summit.
    • This shows the limits of multilateral summits insofar as Delhi and Beijing have been unable to keep their differences from coming in the way of a multilateral summit.
  • Despite border dispute, the two countries have cooperated at UN, BRICS, Shanghai Cooperation organisation (SCO), the Climate change Conference (COP) even the G20.
    • Now there is a danger of bilateral ties going the India – Pakistan way at multi lateral for a- such as the virtual collapse of SAARC.

         In a world polarised by the Russia-Ukraine war, India’s biggest challenge is to negotiate a compromise document in the G20 communique. The strained ties with China present an additional complication. But India’s G20 Presidency has major achievements to show, and significant good will to gather.




Spotting Dark Patterns

    • The Department of Consumer affairs, Union Government released draft guidelines to curb “dark patterns” used by online platforms that create a sense of false urgency.
      • The objective is to clearly identify and define tactics as dark patterns so that the Ministry of Consumer affairs can act against platforms under Section 18 of the Consumer Protection Act,2019.

Draft documents:

  • The nine-page draft document defines “dark patterns” as “any practices or deceptive design patterns using UI/UX (User Interface/ User experience) interactions on any platforms.
    • Design to mislead or trick users to do something they originally did not intend or want to buy.
    • They subvert or impart the consumer autonomy, decision making or choice – amounting to misleading advertisement or unfair trade practice or violation of consumer rights.
  • They shall apply to all platforms systematically offering goods or services in India, advertisers and sellers.
  • They propose prohibition against engaging in dark patterns.
  • The document specifies 10 types of dark patterns such as,

Dark Pattern


Dark Pattern


False Urgency

Falsely implying a sense of urgency to mislead a user into making an immediate purchase or taking an immediate action

Interface interference


Manipulating user interface in ways that highlights certain specific information and obscures others. A common example is designing a light-coloured option for selecting ‘no’ in response to a pop-up

Basket Sneaking


Inclusion of additional items at the time of check out without consent

Bait and switch

Advertising a particular outcome based on user action but serving an alternate outcome

Confirm Shaming


Creating fear, shame or guilt to nudge the user to purchase a product

Drip pricing


Elements of prices are not revealed upfront or are revealed surreptitiously

Forced action


Forcing a user into taking an action that would require them to buy additional good (s) or subscribe or signup for an unrelated service, order to get the  product originally intended

Disguised advertising


Masking advertisements as other types of content such as user generated content or news articles

Subscription trap


Making cancellation of a paid subscription impossible or complex and hiding the cancellation option, among others.



Buyers facing overload of unrelated requests, information, options or interruptions

  • A letter dated 28.06.2023 was sent by the Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs to E-commerce companies, Industry Associations and participants of stakeholder consultation, requesting them to refrain from incorporating any design or pattern in the online interface of their platform that may deceive or manipulate consumer choice and fall in the category of dark patterns.
    • It strongly advised online platforms to not engage in ‘unfair trade practices’ by incorporating dark patterns in their online interface to manipulate consumer choice and violate ‘consumer rights’ as enshrined under Section 2(9) of the Consumer ProtectionAct,2019



Efforts of a DM: Consequences


  • Residents of Laharia Dah, in eastern UP, is located on a hill top in the semi-arid landscape of Mirzapur district, relied on tankers that provide 15-30 litres per person, a small “jharna” (reservoir) around 1 km away and a well that was repaired.

Divya Mittal and her efforts:

  • She is a 2013 batch IAS officer posted in the district on September 1st , 2022. Here observations on the situation when she took charge:
    • Even after 75 years of Independence, people of the village did not have access to water.
    • When she went there for the frst time, she revealed shed did not have heart to drink water from her own water bottle Infront of the villagers (Empathy).
    • Aadhaar cards were used to issue water through tankers.
    • People did not marry their daughters to this village.
  • One tanker that comes to the village costs Rs.800, generally 8 to 10 tankers were required each day, In summer this increases to 10 – 15.
    • Devhat Gram Saha is currently in debt of Rs.20 lakhs because they have been paying for water from private tankers.
  • Her team worked for 9 months beating the challenges of geography, finances and other logistics and achieved what people said was impossible.
    • She efficiently used the ‘Har ghar Jal” , the piped water scheme to supply clean, safe water directly to every home in the village.
  • Villagers said, While they gave petitions to lot of politicians and ministers, It was her who promised and kept up her promise of bringing water to the village.

What happened later?

  • Following the “jal pujan” on September 1st local politician complained against Mittal that,
    • The scheme Har Ghar Jal was launched by the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister, the responsibility of the district magistrate is to ensure that the scheme is implemented and water reaches villages.
    • The inauguration has to be done by someone from the government which is a protocol and culture too. But others were not invited for the pujan.
  • On September 4th , the supply pipe was broken by anti social elements, and the water supply stopped once again.
    • With the pipeline broken, the village is back to depending on the tankers.
    • With lines on the highway before the tanker arrived.
    • An arduous task og collecting water from the “jharna”.
  • Divya Mittal was transferred to Basti District, before being put on a waitlist by the state government.
    • People from across Mirzapur gathered to thank her.
    • Mittal who has an MBA from IIM Banglore and did her B.Tech from IIT Delhi, had quit her job as an exotic derivatives trade in London to join the Civil services, felt this is an emotional moment for her and that she is happy that the water has reached the village.

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