Shifts in Public Opinion on Governance Models: Insights from Pew Research Survey : 

High Support for Authoritarian Governance:
In India, 85% of respondents expressed support for military rule or rule by an authoritarian leader, the highest among the 24 surveyed countries.
Decline in Support for Democratic Values:
The survey revealed a decline in the belief in representative democracy in India, with only 36% considering it a very good approach in 2023 compared to 44% in 2017.
Preference for Technocracy:
There was a notable increase in the preference for governance by experts over elected officials, possibly influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 82% supporting this model in 2023 compared to 65% in 2017.
Association with Attitudes Towards Opposition Parties:
Countries where the importance of Opposition parties was less emphasized tended to have higher support for authoritarian forms of governance. In India, the share of those valuing Opposition parties’ freedom was the third lowest among the surveyed countries.
Regional Trends:
Support for authoritarian governance was more prevalent in middle-income countries, Asia-Pacific, Africa, and Latin America compared to wealthier regions like Europe and North America.
Survey Methodology:
Face-to-face interviews conducted by the Pew Research Center from March 25 to May 11, 2023, excluding certain regions but ensuring proportional representation across demographics.

Challenges and Controversies Surrounding Global University Rankings : 

Dominance of Ranking Systems:
Ranking systems like THE, QS, ARWU, and U.S. News & World Report wield significant influence in shaping higher education policies worldwide.
Unidimensional Metrics:
Critics argue that these rankings oversimplify complex university roles into single scores, akin to GDP measuring prosperity, leading to flawed comparisons and prioritization of certain aspects over others.
Concerns with Citation Metrics:
The reliance on metrics like citations for research excellence has raised concerns about manipulation and the disproportionate impact of individual researchers’ work on overall rankings.
Conflicts of Interest:
Private-ranking entities have faced scrutiny for allegedly consulting with universities to improve their ranks, raising questions about the integrity and impartiality of the ranking process.
Boycotts and Withdrawals:
Some prominent institutions, including Harvard, Yale, and Utrecht University, have boycotted or withdrawn from ranking systems due to conflicts between ranking criteria and institutional goals.
Data Security Issues:
Participation in ranking exercises often requires universities to grant ranking agencies broad rights over their data, compromising data security and privacy.
Need for Reevaluation:
Critics argue that while rankings may incentivize improvements in some areas, they also promote harmful behaviors and produce long-term negative effects on the higher education landscape.

Granting of Geographical Indication (GI) Tag to Cuttack Rupa Tarakasi and Other Products : 

Recognition of Craftsmanship:
The Geographical Indications Registry in Chennai has awarded the GI tag to Cuttack Rupa Tarakasi (silver filigree), acknowledging its traditional association with fine craftsmanship and luxurious design in classical jewellery.
Historical Significance:
Historical records suggest that filigree work dates back to 3,500 BCE in Mesopotamia and possibly reached Cuttack from Persia through Indonesia around 500 years ago via sea trade. Evidence of jewellery exchange between Kalinga and Indonesia further supports this claim.
Other Products with GI Tags:
• Banglar Muslin from Bengal
• Narasapur crochet lace products
• Kutch rogan craft
• Ratlam Riyawan Lahsun (Garlic) from Madhya Pradesh, and
• Ambaji White Marble are among the products that have also received GI tags.
Diverse Cultural Heritage:
The Majuli Mask of Assam, known for its various sizes and categories like Mukha bhaona, Lotokoi hanging mask, and Cho Mukha, along with Tripura Risa Textile,
Hyderabad Lac Bangles, and Assam Majuli Manuscript Painting, have been granted GI tags, highlighting the rich cultural heritage of India’s handicrafts and textiles

Understanding Geographical Indication (GI) Tags : 

Definition and Purpose:
A GI tag is a designation used on products that have a specific geographical origin, ensuring that only authorized users or residents of that region can use the product name. It safeguards against unauthorized copying or imitation of the product.
Protection and Authorization:
The GI tag protects products with unique qualities or characteristics linked to their geographical origin, preventing others from exploiting the reputation associated with that location.
Validity and Oversight:
A registered GI is valid for 10 years and is overseen by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in India.
Legal Framework:
• The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, governs the registration and protection of GIs in India.
• It aligns with the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the Paris Convention, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding industrial property and geographical indications as part of intellectual property rights