About Optical fibre:

  • Optical fibres are made of thin cylindrical strands of glass.
  • The diameter of a typical fibre is close to the diameter of a human hair.
  • These fibres can carry information, such as text, images, videos, telephone calls, and anything that can be encoded as digital information, across large distances almost at the speed of light.
  • Ultra-thin fibres seem very fragile.
  • But when manufactured correctly as a long thread surrounded by protectives, they serve the purpose in a durable way.
  • They are strong, light, and flexible, and ideal to be buried underground, drawn underwater, or bent around a spool.

Future of fibre cables:

  • Fibre optics technology has since been used in telecommunication, medical science, laser technology, and sensing.



  • Irish author Paul Lynch won the 2023 Booker Prize for fiction for his novel Prophet Song.
  • He becomes the fifth Irish writer to win the high-profile literary prize.
  • The Booker prizer is open to works of fiction by writers of any nationality, written in English and published in the U.K. or Ireland.
  • The Booker was first awarded in 1969.
  • In 2022, Sri Lankan writer Shehan Karunatilakawon the prize for The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida.



  • The report was prepared by the International Labour Organization (ILO).
  • The report will be discussed at the 23rd World Congress on Safety and Health at Work.

Highlights of the report:

  • Nearly 30 lakh workers die every year globally owing to work-related accidents and diseases.
  • More than 63% of these deaths are reported from the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Exposure to long working hours (55 hours or more per week) was the biggest “killer”, with almost 7.45 lakh people dying of it in 2016.
  • It is followed by exposure to occupational particulate matter, gases, and fumes (4.5 lakh deaths) and occupational injuries (3.63 lakh deaths).
  • The report said mining and quarrying, construction, and utilities sectors were the three most hazardous sectors globally.
  • The report said that the rate of trachea, bronchus, and lung cancers attributable to occupational exposure to chromium doubled between 2000 and 2016.
  • Mesothelioma, attributable to asbestos exposure has risen by 40%.
  • The rate of non-melanoma skin cancer increased by over 37% between 2000 and 2020.
  • The report also recommended five categories of “Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work” for ensuring safety and health at work.
  • These are
  1. freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining,
  2. elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour,
  3. abolition of child labour,
  4. elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation, and
  5. a safe and healthy working environment.
  • 79 out of the 187 member countries have ratified the ILO Occupational Safety and Health Convention (No. 155), while 62 countries have ratified the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187).
  • India has not ratified both the conventions.



  • Movement of butterflies towards Western Ghats was below par this Northeast monsoon.
  • Observers say they could not see large scale movement of butterflies since September due to below normal rainfall.
  • They believe there is a strong correlation between rain and migration.
  • Butterfly migration from the Eastern Ghats and plains towards the Western Ghats is an annual phenomenon coinciding with the onset of the Northeast monsoon.
  • The Eastern Ghats complex comprising the Yercaud hills (Shevaroy hills), Pachamalai, Kolli hills, Kalvarayan hills are the major originating places for the migration in Tamil Nadu.
  • Before the onset of the Northeast monsoon, butterflies such as Blue Tiger, Dark Blue Tiger, Double-branded Crow, and Common Crow (commonly known as ‘Tigers and Crows’), leave the hills and fly towards the west.



Why is in news?

Rat mining’ technique is employed at the Silkyara tunnel collapse site.

About rat-hole mining:

  • Rat hole mining is a method of extracting coal from narrow, horizontal seams, prevalent in Meghalaya.
  • The term “rat hole” refers to the narrow pits dug into the ground, typically just large enough for one person to descend and extract coal.
  • Once the pits are dug, miners descend using ropes or bamboo ladders to reach the coal seams.
  • The coal is then manually extracted using primitive tools such as pickaxes, shovels, and baskets.

Environmental and safety concerns:

  • Rat hole mining poses significant safety and environmental hazards.
  • The mines are typically unregulated, lacking safety measures such as proper ventilation, structural support, or safety gear for the workers.
  • The mining process can cause land degradation, deforestation and water pollution.
  • This method of mining has faced severe criticism due to its hazardous working conditions, environmental damage, and numerous accidents leading to injuries and fatalities.
  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned the practice in 2014, and retained the ban in 2015.