On 14th May, 2019, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) announced a venture capital-Nabventures Fund I, for equity supportinagriculture and rural-focused startups.
This is the first time that the rural development bank has launched a fund of its own.
The fund has been launched by Nabventures, a subsidiary of .... Read More
On 20th May, 2019, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) permitted small organic producers, having an annual turnover of over Rs 12 lakh, to sell their produce directly to end consumers without certification till April 2020.
A similar relaxation has been given to aggregators having an annual turnover of .... Read More
On 1st May, 2019, Central government issued a notification confirming the takeover of the National Housing Bank (NHB) after buying entire stake from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The central bank now holds 100 per cent stake in the NHB, the housing finance regulator, making it a fully government-owned entity.
The .... Read More
On 16th May, 2019, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released a vision document for ensuring a safe, secure, convenient, quick and affordable e-payment system in country.
The ‘Payment and Settlement Systems in India: Vision 2019 - 2021’, envisages achieving a highly digital and cash-lite society through the goal posts of .... Read More
On 25th May, 2019, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released a draft circular titled-Liquidity Risk Management Framework for NBFCs and Core Investment Companies (CICs).
RBI after analysing recent developments in NBFC sector proposed a set of guidelines for large Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) to help them deal with severe liquidity .... Read More
On 21st May, 2019, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved creating a specialized supervisory and regulatory structure for commercial banks, urban cooperative banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).
This move will involve consolidating the different supervisory and regulatory activities and resources under a separate division, and also hiring external experts .... Read More
On 4th May, 2019, RBI slapped monetary penalty on different pre-paid payment instrument (PPI) issuers for violating regulatory guidelines under Section 30 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
RBI also imposed penalty on Yes Bank for violation of norms pertaining to issuance and operations of PPIs.
PPIs Charged for Violation
Vodafone .... Read More
On 27th May, 2019, Commerce Ministry unveiled a comprehensive draft of the export policy which includes product- specific rules with a view to provide a ready reckoner for exporters.
It aims at consolidating the export norms for each product andhas accorded eight digit HS codes to every product.
Based on inputs .... Read More
On 20th May, 2019, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) planned to launch an artificial intelligence (AI) system in the MCA 21 portal in order to make the process of compliance simpler.
Started in 2006, it is an application that allows new businesses to complete onlineregistration procedures easily.
The first .... Read More
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in India declined for the first time in the last six years in 2018-19, falling by 1 percent to USD 44.37 billion as overseas fund inflows subsided in telecom, pharmaceuticals and other sectors.
Since 2012-13, the inflows had been continuously growing and reached a record high in .... Read More
On 24th May, 2019, the Working Group on Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) Regulations, under the Chairmanship of H.R. Khan, submitted its report to Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
The recommendations of the report have been incorporated by SEBI in the draft FPI Regulations.
The report contains recommendations inter-alia with .... Read More
On 14th May, 2019, Bimal Jalan committee informed that it will submit its report in June, 2019.
Initially, the panel was supposed to submit the report in 90 days from the holding of its first meeting, before getting an extension of its term.
The committee was appointed on 26 December, 2018, .... Read More
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On 22nd May, the high-level advisory group headed by Surjit Bhalla , on ways to boost Indian export, submitted its report to Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
It has given various non-industry specific recommendations which also include building a comprehensive export strategy and rationalization of tariff structure.
It has .... Read More
Why in News?
Recently, American multinational corporation PepsiCo sued 11 Gujarati farmers for ‘infringing its Intellectual Property Right ‘ by growing the potato variety, FL 2027, which is used in its Lay’s chips.
The company had applied for the registration of two hybrid potato varieties FL 1867 and FL 2027 in February .... Read More
On 1st May, 2019, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) barred National Stock Exchange (NSE) from accessing the securities market for a period of six months in co-location case.
The case pertains to complaints made in 2015 that the NSE gave preferential access to some co-location clients, thereby giving them .... Read More
On 22nd May, 2019,Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an agreement with Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) to provide USD 750 million equivalent in Indian rupee long-term financing to electrify railway tracks in India.
It is the largest single non-sovereign loan ever committed by ADB to IRFC to fund the railways track .... Read More
On 8th May, 2019, SEBI released a circular allowing Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) to invest in municipal bonds.The circular came out after the RBI permitted FPIs to invest in municipal bonds as a measure to broaden access of non–resident investors to debt instruments in the country. As per the RBI, .... Read More
On 5th May, 2019, Finance Ministry imposed an anti-dumping duty of $1,633.17 per tonne on the import of saccharine from Indonesia.
Indonesia, until recently, accounted for a large chunk of India’s saccharine imports. In 2017-18, India imported $4.36 million worth of saccharine from Indonesia, which is 43% of the total imports .... Read More
On 3rd May, 2019, Ministry of Electronics & IT and Common Services Centre (CSC) partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur to upscale ‘Unnat Bharat Abhiyan’.
Under this, IIT-Kanpur has brought together 15 leading higher education institutions from Uttar Pradesh.IIT Kanpur has adopted five villages -Hridayapur, Baikanthpur, Ishwariganj, Pratappur .... Read More
Amid concerns over data credibility, the 15th finance commission decided to reconcile all publicly available data in order to arrive at the best conclusion.
The Commission will be reconciling data that it gets from various sources like the CAG, the RBI, data from Finance ministry, etc.
It is a Constitutional body .... Read More
On 8th May, 2019, scientists from Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR) at Shimla and Karnal have identified new extremely virulent strains yellow rust fungus capable of causing severe loss to wheat productivity in India.
First detected in India during 2013-2014, these three strains (110S119, 238S119 and 110S84) are .... Read More
On 3rd May, 2019, Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA)and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-Delhi) signed an Memorandum of Understanding for setting up a ‘Centre of Excellence for Waste to Wealth Technologies in India’ to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd October 2019.The partnership will provide an .... Read More
On 1st May, 2019, Central Board of Direct Taxation (CBDT) and Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) signed an agreement to share data in order to nab tax evaders and reduce black money generation.The income tax (I-T) department will share key financial information, including status of I-T return filings, turnover .... Read More
On 25th May, 2019, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) decided to merge the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) into National Statistical Office (NSO) in a major restructuring move.
The move has been taken in order to streamline and strengthen the present nodal .... Read More
According to a research report by Wood Mackenzie Chemicals, the demand for polyester film, used in packaging, electronics and other industries, is expected to grow by 10 per cent in India in the next five years.
Global demand for polyester film, known as BOPET film, would grow at 5.6 per cent .... Read More
Government Restricts Bio-Fuel ImportsOn 26th may, 2019, the government restricted the import of bio-fuels including ethyl alcohol, bio-diesel and petroleum oils for all purposes.Now, their import will require import license from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). Until now, import was allowed only for non-fuel purposes subject to actual .... Read More
On 21st May, 2019, the United Nation released World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2019 Mid-year Update report
According to it, India’s economy is projected to grow at 7.1 per cent in fiscal year 2020 on the back of strong domestic consumption and investment.
Key highlights of the ReportIndia Specific
Strong domestic consumption .... Read More
On 22nd May,2019, International Labour Organisation (ILO) released a report regardingbusiness management.
According to it, companies that improve gender diversity especially at top perform better and rake in higher profits.
The report titled as “Women in Business and Management: The business case for change” is based on a global survey conducted by .... Read More
Pichwai or pichvai painting is a 400-year-old art form which depicts the beautiful life of Lord Krishna andhas its roots in Nathdwara, Rajasthan. The art form is found both in temples as well as homes.
These paintings are done on cotton cloth using natural colours and the most beautiful painting is .... Read More
Cheraw dance of Mizoram and Garo dance of Meghalaya was performed at the International Dance Day celebrations in London on April 27, 2019.
Cheraw dance is one of the folk dances of north eastern state of Mizoram.
Similar dance forms found in East Asia like in Philippines are known as Tinikling.
It .... Read More
Gangamma Jatara is a folk festival celebrated for nine days in several places across Southern India; including Karnataka, Rayalaseema and Andhra regions.This festival is celebrated to offer prayers to the goddess Gangamma, the Gramadevata (the goddess looking after the village) of .... Read More
On 9th May, 2019, Sivaganga (Tamil Nadu) Collector banned Manjuvirattu scheduled to be held at Karisalpatti village, following a warning from the district police that the event would pose a threat to law and order in the area.
Manjuvirattu is a bull taming event held in various parts of Tamil .... Read More
On 4th May, 2019, to commemorate the 750th birth anniversary of ‘Vedanta Desikan’ postal stamps were unveiled.
Vedanta Desikan (Born in 1268 CE), was a Vaishnava philosopher and one of the most brilliant stalwarts of Vaishnavism in the post-Ramanuja period.
He was the disciple of Kidambi Appullar (Aathreya Ramanujachariar).
During his lifetime, he .... Read More
Tanjore Paintings are a form of art prevalent in Tamil Nadu and named after the town of Tanjore or Thanjavur.Since Tanjore paintings are mainly done on solid wood planks, they are locally known as ‘Palagai Padam’.Additionally, it is distinguished by its famous gold coating.Modern forms of the Tanjore paintings are .... Read More
From idols dating back to the Gupta period (5th-6th Century AD) to terracotta objects of the Harappan culture, a range of Indian antiquities and artifacts have been identified by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) during a team’s recent visit to the United States.
Manjushri, a male bodhisattva wielding a flaming .... Read More
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These two famous temples were partially destroyed during the Cyclone Fani catastrophe, which hit the Odisha coast on 3rd May, 2019.
On 10th May, 2019, a high level team of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) visited Odisha to assess the nature and quantum of damage caused by cyclone Fani .... Read More
On 1st May, 2019, the Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) unearthed old burial sites including underground sacred chambers in Uttar Pradesh’s Sanauli (Baghpat district). These findings are important to understand the culture pattern of the Upper Ganga-Yamuna doab.
Three chariots, two legged coffins, copper shields, swords and helmets had been .... Read More
Sikki handicraft is found in Mithila region of Bihar.Sikki is a type of grass of golden colour which is grown in the wet and marshy area around rivers and ponds and area of heavy rainfall in Mithila region of North Bihar.Apart from Sikki, Munj and Khar are other important grasses .... Read More
On 26th May, 2019, the architectural heritage of Orchha town in Madhya Pradesh which depict peculiar style of the Bundela dynasty have been included in UNESCO’s tentative list of world heritage sites
The ASI had sent a proposal to the UNESCO on April 15, 2019 to include the sites in its .... Read More
It is an unique art form from Bihar, which has a very rich and deep traditional history. The word tikuli is the local term for ‘bindi’, which is usually a bright, colourful dot that women wear between their brows.Patna and Siwan urban areas are well known for assembling of Tikuli .... Read More
On 15th May, 2019, a Memorandum of Understating was signed between National Mission for Clean Ganga, HCL Foundation and INTACH for taking up a project of Plantation of Rudraksh Trees in Uttarakhand as a part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative under the ‘Namami Gange’ Programme.
The project aims at planting .... Read More
Shankaracharya Jayanti was celebrated at Jyeshta Mata Mandir, Shankaracharya Hills, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, from 3rd – 9th May, 2019.
Pandits of Kashmir performed Suvasini Puja on this occasion.
On the instructions of the Kanchi Acharyas, Shankaracharya Jayanti is being celebrated on Shankaracharya Hills since 2012. This year, a 150-member team .... Read More
On 9th May, 2019, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced that it has put an end to the local adverse lists commonly known as ‘Black Lists’ of Indian-origin people.
As per MHA, now all such people presently in the blacklist will be given regular visa as well as Overseas Citizen .... Read More
Why in News?
On 19th April 2019, a former junior Court Officer in Supreme Court alleged that she was sexually harassed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI), Ranjan Gogoi. Supreme Court formed an in-house panel to conduct an investigation into the sexual harassment allegations which comprised of Justices SA Bobde, .... Read More
On 8th May, 2019, the Supreme Court said that it will not extend the July 31, 2019 deadline for finalisation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.
It gave a free hand to Assam NRC coordinator dealing with claims and objections of persons against wrong exclusion or inclusion of .... Read More
On 3rd May, 2019, the Supreme Court while dismissing a writ petition filed by Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI), upheld the constitutional validity of Section 23 of the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994.
It observed that dilution of the provisions of the Act or .... Read More
The 2019 general election was held in seven phases from 11 April to 19 May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha. The elections were held on schedule and per the Constitution of India that mandates parliamentary elections once every five years.
About 900 million people were eligible to vote .... Read More
The United Nations (UN) owes India $38 million, the largest amount owed to any country for peacekeeping, followed by Rwanda ($31 million), Pakistan ($28 million), Bangladesh ($25 million), Nepal ($23 million).India has provided more than 200,000 military and police officers to UN peacekeeping over the last 70 years. As on .... Read More
Maharashtra is set to become the second State to implement the Central government’s Interoperable Criminal Justice System (ICJS), which will act as a common platform for all government agencies to share data about prisoners across the State.
The project, funded by the Centre, will help the government in better digital coordination .... Read More
On20th May, a compendium on Ongole cattle breed was released at the Swarna Bharat Trust in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.It traces the history of the animal from 1885 to 2016 by providing information from various sources on Ongole cattle.Ongole cattle are indigenous to the Andhra region in the Prakasam District.The breed .... Read More
Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) has commissioned the first two pumping units of 116 MW each of the seven x 116 MW Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (LIS) Package-6 in the state of Telangana.
Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project(KLIP)
KLIP, previously known as Pranahita-Chevella Project, is an under construction project located at the confluence .... Read More
On 18th May, 2019, Telangana signed Sister City agreement with Indonesia.
The aim is to promote cultural bonding and education between the two cities i.e. Vijayawada and Jakarta.
By offering visa on arrival without any charge to Indians, Indonesia aims to increasetourist arrival in the country.
It is located in Southeast Asia, between .... Read More
On 16th May, 2019, the Meghalaya government approved setting up of a commission to look into the problems faced by farmers.The State Cabinet approved the proposal made by the Agriculture Department to set up a Farmers’ Commission, in line with the resolution passed at the Farmer’s Parliament.The Meghalaya government is .... Read More
On 29th May, 2019, the Karnataka cabinet approved a cloud seeding programme, to be implemented fromJune,2019.
The programme was finalised following reports regarding the deficit rainfall in the state.
It will be replication state of government’s Varshadhare project launched in 2017 for cloud seeding.
It is artificial way to induce moisture .... Read More
On 20th May, 2019, Niti Aayogcirculated a cabinet note to provide Rs 7,500 crore for the establishment of AIRAWAT, a cloud computing platform along with research institutes.This is part of the policy think tank’s proposal to create an institutional framework for artificial intelligence (AI) in the country. According to the .... Read More
On 30th May, 2019, the Punjab government decided to make it mandatory for all online food aggregators to ensure that food supplied by them should compulsorily have hygiene rating as per Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) guidelines.Punjab’s Food and Drug Administration has sensitized companies operational in Punjab .... Read More
158th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath TagoreOn 9th May, 2019, the 158th birth anniversary (also known as Pochise Boishakh) of Rabindra Nath Tagore was celebrated.Popularly known as Gurudev (name given by Mahatama Gandhi) and Kabiguru, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, for his collection of poems - .... Read More
On 10th May, 2019, the Supreme Court upheld the Constitutional validity of the Karnataka Extension of Consequential Seniority to Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (to the Posts in the Civil Services of the State) Act 2018. The said enactment provided for consequential seniority to persons belonging to .... Read More
On 9th May, 2019, the Supreme Court objected on a proposal by the Assam government to quickly throw open 1,000 foreigner’s tribunals all over the northeastern State to try suspected illegal immigrants.
Concerns Raised by Supreme Court
A 1,000 tribunals means a 1,000 judicial officers to preside over them. From where will .... Read More
On 6th May, 2019, the National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) has mandated that an organ could be allocated to a foreign national only after it gives its approval.
This action was taken after a report that foreigners are getting organs ahead of Indian nationals on the waiting list.
In the .... Read More
On 20th May, 2019, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) under the ministry of chemicals and fertilizers, reduced the price of 9 anti-cancer non-scheduled medicines by up to 87 %.
The new list of drugs is in continuation to the government’s efforts to curb profiteering on these vital drugs and to .... Read More
On 28th May, 2019, Meghalaya Government launched Aroma Mission to boost the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs).
In this regard, memorandum of agreement was also signed between Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) and Meghalaya Basin Development Authority (MBDA) for collaborative work on medicinal and aromatic plants. .... Read More
The executive secretary of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) has invited India to be an observer in the CTBT.
Benefits to India as an ‘observer’
Being an observer India would gain access to data from the International Monitoring System. This system can detect even small nuclear explosions using seismology, hydro-acoustics, .... Read More
US Commerce Secretary recently held that American companies can play a supporting role in India’s development but the difficult trade barriers and Indian regulations are a hindrance.
US President has repeatedly called India a “tariff king” which imposes “tremendously high” tariffs on American products.
US in April 2019 announced the withdrawal .... Read More
India has invited several heads of state, including those from the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) and Kyrghystan, the current chair of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 30.
Invitation of BIMSTEC leaders is in line with government’s .... Read More
Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar has been listed as a designated terrorist by the UN Security Council 1267 Committee on 1 May 2019
The P-3 or group of three permanent UNSC members, the U.S., the U.K. and France, had co-sponsored the listing request at the 1267 Committee on February 27, weeks after .... Read More
Geneva based Human Rights Council’s (HRC) Special Rapporteurs recently submitted a note to the government asking about steps taken on addressing the alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir which were highlighted by a June 2018 report of the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR).
The .... Read More
On 16th May, US President announced changes in the way green cards are allocated and introduced a new points-based (“merit based”) system of allocation of cards.
Points will be awarded to applicants based on their education, work experience, age (more points for younger workers), English language ability etc. New immigrants will .... Read More
India extended the deadline to impose retaliatory import tariffs on 29 US products till June 16 from the earlier date of May 16.
The postponement has been done with a hope to resolve trade issues with the US and also because the US has not withdrawn the Generalised System of Preferences .... Read More
India hosted a two-day WTO ministerial meet of 16 developing and 6 least developed countries at New Delhi from 13 May- 14 May. In the meeting, India highlighted the issue of WTO’s assessment of a country’s services trade.India believes that the WTO’s assessment procedure of a country’s ‘services trade’ policies .... Read More
The Delhi High Court has ruled that the United Nations Organization (UNO) is not a State under Article 12 of the Constitution of India and is not compliant to its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution.
A former UNO employee who was sentenced to 97 months imprisonment for misconduct maintains .... Read More
Pakistan will get $6 billion from the IMF over the next three years to meet its foreign debt obligations as per an agreement with the IMF.
The loan would represent the 13th bailout since the late 1980s from the IMF to Pakistan, which is facing a balance-of-payments crisis triggered by high .... Read More
India on 16th May handed over two Mi-24 attack helicopters to Afghanistan. These helicopters are a replacement for the four attack helicopters gifted by India to Afghanistan in 2015. Two more will be supplied to the Afghan Air Force (AAF). The helicopters were purchased from Belarus.The Mi-24 helicopters shall boost .... Read More
North Korea fired two short-range missiles on 9th May less than a week after it test-fired multiple rockets and a missile.
The tests seem to be a protest by the North Korea for failing to reach an agreement during the Hanoi summit with the US on the sanctions imposed on North .... Read More
Saudi Arabia’s two oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on 13th May in attacks that caused “significant damage” to the vessels, one of them as it was en route to pick up Saudi oil to be transported to the US.
It has not been ascertained .... Read More
BCIM Removed from the BRI UmbrellaThe Chinese foreign ministry website has not listed the Bangladesh China India Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM) as a project covered by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Although before the Second Belt and Road Forum, which was held on 26 April, BCIM project was mentioned .... Read More
US announces closure of embassies:
The US on 15th May ordered all non-emergency staff to leave its embassy in Baghdad, Iraq and consulate in Arbil as tensions mount between the US and Iran. Arbil is the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital, in northern Iraq.
The US advisory announced the partial embassy closures and .... Read More
On 14th May, China announced that it would raise tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods from June 1, in retaliation to the latest round of U.S. tariff hikes and its plans to target almost all Chinese imports.
A total of 5140 U.S. products will be subjected to additional tariffs .... Read More
Scientists at Cambridge have finished designing the ‘brain’ of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the world’s largest radio telescope. On completion, the SKA will enable astronomers to monitor the sky in unprecedented detail and survey the entire sky much faster than any system currently in existence.
SKA’s Science Data Processor (SDP)
The .... Read More
Singapore has reported its first case of the rare monkeypox virus brought in by a Nigerian man who as per authorities might have been infected by bushmeat eaten by him at a wedding.
How is Monkeypox Spread?
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by a virus that is transmitted to humans from .... Read More
In a surprising discovery, researchers at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Mumbai have found a novel function for serotonin (a chemical that signals between neurons).
The recent discovery establishes that serotonin is involved in the generation of new mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) in neurons, increased cellular respiration .... Read More
India’s state-run Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has conducted tests of the “Abhyas” High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) drone from Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Odisha.
Features of Abhyas
Abhyas is a drone designed for autonomous flight with the help of an autopilot.
The configuration of Abhyas is designed on an in-line .... Read More
Genetic studies done on the people of the archipelago by a team, led by K. Thangaraj at CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), for the first time have shown that a majority of human ancestry in Lakshadweep is largely derived from South Asia with minor influences from East and .... Read More
In a breakthrough, scientists have successfully completed sequencing of 429 chickpea lines from 45 countries to identify genes that are tolerant to drought and heat. The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) led a team in close collaboration with the BGI-Shenzhen, China, involving 39 scientists from 21 .... Read More
The Geological Survey of India (GSI) under the Union Ministry of Mines made a presentation on the status of mineral deposits in different parts of Arunachal Pradesh during an annual meeting at Itanagar and highlightedthat 35 percent of India’s graphite deposits are found in Arunachal Pradesh.
Graphite in India
The GSI’s 2013 .... Read More
On May 21, 2019, 29 of the 34-member Anthropocene Working Group (AWG), voted in favour of starting the new epoch. The result builds on an informal vote taken at the 2016 International Geological Congress in Cape Town, and lays the groundwork for a formal proposal by 2021 to the International .... Read More
NASA on May 22nd, unveiled the calendar for the ‘Artemis’ program that will return astronauts to the Moon for the first time in half a century, including eight scheduled launches and a mini-station in lunar orbit by 2024. Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed mission around the Moon planned for .... Read More
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)’s National Institute of Immunohaematology, Mumbai, has developed a cost-effective Point-of-Care (POC) rapid diagnostic test for severe Haemophilia A and Von Willebrand Disease (VWD), a genetic disorder caused by missing or defective Von Willebrand factor (VWF), a clotting protein.
Haemophilia A (or hemophilia A) .... Read More
For the first time, the entire genome of Asiatic lion, an endangered species, has been sequenced by scientists from CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad.
The first hand information would help us to better understand the evolution of Asiatic lions and also make possible comparative analysis with other big .... Read More
According to Nasa, an asteroid named 99942 Apophis will fly towards the Earth in ten years.
The colossal asteroid, which is named after the Egyptian god of chaos and destruction, is expected to approach the Earth dangerously close on April 13, 2029.
Apophis was discovered in 2004 by US astronomers. Since .... Read More
Researchers studying how pain works have discovered an antidote to the deadly sting delivered by the most venomous creature on Earth - the Australian box jellyfish.
The Australian box jellyfish has about 60 tentacles that can grow up to three metres long. Each tentacle has millions of microscopic hooks filled .... Read More
Researchers at Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Jamia Milia Islamia have developed an ultra-sensitive quantum thermometer from Graphene Quantum Dots (GQDs) array. The thermometer has quick response time and can measure very minute changes in temperature.
The thermometer, developed by a team of researchers led by the Director of the .... Read More
NASA is planning to launch a spacecraft aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will hit a small moonlet in the binary asteroid system Didymos in September 2022.
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), NASA’s first mission to demonstrate a planetary defence technique, is scheduled to be launched in mid-2021.
Binary asteroid .... Read More
A study has found that the Moon is shrinking as its interior cools — getting over 50 metres skinnier through the last several hundred million years — and causing quakes on the lunar surface. The researchers explained that just as a grape wrinkles as it shrinks down to a raisin, .... Read More
The CSIR-NPL(National Physical Laboratory), which is India’s official reference keeper of units of measurements, on May 20th , released a set of recommendations requiring that school textbooks, engineering-education books, and course curriculum update the definition of the kilogram.
The kilogram derived its provenance from the weight of a block of .... Read More
ICAT – A World Class Automotive Testing CentreThe International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT), Manesar, Haryana located in the northern automotive hub of India, is a leading world class automotive testing, certification and R&D service provider under the aegis of NATRiP (National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project), Government of .... Read More
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Director K Sivan inaugurated the Young Scientist Programme (YUVIKA) on, May 17, 2019.
The young scientist programme aims to impart basic knowledge of science and space technology to school-going students from different states and Union Territories (UT) of the country in order to arouse their interest .... Read More
Space Agency ISRO, which is gearing up for the ambitious Chandrayaan-2 this July, has loftier plans ahead. It is planning to accomplish six other mega missions over the next 10 years, apart from Chandrayaan-2. Of these, only two have been defined — XPoSat and Aditya-L1 missions.
Missions of ISRO
Venus .... Read More
On May 22nd, a PSLV rocket of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) placed RISAT-2B, an X-band microwave Earth Observation Satellite, into orbit 556 km above earth.
Milestones of ISRO
It will be ISRO’s 72ndlaunch vehicle mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
It will be 48thflight of PSLV.
It will be 36th launch .... Read More
India now has a fifth brown pit viper but with a reddish tinge. A team of herpetologists have described a new species of reddish-brown pit viper — a venomous snake with a unique heat-sensing system — from a forest in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.
The discovery, makes the .... Read More
A group of researchers has discovered a tenth species of the vine snake of genus Ahaetulla after a gap of more than a century. Before this discovery, there were nine species of vine snakes reported from the country. The Ahaetulla laudankia, the newly-discovered snake, was first spotted by researchers in .... Read More
Bajirao, the last captive white tiger at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Borivali, Maharashtra died at the age of 18.
The white tiger or bleached tiger is a pigmentation variant of the Bengal tiger, which is reported in the wild from time to time in the Indian states .... Read More
An intriguing frog species, listed as endangered on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), could soon be designated as Kerala’s state amphibian – a title that researchers hope would go a long way in protecting its fragile habitat and knowing more about its rich .... Read More
For the first time, researchers have sighted nests of the grizzled giant squirrel, an endangered species listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 at Pakkamalai Reserve Forests near Gingee, Tamil Nadu in the Eastern Ghats.
A team of researchers and wildlife activists from Indigenous Biodiversity Foundation (IBF), .... Read More
Every summer, the Forest Department of Gujarat conducts an Herbivore Census in Gir forest. This year’s exercise is of particular significance because it is the last Herbivore Census ahead of next year’s Lion Census, which is a once-in-five-years exercise.
The Herbivore Census covers ungulates such as spotted deer, blue bulls (nilgais), .... Read More
Northeast India, one of the wettest places on the Earth has been experiencing rapid drying, especially in the last 30 years. Some places which used to get as high as 3,000 mm of rain during the monsoon season have seen a drop of about 25-30%. A team of researchers from .... Read More
The Fourth edition of the World Reconstruction Conference (WRC4) took place in Geneva on May 13-14, 2019. The WRC4 theme is “Inclusion for Resilient Recovery”. WRC4 will be held in conjunction with the sixth Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR, May 13-17, 2019).
World Reconstruction Conference
The World Reconstruction Conference is .... Read More
There is a bit of a traffic problem on Mount Everest lately — one that has led to pollution and death of 11 hikers so far this year, the most killed since 2014-15, when over 28 climbers and Sherpas were killed in avalanches.
What Caused this?
Poor governance: The cause of the .... Read More
Lawmakers in the United Kingdom Parliament have declared “an environment and climate emergency,” making it the first country in the world to do so. Republic of Ireland is the second country to do so.
What is a climate emergency?
While there is no precise definition of what constitutes action to meet such .... Read More
Recently, Tokyo has hosted the second U20 Mayors Summit. The summit took place one month ahead of the G20 Osaka Summit. Mayors from the world’s largest economies urged their national leaders to work together to “leverage the tremendous potential of our cities as hubs of diversity and innovation for the .... Read More
United Nations (UN) has adopted May 22 as the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. Objective of observing this day is to spread awareness about species turning endangered or going to extinct.
Year 2019 theme is - “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our .... Read More
The Goldman Environmental Foundation recognized six environmental activists. They are winners of the 2019 Goldman Environmental Prize, also known as the “Green Nobel”.
It honors ordinary men and women who take great risks to protect the natural environment. They are often community leaders from small villages or areas that lack .... Read More
About 1,400 participants took part in the Conference, which was held from 29 April to 10 May 2019, in Geneva, Switzerland. Back-to-back ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (RC COP-9) and the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention .... Read More
Fall Armyworm (FAW) or Spodoptera frugiperda has become a major problem for farmers this year, with the pest hitting the production of the crop. Ahead of the new kharif season, FAW poses a serious challenge before farmers due to lack of knowledge about the pest and lack of clarity on .... Read More
In India, one of the smallest orchids in terms of size and duration of bloom to be recorded botanically has been recently discovered.
About the Orchid
The orchid ‘Lecanorchis taiwaniana’ discovered accidentally is a variant of a Japanese orchid and is India’s one of the smallest orchids in term of size and .... Read More
‘Not all animals migrate by choice’ Campaign LaunchedCampaign launched by Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India and UN Environment aimed at airports across India.Key FactsTiger, Pangolin, Star Tortoise and Tokay Gecko featured in the campaign. In India, illegal trade in wildlife has seen a sharp rise in recent years.Ahead of .... Read More
The first-ever Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services by Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has been released.
Highlights of the Report
The IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services is the most comprehensive ever completed. It is the first intergovernmental report of its kind .... Read More
A new satellite-based study shows that China and India are leading the increase in “greening efforts” across the world. The study published in Nature Sustainability, shows that the change driving these efforts emerges from China’s ambitious tree-planting programmes and intensive agriculture practised in both countries.
A group of researchers from .... Read More
A new report by UN Environment reveals that aggregate extraction in rivers has led to pollution, flooding, lowering of water aquifers and worsening drought occurrence.
Findings of the Report
The report Sand and sustainability: Finding new solutions for environmental governance of global sand resources presents how shifting consumption patterns, growing populations, increasing .... Read More
CSC: Heartiest congratulations to you from Civil Services Chronicle on your success.How are you feeling about it?
Ans: Thank you so much. I am feeling happy for securing a good rank. I am also relieved that my efforts have paid off and now I am looking forward to an exciting and .... Read More
Civil Services Chronicle: Heartiest congratulations to you from Civil Services Chronicle on your success. How are you feeling post this achievement? What was your inspiration for becoming an IAS officer? Whom would you give credit to for your success? What was the role of family and others (teachers, friends) in .... Read More
Civil Services Chronicle: Heartiest congratulations to you from Civil Services Chronicle on your success. How are you feeling post this achievement? What was your inspiration for becoming an IAS officer? Whom would you give credit to for your success? What was the role of family and others (teachers, friends) in .... Read More
Dr LEE Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health, 2019
On 24th May, 2019, Professor Balram Bhargava, Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) was conferred Dr Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health, 2019.
He has been recognised for his achievements as a clinician, innovator, researcher and trainer at .... Read More
ITC’s longest serving corporate chief and legendary corporate leader Y C Deveshwar passed away at a private hospital in Gurugram on 11th May 2019 at the age of 72.
Deveshwar stepped down from the executive role in 2017 but remained as the Chairman in non-executive capacity and spearheaded the diversification .... Read More
Justice Ajay Kumar MittalOn 22th May, 2019, Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal was been sworn in as the Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court.Justice Mittal was recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium to be elevated as the Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court in a resolution dated April 8, 2019.Prior to .... Read More
Justice Madan Lokur
The Retired judge of Indian Supreme Court Justice Madan B Lokur has been appointed to the Supreme Court of Fiji.
He is appointed as a judge of Supreme Court of Fiji’s Non-Resident Panel for a period of three years. He will assume charge of his new role on 15 .... Read More
Rajasthan bans Advertisement and Sale of e-cigarettes
The Rajasthan government recently announced its decision to ban production, distribution, advertisement and sale of e-cigarettes in the state.
The government has banned both online and offline sale, storage, production, distribution and advertisement of e-cigarettes in Rajasthan.
The decision was announced on occasion of the World .... Read More
Apurvi Chandela wins Gold at ISSF World Cup Rifle
India’s Apurvi Chandela won gold in women’s 10m Air Rifle at ISSF World Cup Rifle held in Munich, Germany.
She beat Wang Luyao of China with a score of 251 to win gold medal in 10m Air Rifle event at the 2019’s third .... Read More
As per the recent report of International Energy Agency, transport sector contributes almost one-quarter (23 percent) of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Moreover, it is anticipated to rise to nearly 20 percent from present levels by 2030 and close to 50 percent by 2050, unless major corrective actions are .... Read More
Article 370 is a contentious provision in the Constitution which incites many sentiments of the general public and political parties alike. This article has been in the news numerous times due to its combative nature. At a time when India is going through elections, many political parties have come up .... Read More
After more than seven decades of independence of India and constitutional grant for Universal Adult Suffrage; do women still have low participation in Indian Politics, Judiciary, Military and other Institutions and economic dimensions?The recent 17th Lok Sabha has the highest representation of women at 14.3% with 78 women MPs, higher .... Read More
In a recent study conducted by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) it was found that domestic migrants in a developing country experience substantial decline in mental and physical health even though they earn better. The findings beckon an analysis of internal migration trends in India and their effect on .... Read More
Indian External Affairs Minister (EAM) attended the meeting of Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held in Bishkek (Kyrgyz Republic) on 21-22 May 2019.
The meeting reviewed the preparations for the forthcoming SCO Heads of the Government Summit in Bishkek on 13-14 June 2019 and also exchanged .... Read More
1. With reference to Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), consider the following statements:AIIB has more than 80 member nations.India is the largest shareholder in AIIB.AIIB does not have any members from outside Asia.Which of the statements given above is/are correct?(a) 1 only (b) 2 and 3 only(c) 1 and 3 only (d) 1, 2 and 3Solution: (a) Explanation: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia.Headquartered in Beijing, it has 97 approved members worldwide with countries such as Germany, United States of America, etc. The AIIB’s .... Read More
Recently the 17th Lok Sabha elections were concluded. Elections, the festival of democracy, are a perennial activity in India with stakeholders engaged in one or the other national, state or local body elections. Being a largest democracy of the world, it is imperative for India to conduct free and fair elections with greater participation from citizens and set an example for the world to emulate.However, with such a profound presence of elections in our lives, the process is not above the shadows of doubt, corruption or influence. From time to time, certain steps have been taken to fine-tune the whole .... Read More
Issues with Election Commission of India
Election commission is a constitutional three member body which is vested with the powers to superintend, direct and conduct elections in a free and fair manner under Article 324.
1. Constitutional Challenges
The President of India appoints the Chief Election Commission (CEC) and the Election Commissions , and no law has been made yet by the parliament for this thereby vesting the power of appointment of such an important body with the executive.
The constitution has not prescribed any qualifications (legal, educational, administrative, or judicial) for the members of the Election Commission.
The Constitution has not specified the term .... Read More
Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Fani was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike the Indian state of Odisha since Phailin in 2013. The second named storm and the first severe cyclonic storm of the 2019 North Indian Ocean cyclone season, Fani originated from a tropical depression that formed west of Sumatra in the Indian Ocean on 26 April,2019. Vertical wind shear at first hindered the storm’s development, but conditions became more favorable on 30 April. Fani rapidly intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm and reached its peak intensity on 2 May, as a high-end extremely severe cyclonic storm, and the .... Read More
Probity is the reflection of ethical behaviour in a particular process. The term probity entails integrity, uprightness and honesty. For Public Servants, maintaining probity involves more than simply avoiding dishonest conduct. It involves applying public sector values such as impartiality, accountability and transparency while being incorruptible. However, it goes beyond just being honest as it is supplanted by intangibles like personal and societal values too. Probity also translates into a strict obedience of code of ethics based on unflinching honesty, especially in monetary matters and beyond legal exigencies. Ensuring probity in public services is part of every public official’s duty .... Read More
What is Corruption?
Corruption is an act of deliberate and intentional exploitation of one’s position, status or resources directly or indirectly, for personal benefits through material gain or enhancement of power, prestige or influence beyond legitimate or sanctioned authority.
In general, corruption is a form of dishonesty or criminal activity undertaken by a person or organization entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire illicit benefits.
There are broadly following types of Corruption:
1. Coercive Corruption
It is a practice of forcing the citizens to pay bribe either in tangible or intangible form, for the services they are entitled by using various tactics like .... Read More
Citizens’ CharterCitizen’s Charter is a document, which represents a systematic effort to focus on the commitment of the Organisation towards its Citizens in respect of Standard of Services, Information, Choice and Consultation, Non-discrimination and Accessibility, Grievance Redressal, Courtesy and Value for Money. This also includes expectations of the Organisation from the Citizens for fulfilling the commitment of the Organisation.It contains specific provisions and sets out specific obligations for the public services, the time within which the department would be obliged to provide a service or to respond to a query or complaint.Citizens’ Charter is aimed at demanding from the government .... Read More