The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare on January 30 released the 2017-18 (Final) and 2018-19(1st Advance Est.) of Area and Production of Horticulture Crops. These estimates are based on the information received from different State/UTs in the country.
The following table summarizes the All-India Final Estimates: 2017-18 and 2018-19 .... Read More
The government’s flagship programme electronic national agriculture market (e-NAM) on January 11 started inter-state trade on its platform, facilitating traders of one state to buy agricultural produce of a different state.
How It Starts
Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh have allowed trading through the e-NAM platform following which farmers of Uttar Pradesh have .... Read More
The Reserve Bank of India on December 31 released the eighteenth issue of the Financial Stability Report (FSR).
What Does it Reflect?
The FSR reflects the collective assessment of the Sub-Committee of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) on risks to financial stability, as also the resilience of the financial system.
The .... Read More
The Supreme Court on January 25 upheld the Constitutional validity of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC).
Points to Remember
The apex court also dismissed the contention that the
appointments made to the National Company Law Tribunal and National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) were contrary to its earlier judgments and .... Read More
The Union Cabinet on January 2 approved the scheme of amalgamation for amalgamating Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank, with Bank of Baroda as the transferee bank and Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank as transferor banks.
The amalgamation will be the first-ever three-way consolidation of banks in India, with .... Read More
The RBI on December 28 released the "Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India 2017-18.
Financial Inclusion of Women: The share of women in total credit and aggregate deposits of individuals increased further to 20.4 per cent and 32.8 per cent, respectively, in March 2018 from 19.3 per cent .... Read More
A report from the rating agency Crisil found that the inter-State disparities have widened in recent years even as the larger economy grows in size and influence on the global stage.
Big States: Richer States like Gujarat, have been able to achieve sustained economic growth and increase their gap over .... Read More
The Central Government on January 18 released the Eighth Edition of the Status Paper on the Government Debt for 2017-18.
Remember This: It provides a detailed analysis of the Overall Debt Position of the Government of India. The Central Government has been bringing-out an Annual Status Paper on Government Debt since .... Read More
The Government on January 21 constituted a standing committee headed by NITI Aayog to oversee the drug pricing regime.
Significance: This move could clip the powers of drug pricing regulator, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA). The development comes in the backdrop of recent run-ins between the health and pharma ministries over .... Read More
The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers issued the Drugs (Prices Control) Amendment Order, 2019 on January 4.
New Patented Drugs Exempted
The government has exempted new drugs patented under the Indian Patent Act from the price control order for five years from the date of their marketing.
It exempts a manufacturer producing a .... Read More
The Union Cabinet on January 23 approved the creation of National Bench of the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT).
The National Bench of the Appellate Tribunal shall be situated at New Delhi.
GSTAT shall be presided over by its President and shall consist of one Technical Member (Centre) .... Read More
The Trade Unions (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha on January 9. The Bill amends the Trade Unions Act, 1926, which provides for the registration and regulation of trade unions.
Recognition of Trade Unions
The Bill seeks to provide for recognition of trade unions or a federation of trade unions .... Read More
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), Government of India and National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) on January 29 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to use new data technologies, knowledge generation and knowledge sharing, and capacity building in the field of Official Statistics.
Impact: The MoU would .... Read More
A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on Compliance of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, 2003 for fiscal 2016-17, tabled in Parliament on January 8, claimed that the government could have miscalculated its adherence to 3.5 per cent fiscal deficit and 2.1 per cent revenue deficit targets.
Off-budget .... Read More
The union Ministry for Civil Aviation on January 25 announced the results of Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) Scheme.
UDAN Round 3
Following two successful rounds of bidding, the Ministry of Civil Aviation launched the largest bidding round under the highly successful UDAN Scheme, also integrating a number of iconic tourism .... Read More
Developing metro rail networks and construction of houses have been the top priority of the Central Government’s urban development plan. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs’ data reveals that the Centre has allocated Rs 53,000 crore to the States in four years to implement metro projects and Rs 33,000 .... Read More
India has replaced Japan as world’s second largest steel producing country, while China is the largest producer of crude steel accounting for more than 51 per cent of production, according to World Steel Association (worldsteel).
Top Steel Producing Countries
China's crude steel output jumped 6.6 per cent to 928.3 million tonnes (MT) .... Read More
The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), India’s premiere container portgot listed amongst the top 30 container ports globally, as per the latest Lloyds Report.
JNPT notched up five spots, to be 28th on the list, compared to its previous ranking.
This is a validation of all the efforts and strategic initiatives .... Read More
In a bid to boost skill training and entrepreneurship in the remotest corners of the country, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship on January 24 announced comprehensive reforms for Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS).
Formerly under the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Jan Shikshan Sansthan has been transferred to the Ministry of .... Read More
A parliamentary panel has recommended that necessary steps be taken to ensure new uranium mines are opened as soon as possible in order to reduce India’s dependence on imported uranium.
A stockpile of 15,000 tonnes of uranium is required to achieve supply security of fuel for nuclear plants in the country, .... Read More
To further improve the ease of doing business in India, the Reserve Bank of India on January 16 drawn up a new external commercial borrowing (ECB) framework.
The eased norms allowing all eligible borrowers to raise up to $750 million per financial year under the automatic route, replacing the existing sector-wise .... Read More
Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY), the flagship scheme of the Central Government for employment generation has crossed the milestone of one crore beneficiaries as on January 14, 2019.
About the Scheme
PMRPY was announced on August 07, 2016 and is being implemented by Ministry of Labour and Employment through the Employees’ .... Read More
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, on January 16, gave its approval to the project for capacity expansion of Numaligarh Refinery from 3 MMTPA (Million Metric Tonne Per Annum) to 9 MMTPA.
Remember This: It involves setting up of crude oil pipeline from Paradip to Numaligarh and product pipeline from Numaligarh .... Read More
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on January 2 gave its approval for continuation of five schemes under the “Umbrella Scheme for Family Welfare and Other Health Interventions” during the Fourteenth Finance Commission period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
Components of, Social Marketing of Contraceptives, Free Supply of Contraceptives are specifically targeted towards .... Read More
Union Ministry for Tourism inaugurated the project “Development of North East Circuit: Rangpo– Rorathang- Aritar- Phadamchen- Nathang-Sherathang- Tsongmo- Gangtok-Phodong- Mangan- Lachung-Yumthang- Lachen- Thangu-Gurudongmer- Mangan- Gangtok-Tuminlingee- Singtam” on January 30.
Remember This: The project implemented under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India was sanctioned by the Ministry in .... Read More
The Union Cabinet on January 23 approved a landmark amendment to Article 280 and Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. The Constitutional amendment aims to increase the financial and executive powers of the 10 autonomous councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of the northeast.
What will Change?
The amendment will impact a population .... Read More
On December 30, 2018, three islands of the Andaman group were renamed.
The Ross Island was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, the Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep and the Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep (Ross Island) was once a settlement where the British established .... Read More
On January 17, the Supreme Court requested the search committee to prepare its panel by the end of the next month and set March 7, 2019 as the next date of hearing.
Once the search committee submits its recommendation for the Lokpal and its members, a selection committee will consider .... Read More
Union Ministry for Road Transport & Highways on January 22 dedicated to the nation a 1210-meter span-bridge over the river Raavi in Jammu and Kashmir.
This project will benefit over 2,20,000 people living on the two sides – Kathua in Jammu, and Pathankot in Punjab. This will reduce the distance between .... Read More
The Centre on January 11 signed an agreement with Chief Ministers of five States — Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh — to restart construction of the Renuka multipurpose dam project in the Upper Yamuna Basin.
The Dam Project: The Renuka dam project has been conceived as a storage project .... Read More
Naval Air Station (NAS) Shibpur was commissioned as INS Kohassa on January 24.
Impact: With the addition of this airfield, the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC)’s ability to operate independently from all the regions of Andaman and Nicobar Islands will get a great boos
This will be India’s fourth air base .... Read More
The Supreme Court collegium’s recent decision of revoking the promotion of two High Court judges to the apex court has created controversy, renewing the debate to abolish this system.
What was the Issue?
The collegium decided to appoint Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, by retracting and superseding its own earlier .... Read More
The Supreme Court on January 16 declined to dilute its last year’s directions in respect of the selection and the appointment of the DGPs at the behest of the states of West Bengal, Kerala, Bihar, Punjab and Haryana.
What was the July 3 Order?
On July 3, 2018, the apex court directed .... Read More
Recently, the Delhi Police filed a charge sheet against 10 people, including student leaders Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, and Anirban Bhattacharya, in a sedition case for
allegedly raising “anti-national slogans” during an event on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus in February 2016.
Section 124A (Sedition)
Whoever, by words, either spoken or .... Read More
The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 4, 2019.
Remember This: The Bill amends the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.The Aadhaar .... Read More
The Prime Minister inaugurated the Integrated Check Post at Moreh on January 4. He also inaugurated the Dolaithabi Barrage Project, the FCI Food Storage Godown at Sawombung, and projects related to water supply and tourism.Key PointsHe dedicated to the nation the 400 kV Double Circuit Silchar-Imphal Line.He recalled that undivided .... Read More
The Prime Minister inaugurated the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas Convention at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh on January 22.For the first time, the three day long convention was organized in Varanasi from 21-23 January, 2019. The theme of PBD Convention 2019 was “Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India”. Prime Minister .... Read More
The Supreme Court on January 22 upheld the Allahabad high court order which ruled that reservation in university faculty positions should be calculated department-wise and not by taking the total seats in a university as basis.
The court rejected the Centre’s special leave petition (SLP) challenging the April 2017 order .... Read More
The Union Cabinet on January 2 approved the restructuring of existing National Health Agency as “National Health Authority” for better implementation of Pradhan Mantri - Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY).
With this approval, the existing society “National Health Agency” has been dissolved and will be replaced by National Health Authority as .... Read More
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017 was passed by Parliament.
The Bill amends the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
The Act prohibits detention of children till they complete elementary education i.e., class 8. The Bill seeks to amend this provision .... Read More
Malaria cases reduced by three million in India in 2017 compared to 2016, Union Health Ministry informed Lok Sabha on January 4.
Remember This: The World Malaria Report 2018, published by the WHO, has reported a significant drop in the estimated malaria cases in India by three million fewer cases in .... Read More
As per the data revealed on the World Leprosy Day (January 27: the last Sunday of January), every year, over 2 lakh new leprosy cases are detected around the world, with India accounting for more than half of these.
Remember This: India observes the World Leprosy Day on January 30, M .... Read More
In what raises serious concerns about India’s gender imbalance, data collated by the office of the Registrar General of India indicate a downward trend in sex ratio at birth. Even more worrying is a dramatic drop among southern states – barring Kerala – between 2007 and 2016.
Sex Ratio at Birth
Abysmal .... Read More
The US Government on January 29 imposed sanctions on Petroleos de Venezuela, in a bid to force Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro to cede power to the opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president recently. This move, which essentially translates to an oil ban, is expected to complicate the .... Read More
Recently, Chinese ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui visited Bhutan once again. The visit was a part of China’s strategy to intensify engagement with Bhutan, a country it does not have diplomatic relations with.
China’s Bhutan Outreach
Foreign Policy Challenge: China’s Bhutan Outreach poses a significant foreign policy challenge for India in the .... Read More
The United Nations Security Council on January 25 held an open debate to discuss the impact of climate change on peace and security, while calling for action to diminish the effects of global warming.
Remember This: For the first time in history, the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) was invited to .... Read More
Under the agreement for the provision of reciprocal logistics support between India and France, French Navy’s anti-aircraft destroyer FNS Cassard docked at the Mumbai docks on January 25.
The Logistic Support Agreement: It was inked between the two countries during the State visit of President Emmanuel Macron to India in March .... Read More
A Signing ceremony of Agreement between India and OECD for India’s participation in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2021, was held in New Delhi on January 28.
Health of the Education System: The participation in PISA 2021 would indicate the health of the education system and would motivate other schools .... Read More
The Union Cabinet on January 23 gave ex-post facto approval for incorporating a $400-million ‘Standby Swap’ facility within the existing approved overall $2 billion currency swap arrangement for SAARC member-countries.
Standby Swap: This incorporation of ‘Standby Swap’ would provide the necessary flexibility to the current ‘framework on currency swap arrangement’ and .... Read More
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has identified 11 jurisdictions, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as having strategic deficiencies in anti-money laundering (AML) measures and combating of financing of terrorism (CFT).
The other nine jurisdictions are: The Bahamas, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Serbia, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Yemen.
Counter Measures to .... Read More
At 80th rank, India moves up one position on the Global Talent Competitive Index (GTCI) 2019, according to a report released by INSEAD business school in partnership with Tata Communications and Adecco Group.
China emerged as the best performer among the BRICS countries, with an overall position of 45th.
Switzerland followed .... Read More
India has improved its ranking on a global corruption index in 2018, while its neighbour China lagged far behind, according to the annual index released by the Transparency International on January 29.
India rose by three points to 78 in the list of 180 countries in the world, while China .... Read More
India and South Africa sealed a three-year strategic programme covering all aspects of bilateral ties as Prime Minister Narendra Modi met visiting South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on January 25.
Remember This: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations. This is the second time .... Read More
The first India-Central Asia Dialogue was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on January 12 and 13.
It was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj and the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, Abdulaziz Kamilov.
The ministers welcomed the participation of Afghanistan in the India-Central Asia Dialogue as an important land link in the .... Read More
Government scientists have detected a hormone-disrupting fungal toxin called zearalenone in maize, oats, rice and wheat in India and asked the country’s food authority to set safety limits for the toxin as many other countries have done.
What is Zearalenone?
Zearalenone is a fungal toxin infesting cereals such as wheat, maize and .... Read More
Soil samples taken in Svalbard -- a Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole -- have now confirmed the spread of blaNDM-1 (called New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase-1) into the High Arctic.
This Antibiotic-Resistant Gene (ARG), originally found in Indian clinical settings, conditionally provides multi-drug resistance (MDR) in microorganisms.
NDM-1 was .... Read More
Scientists in China have cloned five monkeys after editing genes to induce several human diseases like Alzheimer’s that they claim will help in medical research.
Macaques are chiefly Asian monkeys typically having a sturdy build and including some short-tailed or tailless forms.
The gene-edited macaque had circadian rhythm disorders associated .... Read More
Meteorologists have blamed a phenomenon called the polar vortex for the bitter cold that has descended on much of the central and eastern United States in last week of January.
What is Polar Vortex?
There are not one but two polar vortexes in each hemisphere, North and South.
One exists in the .... Read More
Union Ministry of Science and Technology launched two free-to-air science channels -- DD Science and India Science -- on 16th January in an effort to popularise science in India.
Details about Science Channels
The free-to-air channels -- DD Science and India Science - have been conceived and supported by the DST and .... Read More
Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have experimentally shown that methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) can exist as gas hydrates at temperatures and pressures seen in interstellar atmosphere. The scientists call this ‘space fuel’.
What are Gas Hydrates?
Gas hydrate is a solid ice-like form of water that contains gas .... Read More
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on January 8 released guidelines on tokenisation of debit/credit card payments.
What is Tokenisation?
Tokenisation involves a process in which a unique token, issued by the bank, masks sensitive card details.
Thereafter, in lieu of actual card details, this token is used to perform card transactions in .... Read More
India ranks third in the world in terms of high quality research publications in artificial intelligence (AI) but is at a significant distance from world leader China, according to an analysis by research agency Itihaasa.
The agency computed the number of ‘citable documents’— the number of research publications in peer-reviewed .... Read More
The periodic table of chemical elements is having its 150th birthday, and the UN scientific agency is holding a year of events to celebrate.Key FactsRussian scientist Dmitry Mendeleev published the first such table in 1869.The UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization kicked off the “International Year of the Period Table .... Read More
NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered a third small planet outside our solar system.
Remember This: The new planet named HD 21749b, orbits a bright, nearby dwarf star about 53 light years away in the constellation Reticulum.
It appears to have the longest orbital period of the three planets .... Read More
India on January 18 tested a new indigenous air-launched missile called NGARM, which is designed to destroy a variety of surveillance and radar targets on the ground after being fired from a Sukhoi-30MKI fighter.
This new-generation anti-radiation missile (NGARM), with a strike range of around 100-km, is the first indigenous air-to-ground .... Read More
In a bid to cut cost of satellite launchers, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working on reusable launch technology for using the first and second stages of a rocket multiple times. To master this technology, Isro is going to conduct an advanced version of the reusable launch technology (RLV) .... Read More
Indian space agency Indian Space Research Organisation’s (Isro) on January 24 successfully launched Microsat-R.
The fourth stage of the rocket with co-passenger Kalamsat, a students’ payload, would now be moved to a higher circular orbit, around 450 kms from earth, so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments.
Built .... Read More
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced on January 19th the Young Scientist programme for the young minds who want to explore themselves in space research.
Remember This: The initiative, chalked to attract young minds and arouse interest in this niche arena, is conceptualised on the lines of a similar programme .... Read More
Gaganyaan, the great Indian human leap to space by 2022, will soon get cracking under a new Human Space Flight Centre and a dedicated team around five months after it was first unveiled.
Remember This: Indian Space Research Organisation on January 11th named Unnikrishnan Nair, who led its Advanced Space Transportation .... Read More
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft on January 1 beamed back the clearest view yet of the most distant object ever explored - the Kuiper Belt object (KBO) 2014 MU69 nicknamed Ultima Thule.
Significance: The new image, taken during the historic flyby is the clearest view yet of this remarkable, ancient object in .... Read More
Recently, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said 2018 was the sixth warmest year on record, with the average temperature over India being “significantly above normal”.
The five warmest years on record (nationwide records began in 1901) were, in order: 2016 (+0.720°C above the 1981-2010 average), 2009 (+0.560°C), 2017 (+0.550°C), 2010 (+0.540°C), .... Read More
According to a research done by the U.S journal Science and Chinese Academy of Sciences, the world’s oceans are heating up at an accelerating pace as global warming threatens a diverse range of marine life and a major food supply for the planet.
Remember This: Ocean heating is a very important .... Read More
The 3rd edition of the Stock Taking Conference on Tiger Conservation was held in New Delhi from January 28-29.
The conference was the latest collective step in the process that began at the 2010 St Petersburg Tiger Summit – where 13 tiger-range governments committed to Tx2 – an ambitious goal to .... Read More
Tripura launched a project for Sustainable Catchment Forest Management at Hatipara in West Tripura on January 16. The project is jointly funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Government of India.
Highlights of the Project
The objective of the Project is to manage and enhance forest area ecosystems in the .... Read More
A joint initiative between the Wildlife Trust of India and the Bihar Forest Department released captive bred gharials into the Gandak in 2014. Based on three surveys done by Wildlife Trust of India between 2017 and 2018, around 211 gharials of different age-groups are present in the river as compared .... Read More
The government of Arunachal Pradesh on January 20 declared the Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival (PPHF) –the state’s only conservation festival, as a “state festival”.
Main Objectives of the Fest
To recognise the role played by the resident Nyishi tribe in conserving hornbills in the Pakke Tiger Reserve (PTR).
To devise alternative sources of .... Read More
A survey done by Forest department of Madhya Pradesh government, conducted on January 12, 2019 has found that there are now 7,906 vultures in Madhya Pradesh, an increase of 864 vultures from the last count done in 2016.Survey AreaForest department personnel conducted the survey in 1,275 locations across the state, .... Read More
After a span of 120 long years, researchers at the Sikkim University in Gangtok have rediscovered the Small Woodbrown butterfly species from Bakhim in Khanchendzonga National Park.
Remember This: The Small Woodbrown (Lethe nicetella) butterfly was discovered in Sikkim in 1887 by a scientist named de Nicéville. But at that time, .... Read More
The Bhitarkanika National Park has become the largest habitat of endangered estuarine crocodiles in the country with a record number of their nesting sites spotted, a recent survey done by the Odisha’s Forest Department has revealed.
Reasons for This Increase in Numbers
The increase in population was primarily due to the far-sighted .... Read More
On January 16th, Forest Survey of India (FSI) launched the beta-version of the Large Forest Fire Monitoring Programme.
The programme is a part of the Fire Alert System (FAST) Version 3.0, where the FSI will monitor forest fire events using real time data from the SNPP-VIIRS satellite.
The FAST 3.0 is .... Read More
The two new species were discovered from Badami hills in Bagalkot district of Karnataka by botanists from the Shivaji University in Kolhapur, Maharashtra.Key FactsThe species have been named Portulaca badamica and Portulaca lakshminarasimhaniana.Portulaca badamica is named after the site of its discovery that is, the Badami hills, while the second .... Read More
National Wildlife Board (NWB) has given clearance to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Tripura Asset to extract natural gas from Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary in Belonia subdivision of Gomati district.
Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary
Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary was establishedin 1988 in South Tripura District.
This sanctuary has a number of perennial water rivulets, water .... Read More
A water-repelling, biodegradable material inspired by lotus leaves has been developed by a joint team of researchers from India, Switzerland and Italy.
The newly developed material is fully organic and biodegradable. It is inspired by lotus leaves that are composed of cellulose as base substance and utilize naturally formed wax .... Read More
On 10th January, 2019, the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change launched a five-year national level strategy for pan India implementation to tackle the increasing air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner in the form of National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
It proposes a tentative national target .... Read More
An alliance of global companies from the plastics and consumer goods value chain has launched a new organization on January 16 to advance solutions to eliminate plastic waste in the environment, especially in the ocean.
About the Alliance
The cross-value chain Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), is currently made up of .... Read More
The South Asian Nitrogen Hub, a partnership led by the UK’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) and comprising around 50 organisations from across the UK and South Asia, will be established with funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) under its Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).
About Partnership Programme
It will .... Read More
‘A new circular vision for electronics’, a report on e-waste, was released at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Jan 24.
Remember This: The organisations which supported the preparation of the report included International Labour Organization (ILO); International Telecommunication Union (ITU); United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); United Nations Industrial Development .... Read More
The first-of-its-kind study by the United Nations Environment Programme regarding Environmental Rule of Law was published on January 24.
Highlights of the Report
The report has found weak enforcement of laws to be a global trend that is exacerbating environmental threats, despite prolific growth in environmental laws and agencies worldwide over the .... Read More
In a first, the largest agriculture associations in Africa and Asia met on January 13, 2019, in Hyderabad to sign an agreement for diversifying major food staples.
Smart Food Executive Council
Associations including the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI), Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), West and Central African .... Read More
In Meghalaya’s tough hill terrains, space technology is aiding the selection of areas that are suited for growing and expanding cultivation of boro rice which is sown in winter and harvested in spring/summer, the State Government announced recently.
Boro Rice Cultivation
Boro refers to a special type of rice cultivation on residual .... Read More
The Indian government has diverted over 20,000 hectares of forest area for developmental activities such as mining, thermal power plants, dams, road, railways and irrigation projects in the past three years (2015-18) across India, according to the official data revealed by the Government in Parliament.
A total of 20,314.12 hectares .... Read More
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) on January 10 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), kick starting cooperation in building energy efficiency.
According to the MoU, BEE and CPWD will cooperate on promoting designs and construction of Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) compliant .... Read More
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) on January 30 circulated a preliminary assessment report of land degradation at the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 17) of UNCCD in Georgetown, Guyana.
While the rate of deforestation has slowed down after 2005, forests continue to shrink.
The world’s dominant .... Read More
1.What are the salient features of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act?
It binds not Only the present government but also the future Government to adhere to the path of fiscal consolidation.
It aims to eliminate fiscal deficit.
It aims to eliminate revenue deficit.
It prohibits easy borrowing by the government from .... Read More
Polity13. Why Indian federalism is termed as asymmetric federalism?(a) Some states are given special status and privilege. (b) Indian Constitution has numerous unitary or non-federal features. (c) The Union enjoys unbridled power and authority. (d) Some states do not have legislative councils.Solution: (a)Explanation:-Asymmetric federalism or asymmetrical federalism is found in .... Read More
Art and Culture25. Consider the following statements about a danceform:It was conventionally performed by Devdasis, therefore it is also known as DasiattamIt is predominantly a tandav styleIts central theme depicts stories of Rama, Shiva, Vishnu etc.The above statements represent which of the following classical dance?(a) Kathakali .... Read More
History29. Which of the following statements is/are correct about Ibadat Khaana of Akbar?It was the personal prayer hall for AkbarIt was built in Fatehpur SikriSelect the correct answer using the code given below:(a) 1 Only (b) 2 .... Read More
Science and Technology35.Which of the following is/are correct regarding photochemical smog?Photochemical smog is produced when pollutants from the combustion of fossil fuels react with the sunlight.The effects of smog on human health and the environment are serious and harmful.Select the correct answer using given code:(a) 1 Only .... Read More
Ecology and Environment39. With reference to Ecological Pyramid of Biomass, find out the incorrect statement:(a) A pyramid of biomass is a representation of the amount of energy contained in biomass, at different trophic levels for a given point in time.(b) The amount of energy available to one trophic level is .... Read More
Geography45. The river Mandovi is located in which state of India:(a) Nagaland (b) Kerala(c) Manipur (d) GoaSolution: (a)Explanation:-The Mahadayi/Mandovi River, also known as Mahadayi or Mhadei river, is described as the lifeline of the Indian state of Goa. The Mandovi and the Zuari .... Read More
51. “Yellow Vest” Movement sometimes seen in the news is related to which Country?
(a) USA (b) France
(c) Germany (d) UK
The Yellow Vest movement is also referred as the Yellow Jacket movement. In November 2018, Protestors took to street in Paris, wearing the high-visibility fluorescent jackets. The protest was .... Read More
Poonam Khetrapal Singh
Poonam Khetrapal Singh has been reappointed WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, for a five-year term.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board on 26th January, 2019 unanimously endorsed Dr. Khetrapal Singh, who was earlier also unanimously nominated by 11 Member countries of the Region.
Sultan AbdullahSultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad .... Read More
Piyush GoyalPiyush Goyal has been appointed as the Interim Finance Minister and Interim Minister of Corporate Affairs with Arun Jaitley undergoing surgery in the US.
Piyush Goyal is currently the Minister for Railways & Coal and will also be the Interim Minister for Corporate Affairs.
Sanjiv KhannaJustice Sanjiv Khanna was sworn in .... Read More
George FernandesGeorge Fernandes, former Parliamentarian and Union Minister, died on 29th January, 2019.
Under his stewardship, India fought the Kargil war in 1999. It was also during his tenure that India conducted nuclear tests at Pokhran in 1998.Atin BandyopadhyaySahitya Akademi award winning Bengali writer Atin Bandyopadhyay passed away on 19th January, .... Read More
DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018
DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018 was awarded to Jayant Kakini & Tejaswini Niranjana for a short story collection titled “No Presents Please” on 25th January, 2019 at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet.
In the above mentioned award ceremony, US $25,000 DSC Prize .... Read More
2nd World Integrated Medicine Forum
The 2nd World Integrated Medicine Forum 2019 on the Regulation of Homeopathic Medical Products was held from 23rd to 25th January, 2019 in Goa.
This forum was organized by the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, under the Ministry of AYUSH.
India Steel 2019 Exhibition and Conference
The 3-day .... Read More
State Tiger Protection Force (STPF)The Telangana government has decided to form a 112 member armed ‘State Tiger Protection Force’ (STPF) to protect Tiger populations in Amarabad and Kawal Tiger Reserves.
The State and Central government will share the cost of the force on 40:60 basis.
Committee on Group InsolvencyThe Insolvency and Bankruptcy .... Read More
Bloomberg Innovation Index 2019India was ranked 54th in the list of most innovative countries in the world with a score of 47.93 out of 100 in 2019 ‘Bloomberg Innovation Index’ of 60 economies.
South Korea has topped the Index for the sixth time in a row with a total score of .... Read More
National Salt Satyagraha MemorialTo commemorate the ‘Death Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’, PM Modi dedicated the ‘National Salt Satyagraha Memorial’ in Dandi, Gujarat to the Nation on 30th January, 2019.
At the memorial site, PM Modi also unveiled statues of Mahatma Gandhi and 80 Satyagrahis who had marched with him during the .... Read More
Amateur Golf ChampionshipIndia’s Kartik Sharma won the New South Wales men’s Amateur Golf Championship in Australia.
Earlier, he had also won the Indian golf union western India amateur golf championship 2018.
Indonesia Masters 2019Saina Nehwal won the women’s singles title on 27th January, 2019 after injured Carolina Marin limped out of the .... Read More
Exercise SEA VIGILTen years after “26/11”, the Indian Navy commenced the largest coastal defence exercise off the Indian coast on 22nd January, 2019.
Exercise SEA VIGIL, was undertaken along the entire 7516.6 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India and is involving all the 13 coastal States and Union Territories .... Read More
UBI is a fine idea, but can it be at the cost of expenditure
on health, education or rural infrastructure?
universal basic income (UBI), a welfare benefit that guarantees a certain threshold sum of money for everyone regardless of whether they work or not, is the next big political-economy idea fast catching .... Read More
Patents are integral to innovation, but in agricultural
biotechnology farmers' interest can't be ignored.
Biotechnology has revolutionised agriculture by helping farmers produce a greater variety of crops in larger quantities. However, recently, three different courts adjudicated upon matters that greatly impact farmers and indigenous communities.
Delhi High Court’s Ruling
In April 2018, the High .... Read More
India space mission has altogether a different objective. Rather than focussing
on military aspect. India has focussed on space exploration.
China recently became the third country to land a probe on the Moon on January 2, 2019. But its operation is more significant issue since the probe landed on the dark .... Read More
If loan waiver was the solution to agrarian distress, why hasn’t it prevented
farm incomes from decelerating and farmers from committing suicide?
Farmers are always in distress when prices of their produce are subdued. The response of governments has been to sharply hike minimum support prices (MSP) of crops or declare .... Read More
Considering India’s growing economy and enhanced military capabilities,
Indian leaders are pushing for their country’s due place in global councils.
In international realms, term ‘global order’ broadly refers to the distribution of power and authority among the political actors on the global stage.
In the late 19th and early 20th Century, global .... Read More
The Citizenship (Amendment) bill proceeds on the assumption that religious
minorities in both Pakistan and Bangladesh are, in effect, unwanted citizens that look to India as the country of refuge.
The North-eastern part of India is now seized with one issue. It is seldom that the region rises together on a shared .... Read More
The 124th Constitution Amendment Bill, 2019 to award 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker sections was passed by the Parliament in January, 2019. With this, the great reservation debate has once again started. What does India need – more jobs or more quota? Who needs reservation in jobs and .... Read More
Constitutional promise is explicitly for social exclusion and discrimination
Articles 330-342 under Part 16 of the Constitution outline special provisions for certain classes. The Constitution identifies only four such classes — SCs, STs, Backward Classes and Anglo Indians. The Constitutional promise is explicitly for social exclusion and discrimination.
While providing quotas for .... Read More
Fundamental Rights of Educational Institutions: Creating reservation at private-unaided educational institutions would eschew the freedoms under Article 19(1)(g). Curbing fundamental rights for facilitating professional and degree education is an overstretch from Article 21A’s mandate of literacy and primary schooling.
Socially Weaker Sections will not be covered by the New Quota: An .... Read More
The term “backward class of citizens” has been generally understood, and also defined by the Supreme Court in the Mandal case (Indra Sawhney vs Union of India, 1992) judgment, to include the SCs, STs, and Socially and Educationally Backward Castes (SEdBCs). These are not exceptions, but special provisions to ensure .... Read More
Amendment of Constitution
Part XX of the Constitution deals with its amendment
Under Article 368(2), Parliament can amend the Constitution by passing a Bill in “each House by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House .... Read More
The amendment was challenged on two major issues:i) Whether it violated the “basic structure”ii) Whether Articles 15(4) and 15(5) were mutually contradictory — and hence, Article 15(5) was ultra vires of the ConstitutionThe RulingIn March 2008, a five-judge Constitution Bench upheld the law providing 27 per cent quota for OBCs .... Read More
It has been their longstanding demand for quotas in proportion to their population. According to the 1931 caste census, OBCs constituted 52 per cent of undivided India’s population. The government has not yet made public the caste census carried out in 2011-12.Number of OBCsAs per Census 2011, the population of .... Read More
The three-member commission, headed by Major Gen (retd) S R Sinho, was instituted by the UPA government and had submitted its report in July 2010. The Sinho Commission report of 2010, which the Centre has been citing as the basis for its legislation to grant 10 per cent reservation to .... Read More
Even as governments want more and more sections of society to benefit from reservations in public sector jobs, the truth is the size of the cake itself is becoming smaller. As a recent report published in the Indian Express, annual Central government recruitment (including in the Railways) has fallen from .... Read More
In spite of reservations, a vast proportion of reserved category applicants do not find a place via the government recruitments. Hence, we must think about alternative strategies.Individuals should use Their Reserved Category Status Only OnceOne strategy may be to try and spread the benefits of reservations as widely as possible .... Read More
Relevancy in PrelimsOldest Clue to the Mystery of Animal Life: Researchers have found the oldest clue yet to the mystery of animal life in ancient rocks and oils, including those from India, dating back at least 100 million years before the famous Cambrian explosion of animal fossils. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside in the U.S. tracked molecular signs of animal life, called biomarkers, as far back as 660-635 million years ago during the Neoproterozoic era.New Facts about Eastern Regions of Maharashtra: There are a few practical facts about the eastern regions of Maharashtra that contradict geological discoveries placed .... Read More
EconomicThe Archean Group of rocks, of which Dharwar system forms a very important sub-group, are regarded as the most important economic-mineral-bearing groups of Indian stratigraphy. Baring Coal and Petroleum, most other economic minerals like those of Iron, Copper, Manganese, Lead, Zinc and Gold etc. have come from rocks which broadly belong to Archean time.ManganeseAlmost the whole of manganese annually produced in India is derived from Archean rocks.The chief manganese bearing rocks are: Gondites developed in Balaghat, Bhandare, Chinddwar, Gangapur and Chhotta-Nagpur. These are typically sedimentary rocks that show prominent structure and are highly manganiferous.Kodurites, those are in fact hybrid rocks .... Read More
EconomicThe Dharwar rocks are rich in iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc, gold, silver etc.The Champions series containing gold mines lie within this system. This Champion system is named after the Champion reef in the Kolar Gold Fields. The Kolar Gold Fields contain one of the deepest gold mines of world.The other series of Dharwar system are as follows:Champaner series that is found near Baroda. This is source of a lush green variety of marble.Closepet series that is found in Balaghat and Chhindwara of Madhya Pradesh. It is rich in Copper ores.Chilpi Series that is found in and around the Closepet .... Read More
EconomicQuite a few important economic minerals occur in the rocks of Cuddapah System or its equivalents. Examples are: The Barite and Asbestos of Papaghani series at Cuddapah, Anantapur and Kurnool.The Quartzitiers of Delhi system have been used extensively as building stones and roadstones.The principle rocks of the Cuddapah System are sandstones, shales, limestone, quartzites slates, and inferior quality of iron-ore, manganese ore, asbestos, copper, nickel, cobalt (Delhi System), marble, jasper, building material and stones for interior decoration.The metallic contents in the ores of Cuddapah rocks are, however, low and at places uneconomical for extractionPhysicalCudappah System rocks are rich in metamorphic .... Read More
EconomicDiamondFor many centuries past, diamonds have been won form the Vindhyan and Kurnool and in the conglomerates separating the different group of the Upper Vindhyans in Panna, Central India, as also just outside the Cuddapah basin in Sambhalpur in Orissa. The original source of the diamond which came to be deposited I the conglomerates are apparently pipe like intrusions of ultrabasic rocks like one at the Majhgawan near Panna. Several; such pipes may be present in the Panna area and in the Cuddapah basin.Pyrite The Bijaigarh Shales of the lower Kaimurs contain a bed, 1 to 1.3m thick of sedimentary .... Read More
EconomicCoalThe Barakar and Raniganj Formation of the Damuda Group constitute the most important coal bearing rock formations.All of the Gondwana coal is of bituminous variety. Gondwana coal makes up to 98 per cent of the total reserves and 99 per cent of the production of coal in India. Satpuras, denudation [weathering + erosion] has exposed coal bearing Gondwana strata.The carbon content in Gondwana coal [250 million years old] is less compared to the Carboniferous coal [350 million years old] because of its much younger age.Gondwana coal forms India’s metallurgical grade as well as superior quality coal.The Damuda series (i.e. Lower .... Read More
EconomicThe basalt is widely used for building construction, rod metals etc. The Gate way of India in Bombay harbours is constructed with Trachytic rocks of Deccan traps. There are several secondary minerals in the vesicles of Deccan basalt such as Quartz, Amethyst, Augite, Chalcedony etc are used as Gemstones.The cavities are store house of Zeolite minerals which is used for ornamental purposes. The basalt of the Deccan Trap is used for the construction of roads and buildings.Moreover, quartz, bauxite, magnetite, agate and semi-precious stones are also found in the trap. It is also rich in magnesium, carbonate, potash and phosphates.PhysicalThe .... Read More
EconomicProminent deposits in this rock system include limestone, shale, sandstone etc.The marine transgression in the latter part of the Jurassic gave rise to thick series of shallow water deposits in Rajasthan and in Kuchchh.Coral limestone, sandstone, conglomerates and shales occur in Kuchchh.Salt Range: Ceratite beds of Triassic age are overlain by Jurassic rocks of middle to upper Jurassic age in Salt Range. Lithologi cally these comprise sandstones, shales and limestones, the latter being oolitic. The shales are rich in gypsum and pyrite bands. Fossils found from Upper Jurassic include Pecten, Lima (Lamellibranchs), Ammonites and some Belemnites whereas from Middle Jurassic, .... Read More
EconomicThe Tertiary System of rocks are found mostly in the Himalayas. In the peninsula, they occur in coastal areas of Gujarat, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The Tertiary rocks contain brown coal, rock salt, gypsum and limestone.Tertiary coal fields share only 1% of coal production of India. Such fields occur in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland and also in small quantities in Jammu & Kashmir. It is extracted from Darangiri, Cherrapunji, Mewlong and Langrin (Meghalaya); Makum, Jaipur and Nazira in upper Assam, Namchik – Namphuk (Arunachal Pradesh) and Kalakot (Jammu and Kashmir). Tertiary coal is the lignite coal.Lignite also occurs .... Read More
EconomicThe important quarternary formations are Ice Age deposits in Kashmir, formation of alluvial plains in north India, creation of Rajasthan deserts, Rann of Kachchh.Karewas: The lacustrine deposits of the Pleistocene period.They consist of sands, clays, loams, silt and boulders.The karewas of Kashmir are generally found along the lower slopes of Pir-Panjal with a dip towards the Kashmir Valley.The Pampore and Pulwama karewas are well known for the cultivation of saffron, almond, and walnut PhysicalQuaternary is the name proposed for very recent deposits, which contain fossils of species with living representatives.During the Quaternary Period, the ice-sheets descended to as low as .... Read More
Relevancy in PrelimsClimate Vulnerability Asseessment: All the 12 Himalayan states in India are extremely vulnerable to global warming with Assam, Mizoram and Jammu & Kashmir topping the list, says a first-of-its-kind report prepared by the Department of Science and Technology. Titled ‘Climate Vulnerability Assessment for the Indian Himalayan Region Using a Common Framework’, the report submitted by IIT Mandi and IIT Guwahati in collaboration with Indian Institute of Science Bangalore presents a chilling vulnerability map and assessment for the Indian Himalayan Region.Extent of Glacial Retreat in Himalaya: A Parliamentary panel has recommended the Centre to make adequate financial allocation and .... Read More
Economic conditions in the Himalayas partly depend on the limited resources available in different parts of that vast region of varied ecological zones.
The principal activity is animal husbandry, but forestry, trade, and tourism are also important. The Himalayas abound in economic resources.
Those include pockets of rich arable land, extensive grasslands and forests, workable mineral deposits, easy-to-harness waterpower, and great natural beauty.
The most productive arable lands in the western Himalayas are in the Vale of Kashmir, the Kangra valley, the Sutlej River basin, and the terraces flanking the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in Uttarakhand; those areas produce rice, corn .... Read More
EconomicAgricultureFarming on the Indus-Ganga Plain primarily consists of rice and wheat grown in rotation. Other crops include maize, sugarcane, and cotton.The main source of rainfall is the southwest monsoon which is normally sufficient for general agriculture. The many rivers flowing out of the Himalayas provide water for major irrigation works.Due to a rapidly growing population (as well as other factors), this area is considered at high risk for water shortages in the future.The area constitutes the land between the Brahmaputra River and the Aravalli Range. The Ganga and other rivers such as the Yamuna, the Ghaghara and the Chambal flow .... Read More
Plateaus in the Peninsular Region
Relevancy in Prelims
Irrigated Agriculture and Impact on Groundwater: Under changed climatic conditions, an expansion of irrigated agriculture in the Deccan Plateau would negate any gains in groundwater recharge due to increased rainfall, new research on the rocky terrain of southern India shows. This could lead to further farm distress in a country that is already facing a crisis in agriculture.
Rat Hole Mining: Navy and NDRF have finally found some success in tracing the workers trapped inside the coal mine in Meghalaya. Meghalaya has a pretty difficult plateau-like terrain with elevation varying from 500 ft to 6500 .... Read More
EconomicThe regional economy is mostly agricultural; cereal grains, pulses (legumes), oilseeds, and cotton are the main crops. Industries produce cotton textiles, ginned cotton, sugar, vegetable oil, lumber, and paper. The Chambal Valley Development Scheme provides water for irrigation and hydroelectric power.Ratlam has ceramic factories, Bhopal and Ujjain have engineering industries, and Indore has a foundry. Many trunk roads pass through the region. There are airports at Indore and .... Read More
EconomicThe economy of the Mewar region relies primarily on tourism, the marble and stone industry, mining, handicrafts, zinc smelters, cement and tyre factories, as well as agriculture.Major crops include maize, groundnut, soybean, wheat, and mustard. Opium is also grown in the adjoining regions of the southeast (Pratapgarh and Nimbahera).Fishery also thrives in the region’s various lakes, supported by a government fisheries .... Read More
EconomicWhile agriculture is the mainstay of Bundelkhand economy, conditions are unfavorable for growth of cash crops like sugarcane and cotton. Productivity is affected by the poor water retention ability of the soil, weather fluctuations and large amount of wasteland. Rising input costs and frequent incidence of drought are pushing agricultural laborers and small farmers out of agriculture. The majority of rural households in most parts of Bundelkhand rely on income from local or inter-state, annual or seasonal or migration for work. The region is rich in mineral wealth. The ancient rocks of the southern Vindhyan ranges and plateau contribute some .... Read More
EconomicAgriculture is underdeveloped; rice is the principal crop, and some wheat, corn (maize), and gram (chickpeas) are also grown.Deposits of coal, limestone, bauxite, clay, and quartzite are in the region, but only the first two have been mined extensively.Rewa, Rajgarh, Satna, and Shahdol are the major administrative and commercial centres. Other locales include Umaria, Burhar, and Gaurela, in the Sohagpur basin; Ambikapur, Manendragarh, and Baikunthpur, which are rice-growing regions; Singrauli, Renukut, Pipri, and Dudhi, known for coal mining; and Obra, Dala, Sidhi, and Agori, which are transportation .... Read More
EconomicChhotanagpur plateau is a store house of minerals like mica, bauxite, copper, limestone, iron ore and coal.The Damodar valley is rich in coal and it is considered as the prime centre of coking coal in the country. Massive coal deposits are found in the central basin spreading over 2,883 km2. The important coalfields in the basin are Jharia, Raniganj, West Bokaro, East Bokaro, Ramgarh, South Karanpura and North Karanpura.Forest products, such as tussah silk and lac, are economically important. The Chota Nagpur area has the most valuable concentration of mineral resources in India. The Damodar valley has vast coal reserves, .... Read More
Deccan PlateauThe plateau is located between two mountain ranges, the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats, each of which rises from its respective nearby coastal plain, and almost converge at the southern tip of India. It is separated from the Gangetic plain to the north by the Satpura and Vindhya Ranges, which form its northern boundary. The Deccan produced some of the major dynasties in Indian history including Pallavas, Satavahana, Vakataka, Chalukya, and Rashtrakuta dynasties, the Western Chalukya, the Kadamba Dynasty, Kakatiya Empire, Vijayanagara and Maratha empires and the Muslim Bahmani Sultanate, Deccan Sultanate, and the Nizam of Hyderabad.The Deccan .... Read More
Hills of Peninsular India
Relevancy in Prelims
Disappearance of 31 Hills: The Supreme Court expressed shock over the disappearance of 31 hills in the Aravalli area of Rajasthan and asked the State government to stop illegal mining in the 115.34-hectare area there within 48 hours.
Central Indian Landscape (CIL): The Central Indian Landscape (CIL), as defined by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), is spread over the eight Indian states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra. The extant forests of the CIL are located in a variety of topography of .... Read More
EconomicEnergy SectorBanswara Dam: Mahi Bajaj Sagar Dam is a dam across the Mahi River. It is situated 16 kilometres from Banswara town in Banswara district Rajasthan, India. The dam was constructed between 1972 and 1983 for the purposes of hydroelectric power generation and water supply. It is the second largest dam in Rajasthan. Kadana Dam: It was built in 1979 in the villages of Kadana, Tal: Santrampur Dist: Panchmahals, Gujarat. It was constructed to provide irrigation, hydropower and flood protection on the river Mahi.Wanakbori dam: The Wanakbori dam is established near Wanakbori village. The Wanakbori thermal power station uses the .... Read More
EconomicAlthough it is economically poor, the Satpura Range contains some worked manganese and coal deposits in its southeastern flanks. It is largely forested, dissected plateau country, and it contains valuable teak stands in the west. In the upper Wainganga and Pench valleys of the Mahadeo Hills, there is some agriculture; on the higher hills, Gond hill tribes practice jhum cultivation (burning, planting, and moving on). In Madhya Pradesh, Pachmarhi is a resort town and Chhindwara is a .... Read More
EconomicWestern Ghats: Other rock types found are charnockites, granite gneiss, khondalites, leptynites, and metamorphic gneisses with detached occurrences of crystalline limestone, iron ore, dolerites and anorthosites. Residual laterite and bauxite ores are also found in the southern hills.Fauna: The region has a spectacular assemblage of large mammals - around 30 per cent of the world’s Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) population and 17 per cent of the world’s existing tigers (Panthera tigris) call this area their home. Protection for these is extended through several nationally significant wildlife sanctuaries, tiger reserves, and national parks. The Western Ghats include a diversity of ecosystems .... Read More
EconomicEastern Ghats: Limestone, bauxite and iron ore are found in the Eastern Ghats hill ranges.The climate of the higher hill ranges is generally cooler and wetter than the surrounding plains and the hills are home to coffee plantations and enclaves of dry forest.The Bilgiri Hills, which run east from the Western Ghats to the River Kaveri, forms a forested ecological corridor that connects the Eastern and Western Ghats, and allows the second-largest wild elephant population in India to range between the South Eastern Ghats, the Biligiri and Nilgiri Hills, and the South Western Ghats.The famous temple Malai Mahadeshwara Hills Temple .... Read More
The Indian Desert
Relevancy in Prelims
Census of Migratory Birds : The census of migratory birds coming to the water bodies in Thar desert, which was being conducted from January 5, was concluded on January 10, 2018. The census was conducted in the entire state and this time, it is also being conducted at the water bodies in desert areas.
Probable Questions in Prelims
Q1. Consider the following statements:
Bajra is the main kharif crop in Thar
Agricultural production is mainly from kharif crops, which are grown in the summer season and seeded in June and July
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only .... Read More
Coastal Plains of India
Relevancy in Prelims
Rising Sea Levels at the Indian Coasts: Sea levels are rising at different rates along the Indian coast, with projections till the end of the current century varying between 3.5 to 34.6 inches, which may pose a danger to major deltas in east India and vast stretches of the western coastline, including Mumbai. Sharing studies by Hyderabad-based Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, the government recently told Lok Sabha that the sea level rise between 1990 and 2100 can make west coast stretches like Khambat and Kutch in Gujarat, Mumbai and parts of Konkan .... Read More
EconomicEastern Coast: This region includes the non-delta regions of Tamil Nadu. Groundnut, bajra, jowar, cotton, millets and pulses are other crops grown in this region.Utkal Plain: Agriculture is the main occupation, and rice is the principal crop; pulses (legumes) and oilseeds are also grown. Major irrigation projects located in the plains permit double-cropping. Industry, centred in Cuttack, Bhubaneshwar, and Puri along the Kolkata-Chennai (Calcutta-Madras) railway, includes paper mills, refrigerator plants, and the production of ceramics, glass, refractories, textiles, and galvanized pipe. The plains have a network of roads and railways, inland waterways in Cuttack, and an airfield at Bhubaneshwar.Agriculture is .... Read More
Kutch PlainsKutch district is inhabited by various groups and communities. One can find various nomadic, semi nomadic and artisan groups living in Kutch. Gujarati Ahirs constitute a comparatively large group in Kutch.Konkan PlainsEthnic groups and communities found in the region which makes a larger Konkani community are the Vaishya Vani, Malvani, Aagri, Kunbi, Koli, Vadavali, Maratha, Bhandari, Goud Saraswath Brahmins, Kumbhar, Rajapur Saraswat Brahmins, Gabit, Padti, Chitpavan Brahmins, Brahmins, Kudaldeshkar Brahmins, Kuruba, Namdev Shimpi.Tribal communities in Konkan include the Katkari, Konkana, Warli and Kolcha in southern Gujarat, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Maharashtra’s Palghar district. The Katkari are found in .... Read More
Western Coastal PlainWesteren coastal plain is 10 to 15 km wide and is narrower than eastern coastal plain.Western coast is divided into 4 parts:Kathiawar coast (Gujarat coast)Konkan coast (Maharstra coast)Canara coast(Karnataka coast)Malabar coast (Kerala coast)The Gujarat coastal plains are built up by alluvium brought by Sabarmati, Mahi, Narmada and Tapti rivers, all of which form large estuaries.Malabar Coast contains lakes, lagoons and backwaters locally called Kayals.Vembaned Lake (Kerala) is largest of such back water lakes.Eastern Coastal PlainEastern coastal plain is 50 to 60 km wide and is broader than western coastal plainThe eastern coast is mainly emergent type i.e. its .... Read More
Relevancy in Prelims
Islands in Andaman Renamed: Prime Minister Narendra Modi renamed three islands in Andaman & Nicobar. The three islands — Ross Island, Neil Island and Havelock Island — will now be called Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep, respectively, said Modi at a public function in Port Blair.
Earthquake: An earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale struck the Andaman and Nicobar Islands region. As per the India Meteorological Department, the quake struck at 8:23 am at a depth of 84 kilometres.
Coral Cover in Lakshadweep: A nearly two-decade-long study by the Oceans and Coasts Program .... Read More
EconomicAgricultureLakshadweep Economy is a simple one but it is an open economy for there is a great development scope here. This is due to the fact that this part of India has wealth that has not yet been exploited. The Economy of Lakshadweep depends mainly on the agricultural, fishing, industrial, and tourism sectors. The Economy of the union territory of Lakshadweep depends for its revenue on the agricultural sector. The main products that are cultivated in Lakshadweep are coconut and coir. The coconut production in the islands are increasing each year and the agricultural department exports it all over the .... Read More
Monsoon in India
Relevancy in Prelims
Atlantic Ocean Hurricanes: Strong monsoons in the Indian Ocean can induce easterly winds that push Atlantic Ocean hurricanes westward, increasing the likelihood they will make landfall in the Americas, according to a study.
The study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, found that in years where summer rainstorms in India are stronger, Atlantic hurricanes move further westward towards land. In years where the rains are not as strong, hurricanes tend to curve northward earlier and fizzle out in the north Atlantic Ocean.
New Model for Rainfall Forecasting: Scientists have developed a new model for estimating variability and .... Read More
On HealthBecause regions with a monsoon climate have distinctly wet and dry seasons, they are prone to floods and droughts, both of which are hazardous to health.During summer monsoons, heavy rainfall can cause flooding.Powerful floodwaters can drown victims and damage buildings, leaving people without homes and vulnerable to the elements.During the 2014 summer monsoon in Pakistan and India, nearly 300 people lost their lives during landslides and home collapses. Australia’s 2011 monsoon flooding caused about $4.5 billion in damage.Yet the main health hazards during summer monsoon season are diseases like cholera, dengue, chikungunya, and malaria, as well as stomach and .... Read More
Relevancy in Prelims
Forest Cover in the Country: Forest cover in the country has increased by about 1 per cent, according to the biennial State of Forests Report 2017 released in 2018, but Niti Aayog says 21.23 per cent of the land is under forest cover. Also, protests took place against government acquiring forest lands for development projects. According to Niti Ayog, India has a 21.23 per cent land under forest cover against recommended 33 per cent recommended in the national forest policy.
FAST Version 3.0 Launched: The Forest Survey of India (FSI), a body under the Union Ministry of Environment, .... Read More
Types of Soil
Relevancy in Prelims
Impact of Bushfires on Forests: A landmark study from The Australian National University (ANU) has found that forest soils need several decades to recover from bushfires and logging -- much longer than previously thought.
Probable Questions in Prelims
Q1. Consider the following statements:
Suitable Crops of Red and Yellow Soils are Rice, wheat, sugarcane, maize/corn, and groundnut.
Red soil is rich in iron oxide, but deficient in nitrogen and lime.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only (b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Q2. These soil are not very fertile and is used .... Read More
EconomicSuitable Crops of Alluvial Soils – Tobacco, cotton, rice, wheat, bajra, sorghum (jowar), pea, pigeon pea, chickpea, black gram, green gram, soybean, groundnut, mustard, linseed, sesame, barley, jute, maize, any oilseeds, vegetables and fruits are suitable in these soils underideal irrigation.The tarai soils are rich in nitrogen and organic matter but are deficient in phosphate. These soils are generally covered by tall grasses and forests but are suitable for a number of crops such as wheat, rice, sugarcane, jute and soyabean under reclaimed conditions.Due to their softness of the strata and fertility the alluvial soils are best suited to irrigation .... Read More
EconomicSuitable Crops of Black Soils – The black soils moisture very well hence it’s excellent for growing cotton. This is also popularly known as black cotton soil.However, there are many other crops which can be grown in these soils are; Rice and sugarcane, wheat, jowar, linseed, sunflower, cereal crops, citrus fruits, vegetables, tobacco, groundnut, any oilseed crops and millets. Because of their high fertility and retentivity of moisture, the black soils are widely used for producing several important crops. Some of the major crops grown on the black soils are cotton, wheat, jowar, linseed, Virginia tobacco, castor, sunflower and millets. .... Read More
EconomicSuitable Crops of Red and Yellow Soils – Rice, wheat, sugarcane, maize/corn, groundnut, ragi (finger millet) and potato, oil seeds, pulses, millets and fruits such as mango, orange, citrus, and vegetables can be grown under ideal irrigation.Red soil is rich in iron oxide, but deficient in nitrogen and lime. Its chemical composition generally includes non-soluble material 90.47%, iron 3.61%, aluminium 2.92%, organic matter 1.01%, Magnesium 0.70%, lime 0.56%, carbon di-oxide 0.30%, potash 0.24%, soda 0.12%, phosphorus 0.09% and nitrogen 0.08%.PhysicalThis comprehensive term designates the largest soil group of India, comprising several minor types. Most of the red soils have come .... Read More
EconomicThese soil are not very fertile and is used in cotton growing, rice cultivation, wheat cultivation, pulses growing, cultivation of tea, growing coffee, growing rubber, growing coconut and growing cashews. Most of the time these soil are used to make bricks due to presence of large amounts of iron. Laterites are a source of aluminium ore; the ore exists largely in clay minerals and the hydroxides, gibbsite, boehmite, and diaspore, which resembles the composition of bauxite.The chief minerals in irrigation water are chloride, sulfate, bicarbonate, sodium, calcium, and magnesium. These minerals, contained in the irrigation water, can build up in .... Read More
EconomicBarley, wheat oats sorghum, sugar-beet, berseem are best suited to grow in alkaline soil. Cotton and grapes are also alkaline tolerants.PhysicalThese soils are found in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. In the drier parts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, there are salt-impregnated or alkaline soils occupying 68,000 sq km of area. These soils are liable to saline and alkaline efflorescence’s and are known by different names such as reh, kallar, usar, thur, rakar, karl and .... Read More
Relevancy in Prelims
A New Programme to Boost Soil Productivity: The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and its Global Soil Partnership launched a new programme to boost soil productivity and reduce soil degradation for greater food and nutrition security in Africa. The Afrisoils programme aims to increase soil productivity in 47 African countries by 30 percent, and reduce soil degradation by 25 percent in the next ten years.
Probable Questions in Prelims
Q1. Consider the following statements:
Soil erosion is the removal of top soil by agents like wind and water
Erosion results in reduction of fertility of the soil by washing .... Read More
Ecological ImplicationsDrifting of sand and its accumulation on fertile agricultural land.Excessive soil erosion by wind and to some extent by water.Deposition of sand in rivers, lakes and other water bodies thereby decreasing their water containing capacity.Lowering of water table leading to acute water shortage.Increase in area under wastelands.Decrease in agricultural production.Increase in frequency and intensity of droughts.PhysicalSoil DegradationSoil degradation is the decline in soil quality caused by its improper use, usually for agricultural, pastoral, industrial or urban purposes.Soil degradation is a serious global environmental problem and may be exacerbated by climate change. It encompasses physical (soil erosion), chemical (salinity and .... Read More
Relevancy in Prelims
Earthquake Early Warning System: Scientists at IIT Roorkee claim to have developed an earthquake early warning system that can alert people up to a minute before the quake strikes.
Shallow Mantle Creep: The scientists have discovered that a large earthquake usually comes after a shallow mantle creep and seismic swarms, which a process is called ‘silent slip’. This process is when the Earth moves, but there is no earthquake and can lead to actual seismic activity. The scientists tracked more than 1,600 earthquakes by placing 55 seismometers at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. The research could help scientists .... Read More
Relevancy in Prelims
Climate Disturbance: Around 56 million years ago, global temperatures spiked. Researchers now show that a major explosive eruption from the Red Hills on the Isle of Skye may have been a contributing factor to the massive climate disturbance.
Mount Mayon: The Philippines’ most active volcano, Mount Mayon, spewed greyish white ash plumes that rose 500 to 600m above the crater on Dec 27.
Probable Questions in Prelims
Q1. Consider the following statements with respect to volcanic eruptions:
Water is the main component in volcanic eruptions; it is what makes them so explosive.
Toxic gases that are released in eruptions can bond .... Read More
Relevancy in Prelims
Tsunami Hit the Sunda Strait: The death toll from a tsunami that hit the Sunda Strait coastline of Indonesia has risen to 429, according to authorities who issued new warnings on the grim anniversary of a 2004 earthquake and tsunami that killed a staggering 230,000 people across 14 countries.
Probable Questions in Prelims
Q1. Consider the following statements
Tsunamis are very long-wavelength water waves in oceans or seas.
The attractions of the Moon and Sun plays role in their formation.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Relevant Topics .... Read More
Glacial Landforms: Erosional and DepositionalRelevancy in Prelims 2019Detecting the Extent of Debris: Scientist show a possibility to detect the extent of debris on mountain glaciers globally and automatically via satellite monitoring. The scientists used the cloud computing platform Google Earth Engine for their study.Probable Prelims QuestionQ1. Consider the following statements:Hydroelectric power generation is feasible only in main valley glaciers.Main valley glaciers are eroded much more rapidly than the tributary valleyWhich of the statements given above is/are correct?(a) 1 only (b) only(c) Both 1 and 2(d) Neither 1 nor 2Q2. Which of the following glaciers are found in Pir Panjal?(a) Chungpur .... Read More
World Climatic ZonesRelevancy in PrelimsPollution in India Could Reshape Monsoons: Pollution in India Could Reshape Monsoons. Local emissions over the subcontinent make summer storms more erratic, and may have global consequences. Over the next decade, more than 400 large dams will be built on the Himalayan rivers—by India, China, Nepal, Bhutan, and Pakistan—to feed the region’s hunger for electricity and its need for irrigation.Fires in Central African Forest: Researchers are revealing the unexpected role that large-scale fires and high nitrogen deposition play in the ecology and biogeochemistry of these lush Central African forests.Their findings, published in the journal Proceedings of .... Read More
Economic & Social GeographyCrops in SavannaSettlements in central Africa, northern Australia and eastern Brazil have shown that the savannas have immense agricultural potential for plantation agriculture of cotton, cane sugar, coffee, oil palm, groundnuts and even tropical fruits.Tropical Queensland, despite its scarcity of labour force has been very successful in developing its huge empty land.Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi have already taken to large-scale production of cotton.In West Africa, the commercial cultivation of groundnuts, oil palm and cocoa have been gradually extended into the savanna lands.In the cooler highlands, temperate crops have been successfully raised.FarmingDroughts are long due to unreliable .... Read More
Economic & Social GeographyWheat and Maize CultivationCultivation was unknown just before a century and the region was one of the most sparsely populated parts of the world.In recent years, the grasslands have been ploughed up for extensive, mechanized wheat cultivation and are now the ‘granaries of the world’ [Prairies].Besides wheat, maize is increasingly cultivated in the warmer and wetter areas.RanchingThe tufted grasses have been replaced by the more nutritious Lucerne or alfalfa grass for cattle and sheep rearing.These temperate grasslands are now the leading ranching regions of the globe.Nomadic Herding in Asian SteppesThis type of migratory animal grazing has almost .... Read More
Orchard FarmingIt represents a highly specialised commercial agriculture here. The world supply of citrus fruits, olives and figs comes almost exclusively from Mediterranean lands. Fruit culture has long been a traditional Mediterranean occupation because of the very special climatic features in Mediterranean areas.Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruits), olives and figs, which have long, wide-spreading roots, scant foliage and fruits with thick skins are best adapted to the Mediterranean type of climate where annual precipitation can be as low as 380—635 mm (15—25 inches) and where summer droughts may last for more than six months.Fruits are sometimes raised on unirrigated ground .... Read More
EconomicFarming in Monsoon ChinaA third of the world’s rice is grown in China, though the huge population leaves very little for export.Monsoon China has all the ideal conditions for padi cultivation; a warm climate, moderately wet throughout the year, and extensive lowlands with fertile moisture-retentive alluvial soil, which if necessary, can be easily irrigated.As the flat lands are insufficient for rice cultivation, farmers move up the hill-slopes and grow padi on terraced uplands.Agriculture in the Gulf StatesLack of population pressure and the urge to export gave rise to corn, cotton and tobacco.CornThe humid air, the sunny summer and the heavy .... Read More
EconomicMarket GardeningThough market gardening is practiced throughout the world wherever there is a large urban population, nowhere else is it so highly specialized as in North-West Europe.Several factors account for this. All the north-western European countries (Britain, France, West Germany, Benelux and Denmark) are highly industrialized and have high population densities. There are more towns and cities than in other continents despite its small size.It is understandable that the demand for fresh vegetables, green salads, eggs, meat, milk and fruits will be tremendous. The city dwellers, the factory workers and the civil servants who make up the bulk of the .... Read More
EconomicTrappingMany fur-bearing animals are trapped in northerly lands of Canada and Eurasia.Wherever the cold is severe, the quality and thickness of the fur increases.The most severe winters produce the finest furs.In Canada trappers and hunters, armed with automatic rifles, reside in log cabins in the midst of the coniferous forests to track down these animals.Muskrat, ermine, mink, and silver fox are the most important fur-bearing animals.To ensure a more regular supply of furs many fur farms have been established in Canada and Siberia.In Siberia other fur-bearing animals are trapped. These are squirrels, otters, bears, sables, lynxes, martens, and foxes. As .... Read More