Union Finance Minister during her recent budget speech called for promotion of zero-budget natural farming (ZBNF) in India for achieving the target of doubling farmer’s incomes.
Finance Minister referred to several states, including Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, which have been aggressively driving a shift towards this model.
In June 2018, Andhra .... Read More
Union government, on 2 July, extended the facility of Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to fisheries and animal husbandry farmers to help them meet their working capital needs.
The KCC facility will help fisheries and animal husbandry farmers to meet their short term credit requirements for rearing of animals, poultry birds and .... Read More
Finance Minister announced in the Budget speech that India was looking to raise around $10 billion via overseas foreign currency sovereign bonds in the current fiscal year, in a first-ever such issuance. This is in line with the government’s intent to raise a portion of its gross borrowing from overseas .... Read More
Economic Survey 2019 has recommended that governments can create data as a public good within the legal framework of data privacy.
A closer attention needs to be paid by the government towards data revolution and processing because of push and pull factors related to data.
On the one hand, the decreasing marginal .... Read More
On 11 July, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MHUA) released the draft Model Tenancy Act, 2019, in public for consultation. The law aims to regulate rental housing by a market-oriented approach.
It envisages to balance the interest and rights of both the owner and tenant and to create an .... Read More
On July 12, the Meghalaya Cabinet approved a draft water policy to address water usages, issues of conservation and protection of water sources in the State.
About the Policy
Meghalaya is the first state in the country to adopt a water policy.
The primary aim if the policy is to recognise water as .... Read More
On 24 July, PayPal, an American digital payments company, declared that it is working on localization of data as mandated by the Reserve Bank of India.
Data and its Localization
Data is distinct information that is formatted in a special way. Data exists in a variety of forms, like text on paper .... Read More
The Government in June 2019 has allowed the direct sale of biodiesel (B100) for blending with high speed diesel to all consumers in accordance with the specified blending limits and the standards specified by the Bureau of Indian Standards, with effect from 29th June, 2017.
This step is in line with .... Read More
The Economic Survey 2019 has called for Redesigning a Minimum Wage System in India for Inclusive Growth.
India enacted the Minimum Wages Act way back in 1948 which protects both regular and casual workers. The minimum wage system in India is extremely complex with a plethora of minimum wages. Minimum .... Read More
Telecom Ministry announced on 8 July that it would launch the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) next month.
The National Telecom Policy of 2012 calls for the establishment of a National Mobile Property Registry to address the issue of “security, theft, and other concerns including reprogramming of mobile handsets”
Based on this, .... Read More
On 29 June, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution announced the roll out of ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ scheme from 1 July 2020.
The scheme allows poor migrant workers to buy subsidised rice and wheat from any ration shop in the country, so long as their ration cards .... Read More
On 10 July, Kerala government decided to set up the company-NRK Investment and Holding Company Ltd. for channellising investments from overseas Keralites for major infrastructure development in the state.
The Non-Resident Keralites (NRK) would hold 74% stake in the company and the state government will hold the remaining 26% stake.
The move .... Read More
On 10 July, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for the launch of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana-lll (PMGSY-III).
Under the scheme it is proposed to consolidate 1,25,000 Km road length in the States. The Scheme will also include Through Routes and Major Rural Links that connect .... Read More
Utkarsh 2022The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set out a medium term strategy — named ‘Utkarsh 2022’- a three- year roadmap to improve regulation and supervision, among other functions of the central bank.The strategic framework contains, inter alia, the Bank’s Mission, Core Purpose, Values and Vision Statements, reiterating the .... Read More
On 11 July, the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) Report for the year 2019 was released by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).
Findings on India
India lifted 271 million people out of poverty between 2006 and 2016, recording the fastest reductions in the .... Read More
On 15 July, ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, 2019 Report’ was released by UN Food and Agriculture Organizations (FAO) in partnership with World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and International Fund for Agricultural Development.
As per the report, severe food insecurity is concentrated in South Asia which .... Read More
India went five places up in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2019 improving its position to 52nd in 2019 as against 57th in 2018. Switzerland topped the list.
The GII ranking is published by Cornell University, INSEAD, the UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and GII Knowledge Partners, over 129 economies. .... Read More
On July 6, 2019, the Pink City of India, Jaipur (Rajasthan) was declared a World Heritage Site, making it the 38th Indian entry to be added to the list.
There are 30 cultural sites, 7 natural sites, and one mixed site (Khangchendzonga National Park) in India.
World Heritage Site
It is a location .... Read More
Inter-ministerial committee on virtual currencies (Subhash Chandra Garg Committee), which was set up to look into the legality of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, has submitted its report along with a draft bill ‘Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2019’ .
Highlighted the positive aspect of distributed-ledger technology .... Read More
The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by Rajya Sabha on June 24th, 2019. It replaces an ordinance promulgated on March 2, 2019, which aimed to circumvent Supreme Court judgement of September 2018, which struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act that permitted private entities like .... Read More
Recent political crisis in Karnataka, where some MLAs resigned to circumvent the provisions of the anti-defection law, has raised a question mark on the relevance of statue, whose main objective was to curb political defections. The strategic merger (majority of opposition party merged into the ruling party) in the state .... Read More
On 26 July 2019, Supreme Court issued notices to the Central government, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and state governments, including Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, on a petition (PIL) filed by the NGOAnti-Corruption Council of India Trust, seeking implementation status of the apex court’s .... Read More
On 22nd July 2019, Lok Sabha passed The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which aims to amend the Right to Information Act, 2005.
The Bill proposes to give the Central government power to set the tenure and salaries of state and central Information Commissioners.
Salient Features of the Bill
Term of Information .... Read More
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed on July 23, 2019 to amend the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The amendment seeks to impose strict penalties on violation of traffic rules, streamlining of licencing and its administration, and address the dire state of road safety in the country, especially after .... Read More
The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed, on July 22, 2019, which amended the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 that provides for a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), State Human Rights Commissions (SHRC), as well as Human Rights Courts.
Salient Features of Amendment
Change related to Composition of .... Read More
Use of Colistin has been banned in food-producing animals, poultry and aqua farms in India, in a move to curb the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in humans through animals.
Colistin is a “reserve” antibiotic and is considered a “last-resort” option when all other alternatives have failed.
It will prevent its .... Read More
The Nagaland government has put on hold the enrolments for the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) as it announced the formation of a three-member commission to study the exercise amid concerns by civil society groups and political parties including the NPF (Naga People’s Front) who among other issues .... Read More
The Telangana government and World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network announced to launch an innovative project to deliver emergency medical supplies such as blood and vaccines via drones.
The pilot project named Medicine from the Sky will run in partnership with the state government and Health Net .... Read More
It is a Google India-Tata Trust’s initiative, which is aimed at facilitating digital literacy among women in rural India, will be expanded to villages in Punjab and Odisha.
Launched in July 2015, the Internet Saathi programme has so far, trained 70,000 ‘Internet Saathi’, who have in turn impacted 2.6 crore women .... Read More
Kharchi Puja is the annual festival of Tripura, in which people worship 14 Gods, is started at Chaturdash Devata Bari in old Agartala.
Tripura government bears all the expenses of the festival for the last several decades.
The word ‘Kharchi’ is derived from word ‘Khya’ which means earth, thus Kharchi Puja is .... Read More
Vice President released a short book Vivekadeepini, which is a summary of Prashnottara Ratnamalika written by Adi Shankaracharya. It is a compilation of selected verses of Prashnottara Ratnamalika, which are written in Question-Answer format and contain universal truths and glimpses of India’s wisdom.
Adi Shankaracharya was a 8th century .... Read More
On 08th and 09th of July 2019, an all India drive Operation Thirst was launched by Railway Protection Force to curb the menace of unauthorized packaged drinking water in Railway premises, covering almost all major stations.
During peak summer season there is heavy demand of drinking water, which leads to selling .... Read More
The Andhra Pradesh legislators passed the AP Employment of Local Candidates in Industries and Factories Bill, 2019, on 24th July 2019, that mandates reservation of at least 75 percent for state candidates in private industrial units.
Reservation will extend to industries, factories, joint venture units and projects taken up under Public-Private .... Read More
The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to issue Scheduled Castes (SC) certificate to 17 OBC communities based on the 2017 order of Allahabad High Court that directed to issue caste certificates “after examination and based on documents in accordance with the rules”.
These 17 OBC communities are Kashyap, Rajbhar, Dhivar, Bind, .... Read More
The Union Government has launched an Open Defecation Free (ODF) Plus vision document envisaging solid waste management in villages, along with the collection and transportation of biodegredable and non-biodegradable waste.
According to the vision document, a deadline of 2023-24 has been set to achieve targets for biodegradable waste management.
The ODF .... Read More
The report has been released by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and highlights accomplishments and challenges with regards to the right to education of children with disabilities (CWDs).
Highlights of the Report
CWDs constitute 1.7% of the total child population of India.
Around 75% of CWDs of under 5 .... Read More
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) (Amendment) Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on 24th July 2019 to combat rising cases of child sex abuse in the country.
The definition of sexual assault has been extended to incorporatecases of administration of hormones and chemical substances to children for .... Read More
On 11 July, 2019, 5th High Level Dialogue on Migration and Mobility (HLDMM) was held between India and the European Union (EU) in New Delhi which was attended by officials from both sides.
The discussions encompassed a wide range of issues of mutual interest in the context of migration and mobility .... Read More
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) ministerial meeting was held on 22 July, 2019 in Caracas, Venezuela which was attended by 120 member nations as well as 7 observer countries, 10 multilateral international organisations including the United Nations (UN).
India was represented by its Permanent Representative to .... Read More
On 28 June UN General Assembly adopted the resolution ‘Towards torture-free trade: examining the feasibility, scope and parameters for possible common international standards’.
During the vote, 81 UN members voted in favour of the resolution and 20 against it, with 44 abstentions. India also abstained from voting on the resolution.
The .... Read More
On 17 July, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) stayed the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan.
The ICJ in a 15-1 decision, directed Pakistan to stay his execution and allow him consular access and fair trial. The only country opposed to the verdict was Pakistan.
ICJ president judge also directed Pakistan .... Read More
On 22 July, the US President announced his willingness to mediate in Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan ‘if mediation is required’.
US President also said that Indian Prime Minister had asked him to mediate in the dispute between India and Pakistan.
Ministry of External Affairs has denied the claim made by .... Read More
On 1 July, India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN announced that India has increased its annual financial contribution fourfold to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) core budget, from USD 1.25 million in 2016 to USD 5 million in 2018.
This .... Read More
On 27 June 2019, the Mahatma Gandhi IT & Biotechnology Park (MGIT-BP) was jointly inaugurated by Ambassador of India and Vice President of Cote d’Ivoire in Grand-Bassam, Cote d’Ivoire to mark 150th anniversary celebration of birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The MGIT-BP is being built with India’s assistance through Lines of .... Read More
India to Sign UN Convention on International Settlement AgreementsThe Union Cabinet has approved for India signing of the UN Convention on International Settlement Agreements (UNISA). The convention is also known as the Singapore Convention for Mediation (SCM). The United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention on International Settlement .... Read More
The Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919 between Allied Powers and Germany, at the end of World War I. The year 2019 marks the completion of hundred years of signing of the treaty.
Terms of the Treaty
Germany had to lose territory in Europe:
Alsace-Lorraine to France
West Prussia and Posen .... Read More
On 10 July, the US House of Representatives passed the Fairness of High-Skilled Immigrants Act, 2019 or HR 1044.
It has to be passed by the Senate before it can be signed into law by President Donald Trump.
The law removes the 7% country-cap on green card applicants.
The Bill will create a .... Read More
The World Health Organization has declared the Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo a “public health emergency of international concern”. More than 1,600 people have died since August 2018 in the second-worst outbreak of the disease in history.
What is Ebola?
Ebola is a virus that initially causes sudden fever, .... Read More
Four cases of suspected Chandipura virus infection were reported in Gujarat. Of the four suspected cases, two children have already died while two others are under tertiary care.
What is this Virus?
Named after the Maharashtra village where the virus was first discovered, the likely vector (carrier) of the virus is the .... Read More
Four months after India successfully tested its anti-satellite (ASAT) capabilities, experts tracking the debris created by the event have reported that 40% of it has still not decayed. India had claimed after the test that the debris would decay within 45 days after the event.
Initially, the term space debris .... Read More
Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) facility, fourth such facility in the country, which can sequence 30 human genomes a day, was inaugurated by Union Minister of Science and Technology at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), a CSIR lab in Hyderabad. It costs around Rs. 1 lakh to sequence .... Read More
Indian scientists have developed a new material called “black gold”, which can potentially be used for applications ranging from solar energy harvesting to desalinating seawater. To develop the material, the team from Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) rearranged size and gaps .... Read More
Scientists from Technion — Israel Institute of Technology have developed a concept they have named the Ramanujan Machine, after the Indian mathematician. It is not really a machine but an algorithm, and performs a very unconventional function.
What it does?
Reverse Problem Solving: With most computer programs, humans input a problem and .... Read More
In a move to help geriatric care, students of IIT Kharagpur have built an app which will inform the caregiver when the elderly person falls down with the exact location.
The IIT Kharagpur students built two interconnected android smartphone apps under the name ‘CARE4U’ that connects the caregiver to the .... Read More
In a bid to accelerate innovation in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in India, scientists from Indian Institutes of Technology-Madras (IIT-Madras) launched a platform called ‘AI4Bharat’ that would help build AI solutions to address local problems in agriculture, health care and other sectors.
India Centric: AI is one of the defining technologies of .... Read More
India has signed a deal to acquire ‘Strum Ataka’ anti-tank missile from Russia for its fleet of Mi-35 attack choppers.
Features of the Deal
The deal for the missiles is worth around Rs. 200 crore and would give an added capability to the Mi-35 attack choppers to take out enemy tanks and .... Read More
On June 23rd, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy spacecraft on its third mission, and the most complex one yet by the company. Among the various reasons which make the mission important, one is its huge payload — 24 satellites from .... Read More
‘Ploonet’ is the new word the scientific community has come up with to describe a moon that becomes a planet.
A moon can become a planet if it leaves the orbit of its parent planet and takes up residence in a stable orbit around its star.
At this point, this orbiting .... Read More
Startup companies, government agencies and academics are racing to combat so-called deepfakes, amid fears that doctored videos and photographs will be used to sow discord ahead of next year’s U.S. presidential election. The debate around “deepfakes” has been rekindled recently with the popularity of applications such as FaceApp (for photo-editing) .... Read More
Researchers from the CU Boulder have designed what they say could be the first step towards artificial gravity devices installed in spacecraft for the benefit of human travelers during deep space missions. The gadget — a large, table-sized spinning machine — may well be a glimpse into the future.
The .... Read More
Three new planets, which orbit a star situated 73 light years away from the Earth, have been discovered using NASA’s newest planet-hunting satellite.
Of the three new exoplanets, one is rocky and slightly larger than Earth, while the two others are gaseous and roughly twice the size of our planet.
The .... Read More
MicroDots Technology to Prevent Vehicle TheftThe Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has issued a draft notification amending Central Motor Vehicle Rules, allowing motor vehicles and their parts to be affixed with permanent and nearly invisible microdots that can be read physically with a microscope and identified with ultra violet .... Read More
The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister for Science and Technology on July 8, 2019.
Aim of the Bill
The Bill provides for the regulation of use of DNA technology for establishing the identity of certain persons.
The Bill seeks to create .... Read More
Isro Moon Mission, Chandrayaan 2, has been successfully launched from the Sriharikota space station on 22nd July. Chandrayaan-2 will reach its orbit with the help of GSLV MK-III, which is capable of carrying 4-tonne class of satellites to the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.
Aim of the Mission
To Discover the Undiscovered Part: Chandrayaan .... Read More
Nasa is sending a nuclear-powered‑ drone to Saturn’s largest moon to explore multiple locations in search of habitability and life. A dual quadcopter called Dragonfly would fly from location to location over Titan, a moon with conditions that mimic those on earth 4bn years ago.
About the Mission
NASA has announced budget .... Read More
Europe went through a heat wave that lasted six days, smashed temperature records, left two people dead in France and another two in Spain, and caused huge fires to break out, including one that spanned 10,000 acres in France.
Why is it so Hot?
Warm air is rising across Europe from North .... Read More
Districts with sizeable tribal populations saw several protests and demonstrations, organised by the Bhumi Adhikar Andolan.
There were two issues that the demonstrators were decrying:
One, the proposed amendments to the Indian Forest Act (IFA), 1927; the concerned amendments to the IFA have been sent to states for consultation.
Two, a move to .... Read More
India is one of the world’s largest shark fishing nations and Maharashtra and Gujarat together contribute more than 50% of the harvest. But recently there has been a drop in the size of the sharks and their numbers. This has affected the fisheries sector and traders.
Highlights of the Studies
A study .... Read More
Tamil yeoman (Cirrochroathais), a butterfly species endemic to Western Ghats, has been declared as the state butterfly of Tamil Nadu. The tawny coloured creature with a dark brown outer ring is among the 32 butterfly species found in Western Ghats. Also known as Tamil Maravan, which means warrior, these butterflies .... Read More
The four-year tiger census report, Status of Tigers in India, 2018, shows numbers of the big cat have increased across all landscapes. The total count has risen to 2,967 from 2,226 in 2014 — an increase of 741 individuals (aged more than one year), or 33%, in four years.
Where has .... Read More
Researchers have discovered a new vine snake species, believed to have evolved around 26 million years ago, in the southern Western Ghats.
About the Snake
Researchers from IIS found that the genus Proahaetulla resides within the family Ahaetuliinae, is a close relative of all the other vine snakes belonging to the genus .... Read More
A rare snail found at only three spots in the Indian Ocean has become the first species to be officially declared threatened due to deep-sea mining.
About Scaly Foot Snail
The scaly-foot snail (Chrysomallon squamiferum) is found at three hydrothermal vents in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar.
It was added by the .... Read More
Odisha has renewed its effort to revive the population of gharials, a “critically endangered” species of crocodile, in their natural habitat by releasing five reptiles into the Satkosia gorge of Mahanadi — the southernmost limit of gharials’ home range in India. Odisha is the only State in India having all .... Read More
Assam has added to India’s botanical wealth with a plant that yields dragon’s blood — a bright red resin used since ancient times as medicine, body oil, varnish, incense and dye.
About the Plant
Dracaena cambodiana, a dragon tree species was discovered in the Dongka .... Read More
Palau has signed the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework Agreement, lauding India for its efforts in promoting sustainable development projects through South-South Cooperation.
International Solar Alliance (ISA)
The ISA was jointly launched by Prime Minister Modi and then French President Francois Hollande at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in November .... Read More
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs adopted by World leaders in 2015 presents a road map for future development trajectory to all nations with focus on poverty eradication, environmental sustainability, peace and prosperity.
India’s development agenda has for long been based on principles that are closely related .... Read More
Tropical Storm ‘Barry’ buffeted the US state of Louisiana, bringing more heavy rain and possible tornadoes to the region.
Hurricane Barry will affect the environment of the Gulf Coast and Lower Mississippi Valley in numerous ways, from accelerating runoff of farmland nutrients to toppling trees and damaging wildlife habitat and fisheries.
Tropical .... Read More
A unique strategy adopted by the Northeast Frontier Railway to keep wild elephants away from train tracks has won the ‘Best Innovation Award’. The prize, awarded by the Indian Railways, comprise a citation and a cash award of Rs 3 lakh.
With a large portion of rail tracks passing through forested .... Read More
The farmers of three northern districts of Haryana including Ambala, Kurukshetra and Yamunanagar have shown a keen interest in crop diversification scheme called ‘Jal Hi Jeevan Hai’ of the Haryana government which promotes to diversify paddy area into maize, arhar dal (pigeon pea) and soybean.
Under this pilot scheme, the .... Read More
More than 28,000 species around the world are threatened, according to the Red List of Threatened Species compiled by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
This Red List update doesn’t hold a lot .... Read More
Conclave of the Himalayan StatesThe first conclave of 10 Himalayan states was held at Mussoorie.Representatives from 10 Himalayan states (Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, J&K, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Mizoram) of India met at a conclave in Mussoorie on Sunday and raised the demand for ‘Green Bonus’.Key Issues .... Read More
The Union Environment Ministry has selected 12 beaches in India to vie for a ‘Blue Flag’ certification, an international recognition conferred on beaches that meet certain criteria of cleanliness and environmental propriety.
Name of the Beaches
These beaches are at Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Bhogave (Maharashtra), Ghoghla (Diu), Miramar (Goa), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), .... Read More
Amid the water crisis in the country, the Meghalaya became the first state to approve a draft water policy to address water issues, conservation, and protection of water sources in the state.
‘State Water Policy’ of Meghalaya
To recognize water resources as a common pool resource (CPR) as these are susceptible to .... Read More
The National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) has proposed for dropping ‘melted plastic rocks or slabs’ on the seabed for growing coral reefs and address the problem of disposal of plastic waste. This has drawn criticism from the Gulf of Mannar (GoM) Marine National Park, which has been implementing coral .... Read More
Why in the news
Recently, the heads of all five countries bordering the Caspian Sea signed a landmark convention on the legal status of the world’s largest inland body of water after two decades of negotiations, settling a long-standing dispute over whether the Caspian is a sea or a lake.
The .... Read More
CSC:Achieving top slot in the Judicial Services Examination is no small feat; accept our heartiest congratulations on your splendid success.
Akanksha: Thank you so much sir. Much obliged.
CSC: Can you recall the exact moment when you realized the importance of Judicial Services?
Akanksha: During my college days I realized that corporate Job .... Read More
1. Consider the following statements about Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002:
It was enacted in January 2003, and came into force from July 2005.Money laundering is connected with the proceeds of crime and projecting it as untainted property.It prescribes obligation of banking companies,financial institutions and intermediaries for verification and .... Read More
Gandhi-Mandela Peace Medal 2019
The Annual Gandhi Mandela Peace Medal 2019 has been awarded to Thich Nhat Hanh –a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered around the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace. He is the man Martin Luther King called “An Apostle .... Read More
John Robert Schrieffer
He was an American physicist who, with John Bardeen and Leon N Cooper, was a recipient of the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physics for developing the BCS theory, the first successful quantum theory of superconductivity.
BCS theory or Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer theory is the first microscopic theory of superconductivity since Heike .... Read More
White tea is minimally processed. It is harvested even before the plants leaves unfurl fully with the buds still covered by fine white hairs, hence, the name white tea.
The successful completion of pilot projects on white tea has paved the way for planters in Tripura to go .... Read More
Former Chinese Premier Li Peng, best known as the “Butcher of Beijing” for his role in the Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 1989 has passed away.
Li Peng was a staunch advocate of Three Gorges dam despite vehement domestic and international opposition.
Prayuth Chan-ocha, who as .... Read More
Pro-Brexit member of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party Boris Johnson has been appointed as UK’s Prime Minister after Theresa May stood down over her failure to lead Britain out of the European Union.
The withdrawal agreement has already been rejected three times by the UK’s parliament, prompting May to announce her .... Read More
India has pledged to contribute USD 5 million in 2019 to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
UNRWA is a relief and human development agency which supports more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees, and their patrilineal descendants, who fled or were .... Read More
Two more Districts to come up in TN
The Tamil Nadu government has announced two more districts, taking the number of new districts created so far this year to three, and raising the number of districts in the state to 35.
Tenkasi district carved out of Tirunelveli district and Chengalpet, south of .... Read More
Men’s Singles: Serbia’s Novak Djokovic has won the men’s singles title of Wimbledon open by defeating Switzerland’s Roger Federer.
Women’s Singles: Simona Halep defeated seven-time champion Serena Williams to clinch her first-ever Wimbledon title - first Romanian to win the Wimbledon singles’ title.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
England beat New Zealand .... Read More
Some experts see India as a restless nation, with calls for change coming from almost every corner of society. Thus, economic growth accompanied with equally valuable improvements in quality of human life seems to be the most indispensable need of the hour.
The present Indian dream of becoming $5 trillion economy .... Read More
India is the fastest growing economy with the second largest population in the world and has a significant stake in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution. Recognising AI’s potential to transform economies and the need for India to strategise its approach, NITI Aayog has formulated a National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence.The .... Read More
On 9 July the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) warned 52 companies of serious action, including Amazon, Flipkart, and Patanjali Ayurved Limited, for not specifying a timeline or a plan to collect the plastic waste that results from their business activities.
The theme of the World Environment Day 2018 was ‘Beat .... Read More
The Economic Survey 2018-19 mentions about the need of big data analysis in Indian perspective and says the data of societal interest is generated by the people, should be “of the people, by the people, for the people.” In a vast country like India, data collection is a tall order, .... Read More
There is a palpable sense of anticipation on the front of India’s foreign policy. As the new government have begun its term at the office, there is a current vigour as to where the India’s foreign policy will take its course under the leadership of the Prime Minister and our .... Read More
India has witnessed the occurrence of quite a few natural disasters in a very short period of time- Cyclone Fani in Odisha, floods in Kerala, Bihar and Assam. Rs. 12,000 crore and Rs. 21,000 crore are the losses incurred by Odisha due to the cyclone and Kerala from the 2018 .... Read More
India is home to many illegal migrants. To identify these illegal migrants especially from Bangladesh, a National Register of Citizens is being prepared by the government in Assam under the supervision of the Supreme Court of India. The entire process is being undertaken within the ambit of Citizenship Act, 1955 and the rules framed under Assam Accord. The updated NRC will count only those as Assam citizens who can prove their residency on or before March 21, 1971. The first draft NRC list had excluded about 40 lakh people from the list. Recently an additional exclusion list was published which .... Read More
Water crisis is the new age threat being faced by many cities in India. The 2019 Chennai water crisis is one such ongoing water crisis. Because tap water has stopped running, some families have been relying on alternative water sources such as distant, unreliable public water pumps, and costly private water tankers which in turn have resulted in dipping ground water level. Some private sector companies have advised their employees to work from home to save water. Water, or rather its scarcity, has started impacting the law and order situation too as the city has started seeing a spurt in .... Read More
After independence, India adopted the federal structure for, perhaps, administrative convenience. The state did not impose compulsions. That is why limited autonomy has been given to the states. There is dual policy, with the Union government at the Centre and the state governments at the periphery—each enjoying powers assigned to them.
The Centre-State relations are divided into three parts:
(A) Legislative Relations (Article 245-255)
(B) Administrative Relations (Article 256-263)
(C) Financial Relations (Article 268-293)
Issues in Centre-State Relations
Issue of Special Category Status
Centre has declared that there is no plan to restore special category status, which has been scrapped by think-tank Niti Aayog to any .... Read More
The essence of federalism lies in the sharing of legal sovereignty by the Union and the federating units. The most precise way of demarcating the respective areas of the federation and federating units is to demarcate their respective areas in regard to legislation.
The constitutional provisions on the subject of distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the States are spread out over several articles (articles 245-254). But the basic theme is contained in articles 245-246.
Opposing Demands by Center & States vis-a-vis Concurrent List
Some of the demands for strengthening the List
(a)Bring Police and Public Order under the Concurrent List: There .... Read More
Human Rights are those Rights which every human being possesses by virtue of his/her birth. They are inherent and inalienable. Human Rights not only stand for individuals’ Rights rather they are a backbone for providing social justice in a country.
The Criminal Justice System (CJS) plays a major role in protecting and safeguarding human rights. It is one of the critical areas of human rights where the legal system is tested on a continuous basis for preservation of peace and security in society on the one hand, and protection of human dignity of both victims of crime and person accused of .... Read More
The National Health Policy (NHP) of 1983 and the NHP of 2002 have served well in guiding the approach for the health sector in the Five-Year Plans. However, the context around public health has changed in four major ways.
The health priorities are changing. Although maternal and child mortality have rapidly declined, there is growing burden on account of non-communicable diseases and some infectious diseases.
There is emergence of a robust health care industry estimated to be growing at double digit.
Growing incidences of catastrophic expenditure due to health care costs, which are presently estimated to be one of the major .... Read More
The National Education Policy 2019 envisions an India-centered education system that contributes directly to transforming our nation sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society, by providing high quality education to all. Education is a subject in the Concurrent List of the Constitution.
Constitutional Provisions regarding ‘Education’ in India
Article 21A: The Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002 inserted Article 21-A in the Constitution of India to provide free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Right in such a manner as the State may, by law, determine. Right of Children to .... Read More
India is a multi-lingual and a multi-religious country. Indian society is pluralistic in character from the religious and other points of view. Though the majority of the people living in this land are Hindus (82.41%), people belonging to other religious communities such as Muslims (11.67%), Christians (2.32%), Sikhs (2%), Buddhists (0.77%), Jains (0.41%) and others (0.43%) are also living along with the Hindus by enjoying on par similar rights and opportunities.
No Definition: The concept of “minority” has not been properly defined anywhere in the Indian Constitution. But “minority status” has been conferred on many groups.
Article 29: Any group living .... Read More
Scheduled Castes: They are those castes/races in the country that suffer from extreme social, educational and economic backwardness arising out of age-old practice of untouchability and certain others on account of lack of infrastructure facilities and geographical isolation, and who need special consideration for safeguarding their interests and for their accelerated socio-economic development.
Scheduled Tribes: The term ‘Scheduled Tribes’ first appeared in the Constitution of India. Article 366 (25) defined scheduled tribes as “such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for the .... Read More
The status of Indian women has radically changed since independence. Both the structural and cultural changes provided equality of opportunities to women in education, employment and political participation. India has been ranked 108th in World Economic Forum (WEF) gender gap index, same as 2017, while recording improvement in wage equality for similar work and fully closing its tertiary education gender gap for the first time.
(i) Article 14- Equality before law for women
(ii) Article 15 (i)-The State not to discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them
(iii) Article 15 .... Read More
There are 472 million children in India under the age of 18 years, representing 39% of the country’s total population. A large percentage of 29% constitute children between the ages of 0 to 6 years. In addition, 73% of children in India are living in rural areas, often have limited access to fundamental needs such as nutrition, access to healthcare, education, and protection. The high percentage of children living in rural areas often result in negative repressions in terms of children accessing fundamental rights.
Article 21A: The Right to Education inserted in Constitution via 86th amendment act.
Article 24: No child .... Read More
“Transgender” is an umbrella term that describes people whose gender identity or expression does not match the sex they were assigned at birth. For example, a transgender person may identify as a woman despite having been born with male genitalia.
Preamble to the Constitution mandates Justice - social, economic, and political equality of status.
Article 14: Right to Equality
Article 15 speaks about the prohibition of discrimination on the ground of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
Article 21 ensures right to privacy and personal dignity to all the citizens.
Article 23 prohibits trafficking in human beings as beggars and .... Read More
According to the law, a “senior citizen” means any person being a citizen of India, who has attained the age of sixty years or above.
Status of Senior Citizens in India
According to Population Census 2011 there are nearly 104 million elderly persons (aged 60 years or above) in India; 53 million females and 51 million males.
A report released by the United Nations Population Fund and HelpAge India suggests that the number of elderly persons is expected to grow to 173 million by 2026.
Both the share and size of elderly population is increasing over time. From 5.6% in 1961 the proportion has .... Read More
The number of people with disabilities in India was stated as 21 million in the 2001 Census of India. In the 2011 census, the figure rose by 22.4% to 26.8 million. Disability in India is affected by other social divisions such as class, gender, and caste.
Article 15(1) enjoins on the Government not to discriminate against any citizen of India (including disabled) on the ground of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
Article 15 (2) states that no citizen (including the disabled) shall be subjected to any disability, liability, restriction or condition on any of the above grounds in .... Read More
The Union Government of India tabled the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019 which provided 10% additional quota for the EWS students amongst the erstwhile unreserved category or General category students. Both houses of the Parliament have passed the Constitution 124th (Amendment) Bill, 2019, it was sent to the President of India for his assent. President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to a bill on 12-01-2019.
The legislation will now be known as the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019.
Key Issues and Analysis
Different Definitions: The terms Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Economically Backward Class (EBC) are not meant to .... Read More
Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018
The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018 for better protection and promotion of human rights in the country.
It proposes to include “National Commission for Protection of Child Rights” as deemed Member of the Commission;
It proposes to add a woman Member in the composition of the Commission;
It proposes to enlarge the scope of eligibility and scope of selection of Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission as well as the State Human Rights Commission;
It proposes to incorporate a mechanism to look after the cases of .... Read More
Digital India Programme was a flagship programme launched by the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. The initiative was launched on 1st July 2015 with the aim to ensure that the government delivers citizen-centric services, improves its governance and increases its transparency and accountability.
Three Core Components of Digital India
Development of secure and stable digital infrastructure
Delivering government services digitally
Universal digital literacy
Government Initiatives: Push for Digital India
Aadhaar identity platform, a biometrics based identification system was launched with the objective to achieve social and financial inclusion, public sector delivery reforms, manage .... Read More
The recently held ASEAN summit in Bangkok, Thailand (June 2019) concluded with the leaders endorsing a common vision document titled, “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific”. The document envisions a new regional architecture which is inclusive and open to all and is based on the principles of transparency, rules-based framework, good governance, respect for sovereignty, non-intervention, equality, mutual respect for international laws such as UN charter, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), etc.
ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific envisioned by ASEAN consists of the following key elements:
Viewing the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions not as contiguous territorial .... Read More
The term National Security entails the security of a nation state which includes its citizens, economy and institutions. India being a young and diverse nation faces many threats from a number of sources both internal and external. The internal source of conflict that threatens unity and stability of India stems from lack of cultural and social intercourse between its diverse people leading to lack of sense of belonging and participation in the society. This alienation is further enhanced when there is perceived economic and political inequality within regions, communities, religions, genders, etc. This alienation becomes the cause of further social .... Read More
Q1. India is among the top five sources of e-waste, which comprises all discarded items of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and its parts. What are the challenges which India face in recycling E- Waste? Examine.Ans: The ASSOCHAM-KPMG study, titled “Electronic Waste Management in India’’ identified computer equipment and mobile telephones as the principal e-waste generators in India. According to this study, computers contributed towards 70 per cent of the total e-waste generated in India, while telecommunication equipment accounted for 12 per cent.Challenges which India faces in recycling are:Lack of Infrastructure: The existing e-waste disposal facilities lacks environmentally sound technologies .... Read More
Q2. India’s Superbug has become a global problem. Comment. What are the problems caused by Superbugs? What actions has been taken by Government to eradicate it? Discuss.
Ans: In a significant find in the global spread of multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria, scientists have found a “superbug” gene — first detected in New Delhi over a decade back — in one of the last “pristine” places on Earth, the Arctic.
This Antibiotic-Resistant Gene (ARG), originally found in Indian clinical settings, conditionally provides multi-drug resistance (MDR) in microorganisms. NDM-1 was first identified in New Delhi and coded by the resistant gene blaNDM-1.This gene gave .... Read More
Q3. Artificial Intelligence will replace tasks, not jobs. CommentAns: Some set of experts believe jobs will be shredded, but not eliminated. Instead of worrying about job losses, executives should be helping to reduce jobs in which AI and machine learning take over boring tasks, while humans spend more time with higher-level tasks.The reasons that AI will not take away jobs is because:First, there is nothing artificial about intelligence and unlike industrial automation that is actually taking away jobs globally, AI is only going to supplement human intelligence across the spectrum -- from banking to media.Second, every AI technology is based .... Read More
Q4. CMB - Bharat is said to be the new ambitious programme of ISRO. What are its goals and significance? How will it act as the game changer for Indian Space Mission?
Ans: A consortium of Indian scientists has submitted a proposal to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for a new space science mission called CMB Bharat. The proposal is for a “comprehensive next generation cosmic microwave background mission in international collaboration, with a major Indian contribution.”
Goals of the Mission
Its goals are classified broadly as ultra-high energy and high energy.
Ultra- High Energy: The ultra-high energy regime refers to a very .... Read More
Q5. The Ministry of Defence has proposed not to make any further investments in the state-owned defence production sector which has, over the years, become a drag on the economy. Comment. How defence manufacturing in India can be revived?
Ans: India is the largest arms importer in the world and spends annually on an average about $3.6 billion, which is more than the combined imports of both Pakistan and China.
However, over seven decades of nationhood, the state-owned defence industrial combine, except for missilery, communication systems and some low technology items, has not contributed notably to self-reliance in defence production.
No Accountability: The .... Read More
Q6. Explain the significance of social capital in the context of India.
Ans: Social capital refers to the institutions, relationships, and norms that shape the quality and quantity of a society’s social interactions. It is ‘social’ as one cannot have it in isolation, unlike human capital and is a- ‘capital’- that consists of the relations one has with other people.The notion of social capital first appeared in the works of Lyda Judson Hanifan but it became widespread by the contributions of Jane Jacobs, Pierre Bourdieu, James S. Coleman and Robert D. Putnam.
Significance of Social Capital
Collective Action: It can facilitate collective and .... Read More
Q7. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the leader of trans-regional empire and his contributions span across various fields. Discuss.
Ans: Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Sukerchakia Misl (one of the 12 Misls in Punjab) took over the reign of Lahore in 1799 and in subsequent years brought several states within his Sikh Empire. His empire was trans-regional asthe geographical reach of the Sikh Empire under him included all lands north of Sutlej River, and south of the high valleys of the northwestern Himalayas. The major towns at that time included Srinagar, Attock, Peshawar, Bannu, Rawalpindi, Jammu, Gujrat, Sialkot, Kangra, Amritsar, Lahore and Multan. .... Read More
Q8. Absoluteness of the Speaker’s decisions can also be an incentive for potential abuse of his powers and functions. Discuss in light of recent controversies.
Ans: The Speaker being the head of the Lok Sabha/ Legislative Assembly is the guardian of powers and privileges of the members, house and his decision on all parliamentary matters is final.
Sources of Power of the office of Speaker: Constitution, Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business and Parliamentary conventions.
Powers of the Speaker
Recent Examples of Abuse
Decides disqualification of members under anti-defection law without any time frame
Safeguard: Anti-defection decision of the speaker comes under the judicial review .... Read More
Q9. “Only Constitutional morality and not social morality can be allowed to permeate rule of law” was the stand of the Supreme Court in a recent case. How was the Constitutional morality invoked time and again by Indian Judiciary and what is its scope in Indian society?
Ans: Constitutional morality means adherence to the core principles of the constitutional democracy while social morality is the set of moral rules derived from the society.
Recently, the Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality by partially striking down the provisions of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in Navtej Singh Johar vs. Union of India .... Read More
Q10. Real integrity is doing the right thing when you know that nobody is going to know whether you did it or not. Express your views with example.Ans:Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. Real integrity is the one, which does not require the validation of any external factor to practice it in life. It is woven deep inside the psyche of a person that he acts with integrity no matter what. If the names of national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Dr. B. R Ambedkar, etc. are taken in one breath then .... Read More
Q11. Biotechnology sector can play a contributing role in the realization of $5 trillion economy target of India. Justify
Ans: India needs to build competencies in biotechnology sector and industries to ensure sustained growth and prosperity. Biotechnology industry is well poised to provide the much required boost to the economy in realizing the target of $ 5 trillion to be achieved by 2024.
Scope of Biotechnology in the Economy
Biotechnology can contribute immensely in achieving $ 5 trillion target because of its following advantages:
Sudden Rise of this Sector: In the span of a decade beginning in 2007, the industry has grown exponentially in .... Read More
Q12. The Economic Survey has called for creation of ‘data’ as a public good. What could be the benefits of creation of data as a public good?Ans: A public good is a commodity or service that is provided without profit to all members of a society, either by the government or by a private individual or organization.Economic Survey has called for creating and harnessing data as a public good. The reasons for this are manifold: Promoting Research & Innovation: Private and government companies use government data like Census data for carrying out research and creating economic models. Hence investing in .... Read More
Q13. The Medical Council of India has failed in the supervision of medical education and practice. Examine in the light of the recommended National Medical Commission Bill.
Ans: The medical education and practice in India had been under the supervision and control of Medical Council of India (MCI) which is an elected body of medical doctors. However, the MCI has been criticized for failing to address the issues affecting the medical education and practice.
Failure of MCI
There is an acute shortage of medical doctors in the country besides their geographical mal-distribution. The doctor - population ratio in India is 1:1674 as against .... Read More
Q14. The common challenges faced by India, Sri Lanka and Maldives necessitate a collaborative and joint approach by the three neighbours. Elaborate.
Ans: India, Sri Lanka and Maldives are natural neighbours who share a synergistic relationship and pre-eminence in South Asia. The proximity of the three countries makes it a natural corollary for the three countries to have common vulnerabilities.
Common Challenges & Aspirations
Indian Ocean Region (IOR): India’s engagement with Sri Lanka and Maldives is guided by the need for cooperation to address strategic aspects of security in the IOR. IOR is a natural backyard of the three countries and the militarization .... Read More
Q15. G-20 has become one of the most significant international body and platform for highlighting national and international concerns by member states. In the light of this statement explain how India can use the G20 to further its interests.
Ans: The G20, or Group of 20, is the main international forum for economic, financial and political cooperation which addresses major global challenges and seeks to generate public policies that resolve them.
G20 platform can be used by India for resolution of following issues:
Terrorism, Climate Change and Liberalization of Trade in Services:
India pushes for early resolution of a Comprehensive Convention against International .... Read More