Author Archives: IAS

Q. The Citizen’s Charter is an ideal instrument of organisational transparency and accountability. Identify the importance and components of Citizen’s Charter. Tracing out its limitations, suggest measures for its greater effectiveness.

Approach: Start introduction mentioning the challenges in public service delivery. Define Citizen’s Charter stating its importance and it components. Discuss the limitation in implementation of Citizen’s Charter. Discuss the measures to ensure its effective implementation. Model Answer The public service delivery of India faced a problem of bureaucratic corruption and delays. The government functioned in a very opaque and unaccountable manner. There existed a

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Q. To resolve the issue of unemployment, there is a need for multi-prong approach. In this light discuss the steps needed to resolve this long-standing issue and also mention the measures taken by the government in this regard.

Structure of the answer: Introduction Steps needed for unemployment Steps taken by the government Way forward Model Answer Unemployment is a situation where person is capable of working both physically and mentally at the existing wage rate, but does not get a job to work. As per the recent statistics unemployment rate in India rose to 7.2% in 2019.  Unemployment represent itself

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Q. Discuss the difference between Himalayas and Peninsular drainage system. Also put forth importance of the river system in India.

Structure of the answer: Introduction Difference between Himalayan and Peninsular river system Importance of river system in India Conclusion Model Answer Rivers are considered as the lifelines of a country as they provide the most valuable thing for the survival i.e. water. The rivers in India can be broadly categorized into two different categories based on their origin: the Himalayan Rivers and the Peninsular

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Q. The reason for malnutrition/ hunger are multidimensional. In this light, discuss the factors contributing to malnutrition and also suggest suitable measures to improve malnutrition in India.

Structure of the answer:    Introduction Causes of malnutrition in India Measures to overcome Conclusion Model Answer Malnutrition is a physical state that includes undernutrition (wasting, stunting, underweight), inadequate vitamins or minerals, overweight, obesity, and resulting diet-related non-communicable diseases. As per Reports 31.4% of children are malnourished. The factors contributing to malnutrition are as follows: Despite increase in food grain production access to rice, wheat

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Six ‘freedom’ reforms to bolster job creation and employability Editorial 30th Dec’20 LiveMint

Covid highlighted the government’s will to tackle issues taking a long-term view: Covid’s pain reminded us of our economy’s pre-existing issues, including inadequate formalization, financialization, urbanization, industrialization and human capital. In such situations, economists and policymakers often think only of the present, with the belief that current circumstances are special, unique and unprecedented. However, the Indian government has also demonstrated

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In Focus: Provisions to summon a session of the Assembly

Governor’s role in calling an Assembly session: what the law, courts say Context: The Kerala Governor recently refused to accept the Kerala Cabinet’s request to summon (call) a special sitting of the Assembly to debate the new three central farm laws. This provides the context to study about the provisions related to the Governor’s powers to summon an assembly. In Focus: Provisions

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Q. The Britishers formed Indian National Congress (INC) to act as a safety valve. However, the Indians used the forum as a lightning conductor much to the whammy of Britishers. In this light the purpose behind formation of INC and the intention of Indians in respect of the same.

Structure of the answer: Introduction Safety valve theory/ Britisher’s intention on formation of INC Use of INC by Indians for propagating nationalist interest Conclusion Model Answer There is wide spread belief that reason behind the formation of INC was safety valve theory i.e. Britishers wanted to pacify the raising discontent among Indian masses through INC. The discontent among Indians was due to issues like

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Q. Discuss the difference between the code of ethics and the code of conduct.

Approach: Briefly discuss about the code of ethics and the code of conduct. Differentiate between the given terms. Substantiate your answer with relevant examples. Model Answer Code of ethics and code of conduct specify the ethical standards that a group (e.g., staff or a professional group) should follow in order to continue as a member of the group. They are

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Q. What do you mean by climate forcing? Explain the factors that causes the Earth’s climate to change.

Approach: Explain the meaning of climate forcing  and related phenomenon with relevant examples. Discuss various natural and anthropogenic causes of climate change. Conclude the answer, as per the context. Model Answer Any external factor that originates from outside the climate system and can become a cause of climate change is called Climate Forcing. These factors are specifically known as forcings

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Q. Discuss the relevance of the Legislative Councils in the States in the backdrop of recent demand of certain states to create the second house?

Approach: Briefly write about the constitutional process of formation of Legislative Council. Discuss both the arguments: favour and against the existence of Legislative council. Write the final conclusion mentioning what should be the way forward. Model Answer Legislative councils of state are created under Article 169 of the Constitution. Parliament may by law create or abolish the second chamber in a state if

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Q. The suburbanisation occurring at a relatively early stage of India’s urban development is creating new challenges for Indian cities. Enumerate the reasons and suggest remedies.

Approach: Brief introduction about suburbanisation phenomenon in most urbanising countries. Enumerating the reasons why it is occurring at a relatively early stage of India’s urban development. Highlight the challenges it is creating for Indian cities and suggest ways forward. Model Answer A 2013 World Bank report, “Urbanization beyond Municipal Boundaries”, found that suburban areas (or Suburbs) are generating higher economic

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 Note on Solar storm

Headline : Note on Solar storm Details : Magnetic fields The surface of the Sun is a very busy place. It has electrically charged gases that generate areas of powerful magnetic forces. These areas are called magnetic fields . Solar activity The Sun’s gases are constantly moving, which tangles, stretches and twists the magnetic fields. This motion creates a lot of activity

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About: Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), Advanced features of ATAGS:

Army to test indigenous artillery system with 48-km strike range In News: The Army will soon begin testing an indigenously-developed artillery system (ATAGS) with 48-km strike range. About: Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) Built by DRDO and partners, India’s ATAGS is a 155 mm/52 calibre towed howitzer artillery gun. Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons (like modern day

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About: Antitrust laws, Laws drafted by European Union

Explained: Targeting Big Tech in US, EU In News Recently, the European Union (EU) has issued two draft digital-services laws that could increase scrutiny (inspection) over big technology (Big Tech) companies. The UK regulator, Competition and Markets Authority has also announced its own plans to put limits on major technology companies. Around the same time in the United States, the federal government

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Fight against pollution: India set to achieve Paris targets Editorial 24th Dec’20 FinancialExpress

India and Paris Agreement: The Paris agreement that India signed in 2015, was India’s inflexion point (moment of dramatic change) in its fight against pollution. Specifically, under the Paris agreement, India committed to meet three targets by 2030: Cut greenhouse gas emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35% (vs 2005 levels) Increase non-fossil fuel-based power capacity to 40% Create an

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In Focus: Wetlands, Wetlands in India, Why are wetlands important?, Ramsar Convention, Ramsar Sites in India, Tso Kar

India adds Tso Kar wetland complex to Ramsar Site In News: India has added Tso Kar Wetland Complex in Ladakh as its 42nd Ramsar site, the second one in the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh. In Focus: Wetlands What are Wetlands? The wetlands are actually land areas covered by water, either temporarily/seasonally or permanently. The wetlands play a key role

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About: Cairn dispute, Retrospective taxation , The Permanent Court of Arbitration

Cairn wins arbitration ruling against India in tax dispute In News The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague has ruled that the Indian government was wrong in applying retrospective tax on Cairn Energy Plc. This is the second ruling against the Indian government at international tribunals over the retrospective tax issue in three months. In September, 2020, a separate international arbitration

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About: Nature Index (Artificial Intelligence), Nature research, Nature Index 2020 Artificial Intelligence

In News The Nature Index 2020 Artificial Intelligence was recently released by ‘Nature Research’. About: Nature Research Nature Research is a division of the international scientific publishing company Springer Nature that publishes academic journals, magazines, online databases, and services in science and medicine. Nature Research’s flagship publication is Nature, a weekly multidisciplinary journal first published in 1869. Nature, an international journal, publishes high quality

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About: Post Matric Scholarship for students belonging to Scheduled Castes (PMS-SC), Benefits and Features

Cabinet nod to Rs 59,000 core investment in post-matric scholarship scheme for SC students In News: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister has approved major and transformatory changes in the Centrally Sponsored Scheme ‘Post Matric Scholarship to students belonging to Scheduled Castes (PMS-SC)’. The Cabinet also approved a total investment of Rs. 59,000 Cr

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About: The Zomi tribe, Sixth schedule, Powers under the Sixth Schedule, Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC)

Manipur’s Zomi people push for BTC-like council In News The Zomi Council, representing nine Zomi tribes, has renewed its demand for the creation of Zoland Territorial Council (ZTC) under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. About: The Zomi tribe Zomi council is an apex body of the Zomi tribes which include Gante, Kom, Mate, Paite, Simte, Tedim Chin, Thangkhal, Zou and Vaiphei.

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About Silicosis

About Silicosis Silicosis is a fatal respiratory illness caused by inhaling fine silica dust through prolonged exposure in sandstone mines and quarries. Silica is a highly common, crystal-like mineral found in sand, rock, and quartz. Silica can have deadly consequences for people who work with stone, concrete, glass, or other forms of rock. Any level of silica exposure can result

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About: Coastal radar chain network

In News In order to expand the coastal radar chain network, efforts are in advanced stages to set up coastal radar stations in Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Thailand. Similar proposals are being developed for some more countries. About: Coastal radar chain network After the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which terrorists used a fishing boat to enter the city, the government decided to

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Meteorites

Study of Mukundpura Meteorite It is a carbonaceous meteorite (these are the meteorites which contain carbon compounds, including organic ones and water). It is one of the most primitive type of meteorite. It is a rare type of meteorite as carbonaceous meteorites constitute only 3%-5% of all meteorites which fall on the Earth. It contains grains of calcium and iron

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What is Winter Solstice, which made December 21st the shortest day of the year?

In News: December 21st is the day of Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere, and it is the shortest day (day with the shortest day-time) of the year. This year, the day-time of December 21st in Delhi was approximately 10 hours 19 minutes long. About: Winter and Summer Solstices The winter solstice, hiemal solstice or hibernal solstice occurs when one of the

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About: Khudiram Bose

Khudiram Bose was born in 1889, in a small village in Medinipur district of West Bengal. He is one of the youngest revolutionaries of the Indian freedom struggle. Khudiram Bose is highly regarded in Bengal for his fearless spirit, and his ultimate sacrifice for the cause. However, his legacy has remained largely limited to Bengal. Now, the Union Home Minister

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What is cloning?

Sach-Gaurav It is born to a Murrah buffalo. Its birth weight is 54.2 kg and it has a normal physiological parameters and blood profile. The genotype of the calf was confirmed by microsatellite analysis (parentage verification) and chromosome analysis.   What is cloning? The term cloning describes a number of different processes that can be used to produce genetically identical

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About Typhoid (Enteric Fever)

About Typhoid (Enteric Fever) Typhoid Fever is a gastrointestinal infection caused by Salmonella enterica typhi It is transmitted from person to person through the fecal-oral route where an infected or asymptomatic individual with poor hand or body hygiene passes the infection to another person when handling food and water. The bacteria multiply in the intestinal tract and can spread to the

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Background: Working of Antibiotics

Background: Working of Antibiotics What are Antibiotics? Antibiotics are drugs that fight infections caused by bacteria. In order to be effective, it has to be selectively toxic to only target bacteria which are harmful. Antibiotics work in the following 2 ways Killing the bacteria Inhibiting the ability of bacteria to grow and multiply In order to understand the different targets

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About Oxytocin

About Oxytocin The hormone released by the pituitary gland is responsible for human bonding activities such as sex, childbirth and breastfeeding.     Misuse of oxytocin The hormone injection is misused to increase the size of vegetables and fruits. In the dairy industry, livestock are often injected with the hormone to spur the release of milk, which when reaches humans

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About: Emergency use authorisation (EUA) or Emergency License

About: Emergency use authorisation (EUA) or Emergency License Vaccines, like medicines, require the approval of a regulatory authority before they can be administered to people. In India, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) is the national regulatory body for Indian pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The final approval is granted only after the completion of the trials and evaluation of the results.

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About: Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)

About: Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was enacted in 2005 providing a legal right to employment for adult members of rural households. It aims at addressing causes of chronic poverty through the ‘works’ (projects) that are undertaken, and thus ensuring sustainable development. Core objectives: Providing not less than 100 days of guaranteed wage employment

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Factory of the world Editorial 28th Nov’20 TimesOfIndia

Global efforts at diversifying supply chains: Global companies have stepped up efforts of diversifying their supply chains in the wake of the Covid-19-induced disruptions and US-China trade tensions. They are looking to implement the ‘China Plus One’ strategy i.e., not depending on China alone for any supplies, and looking for more locations. For example, large companies like HP have taken

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About: Foreign Exchange Reserves

About: Foreign Exchange Reserves Foreign exchange reserves are the foreign currencies held by a country’s central bank.The reserves in India are managed by the Reserve Bank of India for the Indian government and the main component is foreign currency assets. Reserve Bank of India accumulates foreign currency reserves by purchasing from authorized dealers in open market operations. Reserve Bank of India Act and

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Q. Post- Independence, integration and unification of India demonstrated to be a long process plagued with challenges. In this context, examine the early challenges that India faced as a newly independent country.

Approach: Write about the prevailing conditions after independence in the introduction. Mention how it created challenges for India- both external and internal. Conclude by mentioning India’s democratic credentials which helped India to survive as a nation. Model Answer 15th August 1947 marked the end of colonial rule in India and the country found itself standing on the threshold of a

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Kartarpur corridor

Headline : Kartarpur corridor Background The Kartarpur Sahib corridor was first proposed in 1999 when Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee took a bus ride to Lahore, as a long-standing demand from the Sikh community for easy access to the revered shrine across the border where Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life. In August this year, during the

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About Quantum computers

About Quantum computers In 1950s quantity of information for the first time were expressed in terms of the number of “bits”. The bits, the 0s and 1s of binary code, are the basis of all conventional computing to store information. 0s and 1s are represented in the form of electric charges. In ordinary computers, charge is stored, and it flows through switches.

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Higher Education: ‘Destination India’ for foreign students Editorial 16th Nov’20 FinancialExpress

Not many overseas students are studying in India: The higher education sector in India remains inwardly oriented, that is, most of the students in Indian colleges and universities are Indians. India has not been able to attract many foreign students in Indian higher education institutions. Statistics on overseas students in India for higher education: Out of over 53 lakh students

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In focus: Ultima Thule

In focus: Ultima Thule Introduction Ultima Thule is a small rocky and icy trans-Neptunian planetesimal in the Kuiper belt about 30 km in radius. Planetesimal is one of many small solid celestial bodies thought to have existed at an early stage in the development of the solar system Ultima Thule belongs to a class of Kuiper belt objects called the “cold classicals”.

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About: Pfizer Vaccine

BNT162b2 is a vaccine that has been developed using mRNA technologye. it makes use of the messenger RNA molecules that tell cells what proteins to build. The mRNA, in this case, is coded to tell the cells to recreate the spike protein of the novel coronavirus. The coronavirus spike protein is a molecular machine that facilitates the entry of coronavirus into host cells. Once the

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About: India’s agricultural exports

About: India’s agricultural exports Agricultural exports are extremely important as the exports help farmers/producers/exporters to take advantage of wider international market and increase their income. Exports have also resulted in increased production in agriculture sector by increasing area coverage and productivity. Giant strides have been made in agri export since independence. In 1950-51, India’s agri export was about Rs. 149

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About: Earth observation satellites

About: Earth observation satellites Earth observation satellites are used for land and forest mapping and monitoring, mapping of resources like water or minerals or fishes, weather and climate observations, soil assessment and geospatial contour mapping. Data from Earth-observation satellites are in great demand, both from government agencies, which need it for planning and infrastructure development, as well as private companies looking to execute

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What is CrispR?

What is CrispR? CRISPR stands for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats”. It is a method of DNA editing more efficient than ones available. CRISPR uses an enzyme called Cas9 to cut strands of DNA at precisely targeted locations. This allows one to insert new genetic material into the gap. CRISPR promises to revolutionize gene editing in organisms, by modifying inherited genes

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About Kalpana Lajmi

About Kalpana Lajmi Kalpana Lajmi was a critically acclaimed filmmaker who focused on social issues concerning women. She was one of the earliest feminist filmmakers in Indian cinema. Her body of work covered issues ranging from patriarchy, sexuality and gender, domestic violence to transgender and prostitution. Noted works Lajmi debuted in the film industry in 1977 as an assistant director under

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About: Bulk drugs or APIs

What is a bulk drug park and why Himachal wants one In News Himachal Pradesh (HP) is one of the states trying to get an allotment of a bulk drug park under the central government bulk drug park scheme. The HP government has identified around 1,400 acres in Una district and sent a proposal to the Centre. Several other states including

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About: Indo-Pacific

In recent years, the term ‘Indo-Pacific’ has become widely resonant in the geo-strategic discourse. Geographically, the Indo-Pacific refers to the Indian and the Pacific Oceans between the east coast of Africa and the American west coast and their several littoral countries. However, there are slight differences in what various countries perceive as the geographical spread of “Asia-Pacific”. While a 2017

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About Stem Cells

About Stem Cells The most basic unit of any organism is a cell. It is the smallest unit of life that can function independently and perform all the necessary functions of life. Cells develop to form tissues which inturn develop to form organs. Further broadly speaking, cells are of two types, differentiated and undifferentiated. Differentiated cells are the building blocks

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About Snakebite envenoming

About Snakebite envenoming Snakebite envenoming is a potentially life-threatening disease that typically results from the injection of a mixture of different toxins (“venom”) following the bite of a venomous snake. Envenoming can also be caused by venom being sprayed into a person’s eyes by certain species of snakes that have the ability to spit venom as a defence measure. Not

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What do you mean by Non-performing asset (NPA). Enumerate the major factors behind accumulation of non-performing assets in the Indian banking sector in recent years.

Approach Introduce with NPAs Explain various factors causing NPAs. Suggest way forward to deal with NPA Model Answer  A non performing asset (NPA) is a loan or advance for which the principal or interest payment remained overdue for a period of 90 days. The higher is the amount of non-performing assets (NPAs), the weaker will be the bank’s revenue stream.

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What is an e-cigarette?

What is an e-cigarette? E-cigarette is a battery-powered device which vaporizes a liquid solution containing water, flavorings, propylene glycol and vegetable glycerol. E-cigarette are also called electronics nicotine delivery  system (ENDS) They are considered as a healthier smoking alternative as they do not contain carbon monoxide or tar.   Arguments in favour of the ban According to the ministry, e-cigarettes

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About Zika virus

About Zika virus Zika belongs to a group of viruses called the flaviviruses, which includes dengue, West Nile and yellow fever. Zika virus infect and replicate inside the cells of several species, including humans, monkeys, and mosquitoes.   History of Zika Zika was first isolated from a monkey in the Zika forest of Uganda in 1947. The first human case was reported

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Basics: Black holes in theory

Basics: Black holes in theory General theory of relativity and Black holes Einstein completely revolutionized the idea of space and time in his general theory of relativity. Accordingly, space and time is not something that is static, monotonous and unchanging as imagined in Newtonian physics. The general theory of relativity describes gravity entirely in terms of the geometry of both

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What is Piezoelectricity?

What is Piezoelectricity? ‘Piezo’ meaning to press or to squeeze. Piezoelectric property essentially is based on the interplay between mechanical and electrical features of a material. Bonds that keep materials together are electrons and these electrons are the basis for electricity. Therefore there exists a connection between material mechanics and material electronics. Changing one will impact the other. Piezoelectricity is the generation

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Telemedicine: A backgrounder

Telemedicine: A backgrounder The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Telemedicine as- The delivery of healthcare services, where distance is a critical factor, by all healthcare professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation and for the continuing education of healthcare providers, all in the

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In Focus: E-Courts in India

In Focus: E-Courts in India The Indian judiciary comprises of nearly 15,000 courts situated in approximately 2,500 court complexes throughout the country. The e-Courts project was conceptualized on the basis of the “National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Indian Judiciary – 2005”submitted by e-Committee, Supreme Court of India with a vision to

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About The National Plan of Action for Children (NPAC), 2016

About The National Plan of Action for Children (NPAC), 2016 The National Plan of Action for Children, 2016 is based on the principles embedded in the National Policy for Children 2013. It seeks to ensure convergence of ongoing programmes and initiation of new programmes so as to focus on pre-determined objectives through well-defined strategies and activities and achieve certain level

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Explained: The 67 acres in Ayodhya

Headline : Explained: The 67 acres in Ayodhya Details : The news The central government is seeking to return “excess/superfluous land” from the 67.703 acres it acquired in Ayodhya in 1993 to the original owners. To this end, it has moved to the Supreme Court asking to allow the return of land.   Background After the demolition of Babri Masjid, the central government

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What are the differences between electric and hybrid vehicles?

What are the differences between electric and hybrid vehicles? The key difference between hybrid and all-EVs is in the sources of fuel and locomotion available to them. Hybrid vehicle: Hybrid vehicles have two sources available to them— a battery that powers an electric motor and a fuel tank that powers a normal petrol engine. Once the battery is depleted, the

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In Focus: Protection of Children from Sexual OffencesPOSCO Act 2012

In Focus: Protection of Children from Sexual OffencesPOSCO Act 2012: The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act or the POCSO Act was enacted in 2012 to provide a robust legal framework for the protection of children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography, while safeguarding the interests of children at every stage of the judicial process. The Act defines

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BASICS: Changes in Employee Provident Fund (EPF)

Headline : BASICS: Changes in Employee Provident Fund (EPF) Details : The Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is undergoing many changes. So will the changes enhance the utility of EPF or handicap subscribers?   About Employees’ Provident Fund and Employees’ Pension Scheme: EPF (Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme 1952) and EPS (Employees’ Pension Scheme 1995) are two different retirement saving schemes under Employees’ Provident

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In brief: Internet travel

In brief: Internet travel Client-Server Architecture Internet is often defined as a network of networks of computers. Computer connected to the Internet communicate with each other for data exchange under the Client-Server Architecture. Illustration: When you are accessing a mail on Gmail, your computer is a client that wants to access data, information, and other services present on a variety of servers.   Data

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About: LIC, GIC Re and New India

Life Insurance Corporation of Indiais an Indian state-owned insurance group and investment corporation owned by the Government of India. LIC is the largest life insurance company in India. GIC Re is the largest reinsurance company or insurer’s insurer. New India which is the largest general insurance company in the country. Government has plans to list the shares of LIC (India’s largest financial entity with assets

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About V.S. Naipaul

About V.S. Naipaul Sir VidiadharSurajprasad Naipaul, also known as Sir Vidia Naipaul or Sir V. S. Naipaulwas, was born Trinidad, where his paternal grandfather had emigrated from India in the 1880s as an indentured servant to work on the sugar plantations. He went to Oxford University on a scholarship and lived the rest of his life in England, where he forged one of the

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Farm bills are seen by farmers to deliver freedom to private capital Editorial 27th Sep’20 FinancialExpress

Farm bills passed by the Parliament: Three bills with huge impact on Indian agriculture, including two farm bills and one concerning the stocking of agriculture produce, were passed by the Parliament. These are: The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 (FPTC) The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 (FAPAFS) The Essential

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Agri reforms: Where did the APMCs go wrong? Editorial 26th Sep’20 FinancialExpress

Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) were brought in to ensure fair prices for farmers: Pre-APMC days in Indai were dominated by price misinformation and arbitrage (quick purchase and sell with middlemen making profits). APMCs were created in the early 1960s to ensure price discovery and fair transactions. They were designed to create infrastructure for auctions and storage out of the cess paid

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About: Ballistic missiles

About: Ballistic missiles A ballistic missile is a missile with a high, arching trajectory (path in the form of an arc), which is initially powered and guided, but falls under gravity on to its target. Thus these weapons are not guided for the entire duration of their flight and most of the flight is unpowered. These weapons are in a distinct category from cruise missiles,

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To Return To Steady Growth Editorial 25th Sep’20 TimesofIndia

To Return To Steady Growth Editorial 25th Sep’20 TimesofIndia Economic downturn due to Covid-19: The GDP of India fell by 23.9% in April-June quarter of 2020 relative to that in the same quarter in 2019, according to recent government estimates. The decline is comparable to countries in which economic activity had been similarly severely impacted during the quarter due to Covid-19. For

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Should India have two time zones?

Headline : Should India have two time zones? Details : Why in news? Over the years, various citizens and political leaders have debated whether India should have two separate time zones. Now, a proposal for two time zones has come from India’s national timekeeper itself. Scientists at the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research’s National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL), which maintains Indian

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In focus: Blast disease in rice

In focus: Blast disease in rice Introduction Blast disease is a fungal disease that infests rice severely threatening food security worldwide. In India, blast disease is epidemics occurred 7 times between 1980 and 1987 in AP, HP, Haryana and TN. Details Blast disease in rice is caused by fungus Magnaporthe oryzae which is one of the top 10 fungal plant pathogens in

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Who was Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis or ‘PCM’?

Headline : Who was Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis or ‘PCM’? Details : About P C Mahalanobis Early life: P.C. Mahalanobis was born in Calcutta on June 29, 1893. He was educated at the Brahmo Boys School, founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy and went on to receive a B.Sc in Physics from Presidency College, Kolkata. After completing his majors in Physics from Presidency College

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About: Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT)

About: Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) AIT was first propounded by Max Muller. According to this model, the Indo-Aryans migrated into India rather than invaded it, which nevertheless had the same effect on the indigenous peoples: their subjugation and the imposition of Indo-Aryan religion (Hinduism) and culture. So far, it’s been the bedrock upon which Indian history has been written. Its central thesis has three main

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In Cave 16: the Kailasa temple

Headline : In Cave 16: the Kailasa temple Details : Introduction Kailasa temple in cave 16 of Ellora is one of the largest rock-cut temples in the world.   Story behind the temple According to a legend cited in the 10th century book Katha Kalpa Taru, sometime in the 8th century, the queen of the Rashtrakuta ruler Elu made a vow that she

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In focus: Superconductivity at room temperature

In focus: Superconductivity at room temperature Basic concepts ResistanceMaterials that conduct electricity well are called conductors. Eg: Metals. Resistance is an electrical quantity that measures how the device or material reduces the electric current flow through it. The resistance is measured in units of ohms (Ω). SuperconductorsSuperconductors are conductors that have zero resistancee. they don’t impede electricity at all.   Superconductors

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Ranjit Singh: Personal Life

Ranjit Singh: Personal Life Ranjit Singh was born in 1780 in Gujranwala, now in Pakistan. He honoured men of reputed sanctity and enabled them to practise an enlarged charity. He attributed every success to the favour of God. He styled himself and his people collectively the Khalsa. The maharaja was known for his just and secular rule; both Hindus and Muslims were

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About Bogibeel Bridge

About Bogibeel Bridge The Bogibeel double-deck bridge is a rail-road bridge across Brahmaputra River connecting Dibrugarh in Assam and Dehmaji in Assam. The 4.94 km long bridge is the longest rail-road bridge in India. The longest road bridge on Brahmaputra is the 9.15 km Dhola-Sadiya Bridge. The double-deck bridge will have a three-lane road in the upper deck and a 74 km two-line railway

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Giving MSMEs the right push Editorial 13th Sep’20 FinancialExpress

Giving MSMEs the right push Editorial 13th Sep’20 FinancialExpress Importance of MSME sector: The MSME sector contributes approximately 40% to the GDP and generates employment for 114 million Indians, comprising about 93% of the total labour force of the country. This sector under severe stress: Over the last few years, economic distress has hurt the sector on several counts, and

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About Soras

Background:About Soras The Saoras inhabit the remote ranges flanking the great Bansadhara river in southern Odisha. The Saora people are a jungle tribe with a shamanic culture. A shaman, usually a woman, serves as an intermediary between the two worlds [of the living and the dead]. One by one the spirits speak through her mouth and communicate with the people

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Demonetisation and Farmers

What is demonetisation? Demonetisation is a situation where the Central Bank of the country (Reserve Bank in India) withdraws the old currency notes of certain denomination as an official mode of payment. Notes of a particular denomination cease to be legal tender. In other words, the notes lose their value as a currency On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra

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In focus: Hayabusa 2 Mission

In focus: Hayabusa 2 Mission Introduction Hayabusa 2 is the successor of Hayabusa mission of Japan to study the origin and evolution of our solar system. Hayabusa mission was launched in 2003 to study the features of asteroid ‘Itokawa’. Hayabus 2 mission was launched in 2014 and reached its destination, asteroid ‘Ryugu’ in 2018.   About the mission Hayabusa 2

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What are Non-Banking Financial Company- Factors (NBFC-Factors)?

What are Non-Banking Financial Company- Factors (NBFC-Factors)? NBFC factors are companies that receive invoices by selling companies at discount prices. An NBFC-Factoring company needs to have a minimum Net Owned Fund of Rs. 5 Crore with the financial assets in the factoring business constituting, at least, 75 percent of its total assets. It also should have income derived from the

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Jaipur: India’s first planned city

Jaipur: India’s first planned city The fortified city of Jaipur in Rajasthan was founded in 1727 by Sawai Jai Singh II. It is also one of the first planned cities in India. The chief architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya designed and built the city on the concepts of ‘shilp shastra’ and ‘vastu shastra’. The walled city is roughly divided into nine rectangular sectors

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About Autonomous Vehicles

About Autonomous Vehicles Autonomous vehicles are mostly light motor vehicles like cars with highest level of automation. They can drive without a human driver and thus called self-driving cars.   Basic architecture of Autonomous vehicles: Sense-plan-act architecture Sense Sensors In order to sense the environment, they use a network of sensors including cameras, radars, infrared, Lidar (light detection and ranging) etc.

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In focus: Moonquakes

In focus: Moonquakes Moon is a one-plate world unlike a number of plates (major and minor) on earth. Further since moon also has no atmosphere, it was believed to be a dead world geologically.     Origin of Moonquakes The moon’s upper mantle is much more rigid and less fluid than the interior of the Earth as shown in the

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Historical period 

Prehistoric period  It is known as the period before history i.e. it is the time period before the emergence of writing. The prehistoric period is divided into three ages: Stone age Bronze age Iron age   In India, the prehistoric period is divided into: Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) Neolithic (New Stone Age) Metal Age   Palaeolithic

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In focus: Blockchain technology

In focus: Blockchain technology Definition In simple words, blockchain is an information sharing platform where multiple authorities cooperate, coordinate and collaborate in a decision making process. Blockchain is a decentralized and distributed database on a peer-peer network which works on the basis of a consensus mechanism involving every node (computer) on the network. Understanding blockchain with an example A block

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In focus: EMISAT

In focus: EMISAT EMISAT is an electronic intelligence satellite developed by ISRO and DRDO. The 435-kg EMISAT was developed under project KAUTILYA of Defence Electronics Research Laboratory of DRDO. It is basically designed to intercept signals from enemy radars in order to develop effective jamming techniques to counter the enemy radar. Satellite-based electronic intelligence will augment the armed forces to

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In Brief: Features of the moon

In Brief: Features of the moon The distinctive features of moon when observed from a telescope or even naked eye are: Impact craters Lunar craters, large and small, are the result of the bombardment of meteorites on the lunar surface. That is why they are called impact craters Light-coloured highlands Most of the lunar surface constitutes light-coloured highlands. About 85% of lunar

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In Focus: Israel and the Gulf Region

In Focus: Israel and the Gulf Region It’s a landmark agreement given that the UAE is only the third Arab country and the first in the Gulf region to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. With the exception of Jordan and Egypt, Israel does not have diplomatic relations with Gulf Arab states owing to its long-standing conflict with Palestinians. Israel had signed

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In brief: In-vitro fertilization and frozen embryos

In brief: In-vitro fertilization and frozen embryos Basics In case of sexual reproduction, the beginning of development of an offspring is fertilization of male and female gametes into zygote (a fertilized egg or embryo). The zygote (embryo) is then implanted into the uterus where it develops into full-fledged organism in various stages. From the day of fertilization (union of male

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Why Primary Agriculture Credit Society needs to be propped up Editorial 14th Aug’20 HindustanTimes

Why Primary Agriculture Credit Society needs to be propped up Editorial 14th Aug’20 HindustanTimes Rural credit cooperatives: Just about two decades ago, credit cooperatives covered 69% of the rural credit outlets and their share in rural credit was 45% of the total rural credit in the country. They had a lion’s share of 57% in providing short-term credit for purchase of

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