Author Archives: IAS

Linking of Credit Cards with UPI

Linking of Credit Cards with UPI Q What is the context  ? The RBI has proposed to allow the linking of credit cards with the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Integrating Credit Cards to UPI The integration will first begin with the indigenous RuPay credit cards. Both the RuPay network and UPI are managed by the same organisation – the National

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Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual Property Rights Q What is the context  ? The US Trade Representative (USTR) said in a report released last month that India was one of the most challenging major economies as far as IP protection and enforcement is concerned. US has decided to retain India on its Priority Watch List along with six other countries —Argentina, Chile, China, Indonesia,

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FATF and Pakistan’s position on its ‘Grey List’

FATF and Pakistan’s position on its ‘Grey List’ Q Why is it in News ?  Pakistan which continues to face an economic crunch from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), is hoping for some respite in the form of its removal from the FATF’s ‘grey list’. Q What is the FATF?  The FATF is an international watchdog for financial crimes

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Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Q What is the context  ? A The official launch of the Biden Administration’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), the US’s de facto foreign economic policy for Asia, has been lauded and welcomed. Q What is Indo-Pacific Economic Framework ? A  Seen as a means to counter China in the region, it is a U.S.-led framework for participating countries to solidify

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Anti-Defection Law

Anti-Defection Law Q Why is it in News ?  Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu said that there was a need to amend the anti-defection legislation in the country to plug existing loopholes. Q What did Vice President  notice now? Stating that there was no clarity in the law about the time frame for the action of the House Chairperson or Speaker

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Sri Lanka’s aggravating Economic Crisis

Sri Lanka’s aggravating Economic Crisis Why is it in News ?  Sri Lanka’s economic crisis is aggravating rapidly, putting citizens through enormous hardship. Q What are the reasons for the Crisis ?  The first wave of the pandemic in 2020 offered early and sure signs of distress. In-migration: Thousands of Sri Lankan labourers in West Asian countries were left stranded and

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Textile Industry in India

What is the context  ? South Asia became a major player in the global textiles and clothing market with the onset of the third wave of global production. What is status of textile industry in Bangladesh ? Bangladesh overtook India in exports in the past decade as Indian labour costs resulted in products becoming 20% more expensive. Bangladesh joined the league in

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Everything about Death Penalty

Death Penalty Q. Why is this in news ? On April 22, a Bench of the Supreme Court of India, led by Justice U.U. Lalit, decided to critically examine the routine and abrupt way in which trial judges often impose the death penalty on convicts. Q. What is Individualistic approach? The challenge before the Court in the instant case of Irfan vs

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Everything about Jute Industry

Jute Industry Q. Why is this in news?  West Bengal is experiencing a crisis that has led to the closure of several Jute Mills. Q. What is the Issue? High Rate of Procurement by Mills: Mills are procuring raw jute at prices higher than what they are selling them at after processing. Mills do not acquire their raw material directly from the

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THE GOAL OF AN ENERGY SECURE SOUTH ASIA @upscexpress

South Asia, which accounts for over a quarter of the world’s population, is bolstering its transmission and distribution infrastructure to meet growing energy demand, not only by expanding power grids but also by improving renewable energy sources such as solar and hydropower. The electricity policies of South Asian countries aim at providing electricity to every household. Objective: The objective is to

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Humanitarian Corridors

Humanitarian Corridors Q What is the context  ?  Recently, Russia declared a temporary ceasefire in the Russia-Ukraine War to provide “humanitarian corridors” for civilians. As the war enters a likely deadlier phase, numerous civilians attempt to leave the country for safety and refuge, there must be humanitarian measures taken to reduce civilian casualties. Q What are Humanitarian Corridors? They are demilitarised zones, in a specific area and for a

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Inland water transport system in India: Potential and challenges

Q What is the context  ? Month after setting sail on the Ganga from Patna, a vessel carrying 200 metric tonnes of food grains for the Food Corporation of India (FCI), docked at Guwahati’s Pandu port on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra. The occasion is believed to have taken inland water transport, on two of India’s largest river systems,

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Why do Indians go abroad for medical studies?

Why do Indians go abroad for medical studies? Q What is the context  ? According to estimates from Ukraine, reported in the media, around 18,000 Indian students are in Ukraine (before Operation Ganga). Most of them are pursuing medicine. This war has turned the spotlight on something that has been the trend for about three decades now. Q Which are

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Why NATO isn’t sending troops to Ukraine?

Why NATO isn’t sending troops to Ukraine? Why is it in News ? Amid Russia’s war on Ukraine, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has been rapidly deploying troops to member countries but has clarified that it has no plans of sending them to Ukraine. Q What is NATO? NATO is a military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty

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Decarbonising Indian agriculture Editorial FinancialExpress

Decarbonising Indian agriculture Editorial FinancialExpress Emissions from agriculture and livestock are high: As per India’s third Biennial Update Report , in 2016, agriculture and livestock emitted 407,821 Gg of CO2e. This amounts to around 14% of total emissions.  GHG emissions are typically discussed in terms of mass of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). Gg of CO2e measures emissions in Giga grams

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Everything about sanctions

Global sanctions Q Why is it in News ? A A shift is taking place in the business of global dominance and hegemony, from the model of expressing force through troop presence to financial sanctions. It is led by the US and has become recently visible in the US and EU sanctions on Russia. Q How sanctions works ? Sanctions are

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Index of Industrial Production

Index of Industrial Production Q. Why is this in News? Recently, as per official estimates for the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), India’s industrial recovery slowed sharply in December 2021, with output growing just 0.4% year-on-year, and manufacturing activity contracting 0.1%. Contrary to expected growth of 2.5%, growth has come in at 0.4% which is disappointing. Q. What is the Index of

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India’s Ukraine dilemma

 Why is it in News ? Late last week, India abstained from a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution which called for condemning the Russian military action against Ukraine. Q What is  India’s position on the Ukraine issue ? New Delhi has taken a subtle pro-Moscow position on the question of Russian attacks against Ukraine. A geopolitical necessity: India’s Russia tilt should be

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Russia-Ukraine leads to inflation

Russia-Ukraine leads to inflation Q What is the context  ?  With the Russia-Ukraine conflict flaring into a war, global commodity prices, especially that of crude oil and gas, are likely to see a strong surge. This poses a challenge not only for India to contain inflationary pressures but also the world at large. Q What is the problem of rising

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Ratings Agency

Ratings Agency Q What is the context  ? Finance Secretary has accused rating agencies of “double standards” when assessing emerging markets and developing economies. Fitch, a rating agency, has termed India as the most indebted emerging market. It claimed that the latest budget did not provide clarity on fiscal consolidation plans.  Q What is a Rating Agency? Rating agencies assess

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Everything about LIC Disinvestment

LIC Disinvestment Q Why is it in News ? The Union government has filed a draft document with the stock market regulator for selling 5% of its shares in the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India. Q What are details of the IPO ? The IPO is a 100% OFS [offer for sale] by the Government of India and entails

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What do you understand by the term dryland farming? Discuss the significance and measures to enhance dryland farming regions. @UpscExpress

Model Answer Dryland farming is farming in the regions with less than 75 cm annual rainfall. It is characterized by- Low rainfall with high variability. Lack of assured irrigation and dependence on monsoon. Subsistence farming mainly. Significance of region: Around 60% of total arable land is rainfed and out of it one-fourth is dry land. The region contributes to majority

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What are the major impacts of climate change on India? Discuss the mitigation and adaptation strategy employed by the country to tackle it.

Model Answer Climate change refers to long-term shifts in average temperatures and weather patterns and their impacts on the planet. Human activities like the burning of fossil fuels have been the main driver of climate change.India is more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to its diverse terrain, rapid use of natural resources, industrial development and urbanization. According to

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What do you understand by model code of conduct? Explain the purpose behind having a model code of conduct in India.

Model Answer The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission to regulate conduct of political parties and candidates during the election campaign. It is evolved by the Election Commission on the basis of consensus among political parties. The model code of conduct is operational from the date on which election schedule is

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Highlighting the role played by agriculture in India, sketch the scenario of investment in the Indian agricultural sector in the recent years.

Model Answer Answer: Agriculture plays a vital role in the Indian economy. Over 70 per cent of the rural households depend on agriculture. Agriculture is an important sector of Indian economy as it contributes about 17% to the total GDP and provides employment to over 60% of the population. Role of agriculture in Indian economy: Share in National Income Largest Employment

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Discuss the socio-religious impact of British conquest of India. How it was different from previous invasions?

Model Answer Answer: Since the Battle of Plassey in 1757, British established themselves as a ruling class in India. British conquest had a profound impact on Indian society which occasioned numerous socio-religious reforms among various communities and regions. Socio-religious impact of British conquest:- British introduced modern Western ideas like rationalism, humanism , scientific enquiry etc. Indian society was steeped in

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Subverting civil society is new frontier of war: Doval

Subverting civil society is new frontier of war: Doval In News: India’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval pointed out that the new frontiers of war is about the subverting civil society. He was addressing the IPS trainees at the SVP National Police Academy in Hyderabad. He termed civil society as a fourth generation of warfare. First-generation warfare refers to Ancient and

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About: Zonal Councils

About: Zonal Councils: The idea of creation of Zonal Councils was mooted by the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1956. Subsequently, through States Reorganization Act of 1956, Zonal Councils were established as statutory bodies. Objective: To promote cooperation and coordinationbetween states, union territories and the Centre. The Act divided the country intofive zones (Northern, Central, Eastern, Western

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mRNA vaccine technology is in news across the world. What is mRNA vaccine and how it is different from traditional vaccine technology.

Model Answer Vaccines help prepare the body to fight foreign invaders (pathogens such as bacteria or viruses), to prevent infection. mRNA or messenger RNA is a new type of vaccine that uses a molecule called messenger RNA. Messenger RNA is a type of RNA that is necessary for protein production.mRNA vaccines work by introducing a piece of mRNA that corresponds to

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Discuss the key reasons for continuous ceasefire violations at the line of control between India and Pakistan.

Model Answer Answer: The India–Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has witnessed repeated ceasefire violations (CFVs) over the past decade. With degrading bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, CFVs have gone up exponentially. These CFVs have the potential not only to begin a crisis but also to escalate an ongoing one. Reasons behind the ceasefire violations at LoC: To

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The COVID-19 pandemic has raised questions about WHO’s authority to challenge states during serious outbreaks. In light of this statement, critically discuss the role of WHO as a global health leader. 

Model Answer WHO is a specialized agency of UN responsible for international public health. The objective of the Organization is to ensure the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the controversies associated with it have raised questions about the credibility of WHO as a global health leader. WHO: failed to

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What do you understand by global warming? List out major reasons for increasing Earth’s temperature in the post-industrial revolution period.

Model Answer Global warming is the long-term heating of Earth’s atmosphere graduallydue to the accumulation of greenhouse gases that disturb the Earth’s heat budget. It has been increasing steadily since the industrial revolution according to ‘Nature’.The reasons behind this are human activities that include fossil-fuel burning and agriculture primarily. The world is now about 1.2C warmer than it was in

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Recently the Department of Space has released a draft“Humans in space policy for India-2021”. Briefly discuss the need for such a policy.

Model Answer Answer: India plans to have a sustained human presence in space. To achieve this,India is working on multiple fronts like technological development, research and collaboration, etc. The draft policy is a step in achieving this goal. Need for such a policy: It is being felt that given the collaborative nature of human spaceflight due to its multi-disciplinary nature,

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What are the reforms brought in through GST and what can be the future reforms in indirect taxation in India.

Model Answer GST is a comprehensive indirect tax levied on manufacture, sale and consumption of goods as well as services at the national level. It has replaced all indirect taxes levied on goods and services by the Central and State Governments. It has been a milestone in the economic landscape of India. Reforms bought in by GST: It brought in more transparency

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Space debris has become a major issue for the world today. Discuss the problem caused due to space debris and also give solutions to it.

Model Answer Space debris are artificial material that is orbiting Earth but is no longer functional.These include derelict spacecraft, fragmentation debris from the breakup of derelict rocket bodies, solidified liquids expelled from spacecraft, unburned particles from solid rocket motors, etc. Problem: 7,500 tonnes:The estimated amount of defunct, artificially created objects that are currently in space. It threatens both crewed and uncrewed spaceflight. 28,000 kph:The

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Can Quit India movement be termed as spontaneous movement? Discuss.

Model Answer Quit India movement launched in August, 1942 after the failure of Cripps mission was the most militant of all movements launched during the freedom struggle. It led to considerable mass upsurge and unparalleled militancy which was unprecedented. Features of ‘planned movement’ visible in Quit India movement:- Whenever, Congress launched a movement, it made detailed preparations regarding the same.

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Briefly discuss the concept of ecological succession.

Model Answer Ecological succession is the steady and gradual change in a species of a given area with respect to the changing environment.  The succession moves towards achieving an equilibrium in the environment. In some environments, succession reaches a climax, which produces a stable community dominated by a small number of prominent species. This state of equilibrium, called the “climax community”. Ecologists have

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Outline the importance of the India- Nepal bilateral relations. What are the major tensions between the countries?

Model Answer India-Nepal relations are based on multidimensional linkages. Acknowledging each other’s importance, both countries have described the relationship as ‘special’ on various occasions. However, the India-Nepal bilateral relationship is currently at its lowest ebb due to anti-India sentiments in Nepal, in reaction to the perceived political interference by India. Importance: People to people contact: Open border system (bordering 5 India

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Various reports suggest that there is an unprecedented decline of biodiversity. What are the factors which led to loss of biodiversity?

Model Answer Biodiversity is a term that refers to the number of genes, species, individual organisms within a given species, and biological communities within a defined geographic area. Thus, loss of biodiversity is a decrease in biodiversity within a species, an ecosystem in a given geographic area, or Earth as a whole. As per WWF report, our planet has lost 68% of biodiversity in last five decades. Of every 10 biodiversity species population,

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How does national emergency differ from the President‘s rule? Comment.

Model Answer  The emergency provisions contained in article 352 (national emergency) and article 356 (President‘s rule) enable the central government to meet any abnormal situations effectively. Although their purpose is similar, these two emergencies differ widely in many regards. National emergency (article 352) President‘s rule (article 356) grounds of proclamation – When security of India or a part of it

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Civil Disobedience Movement was a step ahead of Non Cooperation movement in many respects. Discuss.

Model Answer Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) was launched by Gandhiji in 1930 on the issue of defiance of repressive salt law. It continued till 1934 and left and indelible mark on the Indian National Movement. How CDM was a step ahead of Non Cooperation movement (NCM) :- The philosophy behind CDM was not just non-cooperation with the British government, but

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Explain how proclamation of national emergency affects Centre state relations.

Model Answer The president can declare a national emergency under article 352, when the security of India or a part of it is threatened by war or external aggression or armed rebellion. The normal fabric of the Centre-state relations undergoes a basic change during national emergency. Effect on Centre-state relations Executive In normal times, the Centre state can give executive

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What do you understand by fiscal consolidation? What are the factors that should be considered for fiscal consolidation by the government?

Model Answer Fiscal Consolidation refers to the policies undertaken by Governments (national and sub-national levels) to reduce their deficits and accumulation of debt stock. Thus, it is a process where government’s fiscal health is getting improved and is indicated by reduced fiscal deficit. Improved tax revenue realization and better aligned expenditure are the components of fiscal consolidation as the fiscal deficit

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How does national emergency differ from the President‘s rule? Comment.

How does national emergency differ from the President‘s rule? Comment. Model Answer  The emergency provisions contained in article 352 (national emergency) and article 356 (President‘s rule) enable the central government to meet any abnormal situations effectively. Although their purpose is similar, these two emergencies differ widely in many regards. National emergency (article 352) President‘s rule (article 356) grounds of proclamation

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Outline the importance of the India- Nepal bilateral relations. What are the major tensions between the countries?

Model Answer India-Nepal relations are based on multidimensional linkages. Acknowledging each other’s importance, both countries have described the relationship as ‘special’ on various occasions. However, the India-Nepal bilateral relationship is currently at its lowest ebb due to anti-India sentiments in Nepal, in reaction to the perceived political interference by India. Importance: People to people contact: Open border system (bordering 5 India

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About: Maharatna Scheme

About: Maharatna Scheme Maharatna scheme was introduced by the Government of India for Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) in May, 2010. Objective: To empower mega CPSEs to expand their operations and emerge as global giants. Under the scheme, a CPSE is accorded the status of “Maharatna” company when it meets certain eligibility criteria. Concerned Department: Department of Public Enterprises, Ministry

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About: Credit Rating Agencies

About: Credit Rating Agencies A credit rating agency is a company that assesses the financial strength of sovereign companies and government entities, especially their ability to meet principal and interest payments on their debts. The rating assigned to a given debt shows an agency’s level of confidence that the borrower will honour its debt obligations as agreed. Each agency uses

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Explained: The Taliban war chest

Explained: The Taliban war chest In News: After recapturing Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, the Taliban have taken control over most of the country, as well as any weapon and equipment left behind by fleeing Afghan forces. What’s in today’s article: Taliban’s revenues Sources of revenue, including Drug trade, Mining and Donations Mlitary assets News Summary: The Taliban’s ability to

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About: The Somnath or the Deo Patan Temple

About: The Somnath or the Deo Patan Temple About: It is located in Veraval (Saurashtra) on the western coast of Gujarat, India. It is believed to be the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva, and is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot of Gujarat. It was reconstructed several times in the past after repeated destruction by several Muslim invaders and rulers, including

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Everything About Quit India Movement

About Quit India Movement: The Quit India Movement started on August 9, 1942, and set in motion a chain of events over the following five years, which finally led to the end of the British rule in India. Also known as the August Kranti, the mass civil disobedience movement is considered to be one of the most significant events in

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In Focus: Periodic Labour Force Survey

In Focus: Periodic Labour Force Survey In every economy, estimation of reliable employment and unemployment data is important. The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) was historically conducting quinquennial (once in every five years) employment and unemployment surveys as part of its National Sample Surveys. From April 2017, the NSSO has adopted a new employment and unemployment survey called Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS).

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Explained: Why cloudbursts could become more frequent

In News: At least seven people were killed and 17 injured after a cloudburst hit remote Hunzar village, of the hilly Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir. About Cloudburst: Cloudbursts are short-duration, intense rainfall events over a small area. A cloudburst is different from rain only in the amount of water that pours down on the earth. The India Meteorological Department

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Peace Agent in the Security Council Editorial 28th Jul’21 TimesOfIndia

Peace Agent in the Security Council Editorial 28th Jul’21 TimesOfIndia India at UNSC at a critical time: On January 1, 2021, India once again returned to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as non-permanent member for two years. Its entry couldn’t have happened at a more critical time. India’s valuable contributions at UNSC Conflicts have only increased during the pandemic,

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​EU’s New ‘Vaccine Passport’ Programme.

​EU’s New ‘Vaccine Passport’ Programme.Q. What is this news? Covishield, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, is not among the vaccines which have been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for its “vaccine passport” programme that allows free movement of people in and out of Europe.  Kindle eBooks: Shop for kindle eBooks online at best prices in India at Amazon.in. Get Free 1 or

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About: Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple

Telangana’s Ramappa temple inscribed as a World Heritage Site https://amzn.to/3zTfLhH In News: In a major diplomatic triumph for India, the 13th century Ramappa temple in Palampet, Telangana, was inscribed as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site About: Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple Rudreshwara, popularly known as Ramappa Temple, is located in the village of Palampur approximately

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About: Tuberculosis (TB)

About: Tuberculosis (TB) It is an infectious disease usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteria, which generally affects the lungs (Pulmonary TB), but can also affect other parts of the body (Extrapulmonary). It is spread from one person to the next through the air when people who have active TB in their lungs cough, spit, speak, or sneeze. Most infections show no symptoms, which is also known as latent tuberculosis.

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About: Interest rate transmission 

About: Interest rate transmission  The monetary policy of the country is handled by RBI, under which it takes various steps to manage inflation and money supply in the economy. Repo rate is the rate at which RBI lends funds to banks and Reverse repo rate is the rate at which it borrows funds from banks. RBI increases or decreases these rates to control the flow of money

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What the cooperation ministry must do Editorial 20th Jul’21 Financial Express

Co-operatives: Cooperatives are organizations formed at the grassroots level by people to harness the power of collective bargaining towards a common goal. The main aim of Cooperative societies is to provide tangible benefit to all people who face similar problems. Co-operatives are owned by members—producers or consumers—and have in many ways resulted in benefits to the stakeholders. By some estimates,

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Explained: How lightning strikes, and why it kills

Explained: How lightning strikes, and why it kills In News: At least 30 people were killed in separate incidents of lightning in various parts of the country in the past 24 hours. What is Lightning? Lightning is a phenomenon where light energy is produced by imbalances between cumulonimbus clouds and the ground, or within the clouds themselves. Most lightning occurs within

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In Focus: Elephants and their Conservation Efforts

A proposed elephant reserve in Chhattisgarh and its reduced area In News: The proposed Lemru Elephant Reserve (in the pipeline for 20 years) in Chhattisgarh, has become the subject of controversies. This provides the context for understanding of the Elephants and their Reserves in India. In Focus: Elephants and their Conservation Efforts: UPSC Books About the species: Elephant (Elephas maximus) is

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Essay : Pandemics and Digital Divide

Title : Pandemics and Digital Divide https://amzn.to/3B0iiIn Digital divide refers to the gap between those with regular, effective access to digital and information technology, and those without this access. It encompasses both physical access to technology hardware and, more broadly, skills and resources which allow for its use. Factors like gender, physical disability, physical access, age, access to the contents,

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ESSAY : Is democracy losing ground?

Title : Is democracy losing ground? Even as there are powerful pro-democracy movements in Hong Kong and Venezuela, there has been a trend in recent years that democracy is in retreat. Many surveys concur. The latest survey by Freedom House, an American think-tank, is called “Democracy in Crisis”. In 2017, for the 12th consecutive year, countries that suffered democratic setbacks

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In Focus: Uniform Civil Code (UCC)

In Focus: Uniform Civil Code (UCC) What is Uniform Civil Code (UCC)? A Uniform Civil Code refers to a single law for the entire country, applicable to all religious communities in their personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption etc. It is intended to replace the system of fragmented personal laws, which currently govern interpersonal relationships and related matters

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Digital India initiatives

Digital India initiatives The initiatives under Digital India fall under three umbrellas: A.DI initiatives – Infrastructure  Aadhaar Aadhaar identity platform is one of the key pillars of ‘Digital India’, under which every resident of the country is provided with a unique identity or Aadhaar number. It is a strategic policy tool for social and financial inclusion, public sector delivery reforms, managing fiscal

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Everything About: Syama Prasad Mookerjee

About: Syama Prasad Mookerjee Born on 6 July 1901 in Calcutta, Syama Prasad Mookerjee was an Indian politician, barrister and academician. In 1934, Mookerjee earned the rare distinction of becoming the youngest vice-chancellor of Calcutta University at the age of 33. For his outstanding academic record, he was awarded with the Doctorate of Literature by the Calcutta University and LL.D (Doctor of Law) by

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About: Namami Gange Programme, National Ganga Council, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) #UPSC

Cities situated on river banks will have to incorporate river conservation plans when they prepare their Master Plans, says a policy document from the National Mission for Clean Ganga. About: Namami Gange Programme ‘Namami Gange Programme’, is an Integrated Conservation Mission, approved as ‘Flagship Programme’ by the Union Government in June 2014. Flagship schemes of Government are those schemes which

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In Focus: National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN) Bharat Programme

In Focus: National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN) Bharat Programme About: The programme was launched by the Department of School Education, Ministry of Education, Government of India. Central Square Foundation, a non-governmental organisation with a focus on foundational literacy and numeracy, has provided inputs and technical support to the Centre in the development of this mission.

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About: National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), Functions, Composition, Standing Committee of the NBWL, Protected Areas

About: National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) is a statutory body constituted in 2003, under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. It serves as an apex body to review all wildlife-related matters. The board is advisory in nature and advises the Central Government on framing policies and measures for conservation of wildlife in the country. Functions: The primary function of the Board is

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About: OPEC , OPEC+

About: OPEC The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is an intergovernmental organization of 13 nations (as of February 2021), founded in 1960 in Baghdad by the first five members (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela), and headquartered since 1965 in Vienna, Austria. The current OPEC members are Algeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, the Republic of

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About: Purchasing Manager Index (PMI)

About: Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) The Nikkei India Manufacturing PMI, compiled by IHS Markit, is based on data compiled from monthly survey responses by purchasing managers in more than 400 manufacturing companies, on various factors that represent demand conditions.Note: It is also sometime referred to as IHS Markit India Manufacturing PMI. PMI measures activity at the purchasing or input stage. It is very different from industrial production which is

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The British rule has been often been described as the reason for drain of Indian wealth to Britain. In this light discuss constituent of economic drain and consequences of the same.

Q. The British rule has been often been described as the reason for drain of Indian wealth to Britain. In this light discuss constituent of economic drain and consequences of the same. Structure of the answer: Introduction (drain of wealth) Estimate of drain of wealth Constituent of economic drain Consequences Final analysis Model Answer  The constant flow of wealth from

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About: Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), Cybersecurity

What is Cybersecurity? Computer security, Cybersecurity or Information Technology Security is the protection of computer systems and networks from information disclosure, theft of or damage to their hardware, software, or electronic data. About: Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) The Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) is a trusted reference that measures the commitment of countries to cybersecurity at a global level. GCI was first launched

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About Digital India: Vision and 9 Pillars @upscExpress

About Digital India The Digital India programme was launched in 2015, with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. It is an umbrella programme that covers multiple government Ministries and Departments. The overall coordination is done by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY). It brings together a large number of ideas into a

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About: Chief Secretary

Chief Secretaries (CS) are members of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and are the administrative head of state governments. The Chief Secretary is the senior-most cadre post in the state administration and the status of the Chief Secretary is equal to that of a Secretary to the Government of India. The Indian Constitution does not list the powers and functions of the Chief Secretary. The functions of

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What is Drought?, Global Assessment Report (GAR) on Drought 2021, Impact of Drought, Cost estimates of Drought, About United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

Impact of severe droughts on India GDP is 2-5%: UN In News The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) recently released a report titled Global Assessment Report (GAR) on Drought 2021. What is Drought? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines drought as a period of abnormally dry weather long enough to cause a serious hydrological (water) imbalance. It

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Cryptocurrencies

In Focus: Cryptocurrencies About: A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. Many cryptocurrencies are decentralized networks based on blockchain technology. A defining feature of cryptocurrencies is that they are generally not issued by any central authority, rendering them theoretically immune to governmentinterference or manipulation. Types of Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin: Launched in 2009, the first blockchain-based

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In Focus: Biodiversity Hotspots

In Focus: Biodiversity Hotspots A biodiversity hotspot is a region with a high amount of biodiversity that experiences habitat loss by human activity. The term “biodiversity hotspot” was coined by a British environmentalist Norman Myers in 1988. For a region to qualify as a biodiversity hotspot, it must meet the following two criteria: Contain at least 1,500 species of vascular plants found nowhere

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About: Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)

About: Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) The Central Vigilance Commission was setup by a Government Resolution in 1964, to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the field of vigilance. The Commission was given the status of independent statutory authority through the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003. As the apex integrity institution, the Commission is mandated to fight corruption and to ensure integrity in public administration.

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About: National Human Rights Commission (NHRC):

About: National Human Rights Commission (NHRC): The National Human Rights Commission is a statutory body established in 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. The commission is the watchdog of human rights in the country i.e. the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the international covenants and enforceable by

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About: Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) @UpscExpress

About: Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) The Central Board of Secondary Education was formed officially in 1962 with the sole purpose to make a common standard and platform for every student in the country. The Board has not been established under any statute. It can be treated only as an authority created by the Government of India to carry on certain

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Sunderbans and Mangrove

Sunderbans is the largest single block mangrove forest in the world. About: Sundarbans: Sundarbans is a mangrove area in the delta formed by the confluence of the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna Rivers in the Bay of Bengal. It is the largest single block mangrove forest in the world. The Sundarbans mangrove forest covers an area of about 10,000 sq. km, of which forests in Bangladeshextend over 6,017 sq. km and

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Explained: The Reclining Buddha and his various other depictions in art

In News: On Wednesday, May 26 — Buddha Jayanti, Buddha Purnima, or Vesak — India’s largest statue of the Reclining Buddha was to have been installed at the Buddha International Welfare Mission temple in Bodh Gaya, Bihar. The ceremony has been postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions. About the Reclining Buddha: A reclining Buddha is an image that represents Buddha lying

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Freedom of Navigation Operations

Freedom of Navigation Operations Q Why is it in News?  The US Navy has had “asserted navigational rights and freedoms approximately 130 nautical miles west of Lakshadweep Islands, inside India’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), without requesting India’s prior consent, consistent with international law”. Q What are  Freedom of Navigation Operations?   Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs)  are closely linked to

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Q. What is Aurora, why does it occur? 

Northern Lights, also known as aurora borealis could be visible in regions such as in the northern parts of Illinois and Pennsylvania in the US. Q. What is Aurora, why does it occur?  Auroras occur when charged particles ejected from the Sun’s surface — called the solar wind — enter the Earth’s atmosphere. While flowing toward Earth, the fast-moving solar

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Define minorities. What are the socio cultural problems before them and what measures should be adopted to solve them? [200 Words]

Ans.: A minority group, refers to a group of people whose practices, race, religion, ethnicity, or other characteristics are lesser in numbers than the main groups of those classifications.In sociology, a minority group refers to a category of people who experience relative disadvantage as compared to members of a dominant social group. Louis Wirth defined a minority group as “a group of people who, because of

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Describe any four cultural elements of diversity in India and rate their relative significance in building a national identity. (UPSC – 2015) [150 Words]

Ans.: Diversity connotes collective differences among people that differentiates one group of people from another.India is considered as a mega culturally diverse country due to the existence of various groups that provide a unique blend to India’s diversity. These culturally diverse elements have given India an identity that is heterogeneous compared to any such large countries. Cultural elements of diversity in

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How Asian desert dust enhances Indian summer monsoon

How Asian desert dust enhances Indian summer monsoon Q. What is the news? A recent study shows how dust coming from the deserts in the West, Central and East Asia plays an important role in the Indian Summer Monsoon. The researchers also explain how the Indian Summer Monsoon has a reverse effect and can increase the winds in West Asia

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How Supreme Court chooses the Chief Justice of India

How Supreme Court chooses the Chief Justice of India Why is it in News?  Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde has recommended Justice N.V. Ramana, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, as the next top judge. Justice Ramana is now set to take over as the 48th Chief Justice of India from April 24. How is CJI Appointed?  The

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What could be the reasons behind an unusually large hole that has opened in the ozone layer over the Arctic?

What could be the reasons behind an unusually large hole that has opened in the ozone layer over the Arctic? Over the last month, a new hole in the ozone layer has started to form over the Arctic. The ozone layer over the North Pole has been depleted plenty of times in the past. But this time around, extreme weather

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Issue of Same Sex Marriage

Q. Why is this in news?  Recently, the Central Government opposed same-sex marriage in Delhi High Court stating that a marriage in India can be recognised only if it is between a “biological man” and a “biological woman” capable of producing children. Q. What is the background for it? Petitions, seeking recognition of same sex marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA), 1955 and

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Significance of militants’ surrender in Assam and history of Karbi insurgency.

Q. What is the news? Recently 1,040 militants of five militant groups of Karbi Anglong district ceremonially laid down arms at an event in Guwahati in the presence of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, a development which further bolsters the ‘terrorism-free Assam’ image of the current BJP-led government. Among the surrendered militants is Ingti Kathar Songbijit, a primary accused in multiple cases

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Why is it unusually foggy over north India this winter?

Why is it unusually foggy over north India this winter? Q. What is the news? For several days during the last two months, zero visibility and dense fog has engulfed parts of Delhi and all of Punjab and Haryana keeping up with cold weather conditions. Last week alone, multiple road accidents due to poor visibility killed close to a hundred people.  What

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In Focus: Civilian Awards:

In Focus: Civilian Awards: In 1954, Government of India instituted two civilian awards i.e. Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan. The Padma Vibhushan had three classes namely Pahela Varg, Dusra Varg and Tisra Varg, which were subsequently renamed as Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri in 1955. About: Bharat Ratna Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the country. It is

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India’s UNSC moment Editorial 26th Jan’21 TimesOfIndia

World is changing fast today: The world of today is evolving rapidly. Structurally, we are seeing a re-emergence of great power contestation (now between the US and China) unlike any we have seen since the end of the Cold War (when it was between the US and Soviet). Fragmented world emerging:  A rising China is challenging the fundamentals of the

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About: AstroSat Mission, It’s Features, Objective and Payload

About: AstroSat Mission AstroSat is the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission aimed at studying celestial sources in X-ray, optical and UV spectral bands simultaneously. It was launched in 2015 into a 650 km orbit. AstroSat is also India’s first multi-wavelength satellite which has five unique X-ray and ultraviolet telescopes working in tandem. Features: The payloads of AstroSat cover the energy bands of- Ultraviolet

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About: Corporate Social Responsibility?

What is Corporate Social Responsibility? It is a corporation’s initiative to assess and take responsibility for the company’s effects on environmental and social well being. It helps a company be socially accountable — to itself, its stakeholders, and the public. By practicing corporate social responsibility, companies can be conscious of the kind of impact they are having on all aspects of

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International Relation: About G-7

About: G-7 G-7 or ‘Group of Seven’ is the group of the largest advanced economies of the world comprising of the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan. It is the only forum where the world’s most influential and democratic, open societies and advanced economies gather for discussions. G-7 has its origins in an intergovernmental organisation that

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About: Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)

About: Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) It is the flagship scheme for skill training of youth being implemented by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) through the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). The objective of the scheme is to enable a large number of Indian youth to take up industry relevant skill training that will help them

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About Elephants: Elephant reserves, Project elephant, MIKE Programme, Conservation efforts, Threats faced

About: Elephants The Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) occurs in 16 states of the country and in regions of central and southern Western Ghats, North-east India, eastern India and northern India and in some parts of southern peninsular India.The Indian elephant is one of three extant recognised subspecies of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and native to mainland Asia. The Government of India has declared Indian

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