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, includingRead more
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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,Read more
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 orRead more
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.Read more
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,Read more
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) byRead more
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.Read more
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 isRead more
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 launchedRead more
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. ItRead more
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-basedRead more
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 nowhereRead more
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.Read more
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 andRead more
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 toRead more
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 ofRead more
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 andRead more
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 casesRead more
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 isRead more
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 theRead more
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 thatRead more
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 themRead more
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 IndianRead more
Govt readies 3D printing policy for local firms to join new global market In News The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) will soon come up with a policy aimed at promoting 3D printing on an industrial scale. Objectives of the policy The policy will help to develop an ecosystem for design, development and deployment of 3D printing in the country. ItRead more
Model Answer The Green Revolution in India began in the mid-1960s marking a transition from traditional agriculture in India and the introduction of high-yielding varieties of seeds and the associated agricultural techniques. The Main achievements of the Green Revolution are: Increase in Agricultural Production and productivity: The production and productivity of wheat, rice, maize and bajra has substantially increased. Less DependenceRead more
Q. Forest Fires pose a threat not only to the forest wealth but also to the entire regime. In view of this statement discuss the various adverse impacts of Forest Fires.
Model Answer Fires are a major cause of forest degradation and have wide ranging adverse ecological, economic and social impacts including: Effects of forest fire: Loss of valuable timber resources: Forest fires cause indispensable loss to timber and deteriorate its quality. Valuable timber species like teak, sal, chir, deodar, sheesam, rosewood etc. are adversely affected by fire. However, the adhesive impactRead more
Q. “Artificial intelligence is going to change every industry, but we have to understand its limits”. In light of this, discuss the benefits and challenges associated with AI in Indian context.
Model Answer Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the ability of machines to learn and reason through analogy, analyze, interpret information, recognize speech, visual perception and take decisions. In other words, AI is application of human intelligence by the machines. Benefits of AI Contribution to Economy: The NITI Aayog estimates that AI could potentially give 15% boost to the gross value added (GVA)Read more
Q. What is Budget Transparency? Scratching its genesis, discuss the benefits associated with budget transparency as well as the ways through which it can be promoted in functioning of a government?
Model Answer Budgets are key documents since they lay out a government’s priorities in terms of policies and programs. Opening up budgets and democratizing the budget process gives citizens a say in policy formulation and resource allocation. Budget transparency refers to the extent and ease with which citizens can access information about and provide feedback on government revenues, allocations, andRead more
Q. If Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) wants to remain as relevant and look toward a new phase of Asia-Pacific economic integration, it must include India as its member. Comment.
Model Answer APEC was established in 1989 as an intergovernmental platform for 21 Pacific Rim member economies to promote free-trade in the region. The grouping is facing the heat of unilateralism and protectionism. Competition and divergence in the form of US-China tensions was on full display at the 2018 APEC summit As a result, a debate pertaining to the question of the forum’sRead more
Q. Comment upon the role of women in the Indian freedom struggle. How did the arrival of Gandhiji affect their participation in the political sphere?
Model Answer Indian freedom struggle was not only a political agitation for freedom but also an inclusive movement that included various sections of the society. The process of inclusion only intensified with the multidimensional role of women with renewed vigour after the arrival of Mahatma Gandhi. Role of Women in Indian Freedom Struggle – Earliest examples – Right from the revoltRead more
Q. In recent years the caste system in India is assuming new identities. In this light discuss the importance and challenges posed by caste system.
Structure of the answer: Introduction (about India’s caste system) Caste assuming new identities Importance of caste system Challenges of caste system Way forward Model Answer Caste is an endogamous group based on social hierarchy, where position of individual is ascribed by birth rather than achieved status. There are about 3,000 caste and 25,000 sub caste in India. In recent times the caste system is assumingRead more
Q. What are the different types of ecological succession? In this light also discuss the significance of ecological succession?
Structure of the answer: Introduction Types of ecological succession Significance of ecological succession Way forward Model Answer Ecological succession is the steady and gradual change in a species of a given area with respect to the changing environment. The ultimate aim of this process is to reach equilibrium in the ecosystem. The community that achieves this aim is called a climax community. Further, inRead more
Q. India’s quest to land its first spacecraft on the moon got off to a smooth start with the successful launch of Chandrayaan-2 mission aboard the country’s most powerful rocket – GSLV Mk-III. In light of this statement, discuss the significance of this mission.
Model Answer Chandrayaan-2 is India’s most challenging, totally indigenous, and India’s second mission to Moon. It is advanced version of previous Chandrayaan-1 mission (launched in 2008) which only involved orbiting around moon, Chandrayaan-2 is much complicated mission as it involves an orbiter, lander and rover. After reaching the 100 km lunar orbit, the Lander housing the Rover was to separateRead more
Q. Hate speech in India is a result of various facilitating factors. In this light discuss the impact of hate speech and suggestion to effectively deal with the same.
Structure of the answer: Introduction (Meaning) Factors supporting hate speeches Impact of hate speech Way for ward/ suggestion Model Answer Hate speech is incitement of hatred primarily against a group of people defined in terms of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation etc. The issue of hate speech has become a recurrent phenomenon especially before the elections. There are various factors facilitating hate speechesRead more
Q. Regionalism in India is a result of various interconnected factors. In this light discuss the various types regionalism in India and also suggest suitable measures to curtail negative impact of regionalism.
Structure of the answer: Introduction (regionalism) Factors responsible for regionalism Types of regionalism Conclusion/ way forward Model Answer Regionalism is a strong attachment to one’s own region. Thus, it is an ideology that seek to advance cause of a region. The rise of regionalism in India is a result of various factors: Historically, formation of various regional kingdoms and frequent regional warsRead more
Q. Oceans are the major sources for multiple living and non-living resources that are useful for the growth of blue economy. In this light discuss the concept of Blue economy and its importance for India.
Structure of the answer: Introduction (Blue economy) Ocean as the source for various resources Importance of blue economy Final analysis Model Answer The concept of blue economy was given by Gunter Pauli. It is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs and ocean ecosystem health. Thus, it advocates the greening of ocean development for purposes of higherRead more
Q. World trade organisation (WTO) as a multilateral body is facing challenges on various counts. In this light discuss the relevance of WTO and also suggest suitable reform in its functioning.
Structure of the answer: Introduction (about WTO) Challenges faced by WTO Relevance of WTO Reform in functioning of WTO Model Answer WTO was set up under Marrakesh Treaty (1994) and as an organization aim to improve living standards, generate employment, and expand global trade. However, in recent years WTO is facing challenges on various counts such as: Consensus based rule making has become aRead more
Q. The term ‘governance’, ‘good governance’ and ‘ethical governance’ though looks similar, yet signifies different idea. In this background, differentiate the above-mentioned terms in light of governance structure in India.
Structure of the answer: Introduction Meaning of different terms with help of example Final analysis/ conclusion Model Answer The term ‘governance’, ‘good governance’ and ‘ethical governance’ appears to be used interchangeably and are intrinsically interlinked. Yet, each of them signify different meaning in their own sense. The same are discussed below with help of examples. The term ‘governance’ is defined as follows: It is the exercise of economic, political andRead more
Q. The British rule was marked by various Peasants movement. In this background discuss the impact of these movement on freedom struggle.
Structure of the answer: Introduction Various peasant movement in British era Impact of peasant movement on freedom struggle Conclusion Model Answer Peasant movement in India arose due to Britishers economic policies that resulted in the change of ownership of agrarian land, massive debt burden and impoverishment of peasantry. Thus, the peasants rose in revolt against this injustice on many occasions. Some ofRead more
Q. India is currently facing the issue of rising tsunami of e-waste. In this light discuss the challenges being posed by increasing e-waste and also suggest the suitable measures to tackle these challenges.
Structure of the answer: Introduction Rise of e-waste and issues relating to it Challenges posed by it Measures to handle such an issue Final analysis Model Answer Electronic waste/ e-waste is a term used for electronic products that have become unwanted, obsolete and have reached the end of their useful life. India generates near about 2 million metric tonne of e-waste annually andRead more
Q. In recent years there has been number of farmer protest around India demanding increase in Minimum support price (MSP). In this light discuss the effectiveness of MSP and need for replacing it with Price deficiency payment system.
Structure of the answer: Introduction Deficiencies in the MSP system Importance of price deficiency payment system Final analysis Model Answer MSP is the base price set by the Government and whenever the market prices fall below the announced MSPs, procurement agencies step in to procure the crop at the support price. In India, the MSP are recommended by the Commission for Agricultural Cost andRead more
Q. Explain how the American War of Independence had transformed the Europe and other parts of the world?
Model Answer The American Revolution of 1776 had transformed not only the America but also the Europe and other parts of the world. Its direct and indirect influences were felt worldwide in the time to come. The impact of the American Revolution was as follows: Ideological impact: The ideas of liberty, equality, fraternity were popularized all over the world as a resultRead more
Q. In the context of the world history, discuss the achievements of the Bolshevik Revolution of Russia.
Model Answer The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 were the two phases of a single revolution where due to the prevailing widespread discontent, Lenin overthrew Kerensky’s government with the help of his revolutionary Red Guard on the night of 6th and 7th November 1917 and declared Russia as a communist nation. Other significant achievements of the Bolshevik revolution are as follows:Read more
Q. Government has promised to double farmer’s income by 2022, in this light discuss the measures taken by government to implement the same. Also suggest suitable strategies to timely and sustainable achievement of this target.
Structure of the answer: Introduction Measures taken by government Suggestion Way forward Model Answer The government has set a target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 to overcome the distressed situation of agriculture. The situation was evident after large scale farmer’s protest in various parts of India. The reorientation of strategy was needed due to following reasons: Earlier strategy focused primarilyRead more
Q. Reform movements in religion were largely responsible for social reform movements in India. In this context, discuss the contribution of various socio-cultural reformers in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Approach: Briefly discuss about the social reform movements in India. Discuss the contribution of various socio-cultural reformers in the 19th and 20th centuries. Model Answer Indian Society in the 19th century was caught in a vicious web created by religious superstitions and dogmas. All religions in general and Hinduism in particular had become a compound of magic, animism, and superstitions.Read more
Q. India has moved forward by providing fundamental rights of basic education through Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009. Analyse the challenges faced at primary level of Education in India. Also discuss the major reforms suggested at primary level in the recent draft education policy 2019.
Approach: Briefly write about Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009 and its current status. Discuss the challenges faced at primary level of Education in India. Discuss the major reforms suggested at primary level in the recent draft education policy 2019. Model Answer With 86th amendment, education was made fundamental rights of the citizen under Article 21(a). Right to education act 2009Read more
Q. The Government of India, through the Department of Science and Technology (DST), has released a draft of the new Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) Policy. Discuss the objective of introducing SSR Policy and the benefits associated with it.
Model Answer India is going to be possibly the first country in the world to implement a SSR Policy on the lines of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Under the proposed policy, individual scientists or knowledge workers will be required to devote at least 10 person-days of SSR per year for exchanging scientific knowledge to society. Objectives The main objective ofRead more
Model Answer India adopted federal form of governance where the states are represented through the Upper House. Except Money Bills, Upper House plays an important role in the law making process in the country. It also plays the role of counsel to states; however, some experts are of the view that this House should be abolished as it is not servingRead more
Q. Describe briefly the features of bronze sculpture art that reached its zenith during the Chola era.
Approach: Introduce the Chola bronze art – why it is considered as the high stage of development Divide the answer into subparts – patronage, religious purpose, technology, and iconography Also mention various examples to substantiate the points Within the subparts, try to trace the chronological development. Model Answer The Chola period is well known for the aesthetic and technical finesseRead more
Q. The large-scale occurrence of floods is a result of multitude of factors. In this background discuss the causes of floods and steps to minimise the vulnerability to floods.
Structure of the answer: Introduction Causes of floods Steps to mitigate vulnerability Conclusion Model Answer Flood is a state of higher water level along a river channel or on coast leading to inundation of land that is not normally submerge. In India, 40 million hectares out of a geographical area of 3290 lakh hectares is prone to floods. Moreover, every year, 1600 lives are lostRead more
Q. What was the immediate trigger of the World War-I? What were the reasons for the breakout of the war? Comment
Model Answer World War-I has its roots in the assassination of a prince. On 28 June 1914, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by a Serbian terrorist at Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. Austria saw the hands of Serbia behind this and served Serbia an ultimatum. Serbia refused to accept one of the demandsRead more
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 aRead more
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 PeninsularRead more
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 demonstratedRead more
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 likeRead more
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 areRead more
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 forcingsRead more
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 ifRead more
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 economicRead more
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 aRead more
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 theRead more
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 executeRead more
In Focus: Smog Very simply, smogis a type of air pollution that reduces visibility. The term “smog” was first used in the early 1900s to describe a mix of smoke and fog, when smoke came from burning of fossil fuels like coal in thermal power plants. Sulphurous Smog It is also called “London smog”. It results from a high concentration of sulphur oxidesin the air and is causedRead more
Headline : The WTO’s dispute settlements mechanism is all but dead Details : In News: The World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) dispute settlement mechanism is on the brink of collapsing. About: World Trade Organisation (WTO) In 1948, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) came in as an ad hoc and provisional mechanism to enable international trade and to establishRead more
Headline : Retributive justice Editorial 6th Dec’19 TheHindu Details : Outcry for women’s safety after Hyderabad incident: The heinous rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad in late November shook the collective conscience of India. It resulted in an outcry for justice for the victim and outrage over the persisting lack of safety for women in public spaces. Creates societalRead more
Headline : Manufacturing PMI improves Details : In News: The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose in November from October, indicating an increase in manufacturing activity November. About: Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) The Nikkei India Manufacturing PMI 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. PMI measures activity at the purchasingRead more
Headline : Transforming farm loans Editorial 1st Dec’19 FinancialExpress Details : Importance of crop loans in India: Crop loan is a lifeline for over 145 million farmers in India. Every year, millions of farmers and thousands of bank branches go through a intense process of granting crop loans delivered through Kisan Credit Cards. Banks disbursed Rs 12.5 lakh crore worth farm loansRead more
Headline : What is the project to redevelop Lutyens’ Delhi all about? Details : In News The Central government has started its plan of redeveloping the three-km-long Central Vista and Parliament. The plan also includes constructing a common Central secretariat for all ministries that are currently spread over many buildings across Delhi. This follows calls from Members of Parliament to have their own offices atRead more
Headline : India can learn agri-policy lessons from China Editorial 25th Oct’19 FinancialExpress Details : India and China have similar challenges in agriculture: India and China are the most populous countries in the world, having a population size of 1.35 billion and 1.39 billion, respectively, in 2018. With limited arable land [about 120 million hectare (m ha) in China, and 156 mRead more
Headline : Is seawater the ultimate answer? Details : Context of the topic: As per National Health Profile (NHP), India’s public health spend as a percentage of GDP has increased by 0.16 percentage points from 1.12% to 1.28% of GDP, between 2009-10 and 2018-19. India’s target is 5% GDP on health spend. The NHP is an annual stocktaking exercise on theRead more
Headline : Explained: Jammu and Kashmir state to two UTs — today, later Details : In News The state of Jammu and Kashmir will be officially bifurcated into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh on October 31. The day will mark the beginning of the functioning of the two UTs at a bureaucratic level. This marks an important milestone in the historyRead more
Headline : IMF members delay quota changes, agree to maintain funding Details : In News Members of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have agreed to maintain its funding at $1 trillion but postponed changes to its voting structure. Highlights of the deal The deal will allow an extension of non-permanent, supplementary sources of funds, such as the New Arrangement to Borrow (NAB) andRead more
Headline : Explained: Why interest rates aren’t falling Details : Context for the article: This article explores why, despite significant repo rate cuts by the RBI, the interest rates in the banking system are not falling much. Rate cuts by the RBI: Since February, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has aggressively cut the repo rate. Repo rate is the interestRead more
Headline : An independent fiscal watchdog for Parliament Editorial 21st Sep’19 TheHindu Details : Access to all of good quality analysis on economic, fiscal or financial matters is important for democracy: For an effective democracy, it is important for our electorate and the representatives to have an independent, non-partisan source for these hard facts and evidence. This is particularly important for our Parliament,Read more
Headline : Supreme Court clears 900km Char Dham highway project Details : In News The Supreme Court has cleared the Chardham highway project, by modifying an NGT order. It has also ordered to constitute a fresh committee to look into environmental concerns related to the project. It ordered the Ministry of Environment and Forests to form the high-powered committee (HPC). BackgroundRead more
Headline : Who are the 19 lakh excluded from Assam NRC, and what next for them? Details : In News: The recently published final list of people in updated National Register of Citizen (NRC) has stripped nearly 19 lakh people in the north-eastern state of Assam of their citizenship. About: NRC The NRC for a state is the list of IndianRead more
Headline : Science for disaster management Editorial 31st Aug’19 TimesOfIndia Details : Managing disaster and emergency risks: In an increasingly interconnected world, disaster and emergency risks are becoming more complex and difficult to manage. Therefore, it is critically important to optimise the application of scientific and technological capabilities to understand, reduce and manage disaster and emergency risks. Telegram: https://t.me/UpscExpress http://www.upscexpress.com UseRead more
Headline : India’s water crisis: All stakeholders must come together Editorial 29th Aug’19 HindustanTimes Details : Water stress in India: India is home to 17% of world’s population, but has only 4% of the world’s fresh water resources. At present, 75% of Indian households do not have access to drinking water, and close to 90% of rural households have no access toRead more
Headline : Explained: Sikkim, from Chogyal rule to Indian state Details : In News: Recently, Sikkim’s longest serving Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling, became the sole elected Opposition representative in the Assembly after the remaining 12 Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) MLAs defected, with 10 joining the BJP and another two joining the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM). Telegram: https://t.me/ShubhraRanjanPSIR http://www.UpscExpress.com Context ofRead more
Headline : Explained: Madhya Pradesh may get a second House. Why do some states have Vidhan Parishads? Details :The News The State government in Madhya Pradesh has moved to create a Legislative Council for the state. Bicameral System: India has a bicameral system of legislature at the Union level, with the Parliament having two Houses, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Similarly,Read more
Headline : Appointment of CDS will fill a void in India’s defence system Editorial 16th Aug’19 IndianExpress Details : PM announcing the creation of CDS: One of the most significant announcements made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Independence Day in 2019 is the creation of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The CDS is expected to be a four-star militaryRead more
Technology: Indian space industry, SSLV, NSIL, Antrix, Indian space industry, Commercial Space Industry, ISRO and Private Sector
Headline : ISRO’s new commercial arm gets first booking for launch Details : In News NEWSPACE INDIA Limited (NSIL), the newly created second commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation, recently got its first contract. A private US space services provider, Spaceflight, has booked ISRO’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), which is yet to be tested, for launching a spacecraft.Read more
Headline : Coming, digital push to Gram Panchayats Details : In News: The Union government has decided to start People’s Plan Campaign, also known as Sabki Yojana Sabka Vikas in September, after consultations with the representatives of 16 key ministries. Earlier, from October to December, 2018, the government conducted a similar exercise in 2.48 lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs) across the country, which showed several GPsRead more
Headline : RBI has done its bit, now over to the government Editorial 9th Aug’19 HindustanTimes Details : Rate cut by RBI: Inflation is within control. The economy is slowing down. RBI has lowered its growth projections for the first half of the year sharply. The RBI’s projections indicate that it expects growth to improve in the second half of the year,Read more
Headline : Market participants seek rollback of surcharge on FPIs, lower LTCG tax Details : The News: In a meeting with Finance Minister, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) and finance industry players presented a series of proposals to revive investment sentiment. Important Terminologies: About: Dividend Tax Distribution A dividend is a return given by a company to its shareholders out of theRead more
China, Russia, France share satellite data on Assam floods,UN-SPIDER, International Charter Space and Major Disasters
Headline : China, Russia, France share satellite data on Assam floods Details : In News: The above-average rainfall has led to floods in Assam, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, with Assam being the hardest hit. India has acquired satellite imagery related to floods from eight international space agencies, due to its membership of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters. Note: There isRead more
Headline : Telangana government stalls deworming drive for children Details : The News: The deworming drive aimed at distribution of Albendazole tablets to around 6.68 lakh children in both some districts of Telangana as part of the National Deworming Programme (NDP) could not be held as per schedule. The drive has been put off after two batches of the anti-worm tablets supplied to both theRead more
Headline : Sovereign foreign borrowing is a bold move Editorial 12th Jul’19 HindustanTimes Details : Sovereign Bonds: During the recent Budget, the Indian finance minister announced plan of the government of India to borrow in foreign currency to finance the fiscal deficit. The plan is to raise up to 10-15% of government borrowing — $10 billion — from the first overseas sovereignRead more
Headline : How will India contribute to LIGO? Details : Context: LIGO India project is coming up in Maharashtra, near Aundha in Hingoli district. This article explain about the LIGO projects across the world, their significance and India’s part in the global LIGO project. Telegram: https://t.me/SimplifiedIAS Background In September 2015, LIGO’s US detectors made the first discovery of gravitational waves travellingRead more
Headline : The state has its reasons Editorial 7th Aug’19 IndianExpress Details : Telegram : https://t.me/SimplifiedIAS Status of J&K stuck in ambiguity: For over seven decades, the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been masked in ambiguity and deceit. Successive governments of both India and Pakistan had tried but failed to arrive at an amicable “final solution” because ofRead more
Headline : MSME loans: Delay in disbursal of loans to MSMEs Details : In News: The union finance minister held a meeting with MSME representatives to devise plans for this critical sector. The MSMEs representatives highlighted problems faced by the sector, and made certain demands for the revival of the sector. She also asked industry representatives to send their response to the U KRead more
Headline : One tribunal for all river water disputes: why the proposal, how it will work Details : In News: The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been passed by Lok Sabha. It seeks to streamline the adjudication of disputes relating to waters of inter-State rivers and river valleys. News Summary: The Bill cleared by Lok Sabha seeks toRead more
Headline : India rises in global innovation ranking Details : The News India has jumped five places to rank 52 in the Global Innovation Index 2019 (GII). The GII is a global benchmark that helps policy makers better understand how to stimulate and measure innovative activity, a main driver of economic and social development. News Summary: The latest Global Innovation index rankingsRead more
Headline : India needs to be geared to a single-minded pursuit of growth Editorial 5th Aug’19 IndianExpress Telegram: https://t.me/UpscExpress Details : Path to $5 trillion economy: India needs to transition towards a $5 trillion economy, taking it from lower-middle income status to upper-middle income. The path of this transition can only be paved with reforms. Some of the measures undertaken in the pastRead more
Headline : For Naya Kashmir Editorial 6th Aug’19 IndianExpress Details : Telegram: https://t.me/UpscExpress Kashmiri leaders also sought progress: Naya Kashmir was a memorandum that Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah submitted to the King of erstwhile Kashmir kingdom Maharaja Hari Singh in 1944. It outlined a plan to convert J&K from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional democracy, called for universal franchise, freedomRead more
International Organisations and Reports: Annual report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict.
Headline : India protests over UN chief’s report Details : In News: The United Nation has recently released its Annual report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict. India is disappointed with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for including in the report situations in India that are neither armed conflicts nor a threat to international security. About Annual report ofRead more
Environment: Deep-sea mining, Poly metallic nodules, Central Indian Ocean Basin, Economic viability, Policy Challenges
Headline : Why is India pulled to deep-sea mining? Details : In News: India’s ambitious ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ (DOM), the Rs 8,000-crore plan to explore deep ocean minerals, is all set to be launched this year. Mining the deep ocean for polymetallic nodules: One of the main aims of the mission is to explore and extract polymetallic nodules. These are small potato-like rounded accretionsRead more
Headline : Consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav: What ICJ ordered; Pakistan has ‘offered’ to India Details : In News: Pakistan has offered India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, the India who’s been in jail in Pakistan since 2016. India is “evaluating” the Pakistani proposal which comes with some strict conditions. Background: Kulbhushan Jadhav is a former Indian Navy officer, who was arrestedRead more
Headline : Lawmakers work overtime, Lok Sabha session set to be most productive in 20 years Details : In News: In this session of the Parliament, Lok Sabha has already passed 30 Bills, while Rajya Sabha has passes 25 Bills. In terms of legislative business transacted during the first session of a fresh Lok Sabha, the government claims the current sessionRead more
Headline : US ends Cold War nuke treaty with aim of countering China Details : In News: The USA has withdrawn from the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) signed in 1987. About INF Treaty The missile crisis of 1970s and 80s represented the high-point of cold war, with both USA (and its NATO allies) on one side and USSR on the other, buildingRead more