UPSC Courses

DNA banner


Monthly DNA

04 May, 2020

32 Min Read

R&D Statistics and Indicators

GS-III : Economic Issues Economic Data

R&D Statistics and Indicators


According to the Research & Development (R&D) Statistics and Indicators 2019-20 report, India’s gross expenditure on R&D has tripled between 2008 & 2018 and scientific publications have risen to place the country internationally among the top few.

  • The R&D Statistics and Indicators 2019-20 is based on the national S&T survey 2018 brought out by the National Science and Technology Management Information (NSTMIS).
  • The report on R&D indicators for the nation is an important document for the
    • Evidence-based policymaking and planning in higher education,
    • R&D activities and support,
    • Intellectual property,
    • Industrial competitiveness.

Findings of the Report

  • According to the report, R&D is driven mainly by the government sector.
  • Expenditure on R&D:
    • The Gross Expenditure on R&D (GERD) of India nearly tripled between 2007- 08 to 2017-18.
    • India’s per capita R&D expenditure has also increased by 1.5 times.
    • Increase in Extramural R&D support by central Science & Technology agencies.
      • Women participation in extramural R&D projects has also increased significantly to 24% in 2016-17 from 13% in 2000-01.
      • These extramural expenditures are the expenditures on R&D that is performed abroad but financed by domestic institutions.
    • India spent 0.7% of its GDP on R&D in 2017-18, While the same among other developing BRICS countries was Brazil 1.3%, Russian Federation 1.1%, China 2.1% and South Africa 0.8%.
  • Researchers and scientific publications:
    • The number of researchers per million populations has doubled since 2000.
    • India occupies 3rd rank in terms of number of Ph.D awarded in Science and Engineering (S&E) after USA and China.
    • India is placed 3rd among countries in scientific publication as per NSF database.
  • Patent filing:
    • India is ranked at 9th position in terms of Resident Patent Filing activity in the world.
      • During 2017-18 out of total patents filed in India, 32% patents were filed by Indian residents.
      • Patent applications filed in India are dominated by disciplines like Mechanical, Chemical, Computer/Electronics, and Communication.
  • According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), India’s Patent Office stands at the 7th position among the top 10 Patent Filing Offices in the world.

National Science and Technology Management Information

  • The National Science and Technology Management Information System (NSTMIS) is a division of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
  • It has been entrusted with the task of building the information base on a continuous basis on resources devoted to scientific and technological activities for policy planning in the country.

Source: PIB

African swine fever: Assam told to go for culling


African swine fever: Assam told to go for culling


Disease first reported in November-December from areas of China bordering Arunachal. Assam Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister said the Centre has advised the State government to go for the culling of pigs affected by the African swine fever (ASF). “After a lab in Bhopal attributed the death of thousands of pigs to the first-ever case of ASF in the country, we have been told to cull the animals in the affected areas,”. “We have been told to divide the affected areas into zones and go for culling accordingly. The situation is quite serious since there are many farmers with more than 20 lakh pigs.”

African swine fever (ASF)

According to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report ASFhas caused the deaths of more than 3.7 million pigs across a vast swathe of Asia, primarily in its east and south-east, where pork is the primary meat staple.

What is African swine fever?

  • Historically, outbreaks have been reported in Africa and parts of Europe, South America, and the Caribbean. More recently (since 2007) the disease has been reported in multiple countries across Africa, Asia and Europe, in both domestic and wild pigs.
  • African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious haemorrhagic viral disease (severe illness, sometimes associated with bleeding), of domestic and wild pigs.
  • It is caused by a large DNA virus of the Asfarviridaefamily, which also infects ticks of the genus
  • Although signs of ASF and classical swine fever (CSF) may be similar, the ASF virus is unrelated to the CSF virus.

Transmission and spread:

  • The epidemiology of ASF is complex and varies depending on the environment, types of pig production systems, the presence/absence of competent tick vectors, human behaviour, and the presence/absence of wild pigs.
  • Direct contact with infected domestic or wild pigs: This transboundary animal disease (TAD) can be spread by live or dead pigs, domestic or wild, and pork products.
  • Indirect contact, through ingestion of contaminated material (e.g. food waste, feed, or garbage).Contaminated fomites, or biological vectors (soft ticks of the genus Ornithodoros) where present.

Clinical signs of ASF:

  • Acute formsof ASF are characterised by high fever, depression, anorexia and loss of appetite, haemorrhages in the skin (redness of skin on ears, abdomen and legs), abortion in pregnant sows, cyanosis, vomiting, diarrhoea and death within 6-13 days (or up to 20 days).Mortality rates may be as high as 100%.
  • Different types of pig may have varying susceptibility to ASF virus infection. African wild suids may be infected without showing clinical signs allowing them to act as reservoirs.

Public health risk:

  • ASF is not a risk to human health as it is relatively harmless.

Prevention and control:

  • Currently there is no approved vaccine for ASF.

Source: TH

Open Budget Survey 2019

GS-III : Economic Issues Economic Data

Open Budget Survey 2019


Recently, the International Budget Partnership (IBP) has released an Open Budget Survey (OBS) 2019. The survey evaluates each country on the basis of the availability of key budget documents of the Central or Federal Government, and assesses whether these are made public, in a timely manner, and provide comprehensive information.

Open Budget Survey

  • The Open Budget Survey is part of the International Budget Partnership's Open Budget Initiative, a global research and advocacy program to promote public access to budget information and the adoption of accountable budget systems.
  • It is a biennial survey.
  • The survey covers 117 countries.
  • It rates the level of budget transparency across countries on a scale of 0-100, based on several normative, internationally comparable indicators.


  • Global Scenario:
    • Improvement in Overall Score: OBS 2019 finds a modest global improvement in budget transparency, which is consistent with the overall trend measured by the survey over the past years.
    • Global Avg. Transparency Score: The global average transparency score has turned out to be 45 out of 100 and thus levels of publicly available budget information remains limited.
    • Top Scorers: New Zealand tops the chart with a score of 87.
      • Further, South Africa (87), Mexico (82) and Brazil (81) are among the top six countries providing extensive information to the public for scrutiny.
    • Citizens’ Participation: The citizens’ participation in the budget process continued to be at a dismal level and thus average global scores on the OBS participation measure remains 14 out of 100.
    • Publication of Audit and Legislative Reports: Only 30 of the 117 surveyed countries have adequate scores both for audit and for legislative oversight.
  • Indian Scenario:
    • India's Global Ranking: India has been placed at 53rd position among 117 nations in terms of budget transparency and accountability.
    • Transparency Score: India's Union Budget process has a transparency score of 49 out of 100, which is higher than the global average of 45.
      • Some of the other large developing countries, with the exception of China, have got much higher transparency scores compared to India.
    • Citizens’ Participation: The public participation in its budgets has been flagged as an area of improvement required for India.
    • Publication of Audit Reports: India performs well in publishing timely and relevant information in the audit reports and in-year reports and has scored well and above many other countries.
    • Publication of Pre-Budget Statement: The absence of a published Pre-Budget Statement and not bringing out a Mid-Year Review in 2018-19 pulled down the transparency score for the Union Budget of India.

Way Forward

  • While many governments and citizens have embraced the open budgeting agenda, more efforts to translate good intentions into better practice are required.
  • A global effort of joint, sustained activism is needed to accelerate progress and deliver the promises of open budgeting to all citizens.

International Budget Partnership

  • The International Budget Partnership (IBP) is a collaborative effort of multiple actors – including civil society, state actors, international institutions and the private sector.
  • IBP was formed in 1997 to promote transparent and inclusive government budget processes as a means to improve governance and service delivery in the developing world.
  • It intends to bring citizens participation in open, inclusive budgeting processes to shape policies and practices that promote equity and justice on a sustainable basis.
    • IBP’s focus on citizens and civil society organizations (CSOs) was driven by the pioneering civil society budget monitoring efforts in a small number of middle-income countries in the early 1990s.
  • IBP’s ultimate aim is to ensure that public resources are used more effectively to fight poverty and promote equitable and sustainable development in countries around the world.

Source: BS

Bru crisis and their displacement to Tripura



2 community groups in Tripura have opposed the resettlement of Brus from Mizoram to Tripura.

A joint team of the Nagarik Suraksha Mancha, mostly representing Bengali people displaced from the erstwhile East Pakistan post partition in 1947 .

Northern Tripura has a sizeable Mizo population concentrated in the subdivision’s Jampui Hill area.

Who are Brus?

  • The Brus spread across Tripura, Mizoram and parts of southern Assam--are the most populous tribe in Tripura.
  • In Mizoram, they are scattered in Kolasib, Lunglei and Mamit districts. While many Brus of Assam and Tripura are Hindu, the Brus of Mizoram converted to Christianity over the years.
  • Bru tribals from Mizoram, living as refugees in Tripura since 1997, were allowed to permanently settle in Tripura.
  • The agreement, allowing 30,000 Bru tribals to permanently settle in Tripura, took 20 years and nine attempts in the making, and was signed between the Centre, the state governments of Tripura and Mizoram, and Bru-Reang representatives .
  • Also known as Reangs in the state, they are ethnically different from the Mizos, with their own distinct language and dialect and form one of the 21 scheduled tribes of Tripura.
  • While Mizoram has as many as 40,000 Brus living in the state, in Tripura, their numbers stand at approximately 32,000, spread across six refugee camps in the state.

Brus conflict with Mizos

  • Clashes in 1995 with the majority Mizos led to the demand for the removal of the Brus, perceived to be non-indigenous, from Mizoram’s electoral rolls. This led to an armed movement by Bru National Liberation Front, which killed a Mizo forest official in October 1997. The retaliatory ethnic violence saw more than 40,000 Brus fleeing to adjoining Tripura where they took shelter in six relief camps.
  • In 1997, roughly half the Bru population fled to Tripura, following violent clashes with the Mizo population, which led to the Brus’ demand for an Autonomous District Council (ADC), under the 6th Schedule of the Constitution, in western Mizoram, where they were the more dominant lot, outnumbering the ethnic Mizo population.
  • The Brus began demanding relief on a par with the relief given to Kashmiri Pandits and Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.
  • The union home ministry started a round of talks with the state governments of Mizoram and Tripura to legitimize the 30,000-odd refugees.
  • In November, Bru refugees blocked a stretch in North Tripura for 12 hours, demanding the Centre restore their food and cash benefits even as repatriation efforts continued.
  • the union home ministry finally inked the tripartite pact which now paves the way for these displaced Bru tribals from Mizoram to permanently settle in Tripura.

Resettlement package for Brus

  • The package covered 32,876 members of 5,407 Bru families.
  • The package includes:
  • one-time assistance of ?4 lakh as fixed deposit within a month of repatriation
  • monthly cash assistance of ?5,000 through DBT
  • free rations for two years
  • ?1.5 lakh in three instalments as house-building assistance.
  • The package also included Eklavya residential schools, permanent residential and ST certificates besides funds to the Mizoram government for improving security in Bru resettlement areas.

Source: TH

Mission Demo-2 


Mission Demo-2


National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and SpaceX are all set for the Demo-2 mission who is scheduled for 27th May, 2020 from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. Demo-2 Mission will send astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

Imp Points

  • Under the Mission, astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will dock with ISS and then remain there for between one to four months, depending on the time of next mission.
  • It is a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which is a partnership to develop and fly human space transportation systems.
  • SpaceX spacecraft named Crew Dragon will be used to take them into space. It will be only the fifth class of US spacecraft to take human beings into orbit, after the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle programs.
  • It is a high priority mission for the US which is clear by the fact that the mission is being carried out amidst Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The mission is a major milestone for SpaceX, which is a private company founded by Elon Musk, who is the founder of Tesla.
    • It has established itself as the leader in the private space sector mainly due to its reusable rocket, the Falcon 9.
  • NASA classifies the impact of space flight on humans in 5 broad criteria known as 5 Hazards. These are: (PT)
    • Radiation
    • Isolation and confinement
    • Distance from Earth
    • Gravity
    • Hostile/closed environments
  • Health Specific Impacts:
    • Weightlessness and osteoporosis
    • Telomeres get longer during spaceflight
    • Decreased body mass and increased folate in orbit
    • Spaceflight can Trigger Gene Mutations

Project Mercury (1958-63)

  • It was the first US man-in-space program.
  • The objectives of the program, which made six manned flights from 1961 to 1963, were specific:
    • To orbit a manned spacecraft around Earth.
    • To investigate man's ability to function in space.
    • To recover both man and spacecraft safely.

Gemini Program (1962-66)

  • Designed as a bridge between the Mercury and Apollo programs, it primarily tested equipment and mission procedures and trained astronauts and ground crews for future Apollo missions.
  • Four main goals:
    • To test an astronaut's ability to fly long-duration missions (up to two weeks in space).
    • To understand how spacecraft could meet and dock in orbit around the Earth and the moon.
    • To perfect re-entry and landing methods.
    • To further understand the effects of longer space flights on astronauts.

Apollo Program (1963-72)

  • It was designed to land humans on the Moon and bring them safely back to Earth. These missions returned with scientific data and almost 400 kilograms of lunar samples.
  • Apollo 8 was the first manned mission to go to the moon. This mission did not land on the moon. It orbited the moon, and then came back to Earth.
  • Apollo 11 was the first moon landing mission. It landed on 20th July, 1969. The crew of Apollo 11 was Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin.

Space Shuttle Program (1981-2011)

  • NASA's space shuttle fleet, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour, flew 135 missions and helped construct the ISS.
  • The spacecraft carried people into orbit repeatedly, launched, recovered and repaired satellites, conducted cutting-edge research and built the largest structure in space.
  • The final space shuttle mission, STS-135, ended on 21st July, 2011.
  • As humanity's first reusable spacecraft, the space shuttle pushed the boundaries of discovery ever farther, requiring not only advanced technologies but the tremendous effort of a vast workforce.

Indian Human Space Flight Programme:

ISRO aims to launch its maiden Human Space Mission, Gaganyaan before the 75th anniversary of India’s independence in 2022.

Objectives of the Mission:

  • Enhancement of science and technology levels in the country
  • A national project involving several institutes, academia and industry
  • Improvement of industrial growth
  • Inspiring youth
  • Development of technology for social benefits
  • Improving international collaboration

Relevance of a Manned Space Mission for India:

Boost to industries: The Indian industry will find large opportunities through participation in the highly demanding Space missions. Gaganyaan Mission is expected will source nearly 60% of its equipment from the Indian private sector.

Employment: According to the ISRO chief, the Gaganyaan mission would create 15,000 new employment opportunities, 13,000 of them in private industry and the space organisation would need an additional manpower of 900.

Technological development: Human Space flights are frontier field in the science and technology. The challenges the Human Space Flights provide to India, and the benefits accruing from taking up those missions will be very high and will lead to further thrust for technological developments in India

Spurs research and development: It will boost good research and technology development. With a large number of researchers with proper equipment involved, HSF will thrust significant research in areas such as materials processing, astro-biology, resources mining, planetary chemistry, planetary orbital calculus and many other areas

Motivation: Human space flight will provide that inspiration to the youth and also the national public mainstream. It would inspire young generation into notable achievements and enable them to play their legitimate role in challenging future activities

Prestige: India will be the fourth country to launch human space mission. The Gaganyaan will not only bring about prestige to the nation but also establish India’s role as a key player in the space industry.

Source: News

Foreign Currency Assets (FCA)

GS-III : Economic Issues Terminology

Foreign Currency Assets (FCA)

FCAs are assets that are valued based on a currency other than the country's own currency. FCA is the largest component of the forex reserve. It is expressed in dollar terms. The FCAs include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US units like the euro, pound and yen held in the foreign exchange reserves.

Special drawing rights (SDR)

  • The SDR is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries’ official reserves.
  • The SDR is neither a currency nor a claim on the IMF. Rather, it is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members. SDRs can be exchanged for these currencies.
  • The value of the SDR is calculated from a weighted basket of major currencies, including the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen, the Chinese yuan, and the British pound.
  • The interest rate on SDRs or (SDRi) is the interest paid to members on their SDR holdings.

Reserve Position in the International Monetary Fund

  • A reserve tranche position implies a portion of the required quota of currency each member country must provide to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that can be utilized for its own purposes.
  • The reserve tranche is basically an emergency account that IMF members can access at any time without agreeing to conditions or paying a service fee.

Source: IE

Thrissur Pooram

GS-I : Art and Culture Festivals

Thrissur Pooram

For the first time since its inception, Thrissur Pooram will be observed with rituals within the temple premises with just a few participants. This was done in the wake of the lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Thrissur Pooram is an annual Hindu festival held in Kerala. It is celebrated on the day when the star sign “Pooram” occurs in the Malayalam month of “medam (April-May)”.

  • The festival was the brainchild of Raja Rama Varma, famously known as Sakthan Thampuran, the Maharaja of Cochin (1790–1805).
  • Pooram officially begins with Kodiyettam (flag hoisting ceremony) in which all the participating temples of the festival are present.
  • The Pooram consists of ten temples in and around Thrissur and is considered to be a ceremony where these deities come together to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva at the Vadakkunnathan Temple, located in the centre of the town.
  • One of the hallmarks of the festival is the percussion ensemble consisting of traditional instruments like chenda, maddalam, edakka, thimila and kombu.
  • The seventh day of the pooram is the last day. It is also known as “Pakal Pooram”.
  • Pooram, though a Hindu ritual, has grown to encompass all religious and cultural strains of Kerala. Both the Muslim and Christian communities participate in the festival in a variety of ways highlighting secular credentials of the state.

Source: TH

Other Related News

03 May,2020
US FDA ALLOWS “Remdesivir” antiviral drug for severely ill CoVID 19 patients

US FDA ALLOWS “Remdesivir” antiviral drug for severely ill CoVID 19 patients Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) In United States, the Food and Drug regulatory body FDA has allowed emergency use of the antiviral drug, Remdesivir for treatment of severely ill COVID1

5G-Rajya Sabha Analysis

5G-Rajya Sabha Analysis Part of: GS-III- S&T – 5G (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) What’s in the news? China has officially marked its entry to the 5G era.  On 5th June 2019, the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology granted commercial licenses

‘BHARATMARKET’ for retail traders

‘BHARATMARKET’ for retail traders CAIT said the marketplace will integrate the capabilities of various technology companies to provide end-to-end services in the logistics and supply chains from manufacturers to end consumers, including deliveries at home. The e-commerce portal will i

India is a candidate for a non-permanent seat in the UNSC

India is a candidate for a non-permanent seat in the UNSC Part of: GS-II- UN General Assembly (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) UN General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande has discussed options, including online voting, to conduct elections for five non-permanent members of the Security Co

Jamini Roy

National Gallery of Modern Art pays tribute to pioneering artist Jamini Roy through virtual tour Context National Gallery of Modern Art pays tribute to the pioneering artist Jamini Roy on his 133rd Birth Anniversary year through virtual tour. About Jamini Roy He was honoured with the St

National Mission for Clean Ganga organised IDEAthon

National Mission for Clean Ganga organised IDEAthon Context: The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under the Ministry of Jal Shakti and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) organized an IDEAthon on “The future of River Management’ to explore how the COVID-19 crisis

Chitra EmBed and Chitra EnMesh

Context: Technologists at the Sree Chitra Triunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India, have developed two types of nasal and oral swabs and viral transport medium for COVID-19 testing. 2


NIAB develops portable coronavirus detection kit Introduction National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB), Hyderabad, have developed a biosensor that can detect the novel coronavirus in saliva samples. Biosensors have been currently used across the world to detect toxins, narcotic dru

Lokpal and Lokayukta

Lokpal and Lokayukta Part of: GS-II&IV- Polity and Governance (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013 provided for the establishment of Lokpal for the Union and Lokayukta for States. These institutions are statutory bodies without any constit

NHC drug (beta-D-N4-hydroxycytidine)-Prodrug

NHC drug (beta-D-N4-hydroxycytidine) Introduction Researchers have found that a ribonucleoside analogue (beta-D-N4-hydroxycytidine or NHC) that has previously shown to be effective against influenza and Ebola is also potent against coronaviruses, including the novel coronavirus that is current

02 May,2020
Libya crisis

UAE affirmed its commitment to achieving a political solution in Libya Part of: GS-II- International issues (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) The United Arab Emirates has affirmed its commitment to achieving a political solution in Libya and called for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire. Th

Govt extends lockdown for two more weeks-COVID-19

Govt extends lockdown for two more weeks Part of: GS-II- Governance (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Here's what all will not be allowed under the new guidelines issued today irrespective of the zone Travel by air, rail, metro and inter-state movement by road Running of schools, college

B R Ambedkar laid the foundation for workers’ rights, social security in India

B R Ambedkar laid the foundation for workers’ rights, and social security in India Part of: GS-II- Governance – Rights (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) International Labour Day is celebrated on May 1 to honour workers. Labour has an undeniable role in shaping the nation’s fortune

International Workers’ Day

International Workers’ Day Part of: GS-III- Labour (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Every year, 1st May is celebrated as the International Workers’ Day and as Labour Day in different parts of the world to commemorate the contributions of workers and th

It’s about food, nutrition and livelihood security

It’s about food, nutrition and livelihood security By, M.S. Swaminathan, an eminent agricultural scientist, is the Founder of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai. Nitya Rao is a Professor, of Gender and Development at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K. Introductio

IEA: Global Energy Review 2020

IEA: Global Energy Review 2020 Part of: GS-III- Economy-Energy (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Note: For ENERGY chapter: https://www.aspireias.com/pt-kunji-free-videos Recently, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a report namely, Global Energy Review:2020 whi

5G signal now available on Mount Everest peak

5G signal now available on Mount Everest peak Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Climbers to Mount Everest from the Chinese side can now enjoy high-speed 5G coverage after the world’s highest-altitude base station started operation in the remote Himalayan region of Tibe

Researchers in Canada are using algae to develop CoVID 19 test kits

Researchers in Canada are using algae to develop CoVID 19 test kits The team collaborated with Canadian integrated energy company Suncor to develop algae as a production factory to make necessary proteins to identify COVID-19 antibodies in someone previously infected with the disease. The rese

Taiwan’s coronavirus protocol shows how it is done

Taiwan’s coronavirus protocol shows how it is done By, Dr. Chen Shih-chung is Minister of Health and Welfare, Taiwan Introduction Pandemics can spread rapidly around the world because of the ease of international transportation. The most salient examples are the Spanish flu of 191

Government raises Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP)

Government raises Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP) Part of: GS-III- Economy (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) TRIFED to monitor the implementation of the revised MSP in states In a crucial  announcement affecting the livelihoods of tribal gatherers , the Government


Search By Date

Post Feed
Newsletter Subscription
SMS Alerts