27 October, 2019

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As the deadline set by the Centre for wrapping up the Naga peace talks is on October 31, 2019, it intends to meet the deadline soon.

But some key issues remain unresolved with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), or NSCN (I-M).


The talks seek to settle disputes that date back to colonial rule.

The Nagas are an ethnic community that comprises several tribes who live in the state of Nagaland and its neighbourhood.

One key demand of Naga groups has been a Greater Nagalim that would cover the state of Nagaland, parts of neighbouring states and Myanmar.

The British had annexed Assam in 1826, in which they subsequently created the Naga Hills district and went on to extend its boundaries.

The assertion of Naga nationalism, which began during British rule, has continued after Independence, and even after Nagaland became a state.

Along the way, the unresolved issues gave rise to decades of insurgency that claimed thousands of lives, including of civilians.

Historical Reasons :

The earliest sign of Naga resistance dates back to 1918, with the formation of the Naga Club.

In 1929, the Club told the Simon Commission to leave them alone to determine for themselves as in ancient times.

In 1946, A Z Phizo formed the Naga National Council (NNC), which declared Naga independence on August 14, 1947.

In 1951, it claimed to have conducted a referendum in which an overwhelming majority supported an independent Naga state.

By the early 1950s, the NNC had taken up arms and gone underground.

Progress of Peace Talks :

Before the ongoing talks, which followed a framework agreement in 2015, there were two other agreements between Naga groups and the Centre.

1975 - A peace accord was signed in Shillong in which the NNC leadership agreed to give up arms.

Several NNC leaders including Isak, Muivah and Khaplang refused to accept the agreement and broke away to form the NSCN.

1988 - Khaplang broke away to form the NSCN (K) while Isak and Muivah headed the NSCN (I-M).

1997 - Preceded by rounds of talks since 1995, NSCN (I-M) signed a ceasefire agreement with the government.

The key agreement was that there would be no counter-insurgency offensive against the NSCN (I-M), who in turn would not attack Indian forces.

2015 - The Centre signed a framework agreement with the NSCN (I-M) which set the stage for the ongoing peace talks.

2017 - Six other Naga armed outfits under the banner of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) joined the talks.

Issues in the Naga Peace talks :

The government and the NSCN (I-M) have failed to agree on issues relating to a separate Naga flag and a constitution.

The NSCN (I-M) is not willing to budge from this demand and is looking for a lasting solution.

But, they are fully aware of the Government of India’s position with this.

A recent statement from Governor’s office said the government is determined to “honourably conclude” the peace talks and it is reaching a conclusion stage.

They have mischievously dragged in the Framework Agreement and began imputing imaginary contents to it.


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GS-III : Economic Issues Industry
Maharatna, Navaratna and Miniratna Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs)


Government of India has accorded ‘Maharatna’ status to public sector undertaking’s (PSU’s) Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Power Grid Corporation.


This will impart greater operational and financial autonomy thus enhancing powers to their Boards to take financial decisions.

Boards of these PSUs can make equity investments to undertake financial joint ventures (JV) and wholly owned subsidiaries and undertake mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in India as well as abroad. This is however subjected to a ceiling of 15% of net worth of concerned CPSE, limited to Rs 5,000 crore in one project.

The Boards can also structure and implement schemes relating to personnel as well as human resource management and training.

Holding companies of a ‘Maharatna’ PSU are also empowered to float fresh equity, transfer assets, divest shareholding in subsidiaries, but are subjected to condition that the delegation will only be in respect of subsidiaries set up by holding company.

Criteria for grant of Maharatna status:

# Shall be given to CPSEs:

# Having Navratna status.

# Listed on Indian stock exchange with minimum prescribed public shareholding under SEBI regulations.

# Average annual turnover of more than Rs. 25,000 crore, during the last 3 years.

# Average annual net worth of more than Rs. 15,000 crore, during the last 3 years.

# Average annual net profit after tax of more than Rs. 5,000 crore, during the last 3 years.

# Should have significant global presence/international operations.

Criteria for grant of Navratna status:

The Miniratna Category – I and Schedule ‘A’ CPSEs,which have obtained ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ rating under the Memorandum of Understanding system in three of the last five years, and have composite score of 60 or above in the six selected performance parameters, namely,

1.net profit to net worth.

2.manpower cost to total cost of production/services.

3.profit before depreciation, interest and taxes to capital employed.

4.profit before interest and taxes to turnover.

5.earning per share.

6.inter-sectoral performance.

Criteria for grant of Miniratna status:

The CPSEs which have made profits in the last three years continuously and have positive net worth are eligible to be considered for grant of Miniratna status.


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Can organoids , derived from stem cells , be used in disease treatments ?

What is an Organoid ?

Organoids are a group of cells grown in laboratories into three-dimensional, miniature structures that mimic the cell arrangement of a fully-grown organ.

They are tiny (typically the size of a pea) organ-like structures that do not achieve all the functional maturity of human organs but often resemble the early stages of a developing tissue.

Most organoids contain only a subset of all the cells seen in a real organ, but lack blood vessels to make them fully functional.


In some cases, scientists have already transplanted such lab-grown brain organoid to adult animals.

The transplanted organoid had integrated with the animal brain, grown new neuronal connections and responded to light.

Similarly, lung organoid transplanted into mice was able to form branching airways and early alveolar structures.

How organoids are grown in lab?

Organoids are a group of cells grown in laboratories into three-dimensional, miniature structures that mimic the cell arrangement of a fully-grown organ.

They are tiny (typically the size of a pea) organ-like structures that do not achieve all the functional maturity of human organs but often resemble the early stages of a developing tissue.

Most organoids contain only a subset of all the cells seen in a real organ, but lack blood vessels to make them fully functional.

Advantages of organoids :

Organoids offer new opportunities to studying proteins and genes that are critical for the development of an organ. This helps in knowing how a mutation in a specific gene causes a disease or disorder.

For example, Researchers have used brain organoids to study how the Zika virus affects brain development in the embryo.

Since the organoids closely resemble mature tissues, it opens up new vistas. These include studying the complex arrangements of cells in three-dimension and their function in detail, and understanding how cells assemble into organs.

Organoids can be used to study the safety and efficacy of new drugs and also test the response of tissues to existing medicines.

Organoids will bring precision medicine closer to reality by developing patient-specific treatment strategies by studying which drugs the patient is most sensitive to.

Challenges :

Scientists argue that organoids do not have sensory inputs and sensory connections from the brain are limited. Isolated regions of the brain cannot communicate with other brain regions or generate motor signals. Thus, the possibility of consciousness or other higher-order perceptive properties [such as the ability to feel distress] emerging seems extremely remote.


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For the last 5 years , major cities across India have recorded high PM10 levels on Deepavali day compared to those measured a week before the festival.

What is PM10 ?

# It is called the RSPM ( Respiratory Suspended Particulate Matter ).
# It is having a diameter of less than 10 micron. 1 micron is one millionth of a meter.
# It causes respiratory problems, skin diseases, asthma , fatigue, COPD, heart stroke.
# In India , the mean limit of PM10 is 100 microgram/meter cube.

Toxic Nature :

Conventional crackers contain chemicals which produce effects like bright lighting and colours. These chemicals have adverse effect on human health and environment

1. Charcoal, potassium nitrate and sulphur:
# These are the primary fuel to crackers
# Can be Carcinogenic

2. Strontium and Lithium
# Red colouring agent
# strontium replaces calcium in our body
# lithium releases harmful fumes

3. Barium
# Orange colouring agent
# Respiratory and other health issues

4. Nitrates , chlorate
# oxidizing agent
# stunting in children
# can be poisonous.

Supreme court steps:

Banned use of Barium nitrate.
Mandated to use green crackers

What is a green cracker ?

# Traditional crackers have been made with Barium Nitrate, antimony and many other metals. These cause respiratory diseases and also cancer.
# CSIR and NEERI develops green crackers.
# Green Crackers are those fireworks without barium nitrate.
# Barium nitrate is substituted with Potassium nitrate and zeolite.
# the green versions of flower pot has a mixture of water and lime that is chemically stored in the crackers.
# NEERI has said that lab tests have proved 30%decrease in the PM emissions and also reductions in Sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxides.
# Green sparklers use potassium nitrate , aluminum nitrate, aluminum chips and proprietary additives to reduce PM10.
# SWAS( safe water releaser) is a new formulation for bomb.
# These crackers have the same sound level of the traditional crackers (100db)


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