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30 May, 2020

62 Min Read

GS-I : Human Geography Land-form development
Erra Matti Dibbalu-Geoheritage sites

Erra Matti Dibbalu

Erra Matti Dibbalu is dissected and stabilized coastal red sediment mounds, located between Visakhapatnam and Bheemunipatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

Formation:

  • Formed around 12,000 years ago due to sea-land interaction.
  • Comprises a mixture of sand (40-50%), silt and clay (another 50%) with oxidation imparting the unique red colour.

Significance:

  • They are geologically important as they represent the geological history of the late Quaternary period and carry the imprints of the fall of sea level and its subsequent rise, the impact of climate, monsoon and geological processes on the sediments.
  • They are anthropologically and archeologically important as they possibly contain mesolithic and neolithic cultural materials as well.

Recognition:

  • It was recognised as a national geo-heritage site in 2014 and as a protected site by the Andhra Pradesh Government in 2016.
  • The Geological Survey of India (GSI) declares geo-heritage sites/ national geological monuments for protection and maintenance
  • Other Similar Place: The only other place in the country to have a similar stretch of red sand dunes is Tamil Nadu, which has the Teri dune complex.

 There are 32 Geo-Heritage sites in India. They are lised below:

 

S. No

Geological heritage site /

National geological monument

 

S. No

Geological heritage site /

National geological monument

 

 ANDHRA PRADESH

18

Kishangarh Nepheline Syenite, Ajmer Dist.

1

Volcanogenic bedded Barytes, Mangampeta, Cuddapah Dist.

19

Welded Tuff, Jodhpur Dist.   

2

Eparchaean Unconformity, Chittor Dist.

20

Jodhpur Group – Malani Igneous Suite Contact, Jodhpur Dist.

3

Natural Geological Arch, Tirumala Hills, Chittor Dist.

21

Great Boundary Fault at Satur, Bundi Dist.

4

Erra Matti Dibbalu- the dissected and stabilized coastal red sediment mounds located between Vishakhapatnam and Bhimunipatnam.

 

 MAHARASHTRA

 

 KERALA

22

Lonar Lake, Buldana Dist.   

5

Laterite near Angadipuram PWD rest house premises, Malapuram Dist.

 

 CHATTISGARH

6

Varkala Cliff Section, Thiruvanatapuram Dist.

22

Lower Permian Marine bed at Manendragarh, Surguja Dist.

 

 

TAMILNADU

 

 

KARNATAKA

7

Fossil wood near Tiruvakkarai, South Arcot Dist.

24

Columnar Lava, St Mary Island  Udupi Dist.

8

National fossil wood park, Sattanur, Tiruchirapalli Dist.

25

Pillow lavas near Mardihalli, Chitradurga Dist.

9

Charnockite, St. Thomas Mount, Madras.

26

Peninsular Gneiss, Lalbagh, Banglore

10

Badlands of Karai Formation with Cretaceous fossils along Karai – Kulakkalnattam Section, Perambalur District.

27

Pyroclastics & Pillow lavas, Kolar Gold fields, Kolar Dist.

 

 GUJARAT

 

 HIMACHAL PRADESH

11

Sedimentary Structures – Eddy Markings, Kadan Dam, Panch Mahals Dist.  

28

Siwalik Fossil Park, Saketi, Sirmur dt.,

 

 RAJASTHAN

 

 ODISHA

12

Sendra Granite, Pali Dist.

29

Pillow Lava in lron ore belt at Nomira, Keonjhar dist.

13

Barr Conglomerate, Pali Dist.

 

 JHARKHAND

14

Stromatolite Fossil Park, Jharmarkotra Rock Phosphate deposit, Udaipur Dist.

30

Plant Fossil bearing Inter-trappean beds of Rajmahal Formation, upper Gondwana sequence around Mandro, Sahibganj dist.

15

Gossan in Rajpura-Dariba Mineralised belt, Udaipur Dist.

 

 NAGALAND

16

Stromatolite Park near Bhojunda, Chittaurgarh Dist.

31

Nagahill Ophiolite Site near Pungro,

17

Akal Fossil Wood Park, Jaisalmer Dist.

 

SIKKIM

 

 

32

Stromatolite bearing Dolomite / Limestone of Buxa Formation at Mamley, near Namchi, South district.

 

Source: PIB

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GS-III :
Missile Park 'Agneeprastha' to be set up at INS Kalinga

Missile Park 'Agneeprastha' to be set up at INS Kalinga

  • Foundation Stone for a Missile Park "AGNEEPRASTHA" was laid at INS Kalinga .
  • The Park also commemorates the award of the prestigious Unit Citation to INS Kalinga for the year 2018-19.
  • ‘AGNEEPRASTHA’ aims to capture glimpses of Missile History of INS Kalinga since 1981 till date. 
  • The Missile Park has been set up with a replica of missiles and Ground Support Equipment (GSE) that showcase the evolution of missiles handled by the unit. 
  • The exhibits have been created from scrap / obsolete inventory which have been reconditioned in-house.
  • The main attraction is P-70 'Ametist', an underwater launched anti-ship missile from the arsenal of the old 'Chakra' (Charlie-1 submarine) which was in service with IN during 1988-91.
  • ‘AGNEEPRASTHA’ will also provide a one-stop arena for motivation and stimulation of inquisitive minds regarding the missiles and related technologies, from school children to Naval personnel and their families. 
  • It is also intended to encourage a feeling of ownership and pride in the role of the Unit, and highlight the necessity of contribution of all personnel irrespective of rank/trade towards the overarching objective of ordnance availability, reliability and delivery on target, each and every time.

INS KALINGA

  • INS Kalinga is an Indian Navy establishment reporting to the Eastern Naval Command.
  • It is responsible for preparing, storing and delivering advanced missiles to ships of the Eastern Fleet.
  • INS Kalinga was commissioned on 21 November 1985.
  • INS Kalinga is located on the Visakhapatnam - Bheemunipatnam beach road about 40 kilometers north east of the Visakhapatnam Naval Base.

 

Source: PIB

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GS-III : Economic Issues RBI
7.75% RBI Bonds

What RBI discontinuing 7.75% saving bonds means to investors

Introduction

  • After the cut in deposit rates by the banks and a cut in small savings rate by the government over the last couple of months, the Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday said the Government of India has discontinued 7.75 per cent savings (taxable) bonds, 2018 for subscription with effect from the close of banking business on Thursday.
  • The move will deprive investors of another saving instrument that yielded relatively higher post tax returns for investors.

What are 7.75 per cent RBI bonds?

  • The 7.75 bonds 2018 were issued with effect from January 10, 2018 and were available for subscription to resident citizens/HUF to invest in a taxable bond.
  • While one bond was of Rs 1,000 each, the bonds had no maximum limit for investment.
  • The bonds had a 7-year lock-in period from the date of issue, but, it permitted premature encasement to individuals who were 60 years and above.
  • Interest on these bonds will be taxable under the Income-tax Act, 1961.

What has happened now?

  • The government has withdrawn these bonds with effect from Friday and therefore it will not be available for investors to invest.
  • This means it is only ceasing fresh issuance and not redeeming those already invested. Those whose cheque’s got submitted and cleared till yesterday will get 7.75 per cent.

Was it in high demand?

  • Investment advisors say that while it was mostly used by HNIs to invest, the demand for RBI bonds went up significantly over the last couple of months as investors turned risk averse.
  • Even as the post-tax returns were low as compared to PSU-debt, experts say investors rushed for it as they saw it as the safest investment instrument available.

How did it fare against other options?

  • As the 7.75 per cent RBI bonds were taxable instruments, the interest income on it would be taxable at the marginal tax rate.
  • For those having income of over Rs 5 crore and having interest income from these bonds, the return would be 4.44 per cent.
  • For those falling in the tax bracket of 30 per cent, the return from these bonds would stand at 5.4 per cent, while for those falling in the lowest tax bracket of 10 per cent, the post-tax return would be 6.975 per cent.
  • In April 2020, the government announced a cut in the small savings rate.
  • While the rates for PPF were cut from 7.9 per cent earlier to 7.1 per cent, that on Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana was brought down to 7.6 per cent from 8.4% earlier.
  • In comparison, SBI is currently offering 5.3 per cent for a term deposit of 3-5 years and 5.4 per cent on term despots of 5-10 years.
  • The post-tax return for those falling in 30 per cent tax bracket would stand at 3.71 per cent and 3.78 per cent respectively. Experts say that PSU debt papers offer post tax return of around 7 per cent.

Why the cut in rates?

  • The interest rates have been on a decline since the global growth rate projections have been brought down following the spread of coronavirus Pandemic.
  • The Reserve Bank of India first announced a 75 basis point cut in repo rate on March 27, 2020 to 4.4 per cent and then again announced a cut in repo rate by 40 basis points to 4 per cent on May 22.
  • A cut in repo rates not only reduces the rate at which commercial banks borrow from RBI but also leads to a cut in deposit and lending rates for banks.
  • The RBIs move to cut in repo rate has been to push credit growth and demand in the economy in a bid to augur growth in the economy.

Source: IE

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GS-III :
ANITA: Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna

ANITA: Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna

Part of: GS-III- Space (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)

Recently, NASA’s Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) has detected the unusual upward movement of neutrinos in Antarctica.

Background

Instead of the high-energy neutrinos streaming in from space, they seem to have come from the Earth's interior, before hitting the detectors of ANITA. Usually, the high-energy particles move top to bottom (i.e. from space to the earth). However, ANITA has detected an anomaly i.e. particles have been detected travelling bottom to top.

Earlier, researchers had also located a deep-space source for high-energy neutrinos through the Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory at a U.S. scientific research station at the South Pole in Antarctica (PT). The India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) is located at the Bodi West Hills region in Theni District of Tamil Nadu.

Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna

About

Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) is a radio telescope instrument to detect ultra-high energy cosmic-ray neutrinos from a scientific balloon flying over the continent of Antarctica.

It involves an array of radio antennas attached to a helium balloon which flies over the Antarctic ice sheet at 37,000 meters. At such a height, the antennas can listen to the cosmos and detect high-energy particles, known as neutrinos, which constantly bombard the planet.

  • It is the first NASA observatory for neutrinos of any kind.
  • ANITA detects neutrinos pinging in from space and colliding with matter in the Antarctic ice sheet through the Askaryan effect
  • The Askaryan effect is the phenomenon whereby a particle traveling faster than the phase velocity of light in a dense dielectric (such as salt, ice or the lunar regolith) produces a shower of secondary charged particles.
      • When neutrinos smash into an atom, they produce a shower of detectable secondary particles.These detectable secondary particles allow us to probe where they came from in the universe.
      • However, neutrinos pose no threat to human beings and pass through most solid objects. Additionally, they rarely do interact with matter. It is named after Gurgen Askaryan, a Soviet-Armenian physicist who postulated it in 1962.

Neutrinos

  • Neutrinos are electrically neutral, undisturbed by even the strongest magnetic field, and rarely interact with matter. The direction from which they arrive points directly back to their original source.
  • Neutrinos are produced during natural radioactive decays and all sorts of nuclear reactions in nuclear power reactors, particle accelerators or nuclear bombs.
  • However, the most common sources of neutrinos are celestial phenomena i.e. the birth and death of stars, collisions, and explosions happening in space.

Conclusion

The ANITA experiment has definitely detected something unusual and unexpected about neutrinos but there are many competing theories about it. There are a number of potential candidate particles that could account for the results from ANITA.

Further, there are so many unknown properties about neutrinos that astrophysicists and scientists are still trying to unravel. It contemplates that there is new physics out there to be found which will help to study the origin of the universe and big bang theory in the future.

Source: BL

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GS-III :
Fabrication of Controlled Nanostructures

Fabrication of Controlled Nanostructures

Part of: GS-III- Nanotechnology  (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)

Background

Recently, the researchers at the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST) Mohali have found a route to fabricate precisely controlled nanostructures of desired geometry and location on 2D materials, through a rapid one-step low power laser writing process.

INST, Mohali is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

About

INST developed a hybrid Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) platform of Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2, an inorganic compound) nanostructure decorated with gold NanoParticles (AuNPs).

    • SERS is a commonly used sensing technique in which inelastic light scattering by molecules is greatly enhanced when the molecules are adsorbed onto corrugated metal surfaces such as silver or gold nanoparticles (NPs).
    • It enhances the Raman scattering light from molecules, thus leading to effective analysis of the molecules.
  • Direct laser writing (3D printing for microscopic world) was used to engineer the artificial edges on the surface of MoS2 which created localized hotspots with precision and control.
    • A focused laser beam of meagre power of a conventional Raman spectrometer was used which enables the superior deposition of AuNPs along the artificial edges.
    • Nanostructuring was done on the 2D MoS2 sheet.
  • The hybrid SERS platform offers controlled formation of localized hotspots for ultrasensitive and reproducible detection of analytes (substances whose chemical constituents are being identified and measured).

Significance

  • This research will open a new avenue for the development of commercialized SERS substrates (a silicon wafer coated with a metal like gold or silver) with a localized detection capability of analytes.
  • SERS detection has been emerging as a powerful tool for the detection of a variety of analytes due to its very high sensitivity and fingerprinting recognition capabilities.
  • This will also shed new light in the SERS sensing of biological and chemical molecules.
  • The technology can be used in combination with an antibody for the spectroscopic detection of various biomarkers (an objective measure that captures what is happening in a cell or an organism at a given moment).

Raman Effect

  • It is a phenomenon in spectroscopy discovered by the eminent physicist Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman on 28th February 1928. In his honour, 28th February is celebrated as National Science Day in India.
  • In 1930, he got a Nobel Prize for this remarkable discovery and this was the first Nobel Prize for India in the field of Science.
  • Raman effect is the inelastic scattering of a photon by molecules which are excited to higher vibrational or rotational energy levels. It is also called Raman scattering.
    • In simpler words, it is a change in the wavelength of light that occurs when a light beam is deflected by molecules.
    • When a beam of light traverses a dust-free, transparent sample of a chemical compound, a small fraction of the light emerges in directions other than that of the incident (incoming) beam.
    • Most of this scattered light is of unchanged wavelength. A small part, however, has wavelengths different from that of the incident light and its presence is a result of the Raman Effect.
  • The Raman effect forms the basis for Raman spectroscopy which is used by chemists and physicists to gain information about materials. Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation.

Source: PIB

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GS-III : Economic Issues Banking
Banks Board Bureau

Banks Board Bureau

Part of: GS-III- Bank  (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)

The Banks Board Bureau (BBB) has selected SN Rajeswari as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the Delhi-based Oriental Insurance Company (OIC).

  • The Ministry of Finance will now start the process of appointing Rajeswari as the CMD of OIC.
  • This will be followed by the Finance Ministry's nod and a further approval from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet and the Prime Minister’s Office.

Background: The Banks Board Bureau (BBB) has its genesis in the recommendations of ‘The Committee to Review Governance of Boards of Banks in India, May 2014 (Chairman - P. J. Nayak)

Formation: The government, in 2016, approved the constitution of the BBB as a body of eminent professionals and officials to make recommendations for appointment of whole-time directors as well as non-executive chairpersons of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and state-owned financial institutions.

    • It is an autonomous recommendatory body.
    • The Ministry of Finance takes the final decision on the appointments in consultation with the Prime Minister’s Office.

Functions:

  • Apart from recommending personnel for the PSBs, the Bureau has also been assigned with the task of recommending personnel for appointment as directors in government-owned insurance companies.
  • It engages with the board of directors of all the public sector banks to formulate appropriate strategies for their growth and development.
  • It is tasked with improving corporate governance at public sector banks, building capacities, etc.

**The Banks Board Bureau is a public authority as defined in the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Source: TH

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GS-IV : Ethics Attitude
Older men worry less about Covid-19 than others: study

Older men worry less about Covid-19 than others: study

  • Data on Covid-19 so far has indicated that men are more vulnerable than women, and the elderly more vulnerable than the young.
  • Now, a study has found that older men worry less about Covid-19 than women their age or than younger men and women, and thus may be at greater risk of contracting it.
  • This is a concern given that older men are already more at risk, according to the study by researchers at Georgia State University, and published in The Journals of Gerontology.
  • In general, worry begins to ease with age, and is also lower among men than women.
  • “Not only do older adults exhibit less negative emotions in their daily lives, they also exhibit less worry and fewer PTSD symptoms following natural disasters and terrorist attacks,” gerontology and psychology researcher Sarah Barber said in a statement.
  • Knowing that older adults tend to worry less, Barber conducted a study to see how this affected responses to the global pandemic.
  • Older men were less worried about Covid-19, and had adopted the fewest number of behaviour changes.
  • They were relatively less likely to have worn a mask, to report having stopped touching their faces or to have purchased extra food.

 

Source: IE

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GS-I : Human Geography Current mapping upsc
Port Antsiranana, Madagascar

Port Antsiranana, Madagascar

  • As part of Mission Sagar, Indian Naval Ship Kesari entered Port Antsiranana, Madagascar on 27 May 2020. INS Kesari carried a consignment of COVID related essential medicines for the people of Madagascar.
  • ‘Mission Sagar’ builds on the excellent relations existing between the two countries to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant difficulties.
  • The deployment also resonates the vision of our Prime Minister of Security and Growth for All in the Region ‘SAGAR’ and highlights the importance accorded by India to relations with the countries of the IOR.

 

 

Source: PIB

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GS-II :
United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the year Award

United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the year Award

  • Major Suman Gawani, an Indian Army officer who served as a women peacekeeper with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in 2019 is being awarded the prestigious “United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the year Award” on 29 May 2020.
  • She will receive the award from the UN Secretary General Mr Antonio Guterres during an online ceremony being organised at the UN Headquarters, New York on the occasion of International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers
  • Major Suman will be receiving this award alongwith a Brazilian Naval Officer Commander Carla Monteiro de Castro Araujo.
  • Major Suman served as a Military observer in UNMISS from November 2018 to December 2019.
  • While at the mission, she was the principal focal point of contact for gender issues for Military Observers in the mission.
  • The officer encouraged participation in joint military patrols to maintain gender balance, irrespective of the hardships under extreme field conditions.

GENDER ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR AWARD

  • The United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award recognises the dedication and effort of an individual peacekeeper in promoting the principles within the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.
  • 2016 marks the first year the award will be given out.
  • The selection process for a recipient began in 2015 when the Office of Military Affairs, which sits within the Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in the United Nations, requested Force Commanders and Heads of Mission from all DPKO peacekeeping missions to nominate a military peacekeeper whom they felt had best integrated a gender perspective into peacekeeping activities.

Source: PIB

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GS-I : Human Geography Inland Waterways
Jal Marg Vikas Project – Inland waterways

Jal Marg Vikas Project – Inland waterways

JMVP was announced by union government to enable commercial navigation of at least 1500 tonne vessels on the Ganga River. The project envisages the development of waterway between Allahabad and Haldia (NW-1) on the Ganga River. It includes the development of fairway, multi-modal terminals, strengthening of open river navigation technique, conservancy works, and modern river information system. The project is funded by the World Bank. It is carried out by the Union Ministries of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation.

NW-1

  • The National Waterway -1 or Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system runs from Allahabad to Haldia which is about 1,620 km (longest in India).
  • It passes through West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and serves major cities and their industrial hinterlands.
  • It is an important constituent of the Eastern Transport Corridor of India.
  • This corridor along with NH-2 connects the National Capital Region (NCR) with the eastern and north-eastern states.
  • It will also be an important link to Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal and other east and south-east Asian countries through the Kolkata Port.

Source: TH

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GS-III : Economic Issues Infrastructure
First investment for NIIF

First investment for NIIF

Recently a Dubai based marine firm DP World has partnered with NIIF to create an investment platform for ports, terminals, transportation and logistics businesses in India. National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) is set-up to function as a major platform in India for attracting foreign investments to fund stalled infra projects.

The NIIF is being operationalized by establishing three Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) under the SEBI Regulations.

  • The proposed corpus of NIIF is Rs. 40,000 Crores (around USD 6 Billion).
  • GOI’s contribution to the AIFs under the NIIF scheme shall be 49% of the total commitment.
  • NIIF has mandate to solicit equity participation from strategic anchor partners, like overseas sovereign/quasi-sovereign/multilateral/bilateral investors.

Source: ET

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GS-I : Human Geography Dam
Dam Safety

Dam Safety

India hosted the International Dam Safety Conference  at Thiruvananthapuram. Central Water Commission is organizing the event in association with Kerala state government. Dam safety conferences is an annual event under the Dam Safety Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) project, the conferences will be conducted in DRIP states. The key recommendations emerging from the deliberations of the conference will be circulated to stakeholders as well as policy makers for implementation.

DHARMA App

  • Dam Health and Rehabilitation Monitoring Application (DHARMA) will be launched during the international dam safety conference.
  • The app will serve as a web tool to digitize all dam related data effectively.
  • It will help to document authentic asset and health information pertaining to the large dams in the country, enabling appropriate actions to ensure need based rehabilitation.

DRIP

  • Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) was implemented by Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) with assistance from the World Bank.
  • The Central Dam Safety Organisation of Central Water Commission is coordinating and supervising the Project implementation.

The main objectives of DRIP are

  • To improve the safety and performance of selected (223 dams across 7 different states) existing dams in a sustainable manner.
  • To strengthen the dam safety institutional setup in participating states as well as at central level.

The Seven DRIP States includes Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand.

CWC

Central Water Commission is a technical organization functioning under the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The Commission is entrusted with the general responsibilities of initiating, coordinating and furthering in consultation about the water resources to the concerned state governments.Central Water Commission CWC is headed by a Chairman, with the status of Ex-Officio Secretary to the Government of India.

The work of the Commission is divided among 3 wings namely,

  • Designs and Research (D&R) Wing.
  • River Management (RM) Wing.
  • Water Planning and Projects (WP&P) Wing.

Source: TH

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GS-III : Economic Issues Road accident
Road kills App

Road kills App

Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) a wildlife NGO has developed a mobile app called Road Kills. This app will help citizens to report wildlife deaths by uploading geo-tagged photographs to a public forum. The information generated from the application can help identify crucial sections of roads or railway lines where animal deaths are high to pinpoint regions that require urgent mitigation measures. The data can also help determine what species are more at risk on specific road or rail stretches.

Source: TH

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GS-III :
Funaria hygrometrica

Funaria hygrometrica

Scientists have identified a type of moss that can efficiently absorb a large amount of lead, providing a green alternative for decontaminating polluted water and soil. Funaria hygrometrica is the moss which uses phytoremediation, it is known to grow well in sites contaminated with metals like copper, zinc, and lead.

Phytoremediation is a method that uses photosynthesising organisms to clean up soil or water contamination. The Moss cells can absorb lead up to 74 per cent of their dry weight.

Source: TH

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GS-III :
INSPIRE

INSPIRE

Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) is sponsored and managed by Ministry of Science & Technology.

The basic objective of INSPIRE is to attract young talents to the study of science and  build the required critical human resource pool for strengthening R & D base. The programme does not conduct any competitive exams for identification of talent at any level. It relies on the existing educational structure for identification of talent.

The programme has three components:

  • Scheme for Early Attraction of Talent- (SEATS)
  • Scholarship for Higher Education- (SHE)
  • Assured Opportunity for Research Careers - (AORC)

Source: TH

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GS-I : Human Geography Climatology
Urban heat islands

Urban heat islands

Rapid urbanisation combined with changes in land use pattern leads warming of urban spaces compared with surrounding non-urban areas this is called the urban heat island effect. Urban migration, concrete jungles, decrease in dense vegetation and cultivable land area, encroachments in water bodies will influence urban heat islands. For instance, Delhi is 4-12°C warmer due to the urban heat island effect.

 

Source: Web

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GS-II :
‘Rozgar Setu’ scheme

‘Rozgar Setu’ scheme

  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced the launch of the ‘Rozgar Setu’ scheme, saying it would help secure employment for skilled workers who have returned.
  • The State is the first to devise such a work plan.
  • After such workers requiring employment are identified, the government will contact factory and workshop owners and contractors overseeing infrastructure projects such as road and bridge construction.

 

Source: TH

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GS-II : Governance Policies and Programmes
Saksham

Saksham

Saksham is a capacity building program under the Ministry of Rural development. It is a training module which focuses on the use of Remote Sensing and GIS tools for project planning and monitoring components like watershed, groundwater and geohydrology.

**It is not to be confused with project Saksham of the Railway Ministry.

Project Saksham

It is the nation’s largest time-bound “Upskilling” exercise for its employees to boost their efficiency. Under Project Saksham, all employees in each zone will be put through a week’s training in skills and knowledge relevant to their work area.

Source: TH

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GS-II :
Geo-MGNREGA

Geo-MGNREGA

Ministry of rural development has implemented Geo-MGNREGA. It is a GIS based solution to visualize, analyse and explore MGNREGS asset related data. Under this program, geo-tagging is being carried out in three stages viz. Before start of the work, During the work and On completion of work.

Source: TH

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GS-II :
SECURE

SECURE

The Ministry of rural development has adopted the Software for Estimate Calculation Using Rural Rates for Employment (SECURE). It aims to improve quality of works through detailing of technical specifications, tasks and workflows. All estimates under MGNREGS will be generated with the use of SECURE (software) from the Programme’s Management Information System with effect from 1st April, 2018.

Source: TH

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GS-II :
D10 club

D10 club

  • The British government has approached the US with the prospect of creating a 5G club of 10 democracies, including India, amid growing security concerns related to Chinese telecom giant Huawei.
  • A so-called 'D10' club of democratic partners, including G7 countries – UK, US, Italy, Germany, France, Japan and Canada – plus Australia, South Korea and India will aim to create alternative suppliers of 5G equipment and other technologies to avoid relying on China.
  • The move to speed up such a club comes as the UK launched an inquiry into Huawei’s involvement in the country’s mobile network upgrade in the wake of US sanctions against the company.

 

 

Source: TH

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GS-III :
Bug Bounty Programme

Bug Bounty Programme

It has a goal to partner with security researchers and Indian developer community to test the security effectiveness of Aarogya Setu and also to enhance its security and build user’s trust. It is aimed at encouraging the Indian developer community to find security flaws in the app and get rewarded Rs 1 lakh.

Source: TH

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GS-III : Economic Issues Infrastructure
Border Roads Organisation

Border Roads Organisation

It was conceived and raised in 1960 by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for coordinating the speedy development of a network of roads in the North and the North Eastern border regions of the country.

It works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence. It has diversified into a large spectrum of construction and development works comprising airfields, building projects, defence works and tunneling and has endeared itself to the people.

Source: TH

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29 May,2020
For a reset in India-Nepal relations

For a reset in India-Nepal relations By, Rakesh Sood is a former diplomat and currently Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation Introduction Once again, relations between India and Nepal have taken a turn for the worse. The immediate provocation is the long-standing territo

From a standoff to a stalemate

  From a standoff to a stalemate By , Major General M. Vinaya Chandran (retd), who has 36 years of service in the Indian Army, is a PhD Research Scholar at the University of Madras Introduction India’s construction of a road to Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) in the Galwan Valley has b

Export blocks: On India’s trade amid the pandemic

Export blocks: On India’s trade amid the pandemic Introduction # Official trade data for April, was the grimmest in over two decades. # Merchandise exports had collapsed by over 60% and imports contracted only slightly less. Only two of India’s 30 biggest export products clocke

Locust attack: All about Locusts

Locust attack: How they arrived, the seriousness of the problem, and ways to solve it What are ‘desert locusts’ doing in non-desert lands? Desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria), which belong to the family of grasshoppers, normally live and breed in semi-arid or desert regio

A joint fight by India and Pakistan, over the years: To control the Locusts swarms

A joint fight by India and Pakistan, over the years: To control the Locusts swarms In 1993, as swarms of locusts started coming into Jaisalmer. As another locust swarm comes from Pakistan. The Ministry of External Affairs says it has reached out to Pakistan for cooperation, and is awaiting t

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (28 May 1883 – 26 February 1966) Context The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Veer Savarkar on his jayanti on May 28th. "On his Jayanti, I bow to the courageous Veer Savarkar. We remember him for his bravery, motivating several othe

How Heat wave in North India is unusual

How Heat wave in North India is unusual Part of: GS-I- Geography (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Heatwave in India: The last several days have brought heatwaves in parts of the country, but the preceding weeks had seen no such conditions. A look at how this breaks trends, Cyclone Amphan's role

Hansa Jivraj Mehta

Hansa Jivraj Mehta Hansa Jivraj Mehta a social activist served in the constituent assembly from 1946-1949, was a Padma Bhushan awardee. She was a member of the Fundamental rights sub-committee, the advisory committee and the provincial constitutional committee. Hansa Mehta’s most signifi

Credit scores

Credit scores A credit score determines how creditworthy a person is and helps banks and financial institutions decide on loans. In India, the scores are issued by credit reporting agencies such as CIBIL, Equifax, Experian, Etc. These agencies are regulated by the RBI and collect data from ban

NASA’s Kilopower Project

NASA’s Kilopower Project NASA has invented a small nuclear reactor Kilopower, It can generate a reliable power supply by using uranium-235 reactor core. This power system could provide up to 10 kilowatts of electrical power enough to run two average households continuously for at least 10 y

28 May,2020
Shekatkar Committee recommendations

Shekatkar Committee recommendations Part of: GS-II- Governance  (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Government has accepted and implemented three important recommendations of Committee of Experts (CoE) under the Chairmanship of Lt General D B Shekatkar (Retd) relating to border Infrastr

List of Important committees

List of Important committees GS: PT and Main                                                       List of Committees With Purposes     &nb

Malimath Report

Malimath Report Justice Malimath Committee or The Committee on Reforms of the Criminal Justice System was constituted by the Home Ministry in 2000. The committee had submitted its report in 2003 and made recommendations on crime investigation and punishment. The recommendations were never impl

Sholas

Sholas The Sholas are a mosaic of mountane evergreen forests and grasslands. They are found only in high altitude (>1500 metres above sea level) regions within the tropics, and are limited to the southern part of the Western Ghats. They are characterised by undulating grassland patches, int

Nilgiri Pipit

Nilgiri Pipit Nilgiri Pipit (Anthus nilghiriensis) is a bird endemic to the Western Ghats of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, southern India. It occurs on grassy upland slopes interspersed with bushes and trees, mainly above 1,500 m, and is commonest over 2,000 m. It is listed as &l

Sangeet Natak Academy

Sangeet Natak Academy The Sangeet Natak Akademi was set up in 1953 for the promotion of performing arts. The Sangeet Natak Akademi is an Autonomous Body under the Ministry of Culture. It acts at the national level for the: Promotion and growth of Indian music, dance and drama; Maintena

Cyber & Information Security (CIS) Division

Cyber & Information Security (CIS) Division Union Ministry of Home Affairs has created Cyber & Information Security (CIS) division. Under this division Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) and the Cyber Police Force will be set up. The CIS Division will have four Wings, namely

National Logistics Plan

National Logistics Plan Recently Union government has introduced an ambitious national logistics plan to allow seamless movement of inputs and finished goods across the country. By this government aims to come out with the most cost-effective method to transport goods till 2035 to provide a

Lalit Kala Akademi

Lalit Kala Akademi Lalit Kala Akademi (National Academy of Fine Arts) is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Culture. It has headquarters at New Delhi and regional centres at Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow and Shimla. Lalit Kala Akademi is the nodal agency of the Governmen

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA)

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) The PMSMA programme was launched in 2016 under the ministry of health and family welfare. It aims to ensure free comprehensive and quality antenatal check-ups to pregnant women for ensuring safe pregnancy. The programme is carried out across India


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