DATA ON COVID19 IMPACT ON HEALTH SERVICES. The novel coronavirus pandemic, health-care providers have been reassigned from other specialties to COVID-19, restricting high quality care for other conditions. Lockdowns and fear of transmission have dampened demand for non-emergency care. A survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 105 countries in July 2020 showed that essential services were disrupted in the majority of countries, with immunisation, antenatal and childca

23 February, 2021 GS-III S&T


FDI Data India rank among top 10 destinations for FDI. FDI remained 1.76% of India's GDP only.

25 February, 2021 GS-III Economic Issues

Data on petrol cess and other cesses.

Data on petrol cess and other cesses. Cesses are collected for a specific purpose, and they need not be shared with the States, as they are excluded from purview of divisible pool of taxes. Heavy taxation on crude oil acombined with a significant uptick in international crude prices are responsible for 2021 price rise. In the FY22 Budget, an Agriculture Infrastructure and Development (AID) Cess was announced on select items, including petrol and diesel. It is important to note that

24 February, 2021 GS-III Economic Issues

Agriculture Infrastructure Development Cess

The Budget 2021-22 has proposed a new levy, Agriculture Infrastructure Development Cess (AIDC) on 29 items. The purpose of the new AIDC is to raise funds to finance spending on developing agriculture infrastructure. The new cess will be levied on 29 products, such as gold, silver, as well as imported alcohol (excluding beer), imported apple, pulses, palm oil, urea, and petrol/diesel including branded ones. The new cess will only offset the reduction in Basic Custom Duty (BCD), Basic Exc

24 February, 2021 GS-III Economic Issues


A new technology for ecological restoration (Bio-restoration) was developed by Indian scientists. It is helping in revival of mangroves degraded due to rising sea levels, climate change and human intrusion in the Sunderbans, West Bengal. The Sundarbans is a protected wetland under the Ramsar Convention and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Ecological restoration means reviving native ecosystem in degraded areas while maintaining diversity of original flora and fauna through reg

24 February, 2021 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

VL-SRSAM Missile System

Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) was launched by Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO). It is indigenously designed and developed by DRDO, along with Research Centre Imarat, and the Pune-based Research and Development Establishment (Engineers). Once deployed, the VL-SRSAM system will prove to be a force multiplier for the Indian Navy. With an effective Weapon Control System (WCS), it would neutralize various aerial threat

23 February, 2021 GS-III S&T

Progress MS-16 Cargo Ship

Progress MS-16 or Progress 77 cargo ship has delivered water, propellant and other supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). Progress MS-16 is an unmanned Russian cargo ship launched by Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos.

23 February, 2021 GS-III Internal security

International Space Station

It is the only active modular space station (habitable artificial satellite) in the Earth’s Orbit. It is the largest artificial object in space and the largest satellite in low Earth orbit, visible to the naked eye from Earth's surface. It is a joint project between five participating space agencies - NASA (USA), Roscosmos, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), European Space Agency, and Canadian Space Agency.

23 February, 2021 GS-III S&T

Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI)

50 artisan-based clusters were recently inaugurated through the SFURTI Scheme in 18 States. Ministry of MSME is implementing a SFURTI with a view to organize traditional industries and artisans into clusters to make them competitive and increase their income. Ministry of MSME, which aims to support at least one cluster in each district in the future. SFURTI clusters are of two types i.e., Regular Cluster (500 artisans) with Government assistance

23 February, 2021 GS-III Economic Issues

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is going to integrate Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) with NPCDCS. NPCDCS - National Programme for Prevention & Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke. Conditions - It is a distinct hepatic condition where there is accumulation of excess fat in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol, causing fatty liver. Causes - NAFLD is a part of the metabolic syndrome characterized by diabetes,

23 February, 2021 GS-III S&T

African Swine Fever Virus

Scientists have found a natural mutation in the African swine fever virus (ASFV) that could be less deadly than the strain that ravaged the world’s largest pig herd in 2018 and 2019. ASFV is an intra cytoplasmically-replicating DNA arbovirus, which is the sole member of the family Asfarviridae. ASF is a severe viral disease that affects wild and domestic pigs resulting in a highly lethal haemorrhagic fever, but doesn’t affect humans. It has almost 100% case fatality rate (CF

23 February, 2021 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Inflation- Its impact on the macro economic stability

Inflation- Its impact on the macro economic stability Introduction Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 4.06% in January, marking a deceleration for a second straight month to a 16-month low. Reasons in decline of retail inflation Bumper kharif crop: The Consumer Food Price Index reflected a gain of a mere 1.89% last month as vegetable prices saw a disinflation of 15.8% and cereal prices eased considerably for a second month in the wake of kharif crop arrivals. Good rabi ha

19 February, 2021 GS-III Economic Issues

Provident Funds to be Taxed at withdrawal- Budget 2020-21

Provident Funds to be Taxed at withdrawal- Budget 2020-21 Introduction The income tax law proposed in the Finance Bill, 2021, has triggered anxieties for the salaried class: withdrawing tax exemption on interest income accrued into Provident Fund accounts arising out of employee contributions exceeding ?2.5 lakh ‘in a previous year in that fund,’ on or after April 1, 2021. Reason Some employees are contributing huge amounts into their PF accounts and getting tax

18 February, 2021 GS-III Economic Issues


NetWire, which first surfaced in 2012, is a well-known malware. It is a remote access Trojan which gives control of the infected system to an attacker. Such malware can log keystrokes and compromise passwords. Viruses A computer virus is a type of malware that propagates by inserting a copy of itself into and becoming part

14 February, 2021 GS-III S&T

Humboldt Penguin

Humboldt penguin is named after the cold ocean current, known as Humboldt current (discovered by German explorer Alexander von Humboldt), that is typical for the natural habitat of this species of penguin (west coast of South America). Its habitat is highly influenced by the cold, nutrient-rich Humboldt Current flowing northward from Antarctica, which is vital to the productivity of plankton and krill and fosters fish abundance. Migration: When not raising chicks, these penguins have been

14 February, 2021 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Ashok Dalwai Committee

The government announced to double farm incomes by 2022 in its Union Budget 2016-17. In line with this it appointed an 8-member inter-ministerial committee headed by Ashok Dalwai, to consider major reforms in agriculture sector. It was tasked to prepare a blueprint for transition of farm policies from being production oriented to based on incomes or value addition.

15 February, 2021 GS-III Economic Issues

Dickinsonia Fossils Found in Bhimbetka Caves

Researchers discovered three fossils in Madhya Pradesh. These fossils are possibly of the earliest known living animal named ‘Dickinsonia’ (550-million-year-old). The fossils are found on the roof of Auditorium Cave at Bhimbetka Rock Shelters. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Madhya Pradesh. The fossil can be identified from the white leaf-like patches with a central vertebra (central midrib) and connecting veins. These are the only Dickinsonia fossils available in

15 February, 2021 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

National Marine Turtle Action Plan

The Ministry of Environment has released National Marine Turtle Action Plan in which A&N Islands are given prominent importance. According to the plan, India has identified all its important sea turtle nesting habitats as ‘Important Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Areas’. These areas have been included in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) – 1. South Bay and West Bay on Little Andaman and Galathea on Great Nicobar, are mentioned as “Important Marin

16 February, 2021 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Leatherback Sea Turtle

It is the largest of the seven species of sea turtles. Other species are: Olive Ridley turtle, Green turtle, Hawksbill turtle, Loggerhead turtle, Leatherback turtle Except the Loggerhead, the remaining four species nest along the Indian coast. It is found in all oceans except the Arctic and the Antarctic. Within the Indian Ocean, they nest only in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is the only living species in the genus Dermochelys and family Dermoc

16 February, 2021 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

New Guidelines for the Geo-Spatial Sector

What is the news? The Ministry of Science and Technology has released new guidelines for the Geo-spatial sector in India. It deregulated the existing protocol and liberalizes the sector to a more competitive field. What is a Geo-Spatial Data? Geospatial data is data about objects, events, or phenomena that have a location on the surface of the earth. The location may be static in the short-term, like the location of a road, an earthquake event, malnutrition among children, o

16 February, 2021 GS-III S&T

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the New WTO Head

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been appointed the new chief of the World Trade Organization, becoming the first woman to ever lead the institution and the first African citizen to take on the role. Roles and functions of Director General of WTO: The director-general of the World Trade Organization is the officer of the World Trade Organization responsible for supervising and directing the organization’s administrative operations. The Director-General has little power over mat

17 February, 2021 GS-III Economic Issues

Disaster management- Fireworks accident at Virudhunagar

Accidents at the fireworks unit in Virudhunagar Context The latest accident at a fireworks unit in Virudhunagar, at last count, 20 lives have perished, while 28 workers are in hospital. Major fireworks Industries in Tamil Nadu are at: Virudhunagar, Cuddalore ,Sivakasi and Madurai Reasons of accidents at fireworks Industries Gross violation of norms governing the hazardous industry . Human error in handling explosive substances. Unlicensed units that have mush

16 February, 2021 GS-III Disaster and Disaster management

Toolkit conspiracy case

Toolkit conspiracy case Introduction The police in India is using arrests and filing questionable cases as a tool of harassment. The Delhi Police have outdone all of them by arresting a 22-year-old climate activist (Disha Ravi) in a case that makes the incredible allegation that a social media toolkit for organisers of protests against the farm laws amounted to sedition and incitement to riots. Tool of harassment The manner in which a Delhi Police team travelled to Bengal

16 February, 2021 GS-III Internal security

WCCB wins Asia Environmental Enforcement Award-2020

The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has received the Asia Environmental Enforcement Award-2020. It is awarded by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). WCCB got the award twice in three years. It has been awarded this year under the Innovation category. Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) It is a statutory body constituted under the WildLife (Protection) Act, 1972. Ministry: Ministry of Environment and Forests. Mandate: To combat org

21 February, 2021 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Siberian Mammoths

Siberian Mammoths Scientists have recovered and sequenced the oldest DNA on record, from the molars of mammoths that roamed Siberia up to 1.2 million years ago. Until now, the oldest DNA came from a horse that lived in Canada's Yukon Territory about 700,000 years ago. Researchers gained insights into mammoth evolution and migration by comparing the DNA to that of mammoths that lived more recently (4,000 years ago). The molars of the mammoths were discovered near the Krestovka Riv

22 February, 2021 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Tree City Status to Hyderabad

Hyderabad city has the ‘Tree Cities of the World’ status by the Arbor Day Foundation jointly with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. It is the only city in India to have been selected for this recognition for its commitment to growing and maintaining urban and community forestry. Hyderabad applied for this recognition, citing the State government’s Haritha Haram programme and its initiative for the Urban Forest Parks.

22 February, 2021 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Fly Ash

Definition: It is a byproduct from burning of coal in electric power generating plants. It is called fly ash because it is transported from the combustion chamber by exhaust gases. It is collected from the exhaust gases by electrostatic precipitators or bag filters. Composition: Fly ash includes substantial amounts of silicon dioxide (SiO2), aluminium oxide (Al2O3), ferric oxide (Fe2O3) and calcium oxide (CaO). Properties:

13 February, 2021 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Coal Gasification

What is coal gasification? • Coal gasification is the process of producing syngas [a mixture consisting primarily of methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O)],from coal,water, air and/or oxygen. What are its usages? • Currently, this tech is primarily used for electricity generation, for production of chemical feedstocks, or for production of synthetic natural gas. • The hydrogen obtained from coal gasificatio

13 February, 2021 GS-III S&T

India-China Disengagement

Recently, both India and China have announced the start of disengagement between the two armies in Ladakh. The current disengagement is limited to two places on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh: One, the north bank of Pangong lake Two, Kailash range to the south of Pangong. the disengagement in other regions is yet to be taken. The other three sites of contention on the Ladakh border are Depsang, Gogra-Hot Springs, and Demchok.

13 February, 2021 GS-III Internal security

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Spinal muscular atrophy is a rare genetic disease. The person suffering from this disease cannot control the movement of their muscles. Caused By: It is caused by the loss of nerve cells that carry electrical signals from the brain to the muscles. The protein needed for this signaling is coded by a gene. Everyone has two copies of this gene- one from the mother and the other from the father. A child develops this disorder only if both the copies are faulty. Gene Therapy Treatment:&nb

13 February, 2021 GS-III S&T

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