UPSC Courses

International Labour Organization (ILO)

International Labour Organization (ILO) Established in 1919 by the Treaty of Versailles as an affiliated agency of the League of Nations. League of Nations was disbanded in 1946 and powers and functions of ILO were transferred to United Nations Became the first affiliated specialized agency of the United Nations in 1946. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland Received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969. For improving peace among cla

Natural Product Based Alzheimer Inhibitor

Natural Product-Based Alzheimer Inhibitor Scientists from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre For Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) have modified the structure of Berberine into Ber-D to use as an Alzheimer's inhibitor. JNCASR is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India. Berberine is a chemical found in several plants. It is a natural and cheap product similar to curcumin (a substance in turmeric). It

Polar vortex

Polar vortex A polar vortex is a large area of low-pressure and cold air that surrounds both of Earth's poles. Polar vortexes always exist, but they typically weaken during the summer and strengthen in the winter. The polar vortex in the Arctic is typically weaker due to the presence of nearby land as well as mountain ranges that disturb the weather more so than its counterpart to the south.

‘Proactive steps’: Egypt seeks IMF help to fight coronavirus

‘Proactive steps’: Egypt seeks IMF help to fight coronavirus Egypt asked for emergency financing to support investor confidence as it suffers an economic hit from the virus. Egypt has asked the International Monetary Fund for financial assistance to shore up investor confidence in the economy as authorities work to offset the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The assistance involves the use of the IMF's Rapid Financing Instrument and a Stand-By Arrangement. These len

With Europe hit by COVID-19, mango exports from Karnataka look uncertain

With Europe hit by COVID-19, mango exports from Karnataka look uncertain With most European countries in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic and many of them going through an extended lockdown period, uncertainty looms over mango exports from Karnataka. Growers producing export-quality fruits are keeping their fingers crossed with limited cargo flight operations. Even though it is an “off-year” for the mango crop, Karnataka was expecting a yield of about 8 lakh tonnes, with the fir

Immunity passport

WHO cautions against the idea of an immunity passport? The World Health Organization is cautioning against the idea of immunity passports. It says there is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected against a second infection. The concept of immunity passports or risk-free certificates has been floated as a way of allowing people protected against reinfection to return to work. WHO  argues that people who assume they are imm


RBI REPORT ON FOREX RESERVES According to the latest data from the Reserve Bank of India, in the reporting week that ended April 17, foreign currency assets (FCA), a major component of the overall reserves, rose from USD 1.55 billion to USD 441.88 billion. The RBI data showed that gold reserves increased from USD 1.54 billion to USD 32.68 billion in the reporting week. While, special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund, IMF were up by USD 3 million to USD 1.43 billion. The

DPIIT, CAIT join hands to enable kiranas’ foray into e-comm space

DPIIT, and CAIT join hands to enable kiranas’ foray into the e-comm space The DPIIT has joined hands with CAIT for the development of this platform, which, is expected to be launched in a staggered manner starting early next week. Within days of retail giants Reliance Industries and Amazon India announcing their intent to accelerate their plans of onboarding local retailers and grocers, a group of retail traders has announced a tie-up with the Centre to launch a national e-commerce m

Global Vaccine Action Plan 2011-2020

Global Vaccine Action Plan 2011-2020 The Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) endorsed by the 194 Member States of the World Health Assembly in May 2012  is a framework to prevent millions of deaths by 2020 through more equitable access to existing vaccines for people in all communities. GVAP was the product of the DoV Collaboration, an unprecedented effort that brought together development, health and immunization experts and stakeholders. The leadership of the Bill & Melinda Gates

Inauguration of MVRDL to test COVID-19 samples

Inauguration of MVRDL to test COVID-19 samples Defence Minister inaugurated a Mobile Virology Research and Diagnostics Laboratory (MVRDL) through video conference to test COVID-19 samples. It has been developed by Defence Research and Development Organization- DRDO in association with ESIC Hospital, Hyderabad and the Private industry. The Mobile Viral Research Lab is the combination of a BSL 3 lab and a BSL 2 lab essential to carry out the activities. The labs are built as per WHO and ICMR B

Pakistan receives USD 1.39 billion

Pakistan receives USD 1.39 billion emergency loan from IMF to deal with the Coronavirus crisis Pakistan has received an emergency loan of 1.39 billion US Dollars from the International Monetary Fund to boost its foreign exchange reserves in the wake of the further economic downturn due to the Coronavirus crisis. Earlier, Pakistan requested the global money lender for a low-cost, fast-disbursing loan under its Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to deal with the adverse economic impact of COVID-

Usha Ganguly, veteran theatre actor passes away

Usha Ganguly, a veteran theatre actor passes away Ganguly was an eminent theatre personality who is most known for her work in Hindi theatre in Kolkata in the period between the 1970s and 1980s. She founded the theatre group, Rangakarmee, in 1976. The theatre group produced many plans such as Rudali, Mahabhoj, Himmat Mai, Antaryatra and Court Martial. Ganguly started acting in the same year with Sangit Kala Mandir and started work on her first play Mitti Ki Gadi, where she essayed the role o

SEBI eases norms on IPO, rights issues

SEBI eases norms on IPO, rights issues What’s in News? The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has relaxed certain regulatory requirements related to rights issues and initial public offers (IPOs) to make it easier for companies to raise funds at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has made the secondary markets increasingly volatile. Details: SEBI has said that any listed entity with a market capitalisation of at least? 100 crore can use the fast-trac

COVID India Seva launched

COVID India Seva launched The Union Health Minister has launched the ‘COVID India Seva’, an interactive platform to establish a direct channel of communication during the pandemic. About the COVID India Seva: This is a Twitter handle which can serve as an interactive platform to establish a direct channel of communication with millions of Indians amid the pandemic. This initiative is aimed at enabling transparent e-governance delivery in real-time and answering citizen

World Earth Day

World Earth Day Context: Vice President greets people on the occasion of World Earth Day. About the World Earth Day: April 22 is observed as ‘World Earth Day’ every year. 2020 is the 50th anniversary of this celebration. The theme for World Earth Day 2020 is “Climate Action”. The first Earth Day, observed in 1970, was a unified response to an environment in crisis — oil spills, smog, and rivers so polluted they literally caught fire. The

Denied alcohol, many take to ‘arishtams’

Denied alcohol, many take to ‘arishtams’ Ayurveda pharmacy stores across the State of Kerala have of late found a surge in demand for arishtams and saves, which have alcohol content up to 10%. ‘arishtams’ and ‘asavams’ have self-generated alcohol. Staff in some Ayurveda pharmacy stores in Kozhikode claimed that the sale of such medicines had gone up by around 30% after the enforcement of the lockdown. According to rules, individuals can

Brent and WTI

Brent and WTI Brent crude oil originates from oil fields in the North Sea between the Shetland Islands and Norway, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is sourced from US oil fields, primarily in Texas, Louisiana, and North Dakota. WTI with a lower sulphur content (0.24%) than Brent (0.37%), is considered "sweeter". Both oils are relatively light, but Brent has a slightly higher API gravity, making WTI the lighte

Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services-IPBES

Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services-IPBES IPBES is an independent intergovernmental body established to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development. It was established in Panama City (US), in April 2012. It is not a United Nations body.

Earth Day Network

Earth Day Network Earth Day Network is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. EDN's main office is located in Washington DC, USA. Note 22 March: World Water Day 22 April: Earth Day 22 May: World Biodiversity Day Recently Earth Hour was observed on 28th March 2020. It encourages people to switch off the lights from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm as per their local time.  

Iran says it launched military satellite into orbit

Iran says it launched a military satellite into orbit Amidst tension with the US, Iran today said that it had successfully launched its first military satellite into orbit. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) reported that the first military satellite “Noor”, which means the light was successfully put into orbit. The satellite was launched from a three-stage carrier Ghased and was placed in 425-km orbit.

TDB approves financial support to MyLab Discovery Solutions

TDB approves financial support to MyLab Discovery Solutions for ramping up production of COVID-19 diagnostic kits The Technology Development Board (TDB) has approved financial support to MyLab Discovery Solutions, Pune, for ramping up the production of COVID-19 diagnostic kits. Mylab Discovery Solutions is the first indigenous company to develop a real-time PCR-based molecular diagnostic kit which screens and detects COVID-19 from samples. The support from TDB will ensure ramp-up in the produ

TIFAC plans to come up with white paper

TIFAC plans to come up with a white paper on strategising the revival of the Indian economy after COVID -19 The Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), an autonomous technology think tank under the Department of Science & Technology (DST), has planned to come up with a white paper on strategising the revival of the Indian economy after COVID-19. The key focus is reported to be on strengthening Make in India initiatives, commercialization of Indigenous techno

New Development Bank financial assistance

New Development Bank financial assistance OF 5 billion dollars to BRICS countries INDIA appreciated the efforts of the New Development Bank on fast-tracking financial assistance of about five billion dollars to BRICS countries including Emergency Assistance of one billion dollars to India to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing the 5th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors through video conference yesterday, Ms. Sitharaman also suggested that, assistance under this facility be enhanc

One more institute of CSIR started whole-genome sequencing of coronavirus

One more institute of CSIR started whole-genome sequencing of coronavirus One more institute of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has started whole-genome sequencing of novel coronavirus. Chandigarh-based Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTech) has taken up the task of large-scale genome sequencing of the virus. Earlier, the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology and the Institute of Genomic and Integrated Biology had started working on it. The complete genome se

MoRTH launches dashboard

MoRTH launches a dashboard on its website to provide 'dhabas and repair shops' details Road Transport and Highways Ministry have launched a dashboard on its website to provide details of Dhabas and Truck. The list can be accessed at www.morth.nic.in. The Ministry said this is intended to facilitate the travel of truck and cargo drivers and cleaners. Regular contact is being maintained with various stakeholders providing information. National Highway Authority of India’s cen

Major bridges in India

BRO constructs a bridge in record time on a key road connecting strategic areas in AP Border Roads Organisation (BRO) constructed a bridge over the Subansiri river in Arunachal Pradesh in a record span of just 27 days. Amidst the nationwide lockdown, BRO undertook the developmental work for the construction of the Daporijo bridge maintaining utmost precautions against COVID-19.  The bridge is of utmost importance in strategic connectivity as it links roads leading up to the LAC betw

DCGI approves trial of a drug to reduce mortality rate

DCGI approves trial of a drug to reduce the mortality rate The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the trial of a drug for reducing the mortality rate in critically ill COVID-19 patients. The trial is likely to begin at multiple hospitals. The drug which has been developed by Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd. with the support of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is meant to treat critically ill patients suffering from Gram-negative bacterial sepsis. CSIR app

New model to predict ionospheric electron density

New model to predict ionospheric electron density Researchers from the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Navi Mumbai have developed a global model to predict the ionospheric electron density with larger data coverage - a crucial need for communication and navigation. A new Artificial Neural Network-based global Ionospheric Model has been developed using long-term ionospheric observations to predict the ionospheric electron density and the peak parameters. Artificial Neural Networks rep

DBT-BIRAC Call on COVID-19 Research Consortium

DBT-BIRAC Call on COVID-19 Research Consortium Department of Biotechnology, DBT and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, BIRAC had invited applications to COVID-19 Research Consortium. Sixteen proposals related to devices, diagnostics, vaccine candidates, therapeutics and other interventions have been recommended for receiving funding support. DBT and BIRAC had sought proposals for the development of diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics and other interventions. A multi-fac

CSIR-CFTRI provides high-protein biscuits to COVID-19 patient

CSIR-CFTRI provides high-protein biscuits to COVID-19 patient The Mysuru-based CSIR unit,  Central Food Technological Research Institute- CFTRI has made available high-protein biscuits to the COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment at  All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), New Delhi. The Institute has supplied 500 kilograms of high-protein biscuits and rusks each to the Dietetics department of AIIMS for the patients. Ministry of Science and Technology in a statement said

Six inter-ministerial central teams to assess COVID-19

Six inter-ministerial central teams to assess COVID-19 Union Government has constituted six Inter-Ministerial Central Teams to make an on-spot assessment of the COVID-19 situation, issue necessary directions to State Authorities for its redressal and submit their report to the Centre. The teams will focus on compliance and implementation of lockdown measures as per guidelines, supply of essential commodities, social distancing,  preparedness of the health infrastructure, the safety o

Polyprotein – Virus and Bacteria

Polyprotein – Virus and Bacteria Difference between Coronavirus and bacterium: Bacterium Coronavirus Bacteria are living even outside a host body. The viruses are basically inactive outside a host organism. Each bacterial cell has its own machinery to reproduce itself.   Viruses would be unable to renew and grow by themselves.  

Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Limited

ISPRL to top up its caverns with cheap crude To make the best use of the low international crude prices, public sector oil companies, including Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. (MRPL) and Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Limited (ISPRL), have been filling ISPRL’s caverns at Mangaluru and Udupi (Padur) with crude oil. ISPRL is also filling its caverns at Vishakapatnam. Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited is an Indian company responsible


PM - CARES Fund The government has set up the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES Fund) to deal with any kind of emergency or distress situation posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This Fund has been set up owing to a number of requests made by the people to support the government in the wake of the COVID-19 emergency. About the Fund The Fund is a public charitable trust with the Prime Minis

Kisan Rath App

Kisan Rath App Part of: GS-III-Food Security (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has launched the ‘Kisan Rath’ mobile application (app) to facilitate the transportation of foodgrains and perishable during the lockdown. The application has been developed by the National Informatics Centre -NIC (backed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology). It will be avai

Indian railway creates history

Indian railway creates history Indian Railways has created history as its 88 coach freight train Annapurna carrying foodgrains covered 1,634 kilometres in less than 50 hours. Eighty-eight coach Annapurna Freight Train travelled from Dhandharikalan in Punjab to New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal in 49 hours 50 minutes. The distance of 1,634 kilometres used to take 96 to 100 hours. The freight train has promptly transported food to ten needy states. This is for the first time Railways has transporte

Government dismiss false news alarm that UPSC exams have been cancelled due to COVID -19

Government dismiss false news alarm that UPSC exams have been cancelled due to COVID -19 Union Government has dismissed false reports in a regional news channel that examinations held by UPSC have been cancelled in the wake of COVID-19. In a tweet, Press Information Bureau clarified that the claim is false. It said, any rescheduling of the UPSC examination if necessary, will be notified on the Commission's website Watch this for UPSC PT 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfd6v9PS

Pool testing of corona virus

Pool testing of coronavirus Uttar Pradesh has become the first state in the country to start pool testing of coronavirus samples. The move is aimed at speeding up the screening process and also bringing down the cost of testing samples. The state health department has also decided to carry out an audit of any death in the state due to COVID-19. The death audit will help in providing better treatment to other COVID-19 patients. The Pool testing of corona samples started yesterday and 150 sampl

Ways and Means Advances (WMA)

Ways and Means Advances (WMA) The WMA are short-term loan facilities which allow the Centre and states to borrow funds from the RBI to bridge their temporary mismatch between expenditure and receipts. The interest rate on WMA is the RBI’s repo rate. The Repo rate is basically the rate at which RBI lends short-term money to banks. The WMA loans have a three-month tenure. States are allowed an overdraft facility (to borrow in excess of the WMA limit) of 21 days.

Special Drawing Rights: IMF

Special Drawing Rights: IMF Recently, the Finance Minister of India opposed a general allocation of new Special Drawing Rights (SDR) by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) because it might not be effective in easing Covid-19-driven financial pressures. The Finance Minister was concerned that such a major liquidity injection could produce potentially costly side-effects if countries used the funds for irrelevant purposes. The new SDR allocation will

Plasma enrichment technique

Plasma enrichment technique The plasma enrichment techniques, and antibodies from the blood of patients who have recovered from Covid-19 are used to treat severely infected patients. It is aimed at assessing the efficacy of convalescent plasma to limit complications in Covid-patients.

Australia Company to begin 1st human trial of COVID -19 vaccin

Australia Company to begin 1st human trial of COVID -19 vaccine Clinical research company Nucleus Network revealed that it would test the effectiveness and safety of a Recombinant Spike Protein Nanoparticle vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, developed by a US-based Biotechnology Company. A small group of healthy volunteers would be recruited for the trial to test the effectiveness of this vaccine. The human trial procedures would involve four phases, following strict protocols to make sure it was safe

India to supply hydroxychloroquine

India to supply hydroxychloroquine to 55 countries India has decided to supply anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to 55 countries. Government sources said, out of these, 21 countries will get the drug on a commercial basis and other countries will receive it on a grant in very small quantities.  India will soon get COVID19 testing kits from South Korea. Indian missions have also taken quotations for testing kits from vendors in the UK, Malaysia, France, Germany, Japan and the US.&n


MHA CAUTION AGAINST THE USE OF ZOOM MEETING PLATFORMS-CERTin Home Ministry has directed that the Zoom meeting platform should not be used by government officials and offices for any purpose. An advisory Ministry of Home Affairs has cautioned against the use of this platform. It further stated that even private users should ensure that Cert-in advisory regarding the use of this platform should be followed. The Cert-in advisory is mainly focused on the prevention of unauthorised entry in t

Musk’s SPACE X wins NASA award for planned lunar space station

Musk’s SPACE X wins NASA award for planned lunar space station SpaceX will get a portion of a $7 billion NASA contract to use its biggest rocket, Falcon Heavy, to send a new “Dragon XL” spacecraft to the Lunar Gateway, an outpost NASA plans to build that will orbit the moon sometime within the next decade. The Dragon XL spacecraft, the latest variant in Musk’s lineup of so-called Dragon cargo and astronaut capsules, will carry research supplies that will help future


M-Sand In three months, the TN State government will put in place an M-sand policy that aims to promote the use of M-sand as an alternative building material. It is aimed to eliminate the pervasion of sub-standard products in the market through regulation of trade.  Manufactured sand (M-Sand) M-sand is a substitute for river sand for concrete construction. Manufactured sand is produced from hard granite stone by crushing. The crushed sand is of cubical shape with grou

“Unnayan: Mera Mobile, Mera Vidyalaya” 

“Unnayan: Mera Mobile, Mera Vidyalaya”  Recently, the Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC) has launched a mobile application and plans to book a slot with the All India Radio (AIR) for the audio broadcast of study materials for government school students. The mobile application named “Unnayan: Mera Mobile, Mera Vidyalaya” has been launched for Class VI to XII of over 70,000 government-run schools. The app has been jointly de


UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is a special program of the United Nations (UN) devoted to aiding national efforts to improve the health, nutrition, education, and general welfare of children. It was created in 1946 as the International Children’s Emergency Fund (ICEF) by the UN relief Rehabilitation Administration to help children affected by World War II. Objective: It is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for t

HRD ministry launches portal “yukti”

HRD ministry launches portal “yukti” Minister for Human Resource Development has launched a web-portal YUKTI (Young India Combating COVID with Knowledge, Technology and Innovation) in New Delhi today. The portal and dashboard will monitor and record the efforts and initiatives of the Ministry of HRD. It intends to cover different dimensions of COVID-19 challenges in a holistic and comprehensive way. In the wake of COVID-19 threat, the primary aim is to keep the academic communi


CSIR and COVID-19 CSIR - centre for cellular and microbiology in Hyderabad engaged in fight against COVID 19 CCMB is an authorized testing centre for COVID-19 and receives patient samples from government hospitals across 33 districts of Telangana to check for SARS-CoV-2 virus. Currently, test capacity is around 350 samples a day.  CSIR labs are leading the way in genome sequencing of the Corona Virus and CCMB is  performing Next Generation Sequencing and analysis to map out the

Supreme Court direction for welfare of migrant labour’s

Supreme Court direction for the welfare of migrant labour housed at a relief centre The Court directed that adequate medical facilities besides proper arrangements for food, clean drinking water and sanitation be ensured for migrant workers at relief camps/shelters across the country. Further, trained counsellors and/ or community group leaders belonging to all faiths should visit the relief camps/ shelter homes and deal with any consternation that the migrants might be going through. The Co

Paintings- scroll painting- Pattachitra

Art and culture - Pattachitra Pattachitra evolved from Sanskrit. When broken down into its two parts, Patta means cloth, and Chitra means picture (Scroll Paintings). Hence, Pattachitra is a picture painted on a piece of cloth. This form of art is closely related to the cult of Shri Jagannath and the temple traditions in Puri. Believed to have originated as early as the 12th century, it is one of the most popular living art forms, and people in Odisha practice it to this day. For Patta

Meru Jatra Festival/ Danda Nata -Odisha

Meru Jatra Festival/ Danda Nata -Odisha CONTEXT: Odisha’s Ganjam district administration has banned the Meru Jatra festival and congregations related to it at temples on the occasion of Mahavishub Sankranti on Monday. Meru Jatra marks the end of the 21-day-long festival of penance named ‘Danda Nata’. Mahavishnu Sankranti is also the start of the Odia New Year. On this day, thousands of devotees used to gather at the Tara Tarini hill shrine and other temples.  D

J&K shifting of capital

J&K shifting of capital Recently, for the first time in 144 years, the Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) administration has decided to halt the bi-annual shifting of the capital, called the ‘Durbar move’ due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Key Points From May to October, governmental offices are housed in the summer capital of J&K, Srinagar, and for the other six months in its winter capital, Jammu. Durbar Move acts as a bridg

Madhya Pradesh railways designs mobile doctor booth called ‘CHARAK’

 Madhya Pradesh railways design a mobile doctor booth called ‘CHARAK’  Madhya Pradesh railways design a mobile doctor booth called ‘CHARAK’ for zero-contact check-ups, the West Central Railway’s Coach Rehabilitation Workshop (CRWS) in Madhya Pradesh’s (MP) Bhopal city, has created a  mobile doctor booth called “CHARAK” to eliminate the possibility of physical contact between the doctor and the coronavirus (COVID-19) infe

Bank Board Bureau

Centre approves extension of Bank Board Bureau members’ According to the Department of Financial Services, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the extension of the tenure of all members and the current part-time chairman of the Bank Board Bureau(BBB) by 2 years, which is coming to an end on April 11, 2020. Key Points: i.Bhanu Pratap Sharma, the former Secretary in the Department of Personnel and Training, will continue to hold the post of a part

World Health Day 2020

Important Days World Health Day 2020: April 7 World Health Day is observed annually on April 7, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO), to spread about equal healthcare facilities worldwide, the importance of Health and Wellness and to kill myths around Health. The theme of the year 2020: Support nurses and midwives. The theme celebrates the work of nurses and midwives and reminds world leaders of the critical role they play in keeping the world health

RBI relaxed the norms of State/UT to avail overdraft

RBI relaxed the norms of State/UT to avail overdraft On April 7, 2020, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to increase the number of days that a State/UT can continue to overdraft to 21 working days from the current stipulation of 14 working days as they are facing cash flow mismatches due to coronavirus. Key Points i.In addition, the number of days that a State/UT can overdraft in a quarter has also been increased to 50 working days from the cu

Money laundering

Money laundering It is the concealing or disguising of the identity of illegally obtained proceeds so that they appear to have originated from legitimate sources. Round Tripping of Funds Round tripping refers to money that leaves the country through various channels and makes its way back into the country often as foreign investment. This mostly involves black money and is allegedly often used for stock price manipulation. Prevention of Money-Laundering Act

Financial Intelligence Unit-India

Financial Intelligence Unit-India FIU-IND is a central, national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analyzing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions to enforcement agencies and foreign FIUs. It was set up in 2004. It is an independent body reporting directly to the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC) headed by the Finance Minister.

Naveen Patnaik conferred PETA’s “Hero to Animals Award”

Naveen Patnaik conferred PETA’s “Hero to Animals Award”for feeding community animals The Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik has been conferred with Hero to Animals Award by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India for feeding community animals in five municipal corporations and all 48 municipalities of Odisha during the COVID-19 lockdown. He has allocated Rs 54 lakhs from a relief fund for the same. He has presented a framed ce

Indian Railways’ RCF unit developed low-cost ventilator ‘Jeevan’

Indian Railways’ RCF unit developed low-cost ventilator ‘Jeevan’ to fight COVID-19 The Indian Railways has developed a low-cost ventilator ‘Jeevan’ at its premier coach production unit,Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala in Punjab.The cost of “Jeevan”is around Rs 10,000 without the compressor and it will not rise over Rs 30,000 even after adding a few more indicators.The ventilator is now awaiting the final clearance from the Indian Co

National Securities Depository Limited

National Securities Depository Limited PT PICKUPS The enactment of the Depositories Act in August 1996 paved the way for the establishment of NSDL in August 1996. It handles most of the securities held and settled in dematerialized form in the Indian capital market. NSDL works to support the investors and brokers in the capital market of the country. It aims at ensuring the safety and soundness of Indian marketplaces by developing settlement solutions that increase effic

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development-UNCTAD

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development-UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development It was established in 1964 to promote the development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy. UNCTAD is a permanent intergovernmental body headquartered at Geneva in Switzerland. Some of the reports published by it are: Trade and Development Report World Investment Report The Least Developed Countries

NCC and COVID-19

NCC and COVID-19 NCC volunteer cadets to fight COVID-19 under ‘Exercise NCC Yogdan’ On April 2, 2020, the National Cadet Corps (NCC) offered its volunteer cadets to assist the civilian authorities to fight COVID-19 under ‘Exercise NCC Yogdan’.  It has issued guidelines for the temporary employment of its cadets to enhance the operations of various organizations involved in relief efforts & fighting the pandemic. The tasks for NC

Coronavirus outbreak: Kerala based SCTIMST joins

Coronavirus outbreak: Kerala based SCTIMST joins Coronavirus outbreak: Kerala-based SCTIMST joins hands with Wipro 3D to make automated ventilators On April 03, 2020, In view of increasing coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in India, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), an institute of National Importance of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) based in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, has partnered with ‘Wipro 3D’ to build

DRDO develops bio suit

                    DRDO develops bio suit DRDO develops bio-suit with seam sealing glue to keep health professionals fighting COVID-19 safe The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a bio-suit with a self-sealing seam to keep the medical, paramedical and other personnel engaged in combating COVID-19, safe from the deadly virus. This Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been pre

UNICEF launches “Mo Prativa”

UNICEF launches “Mo Prativa” In order to keep children engaged in some creative work during 21-day lockdown due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the Odisha state government in collaboration with UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), has launched a creative skill competition programme called “Mo Prativa” (My talent). Key Points: i.Under this online programme children can participate in competitions such as drawings, paintings, posters, writing

Agasthyavanam Biological Park

Agasthyavanam Biological Park PT PICKS UP Established in 1997, Agasthyavanam Biological Park is a wildlife sanctuary in Kerala. The park is located near Thiruvananthapuram/Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala. It is contiguous to Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary. The park has been named after the Agasthyamalai Agasthyakoodam Peak, which can be seen at a distance from the park The Ag

Operation Sanjeevani

Operation Sanjeevani Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- IR Recently, India supplied 6.2 tonnes of essential medicines to the Maldives, under Operation Sanjeevani as assistance in the fight against COVID 19. The medicines were delivered by a Hercules C-130J-30 aircraft of Indian Air Force. The medicines include influenza vaccines, antiviral drugs such as lopinavir and ritonavir among others as well as consumables such as catheters, nebulisers, uri

Exchange Traded Fund

Exchange Traded Fund An Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) is a basket of securities that trade on an exchange, just like a stock. ETF reflects the composition of an Index, like BSE Sensex. Its trading value is based on the Net Asset Value (NAV) of the underlying stocks (such as shares) that it represents. ETF share prices fluctuate all day as it is bought and sold. This is different from mutual funds which only trade once a day after the market closes.

Alcohol Sanitizers and Coronaviruses

Alcohol Sanitizers and Coronaviruses Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- S&T The novel coronavirus has a lipid envelope. Soap being a detergent destroys this envelope. The same is true for alcohol also. Structure of Lipid Envelope: SARS-CoV-2 particles, like other coronaviruses, are spherical and have proteins called spikes protruding from their surface. These spikes latch onto human cells, then undergo a structural change that allows the vi

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