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UPSC Courses

Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar

Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar The Government of India has invited nominations for the ‘Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar’. Applications for the year 2021 would be accepted till 31st August 2020. Field Recognised: The Government of India instituted Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskaar to recognise the excellent work done by the individuals and institutions in the field of disaster management. Administere

AJO-Neo

AJO-Neo Recently, researchers from the S.N. Bose National Centre For Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Kolkata have developed a device called “AJO-Neo '' to measure neonatal bilirubin level. SNBNCBS is an autonomous research Institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. Description AJO-Neo is a non-contact and non-invasive spectrometry-based technique for measurement of neonatal bilirubin level without li

PLpro: Covid-19

PLpro: Covid-19 According to a new study on Covid-19, pharmacological inhibition of PLpro blocks virus replication and also strengthens immune response in humans. Usually, when a virus attacks human cells, the infected body cells release messenger substances known as ‘type 1 interferons’ which attract the killer cells in human bodies. These killer cells kill the infected cells and save humans from getting sick. When the&nbs

ASTHROS mission

ASTHROS mission The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has begun work on a balloon that will carry a 2.5-meter telescope into the stratosphere to observe wavelengths of light that are not visible from the ground. The mission named Astrophysics Stratospheric Telescope for High Spectral Resolution Observations at Submillimeter-wavelengths, or ASTHROS in short, will tentatively be launched by December 2023 from Antarctica. It will

Status of Tigers in India Report

Status of Tigers in India Report Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has released a detailed ‘Status of Tigers, Co-predators and Prey in India (2018) Report’ on the eve of the Global Tiger Day (29th July). The report compares information obtained from the earlier three tiger surveys (2006, 2010, and 2014) with data obtained from the 2018-19 survey to estimate tiger population trends at country level. India’s Project Tiger was launched in 1973 with 9 tiger r

Mausam Mobile App

Mausam Mobile App Union Minister for Earth sciences launched a mobile App "Mausam” for India Meteorological Department (IMD). It is designed to communicate the weather information and forecasts to the general public in a lucid manner without technical jargons. It has the following services Current Weather, Now cast, City Forecast, Warnings Radar products. MoES-Knowledge Resource Centre Network (KRCNet) Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) aims to develop a Wor

BIS-Care App

BIS-Care App Union Ministry for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has launched the ‘BIS-Care’ app and e-BIS portal. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Care app enables Consumers to check the authenticity of the ISI-marked and hallmarked products and lodge complaints using this app. It is important to ensure that consumers are aware of the standards and quality products and help in eliminating the supply of sub-standard products. e-BIS portal - It has thr

Lyfas App

Lyfas App KAWACH initiative is supporting market-ready innovations for the control of COVID-19. Under this initiative, a Covid risk assessment profile called Lyfas is being developed. Department of Science and Technology has selected Acculi Labs, a Bangalore based startup. Lyfas is an android application in which, when any person keeps the index finger on the rear phone camera of a mobile phone for five minutes, it captures the capillary pulse and blood volume change. The technology is foc

Inter-planetary Contamination in Mars

Inter-planetary Contamination in Mars Recently, astrobiologists have expressed concerns about possible ‘interplanetary contamination’ on Mars. Interplanetary contamination refers to biological contamination of a planetary body by a space probe or spacecraft, either deliberate or unintentional. In the past, space missions have established physical contact with astronomical bodies such as comets and asteroids, and crewed missions have landed on the Moon. However, since these bodi

Joykali Matar Temple

Joykali Matar Temple India inaugurated the reconstructed Joykali Matar temple at Natore in Bangladesh. It was built approximately 300 years back in the early 18th century by Shri Dayaram Roy. He was an influential Dewan of Queen Bhahani of Natore and the founder of Dighapatia Royal Family. The MoU for the reconstruction of the temple at Lalbazar, Natore was signed between India in Bangladesh in 2016. The Government of India provided a grant assistance for the reconstruction of the historic

Natesa idol- Pratihara style

Natesa idol- Pratihara style A long-pending case of idol theft finally saw an important development as Natesa, a rare sandstone idol in the 9th century Prathihara style of Rajasthan, is returning to the country after 22 years. The Natesa icon, currently at the Indian High Commission, London, was originally from the Ghateswara Temple, Baroli, Rajasthan. The sandstone Natesa figure stands tall at almost 4 ft. in a rare and brilliant depiction of Shiva in the late 9th century Prathihara

Source-sink dynamics

Source-sink dynamics Source–sink dynamics is a theoretical model used by ecologists to describe how variation in habitat quality may affect the population growth or decline of organisms. Since quality is likely to vary among patches of habitat, it is important to consider how a low quality patch might affect a population. In this model, organisms occupy two patches of habitat.       One patch, the source, is a high quality habitat that on averag

Kafala system

Kafala system The kafala system is an exploitative system used to monitor migrant laborers, working primarily in the construction and domestic sectors in Gulf Cooperation Council member states and a few neighbouring countries. The system requires all unskilled laborers to have an in-country sponsor, usually their employer, who is responsible for their visa and legal status. This practice has been criticised by human rights organizations for creating easy opportunities for the exploita

Mission Indradhanush

Report on Immunization among ChildrenNational Statistical Office (NSO) released a report on immunization among children. The survey was conducted during July 2017-June 2018. Highlights of the report -   Around 60% of children under five years of age were fully immunized. This includes about 59% of boys and 60% of girls across the country who had been fully immunized with all eight prescribed vaccinations (BCG, OPV- 1, 2,3, DPT- 1,2,3 and measles). In rural India (58%) and

Vriksharopan Abhiyan

Vriksharopan Abhiyan Union Home Ministry has recently launched the campaign “Vriksharopan Abhiyan”. It is being organized by the Ministry of Coal which involves all coal and lignite PSUs. It is a part of going green Initiative of Ministry of Coal. Under this initiative, large scale plantation will be carried out in colonies, offices, and mines and in other suitable areas of coal and Ignite PSUs. Seedlings will also be distributed under the campaign in the nearby areas for pr

Venus Coronae

Venus Coronae Researchers have recently studied the formation of Venus’ ring-shaped volcanic structures called “Coronae”. They are formed by plumes of molten rock rising from the mantle up through the crust. This process is similar to how Earth’s volcanos function. Interestingly, most of Earth’s volcanism occurs along the boundaries of tectonic plates, but modern Venus doesn’t seem to possess tectonic plates. They identified three dozen features on Venus

Bubonic plague

Bubonic plague Bubonic plague is a rare but serious zoonotic disease. It is caused by bacterial infection and transmitted by fleas from rodents. It mainly results from the bite of an infected flea, and also from exposure to the body fluids from a dead plague-infected animal. There are no reports of human to human transmission of bubonic plague. It is one of the three plagues caused by bacterium Yersinia pestis. The other two being Septicaemic plague and Pneumonic plague. According to th

YuWaah

YuWaah UNICEF had launched Generation Unlimited India (YuWaah) in 2019. It is a multi-stakeholder alliance which aims to facilitate youth to gain relevant skills for productive lives and the future of work. The target age group includes adolescent girls and boys. Its key mission is to promote among youth foundational skills, life skills and flexible learning and identifying and scaling impactful delivery models. Union Ministry of Youth Affairs has recently signed a Statement of Intent w

Yercaud lake affected by Water hyacinth

Yercaud lake affected by Water hyacinth Yercaud lake is located in Salem, Tamil Nadu. It is recently affected by the problem of water hyacinth. About Water hyacinth: Water hyacinth is a free-floating and flowering invasive aquatic plant originated from Amazon Basin, South America. It has spread mainly to the tropics and subtropics since the 1800s. Water hyacinth has been considered as an invasive aquatic plant in the United States since 1984, in Africa since early 1900s, in

Sero-surveillance

Sero-surveillance Recently, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) conducted a sero-surveillance study for Covid-19 in New Delhi. NCDC is under administrative control of the Directorate General of Health Services in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Sero-surveillance: Detects Specific Antibodies: It seeks to assess the prevalence of disease in a population by detecting the presence of specific antibodies agai

'Manodarpan' 

'Manodarpan'  Recently, the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) has launched the 'Manodarpan' initiative under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. It is aimed to provide psychosocial support to students, family members and teachers for their mental health and well-being during the times of Covid-19. Description: The platform includes a national toll free helpline for students of schools, universities and colleges, which w

Global Fund

Global Fund Recently, ‘key populations affected by HIV/AIDS (or KPs)’ have protested for being ignored by governments and multilateral agencies (including United Nations) in Covid-19 related emergency relief efforts. They have petitioned the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (or simply the Global Fund), demanding allocation to meet their basic survival needs of food, shelter, and emergency medica

Tianwen-1 Mars mission

Tianwen-1 Mars mission Context: China launched the Tianwen-1 Mars rover mission. About Tianwen-1: It is China’s first fully home-grown Mars mission. It was launched atop Long March-5 carrier rocket. It consists of an orbiter and a lander/rover duo, a combination of craft that had never before been launched together towards Mars. News It is especially striking given that it’s China’s first attempt at a full-on Mars mission. China did launch a

Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN)

Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN) A nationwide pilot of the newly-developed credit protocol infrastructure – OCEN is all set to start. About Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN): The credit protocol infrastructure is known as Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN). Indian Software Products Industry Round Table (iSPIRT) has developed the platform. It will mediate the interactions between loan service providers (usually fintechs and mainstream lenders) including all

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure It is a minimally invasive procedure to replace a narrowed aortic valve that fails to open properly which may be an option for those who can’t have open-heart surgery. It is the replacement of the aortic valve of the heart through the blood vessels (as opposed to valve replacement by open heart surgery). Usually, valve replacement requires an open heart procedure with a “sternotomy”, in which the chest is surgica

IIT-M researchers use artificial materials and ultrasound to detect defects in large structures

IIT-M researchers use artificial materials and ultrasound to detect defects in large structures Context: Researchers in the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and the University of Nairobi have used metamaterials to improve detection of defects in large structures by guided wave ultrasound. Engineering structures including buildings, pipelines and rails require periodic testing to prevent catastrophic failures occurring due to corrosion, impact, and strain. High-frequency sound w

Vulnerable groups petition global fund

Vulnerable groups petition global fund Context Deprived of sources of livelihood during the pandemic, sex workers, trans-persons, gay and bisexual men, drug users and people living with HIV/AIDS have written to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) protesting against being ignored by governments and multilateral agencies in COVID-19-related emergency relief efforts. Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) Founded in 2002, GFATM, also known as Global Fund, is

ASPIRE Portal for Automotive Industry

ASPIRE Portal for Automotive Industry GS-PAPER-3 Economy (PT-MAINS) The International Centre of Automotive Technology (ICAT) is developing a technology platform for the automotive industry called ASPIRE - Automotive Solutions Portal for Industry, Research and Education. The Portal is expected to help in developing a strong and self-reliant automotive industry in India which is in tune with the vision of Make in India and Atmanirbhar 

Kayapo Tribe

Kayapo Tribe They live alongside the Xingu River in the eastern part of the Amazon rainforest, in several scattered villages ranging in population from one hundred to one thousand in Brazil. The Kayapo use intricate black body paint covering their entire bodies. They believe that their ancestors learned their social skills from insects, so they paint their bodies to mimic them and to better communicate with the Spirit that exists everywhere. Older generations of Kayapo men wear disks i

Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML)

Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML) It was established in memory of Jawaharlal Nehru. It is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. It is located in the majestic Teen Murti House, the official residence of the first Prime Minister of India. It has four major constituents namely: A Memorial Museum, A Library on Modern India, A Centre for Contemporary Studies and Nehru Planetarium.

Why is a psoriasis drug being used to treat COVID-19 patients?

Why is a psoriasis drug being used to treat COVID-19 patients? Context Biocon announced that it had received the approval of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to market Itolizumab for treatment of cytokine release syndrome (CRS) in moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome patients due to COVID-19. Itolizumab is a monoclonal antibody which is used to treat acute psoriasis. What are monoclonal antibodies? Monoclonal antibodies are proteins cloned in

Previously unknown faults at the foot of the Himalaya discovered

Previously unknown faults at the foot of the Himalaya discovered Context Data from an oil and gas exploration company has now helped geologists discover a series of faults at the foot of the Himalaya. Sesimic exploration data The team looked at seismic reflection data, which are routinely collected by exploration companies looking for oil and gas. In this method, seismic waves are produced by small explosions at multiple sources, and many recorders called geophones record

Autotomy

Autotomy How does a lizard lose its tail? Certain animals voluntarily shed a body part in response to attempted predation. Lizards losing their tails when they are pulled by a predator is well known. This self-amputation is called autotomy. The severed tail continues to wiggle for about 30 minutes. Studies have shown that the severed tail follows an elaborate repetitive and diverse motion, which includes flips up to 3 cm in height. The wiggly motion very often distracts the atte

Solar Orbiter Mission

Solar Orbiter Mission NASA has launched the Solar Orbiter to space on an Atlas 5 rocket from Florida on February 10. The mission is a cooperative mission between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) which will help researchers to know how the star's energy affects Earth and humans in space. Key Points The Solar Orbiter Mission is a cooperative mission between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). It a seven-year mission. Significance: It will observe t

Arming India’s poor against the pandemic

Arming India’s poor against the pandemic Vitamin D deficiency can affect COVID-19 high-risk patients, particularly those who are diabetic, have heart conditions, pneumonia, obesity and those who smoke. It is also associated with infections in the respiratory tract and lung injury. Importance of Vitamin-D Besides, vitamin D is known to help in having the right amount of calcium in the bones, catalyse the process of protecting cell membranes from damage, preventing the in

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) celebrated its 92nd foundation day on 16th July 2020. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) was established on 16 July 1929 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. It is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farme

NISHTHA Programme

NISHTHA Programme GS-Ppaper-3 Education Recently, the National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) programme has been launched for the first time in online mode in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Imp Points Initially, the NISHTHA programme was launched in 2019 through face-to-face mode to improve learning outcomes at the elementary level in the country. Covid-19 pandemic situation and lockdown h

Himalayan Viagra

Himalayan Viagra Ophiocordyceps sinensis, also known as Himalayan Viagra is a fungus. It is known for its aphrodisiac and rejuvenation properties Recently IUCN has placed the fungus, in the ‘vulnerable’ category. According to IUCN its spread has declined by at least 30% over the past 15 years as a result of overharvesting. It is endemic to the Himalayan and Tibetan plateau and is found in China, Bhutan, Nepal and India. In India, it is primari

Hope orbiter

Hope orbiter The Emirates Mars Mission is a planned space exploration mission to Mars set to launch the Hope orbiter in July 2020. It was built by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, an Emirati space organization, as well as the University of Colorado Boulder, Arizona State University, and the University of California, Berkeley. The probe will study daily and seasonal weather cycles, weather events in the lower atmosphere such as dust storms, and how the weather varies in different r

No postal ballot facility for voters above 65: EC

No postal ballot facility for voters above 65: EC The Election Commission said that the postal ballot facility for electors above the age of 65 in the Bihar Assembly elections would not be implemented. The poll body said the option of postal ballots would be available to electors over 80 years of age, persons with disabilities, essential service workers and those infected with COVID-19 or suspected to be. Until October 2019, the provision of voting through the postal ballot was availa

Zinc Gluconate

Zinc Gluconate Element Zinc is vital for maintaining normal bone homeostasis, and its levels are reported to get reduced in rheumatoid arthritis patients and arthritis-induced animals. It is also known that oral supplementation of zinc in the form of zinc gluconate have very low bioavailability in humans.  Institute of Nano Science & Technology (INST) has formulated nanoparticles with chitosan and loaded these nanoparticles with zinc gluconate for reducing the severity of rhe

Biofuels

Researchers of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad are studying impediments in incorporating biofuels into the fuel sector in India. Significance of Biofuels: Biofuels in India are of strategic importance as it augers well with the ongoing initiatives of the Government such as Make in India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill Development and offers great opportunity to integrate with the ambitious targets of doubling of Farmers Income, Import Reduction, Employment Generation,

Forest Fires in India

Forest Fires in India According to the report of the Forest Survey of India, between 2003–2017, a total of 5,20,861 active forest fire events were detected in India. About 54% of the forest cover in India is exposed to occasional fire. Most fire prone regions - Northeast India, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Western Himalaya have shown a sharp increase of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and ozone during high fire activity perio

Privy Purses

Privy Purses Introduction With the passage of the Indian Independence Act, 1947, the British Government granted independence to the areas that were directly under their rule (British India) and left the choice to the princely states to decide their future course of action. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel persuaded these princely states to join Indian Union after independence. In consideration of such princely states signing the Instrument of Accession, the Government of India granted to them

IIT-M team conducts research on cancer-curing properties of turmeric

  IIT-M team conducts research on cancer-curing properties of turmeric Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras have shown that the active compound from the common household spice turmeric — curcumin — can enhance cancer cell death. What is TRAIL TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is an agent with the ability to programme cell death (apoptosis) and has triggered many preclinical studies the world over. While the anti-tumour act

Training Mobilisation Order (TMO)

Training Mobilisation Order (TMO) President Xi Jinping Thursday signed a mobilization order for the training of the armed forces, the first order of the Central Military Commission (CMC) in 2020. Issued by Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the CMC, the order stressed strengthening military training in real combat conditions. It also asked the armed forces to maintain a high level of readiness and step up emergency and combat tr

Y Nalla

Y Nalla The strategic ‘Y Nalla’ near the Shyok-Galwan axis has become the new frontier for Indian and Chinese troops after the construction of a new post and infrastructure in Galwan Valley is believed to have cut-off the traditional access to Patrol Point-14 on Line of Actual Control (LAC). The infrastructure built comprised hardened shelters for troops and defensive positions at the Y-junction. At this junction, the Galwan River takes a sharp bend towards its meeting poin

Bon Bibi

Bon Bibi Bon Bibi is a deity of the Sunder ban forest, west Bengal. The followers of Bon Bibi are fishermen, crab-collectors and honey-gatherers who live in the mangroves with wild animals such as tigers and crocodiles to earn a livelihood. They believe that only Bon Bibi protects them when they enter the forest and survive in tiger dominated areas. People express their belief in Bon Bibi through Bon Bibir Palagaan, it is a centuries-old folk theatre and dramatic storytelling form that is

The Sundarbans Mangrove Forest

The Sundarbans Mangrove Forest The Sundarbans mangrove forest, one of the largest such forests in the world, lies across India and Bangladesh on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal. It is adjacent to the border of India’s Sundarbans World Heritage site inscribed in 1987. The site is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways, mudflats and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove forests, and presents an

All India Tiger Estimation

All India Tiger Estimation All India Tiger Estimation 2018 has entered the Guinness World Record for being the world’s largest camera trap wildlife survey. The fourth iteration of the survey, conducted in 2018-19 was the most comprehensive to date, in terms of both resource and data amassed. According to the report of 2018, India now has an estimated 2967 tigers out of which 2461 individual tigers have been photo captured, about 83 % of the tiger population. With this number, In

Snakebite Mortality

Snakebite Mortality Centre for Global Health Research (CGHR), Canada has recently released a study titled ‘Snakebite Mortality in India: A Nationally Representative Mortality Survey’. The study found that India has recorded 1.2 million snakebite deaths in the 20-year period from 2000 to 2019 with an average of 58,000 deaths caused by snakebite annually. Around 70% of these deaths occurred in low altitude, rural areas of eight States namely Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, B

Ypthima watsoni

Ypthima watsoni Recently, a team of wildlife researchers has rediscovered ‘Ypthima watsoni’ butterfly. The species was last seen in the year 1958 in Manipur. The rediscovery was after 61 years near a village called Phuldungsei in Jampui Hills under the North Tripura district. It is a species of Satyrinae butterfly and commonly known as ‘Looped three-ring’. It was distributed in Assam, Myanmar and Thailand.

Tetrastemma Freyae

Tetrastemma Freyae Recently, researchers have identified a new species of marine invertebrate i.e. 'Tetrastemma Freyae', found along the coast of Tamil Nadu. It feeds on dead and decaying material and helps to recycle nutrients in coastal and deep water sediments. It is associated with sediments and is predatory as it has a role in maintaining the food chain. It uses its proboscis, similar to a butterfly which does to collect nectar. It has neurotoxins in its proboscis which co

Ophiocordyceps Nutans

Ophiocordyceps Nutans Recently, researchers have found Ophiocordyceps nutans (fungi) for the first time in central India, at the Kanger Valley National Park in Bastar, Chhattisgarh. Earlier, these have been reported in India only from the Western Ghats. Ophiocordyceps nutans host on a specific insect, Halyomorpha halys. Halyomorpha halys is commonly known as the stink bug and is a pest to forest trees and agricultural crops. The stink bug is known to damage the flower and fruits of soy

Original antigenic sin

Original antigenic sin Original antigenic sin, also known as the Hoskins effect, refers to the propensity of the body's immune system to preferentially utilize immunological memory based on a previous infection when a second slightly different version of that foreign entity (e.g. a virus or bacterium) is encountered. This leaves the immune system "trapped" by the first response it has made to each antigen, and unable to mount potentially more effective responses during sub

Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE)

Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), sometimes less precisely called immune enhancement or disease enhancement, is a phenomenon in which binding of a virus to non-neutralizing antibodies enhances its entry into host cells, and sometimes also its replication. This phenomenon—which leads to both increased infectivity and virulence—has been observed with mosquito-borne flaviviruses such as Dengue virus, Yellow fever virus and Zika virus,with

Assam Keelback Rediscovered

Assam Keelback Rediscovered The Assam keelback (Herpetoreas pealii), a snake endemic to Assam, has been found 129 years after it was last spotted by British tea planter Samuel Edward Peal in 1891. Key Points The snake was considered a lost species since no sighting had been reported since its discovery in 1891. In 2018, it was found in the Poba Reserve Forest (RF) by a team of scientists from the Wildlife Institute of India (WWI), who were retracing the steps of the Abor Expedition

Issue of Kachchatheevu?

Issue of Kachchatheevu? One of the major reasons complicating the issue is of Kachchatheevu Island. India ceded the uninhabited island to its southern neighbour in 1974 under a conditional accord. In fact, initially the 1974 border agreement did not affect fishing on either sides of the border. In 1976, through an exchange of letter, both India and Sri Lanka agreed to stop fishing in each other’s waters. In 2009, the Sri Lankan government declared Kachchatheevu Island as sacr

Current Account

Current Account The current account measures the flow of goods, services, and investments into and out of the country. It represents a country’s foreign transactions and, like the capital account, is a component of a country’s Balance of Payments (BOP). A nation’s current account maintains a record of the country’s transactions with other nations that includes net income, including interest and dividends, and transfers, like foreign aid. It comprises of foll

Central Zoo Authority

Central Zoo Authority The CZA is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. It was constituted in 1992 under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is chaired by the Environment Minister and has 10 members and a member-secretary. The main objectives of the authority are To complement and strengthen the national effort in conservation of rich biodiversity. The authority provides recognition to zoos and is also tasked with regulating the zoos acro

Namdapha National Park

Namdapha National Park It lies at the international border between India and Myanmar within Changlang District in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The national park is known for Artic climate and Flying squirrel. It is only park in the World to have the four Feline species of big cat namely the Tiger (Panthera Tigris), Leopard (Panthera Pardus), Snow Leopard (Panthera Uncia) Clouded Leopard (Neofelis Nebulosa). Hoolock Gibbons, the only ‘ape’ species fo

ASEEM portal

ASEEM portal Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship  today launched Aatamanirbhar Skilled Employee-Employer Mapping (ASEEM) portal to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities. The portal will map details of workers based on regions and local industry demands and will bridge demand-supply gap of skilled workforce across sectors. ASEEM portal will provide employers a platform to assess the availability of skilled workforce and formulate their hiring

TIGER ORCHID

TIGER ORCHID (GRAMMATOPHYLLUM SPECIOSUM) The Queen of Orchids, Grammatophyllum speciosum, is the largest orchid species in the world. With huge, clump-forming plants weighing as much as two tonnes, it has flower stalks of up to 3 metres long, and a bloom time of up to two months! Native to Southeast Asia, from Myanmar through Malaysia, this warm-growing epiphyte thrives on sturdy tree branches in forests at elevations of 100 to 1,200 metres. The genus name Grammatophyllum comes from

Uniformity in Stamp Duties

Uniformity in Stamp Duties The amendments to the Stamp Act, 1899 was introduced in the Finance Bill, 2019. It has introduced the centralized system of stamp duty with a unified rate for all financial securities transactions with effective from July 1. Union government has created the legal and institutional mechanism to enable states to collect stamp duty on securities market instruments at one place by one agency, through the stock exchange or clearing corporation authorized by it or

Finding on Fish landings

Finding on Fish landings According to Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) India’s marine fish production has registered a marginal increase of 2.1% in 2019 compared to the previous year. Tamil Nadu took the first position in landings of fishes with 7.75 lakh tones. It was followed by Gujarat (7.49 lakh tones) and Kerala (5.44 lakh tones). While States such as West Bengal (55%), Andhra Pradesh (34%), Odisha (14.5%), Karnataka (11%) and Tamil Nadu (10.4%) recorded in

Namami Gange

Namami Gange Namami Gange Programme is an Integrated Conservation Mission, approved as a ‘Flagship Programme’ by the Union Government in June 2014. It is to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution and conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga. It is being operated under the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti. The program is being implemented by the National Mission for Clean Gang

Globba andersonii

Globba andersonii A team of researchers from Pune and Kerala have “rediscovered” a rare and critically endangered plant species called Globba andersonii. It is rediscovered from the Sikkim Himalayas near the Teesta river valley region after a gap of nearly 136 years. The plant, known commonly as ‘dancing ladies’ or ‘swan flowers’ was thought to have been extinct until its “re-collection”, for the first time since 1875.

MSME Emergency Response Programme

MSME Emergency Response Programme World Bank and the Government of India signed an agreement for the MSME Emergency Response Programme. It involves $750 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The loan has a maturity of 19 years including a 5-year grace period. The programme aims to support increased flow of finance into the hands of MSMEs severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. It will support the government in providing targeted guara

Sakteng Wild life Sanctuary

Sakteng Wild life Sanctuary Sakteng is based in Eastern Bhutan, or Trashigang Dzongkhag (district) that borders Arunachal Pradesh. It protects several endemic species including the eastern blue pine and the black-rumped magpie. Bhutan’s foreign ministry has issued a demarche to the Chinese embassy for china’s claim over Sakteng Wildlife sanctuary. The recent claim was made at the 58th meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council, by trying to “oppose&rdqu

Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Global Environment Facility (GEF) It is an international partnership of countries, international institutions, civil society organizations that addresses global environmental issues. It was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. GEF funds are available to developing countries and countries with economies in transition to meet the objectives of the international environmental conventions and agreements. The

SDG Index

SDG Index SDG Index is prepared by teams of independent experts at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). The SDG index frames the implementation of 17 SDG goals among UN member states in terms of six broad transformations: Education and skills, Health and wellbeing, Clean energy and industry, Sustainable land use, Sustainable cities, Digital technologies. According to recent report, Sweden is placed at the top of the index with an overa

Eulophia obtusa

Eulophia obtusa After 100 years a rare orchid species Eulophia obtusa also known as ground orchid has been rediscovered from Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. In India the species is listed as “critically endangered” in the IUCN Red List of endangered species. The species was originally described from Uttarakhand in the 19th century, it was last recorded in Pilibhit in 1902. Later in 2008, the plant species was sighted in Bangladesh for the first time. It was under serious threat

Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA)

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