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 Recently, researchers from the S.N. Bose National Centre For Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Kolkata have developed a device called “AJO-Neo '' to measure the neonatal bilirubin levels. 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 the measurement of neonatal bilirubin levels 

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 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 the 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 weather information and forecasts to the general public in a lucid manner without technical jargon. 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 World-Cl

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 on 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 Nature and the founder of the 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 grant assistance for the reconstruction of the histor

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 labourers, working primarily in the construction and domestic sectors in Gulf Cooperation Council member states and a few neighbouring countries. The system requires all unskilled labourers 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 exploi

Mission Indradhanush

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 to 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).

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 the going green Initiative of the Ministry of Coal. Under this initiative, large-scale plantations 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 are

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 the bacterium Yersinia pestis. The other two are Septicaemic plague and Pneumonic plague. According to


YuWaah UNICEF 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 to identify and scale impactful delivery models. Union Ministry of Youth Affairs has recently signed a Statement of Intent with Yu

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 originating from Amazon Basin, South America. It has spread mainly to the tropics and subtropics since the 1800s. Water hyacinth has been considered an invasive aquatic plant in the United States since 1984, in Africa since the early 1900s,


Sero-surveillance Recently, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) conducted a sero-surveillance study for Covid-19 in New Delhi. NCDC is under the 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 


'Manodarpan'  Recently, the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) 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 will

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 medical car

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 a 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

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 o

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 Himalayas 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 to re


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 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 the S

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 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 inflammation

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-Paper-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 in face-to-face mode to improve learning outcomes at the elementary level in the country. The covid-19 pandemic situation and lockdown hav

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 to 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, and Skill Development and offers a great opportunity to integrate with the ambitious targets of doubling Farmer's Income, Import Reduction, Emp

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 Himalayas have shown a sharp increase in carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and ozone during high fire activity peri

Privy Purses

Privy Purses Introduction With the passage of the Indian Independence Act, of 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 t

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

  IIT-M team conducts research on the 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

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 Galway Valley is believed to have cut off the traditional access to Patrol Point-14 on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The infrastructure built comprised hardened shelters for troops and defensive positions at the Y-junction. At this junction, the Galway River takes a sharp bend towards its me

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 resources 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, I

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 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,

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 the 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,

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 the conservation of rich biodiversity. The authority provides recognition to zoos and is also tasked with regulating the zoos

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 its Artic climate and Flying squirrels. 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’ speci

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 with a platform to assess the availability of a skilled workforce and formulate their hiring


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 were introduced in the Finance Bill, 2019. It has introduced the centralized system of stamp duty with a unified rate for all financial securities transactions 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 by

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 the increased flow of finance into the hands of MSMEs severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. It will support the government in providing targeted g

Sakteng Wild life Sanctuary

Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary Sakteng is based in Eastern Bhutan, or Trashigang Dzongkhag (district) which 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 the Sakteng Wildlife sanctuary. The recent claim was made at the 58th meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council, by trying to “oppose&

Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Global Environment Facility (GEF) It is an international partnership of countries, international institutions, and 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 develop countries and countries with economies in transition to meet the objectives of the international environmental conventions and agreements. Th

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 obtuse also known as the 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 thr

Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA)

Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, extends to the whole of India. Any person, who commits an offence beyond India, which is punishable under this Act, shall be dealt with according to the provisions of this Act in the same manner as if such act had been committed in India. The provisions of this Act apply also to Citizens of India outside India; Persons in the service of the Government, wherever they may be; and Persons on s


Zardoszi Zardozi work is a type of embroidery predominant in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is a type of heavy and elaborate metal embroidery on silk, satin, or velvet fabric base. It was patronized by the Mughals that involves weaving metallic threads. Designs are often created using gold and silver threads and can incorporate pearls, beads, and precious stones. However, in recent times craftsmen make use of a combination of copper wire, with a golden or silver pol


CAATSA Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), aims at taking punitive measures against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. It was passed in the backdrop of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections. It primarily deals with sanctions on the Russian oil and gas industry, defence and security sector, and financial institutions. It empowers the US President to impose at least 5 of 12 li

USA’s Withdrawal from WHO

USA’s Withdrawal from WHO USA administration has formally notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from the World Health Organization. Although the pullout won’t take effect until next year, meaning it could be rescinded under a new administration if circumstances change. The measure has been taken after USA’s disappointment with WHO’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and accused of bowing to Chinese influence. Under the terms of the withdrawal, the&nb

CogX Awards

CogX Awards CogX is a prestigious Global Leadership Summit and Festival of AI and Emerging Technology held annually in London. The awards are given out to the best-of-the-best in AI and emerging technologies across the world. MyGov is the world’s largest citizen engagement platform. It facilitates two-way communication between the Government and citizens and facilitates participatory governance in India. MyGov, JioHaptik Technologies Limited and WhatsApp team collaborated to devel

Climate Vulnerable Forum

Climate Vulnerable Forum It is an international partnership of countries highly vulnerable to a warming planet. The forum serves as a South-South cooperation platform for participating governments to act together to deal with global climate change. The Forum first met in the Maldives in November 2009. Other initiatives are taken by CVF to deal with climate change: **Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance of the Climate

World’s First Online Climate Summit

World’s First Online Climate Summit World leaders are set to participate in an innovative climate change summit that will take place entirely online which makes it a carbon-neutral summit. By contrast, the UN's COP21 climate talks in Paris in 2015 generated about 43,000 tons of carbon dioxide, although much of this was later offset through carbon-credit schemes. The Virtual Climate Summit is the brainchild of Marshall Islands President, whose nation

Stars and Lithium Production

Stars and Lithium Production Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Recently, scientists from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) have provided evidence for the first time that Lithium (Li) production is common among low mass Sun-like stars during their Helium (He) core burning phase. IIA is an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. Findings of the Study: Scienti

Marmots and Plague

Marmots and Plague Recently, reports of an outbreak of bubonic plague in Mongolia, China and far east Russia have emerged, caused mainly by Tarbagan Marmot (a species of Marmot). It has been compared to the Covid-19 pandemic which was apparently spread by the consumption of bat meat.   Marmot (genus Marmota) belongs to the squirrel family (Sciuridae) within the order Rodentia. These have almost 15 s

India's Largest Butterfly

India's Largest Butterfly Recently, a Himalayan butterfly known as Golden Birdwing (Troides Aeacus) has been discovered as India’s largest butterfly after 88 years. It has replaced an unknown specimen that a British army officer Brigadier Evans had recorded in 1932. Discovery: The female was recorded from Didihat in Uttarakhand, the male was from the Wankhar Butterfly Museum in Shillong, Meghalaya. Characteristics

Ambarnaya river

Ambarnaya river It is located in the Arctic Ocean near Siberia The Ambarnaya River, into which the oil has been discharged, is part of a network that flows into the environmentally sensitive Arctic Ocean. The state-owned TASS news agency reported that the emergency measures were announced within Russia’s Krasnoyarsk Region, located in the vast and sparsely populated Siberian peninsula. How did the leak happen? The thermoelectric power plant at Norilsk is built on


Donyi-Polo Donyi-Polo (also Donyi-Poloism) is the designation given to the indigenous religion, of animistic and shamanic type, of the Tani and other Tibeto-Burman peoples of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam in North-eastern India. The name "Donyi-Polo" means "Sun-Moon", and was chosen for the religion in the process of its revitalisation and institutionalisation started in the 1970s in response to inroads made by Christianity and the possibility of absorption into Hinduis

Nagarahole National Park: Man Animal Conflict

Nagarahole National Park: Man Animal Conflict Recently, the Karnataka Forest Department has decided to put in place a traffic monitoring mechanism along the roads adjacent to Nagarahole National Park. Time-stamped Card System: The forest department will introduce a time-stamped card system for vehicles passing through the roads, adjacent to Nagarahole National Park, which have high traffic density 24x7. It is also known as ‘Rajiv Gandhi N

Kaziranga National Park: Floods

Kaziranga National Park: Floods According to Kaziranga National Park authorities around 80% of its area has been inundated due to floods. Location: It is located in the State of Assam and covers 42,996 Hectares (ha). It is the single largest undisturbed and representative area in the Brahmaputra Valley floodplain over Mikir and Rengama hills. It was declared a National Park in 1974. It has been declared a tiger reserve since 2

Expat Quota Bill Approved in Kuwait

Expat Quota Bill Approved in Kuwait Recently, the legal and legislative committee of Kuwait’s National Assembly approved the draft ex-pat (expatriate) quota bill. According to the bill, Indians should not exceed 15% of the population and if it is enacted into law, over 8 lakh Indians could be forced out of Kuwait. Kuwait is a country located in the Persian Gulf region. The draft expat quota bill has been deemed constitutional and will b

G4 Virus

G4 Virus GS-PAPER-III DISEASES (PT-I.V) Recently, scientists have identified a new strain of Swine Flu (H1N1) virus namely, G4 EA H1N1. It has started infecting Chinese pigs and also has the potential of triggering a pandemic. Risk Involved: G4 EA H1N (also known as G4) replicates efficiently in human airway paths and so far, has infected a few people without actually making them ill. Thus, greater vigilance in monitoring people is

Mahajobs Portal

Mahajobs Portal The Maharashtra Government has launched a portal named ‘Mahajobs’ for job seekers and employers, owing to the economic situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Aim: To make local manpower available to companies and employment opportunities to workers. Functioning: The job seekers and providers/industrial units can register themselves on the Portal. The Portal has identified 17 sectors including engineerin

Most populous city in the World

Most populous city in the World Tokyo is the most populous city in the World. Delhi will overtake it by 2030. According to the report called World Urbanisation Prospects 2018 by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the population of Delhi and its immediate neighbourhood is now estimated to be 29 million, second only to Tokyo with 37 million people.

IIT-M develops nano-coated filter for healthcare workers

IIT-M develops nano-coated filters for healthcare workers The nylon-based nano-coated filter uses polymer coating on cellulose paper and was developed using an electro-spinning process. The coating properties are optimised to efficiently remove sub-micron-sized dust particles in the air. The filter media is currently being field-tested and once validated through field trials it will be recommended for bulk manufacturing, the researchers have said. The project is being fund

Global Health Security (GHS) Index

Global Health Security (GHS) Index The Global Health Security (GHS) Index is the first comprehensive assessment and benchmarking of health security and related capabilities across the 195 countries that make up the States Parties to the International Health Regulations (IHR [2005]). The GHS Index is a project of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (JHU) and was developed with The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). These organizations b

Zardozi embroidery

Zardozi embroidery Zardozi embroidery is beautiful metal embroidery, which was once used to embellish the attire of the Kings and the royals in India. It was also used to adorn the walls of the royal tents, scabbards, wall hangings and the paraphernalia of regal elephants and horses. Zardozi embroidery work involves making elaborate designs, using gold and silver threads. Further adding to the magnificence of the work are the studded pearls and precious stones. Zardosi embroidery h

Sakteng Wildlife sanctuary

Sakteng Wildlife sanctuary It is located in the eastern sector of Bhutan. It is claimed by China. It is closer to Arunachal Pradesh. It is one of the country's protected areas. It is listed as a tentative site in Bhutan's Tentative List for UNESCO inclusion.

Great Oxidation Event (GOE)

Great Oxidation Event (GOE) The Great Oxidation Event (GOE), sometimes also called the Great Oxygenation Event, Oxygen Catastrophe, Oxygen Crisis, Oxygen Holocaust, or Oxygen Revolution, was a time period when the Earth's atmosphere and the shallow ocean experienced a rise in oxygen, approximately 2.4 billion years ago (2.4 Ga) to 2.1–2.0 Ga during the Paleoproterozoic era. Geological, isotopic, and chemical evidence suggests that biologically produced molecular oxygen (dioxyge

Rules applicable in the Contiguous Zone

Rules applicable in the Contiguous Zone Within the contiguous zone, a State has the right to both prevent and punish infringement of fiscal, immigration, sanitary, and customs laws within its territory and territorial sea. Unlike the territorial sea, the contiguous zone only gives jurisdiction to a State on the ocean's surface and floor. Contiguous Zone is 24 nautical miles from the main coastline. Recently the UNCLOS’s Permanent Arbitration Council has handed over the


Bostwana It has the world’s largest number of elephants at about 1.3 lacs. Okavango Delta is located here Recently over 350 elephants died and the causes are unknown which can be due to anthrax.  

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