UPSC Courses

Sea Turtles in India

Sea Turtles in India There are five species of sea turtles in Indian waters — Leatherback, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Green and Olive Ridley. IUCN Status of these turtles are Hawksbill- Critically endangered Green turtle- Endangered Leatherback- Vulnerable Loggerhead- Vulnerable Olive Ridley- Vulnerable Mostly these turtles are found on the eastern coast of the Country. Often turtles are confused with tortoises. The major difference between the tortoise and sea tu

Mount Mayon

Mount Mayon It is an active stratovolcano in the Philippines region Stratovolcano , also known as a composite volcano, is a conical volcano built up by many layers of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and volcanic ash The volcano is the centrepiece of the ALBAY biosphere reserve and Natural Park on its own. Mount Mayon lies in the Pacific ring of fire region, a major area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions oc

Mission Innovation

Mission Innovation The initiative was launched in the Cop21 UNFCCC in 2015. India is a member nation of the global initiative The objectives of the initiative are, To accelerate public and private clean energy innovation To address climate change, Make clean energy affordable to consumers, and Create green jobs and commercial opportunities It will help in achieving India’s INDC of increasing the share of clean and renewable energy in the energy basket

National Institutional Ranking Framework

National Institutional Ranking Framework The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) was approved by the MHRD and launched in 2015. This framework outlines a methodology to rank institutions across the country. The methodology involves various parameters for ranking universities and institutions such as Teaching, Learning and Resources. Research and Professional Practices. Graduation Outcomes. Outreach and Inclusivity. Perception.

Assumption Island - Seychelles

Assumption Island - Seychelles Assumption Island is one of the 115 islands constituting the Seychelles archipelago. India signed a pact to develop Assumption Island, during PM Modi’s visit to Seychelles in 2015. Ironing out the earlier differences, India has now signed a revised agreement with Seychelles. Assumption Island is leased to India for the operation of a naval base and air strip by the Indian navy. The agreement will enable India to help Seychelles build military inf

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) has recommended the introduction of the HPV vaccine in the UIP. NTAGI is an advisory body that recommends vaccines for India’s Universal Immunization Programme (UIP). Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a group of more than 150 viruses. It is usually harmless and goes away by itself. However, some types cause papilloma or warts in parts of the body. HPV spreads by skin-to-skin contact and is the most

Objectionable Content

Objectionable Content The Ministry of Electronics and IT has highlighted that around 1300 social media URLs were blocked or removed in the last year. These were based on the recommendation of a government committee to deal with “objectionable content”. The Information Technology (IT) Act 2000 and the Indian Penal Code provide for dealing with “objectionable content” posted online. Blocking is a sovereign power that is given to the government by virtue of Section 69A

Pulse Polio Immunisation (PPI) - IMMUNISATION PROGRAMME

Pulse Polio Immunisation (PPI) - IMMUNISATION PROGRAMME As part of the National Immunisation Day observed on 28 January, PPI programme for 2018 was launched. More than 17 crore children of less than 5 years across the country will be given polio drops. The polio virus causes paralysis, known as acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). This is characterised by sudden muscle weakness and fever in one or more limbs. India reported its last polio case in 2011 and is also declared polio-free by WHO in 20

Prompt Corrective action (PCA)

Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) Union Finance Ministry as a part of the reforming process about to initiate a performance review for public sector banks. These reforms will be under the RBI’s Prompt Corrective Action (PCA). The PCA is invoked when certain risk thresholds are breached, there are three risk thresholds which are based on Asset quality. Profitability. Capital and the like. The third threshold is the maximum tolerance limit, which has set NPA at over 12% and a

Port Antsiranana, Madagascar

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

United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the year Award

United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award Major Suman Gawain, an Indian Army officer who served as a women peacekeeper with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in 2019 is being awarded the prestigious “United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award” on 29 May 2020. She will receive the award from the UN Secretary-General Mr Antonio Guterres during an online ceremony being organised at the UN Headquarters, New York on the occasion of

Jal Marg Vikas Project – Inland waterways

Jal Marg Vikas Project – Inland waterways JMVP was announced by the union government to enable commercial navigation of at least 1500 tonne vessels on the Ganga River. The project envisages the development of a waterway between Allahabad and Haldia (NW-1) on the Ganga River. It includes the development of fairways, multi-modal terminals, strengthening of open river navigation techniques, conservancy works, and modern river information system. The project is funded by the World Bank

First investment for NIIF

First investment for NIIF Recently a Dubai-based marine firm DP World has partnered with NIIF to create an investment platform for ports, terminals, transportation and logistics businesses in India. National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) is set up to function as a major platform in India for attracting foreign investments to fund stalled infra projects. The NIIF is being operationalized by establishing three Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) under the SEBI Regulations.

Dam Safety

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

Funaria hygrometrica

Funaria hygrometrica Scientists have identified a type of moss that can efficiently absorb a large amount of lead, providing a green alternative for decontaminating polluted water and soil. Funaria hygrometrica is the moss which uses phytoremediation, it is known to grow well in sites contaminated with metals like copper, zinc, and lead. Phytoremediation is a method that uses photosynthesising organisms to clean up soil or water contamination. The Moss cells can absorb lead up to 74 per ce

Urban heat islands

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

‘Rozgar Setu’ scheme

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


Saksham Saksham is a capacity-building program under the Ministry of Rural development. It is a training module which focuses on the use of Remote Sensing and GIS tools for project planning and monitoring components like watersheds, groundwater and geohydrology. **It is not to be confused with project Saksham of the Railway Ministry. Project Saksham It is the nation’s largest time-bound “Upskilling” exercise for its employees to boost their efficiency. Under Project


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

D10 club

D10 club The British government has approached the US with the prospect of creating a 5G club of 10 democracies, including India, amid growing security concerns related to Chinese telecom giant Huawei. A so-called 'D10' club of democratic partners, including G7 countries – UK, US, Italy, Germany, France, Japan and Canada – plus Australia, South Korea and India will aim to create alternative suppliers of 5G equipment and other technologies to avoid relying on China.

Bug Bounty Programme

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

Hansa Jivraj Mehta

Hansa Jivraj Mehta Hansa Jivraj Mehta a social activist who served in the constituent assembly from 1946-1949, was a Padma Bhushan awardee. She was a member of the Fundamental rights sub-committee, the advisory committee and the provincial constitutional committee. Hansa Mehta’s most significant contribution to the constituent assembly debates was in trying to make the Uniform Civil Code(UCC) a justiciable part of the constitution. She also served as a member of the UN sub-committ

Credit scores

Credit scores A credit score determines how creditworthy a person is and helps banks and financial institutions decide on loans. In India, the scores are issued by credit reporting agencies such as CIBIL, Equifax, Experian, Etc. These agencies are regulated by the RBI and collect data from banks on their loans and come up with credit scores through use of algorithms. The data is updated frequently. Credit scores in India range from 300-900. A credit report may be obtained for free once a y

NASA’s Kilopower Project

NASA’s Kilopower Project NASA has invented a small nuclear reactor Kilopower, It can generate a reliable power supply by using the uranium-235 reactor core. This power system could provide up to 10 kilowatts of electrical power enough to run two average households continuously for at least 10 years. This reactor will be used for electronic propulsion systems and for providing safe and plentiful energy for future robotic and human missions to Mars and beyond.

5G technology

5G technology Union telecom ministry had announced that 5G technology will be rolled out in 2020. 5G promises ultra-reliable, very fast speeds and high bandwidth mobile connectivity and supports massively interconnected devices spread across wide areas like the Internet of things (IoT). This would entail accelerating the BharatNet programme for deploying connectivity infrastructures.

Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC)

Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) At present, the Election Commission of India (ECI) is a three-member body, with one Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and two Election Commissioners (EC). Under Article 324(2) of the Constitution of India, the President of India is empowered to appoint the CEC and the ECS. Article 324(2) also empowers the President of India to fix from time to time the number of Election Commissioners other than the CEC. When any other election commis

Automated ocean pollution observation system

Automated ocean pollution observation system The Union government has planned to set up an automated ocean pollution observation system. These systems will be installed in coastal areas of West Bengal, Goa, Mumbai, Kochi, Vishakhapatnam and Chennai. It will help keep a tab on ocean pollution levels apart and provides insights on how the marine system is changing. It is an initiative under National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Eart

Accessible India Campaign (AIC)

Accessible India Campaign (AIC) It is a nationwide flagship campaign of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The aim of the Campaign is to make a barrier-free and conducive environment for differently abled all over the country. For creating universal accessibility for differently abled persons the campaign has been divided into three verticals: Built Environment. Transport. Information &

UN Environment Management Group (EMG)

UN Environment Management Group (EMG) The EMG is a UN system-wide coordination body on environment and human settlements. Its members include the secretariats of the multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and other specialized agencies, programmes and organs of the UN. Representatives of intergovernmental bodies, civil society and international non-governmental organizations can be invited to contribute. The EMG works through technical meetings, Issue Management Groups and task force

Export control regime

Export control regime Australia Group Recently the Australia Group admitted (2018) India as its 43rd participant. India’s entry would contribute to international security and non-proliferation objectives. The Australia Group (AG) is an informal forum of countries which, seeks to ensure export controls over development of chemical or biological weapons. By this AG nations would fulfil their obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Conv

Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering & Technology (CIPET)

Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering & Technology (CIPET) About CIPET Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET) was established in 1968 by the Government of India with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Chennai. The main objective of setting up this specialized institute was to develop manpower in different disciplines of Plastics Engineering & Technology as no similar institute was in existence in the c

Malimath Report

Malimath Report Justice Malimath Committee or The Committee on Reforms of the Criminal Justice System was constituted by the Home Ministry in 2000. The committee submitted its report in 2003 and made recommendations on crime investigation and punishment. The recommendations were never implemented. It is now going to be revisited by the government. One of its key recommendations is admissibility of confessions made before a police officer as evidence in a court of law. Other recommendati


Sholas The Sholas are a mosaic of montane evergreen forests and grasslands. They are found only in high altitude (>1500 metres above sea level) regions within the tropics and are limited to the southern part of the Western Ghats. They are characterised by undulating grassland patches, interspersed with thickets of stunted evergreen tree species. A recent study has indicated that timber plantations, expanding agriculture and the spread of invasive species reduced two-thirds of the shoals

Nilgiri Pipit

Nilgiri Pipit Nilgiri Pipit (Anthus nilghiriensis) is a bird endemic to the Western Ghats of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, southern India. It occurs on grassy upland slopes interspersed with bushes and trees, mainly above 1,500 m, and is commonest over 2,000 m. It is listed as “Vulnerable” in IUCN red list category. It feeds mostly on creeping grass in valleys, but nests in marshy grasslands with slightly taller grasses and sedges, particularly near streams. I

Sangeet Natak Academy

Sangeet Natak Academy The Sangeet Natak Akademi was set up in 1953 for the promotion of performing arts. The Sangeet Natak Akademi is an Autonomous Body under the Ministry of Culture. It acts at the national level for the: Promotion and growth of Indian music, dance and drama; Maintenance of standards of training in the performing arts; Revival, preservation, documentation and dissemination of materials as well as instruments relating to various forms of music, dance and drama.

National Logistics Plan

National Logistics Plan Recently Union government has introduced an ambitious national logistics plan to allow seamless movement of inputs and finished goods across the country. This government aims to come out with the most cost-effective method to transport goods by 2035 to provide a competitive edge to the Indian industry. The logistics division in the commerce department is in talks with logistics providing ministries of railways, roadways, shipping, inland waterways and civil avi

Lalit Kala Akademi

Lalit Kala Akademi Lalit Kala Akademi (National Academy of Fine Arts) is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Culture. It has headquarters in New Delhi and regional centres in Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow and Shimla. Lalit Kala Akademi is the nodal agency of the Government of India to promote an understanding of Indian art, both within and outside the country. The Akademi conducts international exhibitions on contemporary art in New Delhi every three years. It also

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA)

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

Operation Digital board

Operation Digital Board The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) recently passed a resolution to take steps toward Operation Digital Board. The idea of Operation Digital Board is aimed at providing better digital education in all schools. These steps will be on the lines of Operation Blackboard of 1987, which was started with the purpose of providing minimum basic facilities to all primary schools. This will offer new opportunities and ways of teaching and learning in schools. CABE i

Charu Mussel

Invasive mussel spreads in backwaters An invasive mussel native to the South and Central American coasts is spreading quickly in the backwaters of Kerala, elbowing out other mussel and clam species and threatening the livelihoods of fishermen engaged in molluscan fisheries. The rapid spread of the Charu mussel (Mytella strigata) may have been triggered by Cyclone Ockhi which struck the region in 2017, according to a paper published in the Journal of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries.

Farthest known galaxy

Farthest known galaxy NASA has spotted the farthest known galaxy in the universe, a primitive cluster of stars just 500 million years old. The galaxy was named SPT0615-JD. Preliminary analysis suggests that the galaxy is less than 2,500 light-years across. A galaxy is a huge collection of gas, dust, and billions of stars and their solar systems. A galaxy is held together by gravity. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, also has a supermassive black hole in the middle.


UMANG App UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) is envisaged to make e-governance. It is developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to drive Mobile Governance in India. It provides a unified approach where citizens can install one application to avail of multiple government services. The app services include Aadhaar, DigiLocker, and Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS). Etc.

Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (1958)

Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (1958) The Union government has tabled amendments to Ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains active in the parliament. The Lok Sabha passed the amendments to the Act, but the Bill is yet to be cleared by the Rajya Sabha. The Act originally instituted conservation measures and banned construction activities near protected monuments. The amendment now allows carrying out public works within the 100 m prohibited zo

FDI in single brand retail

FDI in single-brand retail The Union government has decided to allow 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in single-brand retail trading through the automatic route. The single-brand retail chain is expected to sell all its products under only one label across its store, for example Burger King, KFC, Levis. If an MNC operates a single-brand retail chain, the product must also be sold under the same brand name globally. The MNC must also source 30 per cent of its purchases for the b

Orange Passports and LOTUS mark on PASSPORT

Orange Passports and LOTUS mark on PASSPORT Ministry of External Affairs has decided to offer an orange-coloured passport to travellers who require an emigration check. By this ECR status would be issued a passport with an orange-coloured, non-ECR status will continue to get blue passports. ECR status As per the Emigration Act, 1983, certain categories of Indian passport holders require obtaining an ‘Emigration Clearance’ for going to certain countries. Emigration, as per

Chiru Goat

Chiru Goat Chiru goat is also known as the Tibetan antelope. It is native of China (Tibet, Xinjiang region) and India (North Eastern Ladakh region) and is regionally extinct in Nepal. Its numbers and distribution have decreased sharply as a result of commercial hunting for the underfur for the making of shawls. In India, it is killed for making of the famous Shahtoosh shawls, which is renowned for its quality from Srinagar. In 2017, it has been included in “Near Threatened”

Aadhaar Face Authentication

Aadhaar Face Authentication The Unique Identification Authority of India has decided to enable Face Authentication for validating Aadhaar cards from July 2018. Currently, the UIDAI provides two modes of biometric verification: fingerprint authentication and iris authentication. Face authentication will be allowed only in fusion mode along with one more authentication factor either fingerprint or iris or OTP to authenticate an Aadhaar number holder. Face authentication will only be al


LEADS Index Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index is a composite indicator to assess international trade logistics across states and Union territories. It is based on a stakeholders’ survey conducted by Deloitte for the Ministry of commerce and industry. Gujarat topped the first-of-its-kind index, and Punjab and Andhra Pradesh took the second and third positions, respectively. The index is loosely based on the World Bank’s biannual Logistics Performance Inde

Kala Azar

Kala Azar India has missed the 2017 deadline for the elimination of Kala Azar. Elimination is defined as reducing the annual incidence of Kala Azar to less than 1 case per 10,000 people at the sub-district level. Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), also known as kala-azar, is caused by the protozoan Leishmania parasites. It is transmitted to humans through infected sandflies. It is characterized by irregular bouts of fever, weight loss, enlargement of the spleen and liver, and anaemia. T

International termination charges (ITC)

International termination charges (ITC) The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) cut termination charges for international incoming calls to Landline and wireless connections. International termination charges (ITC) are payable by an international long-distance operator (ILDO), which carries calls from outside the country, to an access provider in the country in whose network the call terminates. ITC is one of the sources of foreign earnings for the country.

North Koel reservoir

North Koel reservoir A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation for the completion of the North Koel reservoir project. Part of the fund for this project is derived under PMKSY’s LTIF- Long term Irrigation Fund and the rest from the state government's contributions. The project is situated on North Koel River, a tributary of the Sone River. It will provide irrigation to most backward and drought-pro

SAREX – 18

SAREX – 18 It is a joint search and rescue exercise between India and Japan to help increase mutual understanding in Anti-Piracy operations. During the exercise, helicopters of the Japan and Indian Coast Guard will perform cross-landing operations to improve compatibility between the two forces at Chennai. Japanese coast guard ship “Tsugaru”, a patrol vessel with helicopters will participate in this exercise.


Pratyush Pratyush is an array of computers recently unveiled in India. It can deliver a peak power of 6.8 petaflops. One petaflop is a million billion floating point operations per second and is a reflection of the computing capacity of a system. The machines will be installed at two government institutes: the 4.0 petaflops HPC facility at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune & 2.8 petaflops facility at the National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast, No

Mankidia Tribe

Mankidia Tribe Mankind is one of the 13 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) in Odisha. They critically depend on making rope with small fibre that’s richly available in Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR). They were denied habitat rights inside the STR under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. So they would now be deprived of the non-timber forest produce. This is because the State Forest Department has objected

Nuclear Command Authority (NCA)

Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) It is responsible for command, control and operational decisions regarding India's nuclear weapons programme. The organisational structure of NCA includes Political Council and Executive Council. Executive Council is headed by the National Security Advisor and Political Council is headed by Prime Minister. The Executive Council gives its opinion to the Political Council, which authorises a nuclear attack when deemed necessary. This kind of organisat

NASA’s Mission to explore Ionosphere

NASA’s Mission to explore Ionosphere NASA has announced two missions to explore the little-understood area of 96 km above Earth’s surface. The two missions Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) and Ionospheric Connection Explorer(ICON) will team up to explore the ionosphere. ICON will be in low-Earth orbit, at 560 km above Earth, like a close-up camera while GOLD will be in a geostationary orbit over the Western Hemisphere, about 35,398 km above the planet&rsquo

Labelling organic products

Labelling organic products The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had issued regulations that required food companies selling organic produce to get certified by either authority. Certificate issuing authorities will be National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) or the Participatory Guarantee System for India (PGS-India). Companies could also get a voluntary logo from the FSSAI that marked their produce as ‘organic.’ It will be implemented from July 2018, a

Nayachar Islands

Nayachar Islands Nayachar is a newly emerged island with a mangrove ecosystem in the middle estuary of the Hooghly River in West Bengal. This land mass was created in the Indian Sunderbans by river silt deposits, and remained largely submerged, rising occasionally above the water level. Till 1990 it was completely barren, with hardly any plant or animal species, at present there are 151 animal species on the island, making it a rare case in ecology. The natural succession of species on the is

India builds state-of-the-art training facility for Ugandan defence forces

India builds state-of-the-art training facility for Ugandan defence forces The Indian Association Uganda (IAU), in association with the Indian Military Advisory and Training Team there, handed over a state-of-the-art military training facility to Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF). The war game centre, named ‘INDIA’, was inaugurated by Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda The centre was conceptualised by the Indian Military Team and constructed by

Mizoram grants ‘industry’ status to sports

Mizoram grants ‘industry’ status to sports The northeastern state of Mizoram has accorded ‘industry’ status to sports. The Cabinet cleared the Sports and Youth Service department’s proposal to recognise sports as an ‘industry’ in the state. The idea was first proposed in 2019 as part of the state sports policy by the ruling Mizo National Front government. According to him, the main aim of the decision is to professionalise sports in the state. &ldq

The IMD via UMANG App

The IMD via UMANG App The UMANG mobile app (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance)  is a Government of India all-in-one single, unified, secure, multi-channel, multi-platform, multi-lingual, multi-service mobile app, powered by a robust back-end platform providing access to high impact services of various organizations (Central and State).  Prime Minister of India launched the UMANG App in 2017 to bring major government services on a single mobile app, with a large

‘ReSTART’ policy

‘ReSTART’ policy Factoring the hardships faced by the MSMEs during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Andhra Pradesh government has come up with a ?1,110-crore ‘ReSTART’ policy boost. This is to provide some relief at a time when the economy has come to a standstill, severely affecting the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands dependent on MSME sector. In Andhra Pradesh alone, around one lakh MSMEs provide employment to more than 10 lakh people. The ReSTART package in

Agappe Chitra Magna

Agappe Chitra Magna Agappe Chitra Magna is a magnetic nanoparticle-based RNA extraction kit for use during testing for detection of COVID-19. The RNA extraction kit was developed by Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Trivandrum, an Institute of National Importance of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) along with Agappe Diagnostics Ltd, an in vitro diagnostics manufacturing company based in Cochin. Advantages The commercial la

Alternative dwarfing genes in wheat can eliminate rice crop residue burning

Alternative dwarfing genes in wheat can eliminate rice crop residue burning In India, close to twenty-three million tonnes of leftover rice residues are annually burnt by farmers to get rid of the straw and prepare their fields for sowing wheat, which is the next crop, resulting in air pollution. Also, dry environments pose a challenge for the germination of wheat varieties with short coleoptiles. To overcome these problems, Scientists at Pune-based Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), a

Bomb Cyclone

Bomb Cyclone It’s a weather term that applies to a massive winter storm that struck off the U.S. Southeast, the storm has dumped freak snow in this region. This storm will usually stay out to sea and blow with high winds gusts exceeding 100 kmph. Bomb cyclones draw air from Polar Regions after they leave it means extra cold Arctic air this is based on polar vortex. Storm intensity is measured by central pressure the lower the pressure, the stronger. A storm is considered a “bom

Milk under price stabilisation fund

Milk under price stabilisation fund To create additional domestic demand for milk the agriculture ministry has sought inclusion of the milk under the Price Stabilisation Fund scheme. If milk is included in the Price Stabilisation Fund, it would enable states to distribute milk through the public distribution system. The Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) was set up under the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Famers Welfare (DAC&FW) and later transferred to the Department of Cons

National Tobacco Control Policy

National Tobacco Control Policy The Union government is planning to propose a policy for enforcing various provisions of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products. As of now Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution Act, 2003 (COTPA 2003), lies with the States/Union Territories. At present, there is a National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) with one objective of ensuring effective implementation of the provisions under COTPA, 2

Tabby's star

Tabby's star Tabby’s star is the “most mysterious star in the universe” as it kept dimming and brightening irregularly, following no pattern. Officially called KIC 8462852, the star is 1,000 light years away from the Earth and 1,000 degrees hotter than the Sun. There was a 20% decrease in brightness and the dip lasted from five to 80 days. A recent report showed that the dimming is caused by ordinary dust particles, the majority of them at a size less than one microme

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) The IPCC is an international body for the assessment of climate change, it was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The IPCC reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change. It does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate-related data or parameters.


Cryosphere Cryosphere refers to the frozen part of the earth's surface. It might be comprised of snow, river and lake ice, sea ice, glaciers, ice shelves and ice sheets, and frozen grounds. This region plays a major role in the Earth’s climate system through its impact on the surface energy budget, the water cycle, and sea level. It is a fundamental control of the physical, biological and social environment over a large part of the Earth’s surface. The cryosphere is a

Ozone Depletion

Ozone Depletion Scientists have observed for the first time that levels of ozone-destroying chlorine are declining, resulting in less ozone depletion. There has been an international ban on chlorine-containing human-made chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Measurements show that this has resulted in about 20% less ozone depletion during the Antarctic winter than there was in 2005. Stratospheric ozone protects life on the planet by absorbing potentially harmful ultraviolet radiatio

No Development Zone

No Development Zone The River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016 provides that the bank of River Ganga, its tributaries or the active flood area of them shall be a construction free zone. It also prohibits the construction of any structure for residential or commercial or industrial or any other purposes. The National Green Tribunal has been directed to identify and demarcate the flood plains of river Ganga from Haridwar to Unnao. Once the demarcation o

Zojila Tunnel

Zojila Tunnel It is an upcoming project in J&K that aims at providing all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh. The project has been approved on the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode. It holds strategic and socio-economic significance, given the fact that the region of Leh has limited connectivity due to the threat of avalanches. The project will be executed by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRT&H).

The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017

The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2017 It seeks to amend the Negotiable Instruments Act, of 1881.  A negotiable instrument is a document that promises payment to a specified person. E.g Cheque The Act defines promissory notes, bills of exchange, and cheques.  It also specifies penalties for bouncing of cheques and other violations with respect to such negotiable instruments.


WAG12 The loco is named WAG12 with Number 60027. It was a proud moment for Indian Railways, as it became 6th country in the world to join the elite club of producing high horse power locomotives indigenously. It is the first time, a high horsepower locomotive has been operationalised on a broad gauge track in the world. The locomotive has been produced under Make in India programme. The Madhepura factory is the largest integrated Green Field facility built to the highest standards

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Solibacillus kalamii Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the foremost lab of NASA for work on interplanetary travel, discovered the new bacteria on the filters of the International Space Station (ISS) and named it Solibacillus kalamii to honour the late President. Even as it orbits the earth some 400 kilometres above, the ISS is home to many types of bacteria and fungi. These spore formers tend to withstand high radiation and also produce some useful compounds protein-wise which will

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Mattu Gulla growers hope to make profits before the season ends With Udupi district coming under the green zone, prospects have brightened for the growers of Mattu Gulla, brinjal enjoying the Geographical Indication (GI) tag, owing to improvement in transportation and relaxation in lockdown hours. Mattu Gulla is grown by about 150 farmers in Mattu and its surrounding villages, on 129 hectares in the district. This brinjal is known for its unique taste, and a curry prepared from t

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China’s experimental spaceship works normally in orbit China's new-generation spaceship launched earlier in the week is working normally in orbit after completing a series of planned operations The experimental spaceship was launched without crew by China's new large carrier rocket Long March-5B from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre in Hainan. So far, the new spaceship has unfolded its solar panels and positioned them towards the sun, deployed its relay antenna and establishe

3 drug regimen in Phase 2 trial for COVID-19

Phase-2 trial with three drugs offers hope Introduction A phase-2 trial involving participants with mild to moderate coronavirus (COVID-19) illness found no detectable virus within an average seven days of starting treatment with a three-drug regimen compared with 12 days in people in the control group. Samples tested for the virus comprised nasopharyngeal swab, posterior oropharyngeal saliva, throat swab, and stool samples. Clinical Improvement Clinical improvement was also sign

NTPC to provide Hydrogen Fuel Cell based electric buses and cars in Leh and Delhi

NTPC to provide Hydrogen Fuel Cell based electric buses and cars in Leh and Delhi National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) has invited Global Expression of Interest (EoI) to provide 10 Hydrogen Fuel Cell (FC) based electric buses and an equal number of Hydrogen Fuel Cell based electric cars in Leh and Delhi.  The EoI has been issued by NTPC's wholly owned subsidiary, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam LIMITED. The move to procure Hydrogen Fuel Cell based vehicles is first of its ki

Ayush Sanjivani application

Ayush Sanjivani application Context Health Minister Sh. Harsh Vardhan and Minister of State for AYUSH  Sh. Shripad Yesso Naik jointly launched clinical research studies on Ayurveda interventions as an add-on to standard care to COVID-19 situation and Ayush Sanjivani application today at New Delhi. About the Ayush Sanjivani app The Ministry of AYUSH and MEITY has developed Ayush Sanjivani mobile app, for generating data on a large population with a target of 5 million people.

Band-like clouds seen over Sun’s neighbour-Luhman 16A

Band-like clouds seen over Sun’s neighbour-Luhman 16A A group of international astrophysicists have identified cloud bands on the surface of Luhman 16A, one of a pair of binary brown dwarfs in the Vela constellation. They have used an idea put forth Indian astrophysicist Sujan Sengupta, who is at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru, that the light emitted by a cloudy brown dwarf, or reflected off an extrasolar planet, will be polarised. He suggested that a polari

Nsafe mask

Nsafe mask IIT-Delhi start-up ‘Nanosafe Solutions’ has launched an antimicrobial and washable face mask ‘NSafe’. The said mask is reusable up to 50 launderings, thus greatly cutting down the cost of use. IIT-Delhi said that the ‘NSafe’ mask is a triple-layered product consisting of : 1.inner hydrophilic layer for comfort, 2.middle layer having antimicrobial activity and 3.outer most layer having water and oil repellent behaviour. &ldquo

Vande Bharat Mission one of the largest evacuation mission

Vande Bharat Mission is one of the largest evacuation mission In one of the largest evacuation exercises named Vande Bharat Mission, the government will operate 64 flights between the 7th and 13th of May to bring home nearly 14,800 Indian nationals stranded abroad due to the Coronavirus lockdown. Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar said that preparations for the operation have commenced and also urged the stranded individuals to stay in touch with the Indian embassies in their countrie

Microwave  Oven as Sterilisation unit-COVID-19

Microwave  Oven as Sterilisation unit-COVID-19 Rajat Kumar Panigrahy, Principal of the Government Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in Odisha’s Berhampur, has started transforming discarded microwave ovens into Ultraviolet (UV) sanitisation chambers for the disinfection of mobile phones, pens and other small objects carried by medical staff working in COVID-19 hospitals. Transformation of a thrown-away microwave oven into a UV sanitisation chamber costs only  1,200. Any e

Israel isolates Coronavirus antibody

Israel isolates Coronavirus antibody The “monoclonal neutralising antibody” developed at the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) “can neutralise it (the disease-causing coronavirus) inside carriers’ bodies The IIBR has been leading Israeli efforts to develop a treatment and vaccine for the coronavirus, including the testing of blood from those who recovered from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus. Antibodies in such samples - immune

Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD)

Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by a deficiency of certain enzymes (branched-chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase complex) required to break down (metabolize) the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) [Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine] in the body. The result of this metabolic failure is that all three BCAAs, along with their various byproducts, accumulate abnormally throughout the body. In the classic, severe

Operation Samudra Setu

Operation Samudra Setu   Indian Navy on Tuesday launched 'Operation Samudra Setu' (Sea Bridge) sending naval ships INS Jalashwa and INS Magar to the Port of Malè, Republic of Maldives Operation Samudra Setu will commence evacuation operations from 08 May 2020 as part of Phase-1 INS Jalashwa (Landing Platform Dock or LPD) has a full load displacement of 17,521 tonnes and INS Magar (Landing Platform Tank) is an amphibious warfare vessel with a displacement of 5,750

UV Blaster

UV Blaster: DRDO develops WiFi-enabled UV disinfection tower The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection tower that can be used for rapid and chemical-free disinfection of infection-prone areas. "UV blaster" is a UV-based area sanitiser designed and developed by Laser Science & Technology Centre (LASTEC), DRDO's Delhi-based premier laboratory. The equipment has six lamps each with 43 watts of UV-C power at 254

Foreign Currency Assets (FCA)

Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) FCAs are assets that are valued based on a currency other than the country's own currency. FCA is the largest component of the forex reserve. It is expressed in dollar terms. The FCAs include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US units like the euro, pound and yen held in the foreign exchange reserves. Special drawing rights (SDR) The SDR is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to sup

Thrissur Pooram

Thrissur Pooram For the first time since its inception, Thrissur Pooram will be observed with rituals within the temple premises with just a few participants. This was done in the wake of the lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Thrissur Pooram is an annual Hindu festival held in Kerala. It is celebrated on the day when the star sign “Pooram” occurs in the Malayalam month of “medam (April-May)”. The festival was t

‘BHARATMARKET’ for retail traders

‘BHARATMARKET’ for retail traders CAIT said the marketplace will integrate the capabilities of various technology companies to provide end-to-end services in the logistics and supply chains from manufacturers to end consumers, including deliveries at home. The e-commerce portal will include nationwide participation by retailers and aims to bring 95 per cent of retail traders on board the platform, who would exclusively run the portal. The initiative has had the active support a

Forex reserves fall $113 mn to $479.45 bn

Forex reserves fall $113 mn to $479.45 bn In the previous week, the reserves had increased by $3.09 billion to $479.57 billion. After rising for the past few weeks, the country’s foreign exchange reserves declined $113 million to $479.45 billion in the week to April 24, due to a fall in foreign currency assets, according to the latest data from the Reserve Bank of India. In the previous week, the reserves had increased by $3.09 billion to $479.57 billion. The reserves had touched

Researchers in Canada are using algae to develop CoVID 19 test kits

Researchers in Canada are using algae to develop CoVID 19 test kits The team collaborated with Canadian integrated energy company Suncor to develop algae as a production factory to make necessary proteins to identify COVID-19 antibodies in someone previously infected with the disease. The researchers noted that one of the limiting factors in developing large-scale serological testing is the ability to make significant quantities of viral proteins on a cost-effective basis. According to th

Kashmir saffron gets GI tag

Kashmir saffron gets GI tag Kashmir saffron, which is cultivated and harvested in the Karewa (highlands) of Jammu and Kashmir, has been given the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Geographical Indications Registry. The spice is grown in some regions of Kashmir, including Pulwama, Budgam, Kishtwar and Srinagar. The application was filed by the Directorate of Agriculture, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, and facilitated by the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and T

Ethnic clashes in Central African Republic

Ethnic clashes in the Central African Republic In the Central African Republic, 25 people were killed and 51 others injured in clashes in the northeast part of the country. Between armed groups in Ndele led to the deaths of several civilians. Humanitarian workers, however, said that members of the Popular Front for the Rebirth of the Central African Republic (FPRC) had clashed in Ndele the previous day. FPRC last year split into two factions: the Runga ethnic group on one side

Microwave steriliser - ATULYA

 Microwave steriliser - ATULYA Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, Pune has developed a microwave steriliser named as ATULYA to disintegrate COVID-19. The virus gets disintegrated by differential heating in the range of 56 degree to 60 degree Celsius temperatures. The product is cost effective solution, which can be operated in portable or fixed installations. This system was tested for human and operator safety and has been found to be safe. Depending upon size and shape of var

Chuni Goswami

Chuni Goswami Former India football captain Chuni Goswami, 82, passed away in Kolkata on Thursday after a prolonged illness. The captain of the 1962 Asian Games gold-medal winning team, Goswami had also represented Bengal in first-class cricket tournaments. Under his captaincy, the Indian football team won gold at the 1962 Asian Games, finished runner-up at the Asian Cup in 1964 and narrowly lost to Burma in Mardeka football six months later. In club football, Goswami always played for M

GI tag to Manipur black rice, Gorakhpur terracotta

GI tag to Manipur black rice, Gorakhpur terracotta Introduction Both products have been in circulation for centuries and are important sources of income. Chak-Hao, the black rice of Manipur and the Gorakhpur terracotta have bagged the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. Chinnaraja G. Naidu, deputy registrar, Geographical Indications, confirmed that the GI tag had been given for the two products on Thursday. Chak-Hao The application for Chak-Hao was filed by the Consortium o

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