UPSC Courses

Pilibhit tiger reserve gets the first TX2 award

Pilibhit tiger reserve gets the first TX2 award: Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Uttar Pradesh has bagged the first international award, TX2, among the 13 tiger ranging countries for having doubled the number of tigers in less than the stipulated time. In 2014, All India Tiger Estimation had estimated 25 tigers in Pilibhit and 2018 estimation showed an increase by projecting 65 tigers. Conservation Excellence Award for 2020: Transboundary Manas Conservation Area straddling the India-

Brain Fingerprinting

Brain Fingerprinting The accused in Hathras rape case will undergo brain fingerprinting. Key takeaways Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature Profiling (BEOSP) is also known as brain fingerprinting. It is a neuro psychological method of interrogation in which the accused’s participation in the crime is investigated by studying their brain’s response. The BEOSP test is carried out via a process known as electroencephalogram, conducted to study the electrical behaviour

Blue Tide Phenomenon

Blue Tide phenomenon observed in Maharashtra Over the last few days, visitors to beaches in Maharashtra have witnessed the fluorescent bluish glow when the waves hit the shoreline. Key takeaways The phenomenon is called ‘blue tide’. It appears when luminescent marine life makes the sea appear a deep shade of blue. It occurs when phytoplankton (microscopic marine plants), commonly known as dinoflagellates, produce light through chemical reactions in proteins. Waves

Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill

Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill The Scottish parliament passed a landmark legislation that has made period products such as sanitary pads and tampons free of cost to those people who need them. Features Scotland is the first country to take such a step. The bill was passed with the aim of tackling “period poverty”, which is when some people who need period products struggle to afford them. Central objective: To end the silence and stigma that surround

Shahtoot Dam

Shahtoot Dam: India set to build Shahtoot Dam in Afghanistan, provide drinking water for 2 million residents of Kabul. The dam would come upon the Maidan river tributary of Kabul river.


SPACEX-NASA’S CREW-1 MISSION NASA has certified SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule and the Falcon 9 rocket, making it the first spacecraft certification provided by the space agency. What is the Crew-1 mission? The mission is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, whose objective is to make access to space easier in terms of its cost, so that cargo and crew can be easily transported to and from the ISS, enabling greater scientific research.  About the S

SDGs Investor Map For India launched

SDGs Investor Map For India launched United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Invest India have launched the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Investor Map for India. Key takeaways It laid out 18 Investment Opportunities Areas (IOAs) in six critical SDG enabling sectors, that can help the country push forward on the trajectory of Sustainable Development. The six focus sectors: Education, healthcare, agriculture and allied activities, financial services, renewable energy an

Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network

Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network The Indian government is using eVIN (Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network) in association with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to identify primary beneficiaries and vaccine distribution networks. eVIN is an indigenously developed technology. It digitises vaccine stocks and monitors the temperature of the cold chain through a smartphone application. The innovative eVIN was first launched across 12 states in 2015 to support bet

Information Management and Analysis Center (IMAC)

Indian Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC): The Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) will soon become a National Maritime Domain Awareness (NMDA) centre, with all stakeholders having their presence there. About IMAC: It is the nodal agency for maritime data fusion. It was set up after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Approved by the Defence Acquisition Council in 2012. Became operational in 2014 and is located in Gurugram.

Essential Services Maintenance Act

The Uttar Pradesh government has extended the Essential Services Maintenance Act in the State, banning strikes in all departments and corporations under it for a period of another six months. About ESMA, 1968: The Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) is an act of Parliament of India. Objective: It was established to ensure the delivery of certain services, which if obstructed would affect the normal life of the people. These include services like public transport (bus services),

Sea Guardian Drones from US

Sea Guardian Drones from US Recently, two American MQ9B Sea Guardian unarmed drones have been inducted by the Indian Navy.  It is the maritime variant of the Predator MQ9 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

International Emmy Awards 2020: Delhi Crime from India wins best drama series

Indian web series Delhi Crime on Netflix has won the best drama series award at the 48th International Emmy Awards 2020. The event was held virtually for the first time in the history of International Emmy Awards due to the pandemic. The series which is directed by Richie Mehta is based on the horrific 2012 Delhi gang-rape and murder. Another Indian show on prime ‘Four More Shots Please’ and actor Arjun Mathur from ‘Made in Heaven’ also made their way for the nominati


THIRTY METER TELESCOPE PROJECT. 2020 Physics Nobel Laureate Prof.  Andrea Ghez had worked closely with Indian astronomers on the design of back-end instruments of Thirty Meter Telescope Project. About TMT: It is an astronomical observatory with an extremely large telescope (ELT). It is an international project being funded by scientific organisations of Canada, China, India, Japan and USA. Planned location is Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii in the US stat


KALVARI CLASS OF SUBMARINES  Indian Navy’s fifth Kalvari-class Diesel Electric attack submarine INS Vagir was launched recently at Mazgaon Dock in Mumbai.  The other vessels in the class are INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj, INS Vela and INS Vagsheer. About Kalvari Class of Submarines This class of submarines have Diesel Electric transmission systems and these are primarily attack submarines designed to target and sink adversary naval vessels. They ca


DESALINATION PLANTS Uddhav Thackeray cleared Mumbai’s first desalination plant. What is Swiss Challenge method? The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to take the ‘Swiss Challenge Method’ for the project. Under this, a project can be awarded to a private player on an unsolicited proposal. The private firm which has first submitted a proposal can be approached directly for negotiations and if they do not agree, then other bidders are cal

ISRO's Shukrayaan

ISRO’S SHUKRAYAAN: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has short-listed 20 space-based experiment proposals for its proposed Venus orbiter mission 'Shukrayaan'. About Shukrayaan: It is a mission to study Venus for more than four years. Scientific objectives: Investigation of the surface processes and shallow subsurface stratigraphy; and solar wind interaction with Venusian Ionosphere, and studying the structure, composition and dynamics of the atmospher

Government sets up committee to review guidelines on Television Rating agencies

The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has set up a committee to review guidelines on Television Rating agencies in India. The committee will be chaired by Prasar Bharti CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati. The committee will be required to revisit the existing Television Rating guidelines to further strengthen the procedures to make them more credible and transparent. The committee will also revisit the overall industry scenario, addressing the needs of the stakeholders and m

Madden Julian Oscillation

Madden Julian Oscillation It is an eastward moving cyclic weather along the tropics. It influences rainfall, sea surface temperature, winds. Phases of Madden Julian Oscillation It consists of two phases. Enhanced Rainfall Phase and Suppressed Rainfall Phase. In enhanced Rainfall Phase: winds at the surface of the earth converge to push the air upwards throughout the atmosphere. This rising air increases condensation and rainfall. In Suppressed Rainfall Phase: The winds at t


SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY PARKS OF INDIA (STPI):  The Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) is investing up to ?400 crore in setting up office and connectivity infrastructure across several cities, offering small technology firms a ‘plug-and-play’ facility. About Software Technology Parks of India (STPI): It is an autonomous society under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). Established in 1991 The STPI’s Governing Council’s

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