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UPSC Courses

PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance And Timely Implementation)

What is PRAGATI platform? PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance And Timely Implementation) is a multi-purpose, multi-modal, unique and interactive platform. The platform is aimed at addressing common man’s grievances, and simultaneously monitoring and reviewing important programmes and projects of the Government of India as well as projects flagged by State Governments. The PRAGATI platform uniquely bundles three latest technologies: Digital data management, video-

SATAT initiative

About Biogas Energy produced from organic waste. Converted into energy by direct combustion or by conversion of such wastages into alcohol,  methane, or other storage fuels. Bio-gas is produced naturally through process of anaerobic decomposition from waste and bio-mass sources like agriculture residue, cattle dung, municipal solid waste, farms, gardens, kitchen waste, night soil waste, sugarcane press mud, sewage treatment plant (STP) wa

Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)

About Ayushman Bharat Scheme It is to address health issues at all levels - primary, secondary and tertiary. It is the largest Govt funded Healthcare program of World with ~ 50 crore beneficiaries. It is an integrated approach comprising of health insurance.  Components of PMJAY Create 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centers (for Primary healthcare) HWCs are created by converting existing PHC and subcenters.  They

Akash Prime Missile

A new version of the Akash Missile – ‘Akash Prime’ has been successfully flight tested from Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur. The missile intercepted and destroyed an unmanned aerial target mimicking enemy aircrafts, in its maiden flight test after improvements. In comparison to the existing Akash System, Akash Prime is equipped with an indigenous active Radio Frequency (RF) seeker for improved accuracy. Other improvements also ensure more reliable performance

Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

Under this, every citizen will now get a digital health ID and health records digitally protected A campaign of strengthening health facilities that had been going for the last seven years was entering a new phase today, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while launching the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission would now connect the digital health solutions of hospitals across the country with each other. A release issued by the Central Government stressed

Delhi metro earned Rs. 19.5 crore from Carbon credits

Read the complete topic on Climate change on this link and then read this news. The Delhi Metro has earned ?19.5 crore from sale of 3.55 million carbon credits collected over a period of six years from 2012 to 2018, in its bid towards gaining greater energy efficiency. In 2007, Delhi Metro became the first Metro or Railway project in the world to be registered by the United Nations under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which enabled it to claim carbon credits for its Regenerative

Saubhagya Scheme

Need for Saubhagya Scheme: Introduction Access to electricity definitely has positive impact on quality of life of people in all aspects of daily household chores and human development. Firstly , Access to electricity would substitute use of Kerosene for lighting purposes resulting in reduction in indoor pollution thereby saving people from health hazards. Further, electricity access would help in establishing efficient and modern health services in all parts of the country. Light

Medical Devices Parks Scheme

The Union government notified a scheme to promote medical device parks at a financial outlay of ?400 crore till financial year 2024-2025. The scheme aims to ensure easy access to testing and infrastructure facilities. It is expected that this will bring down the cost of production of medical devices, thereby making them more affordable for domestic consumption, the Department of Pharmaceuticals said in a statement. The financial assistance for a selected medical device park would be 90% o

K Kasturirangan panel for National Curriculum Framework (NCF)

The Centre has started the process to revise school textbooks by appointing former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Kasturirangan as the head of a 12-member steering committee responsible for developing a new National Curriculum Framework (NCF). Dr. Kasturirangan also chaired the drafting committee for the National Education Policy, 2020 which recommended the development of a new NCF. The steering committee has been given a tenure of three years to complete its task.

ADB cuts India’s GDP growth forecast in 2021-22 to 10%

The Asian Development Bank has cut its forecast for India’s GDP growth in 2021-22 to 10%, from 11% projected earlier, with downside risks dominating the economic outlook. The ADB also sees rising input costs fuelling inflation to a faster 5.5% pace, than the 5.2% previously estimated. While the COVID-19 second wave had disrupted the recovery since the ADB’s April forecast for 11% growth, the Bank expects the economy to ‘rebound strongly in the remaining three quarters and

SCO Exercise Peaceful Mission : 2021

The 6th Edition of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Exercise Peaceful Mission : 2021 was held today. It was hosted by Russia at Orenburg Region of South West Russia. The aim of the exercise is to foster close relations between SCO Member States and to enhance abilities of the military leaders to command multinational military contingents. An Indian military contingent comprising of an all arms combined force of 200 personnel from Indian Army and Indian Air force is participatin

Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021

India has climbed 2 spots and has been ranked 46th by the World Intellectual Property Organization in the Global Innovation Index 2021 rankings. What is Global Innovation Index? It is a global ranking for countries for success in innovation. It is published by WIPO with Cornell University and INSEAD. It ranks on the basis of IPR to R&D, online creativity, mobile app, education, software spending, ease of doing business etc.  

Plant Discoveries 2020

The Botanical Survey of India, in its new publication Plant Discoveries 2020 has added 267 new taxa/ species to the country’s flora. The 267 new discoveries include 119 angiosperms; 3 pteridophytes; 5 bryophytes, 44 lichens; 57 fungi, 21 algae and 18 microbes. In 2020, 202 new plant species were discovered across the country and 65 new records were added. With these new discoveries the latest estimate of plant diversity in India stands at 54,733 taxa including 21,849 angiosperms,

Monsoon decided history of Indian subcontinent

A recent study by researchers at Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT­KGP) has revealed that abrupt changes in the Indian monsoon in the last 900 years decided the course of human history in the sub- continent. A paper titled “Abrupt changes in Indian summer monsoon strength during the last 900 years and their linkages to socio-economic conditions in the Indian subcontinent” by Anil K. Gupta, professor at the geology and geophysics department of IIT­KGP, highli

Road and Rail deaths in India – NCRB Crime India Report

India recorded 1.2 lakh cases of “deaths due to negligence relating to road accidents” in 2020, with 328 persons losing their lives every day on average, despite the COVID-19 lockdown, according to government data.           As many as 3.92 lakh lives were lost in three years in deaths due to negligence related to road accidents, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) revealed in its annual ‘Crime India’ report for

Hindi gains due to demographic shift

When the Centre launched its NIPUN Bharat scheme in July 2021 to improve foundational literacy and numeracy among primary school students, participants from non-Hindi speaking States complained that they were the ones left feeling illiterate as they could not understand either the speeches, nor the PowerPoint presentations on the scheme, all made in formal Hindi. (Read about the Eighth Schedule Languages first.) Last August, Tamil Nadu delegates at a yoga and naturopathy training webinar cl

Helina and Dhruvastra Missiles

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has designed and developed anti-tank guided missiles, Army version Helina, and Airforce variant Dhruvastra. These are third generation, Lock-on-Before-Launch (LOBL) fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missiles that can engage targets both in direct hit mode as well as top attack mode. The system has all-weather day and night capability. They can defeat battle tanks with conventional armour as well as with ex

National Population Register vs Census

National Population Register (NPR) is a database containing a list of all usual residents of the country. Its objective is to have a comprehensive identity database of people residing in the country. A usual resident for the purposes of NPR is a person who has resided in a place for 6 months or more, and intends to reside there for another six months or more. It is generated through house-to-house enumeration during the “house-listing” phase of the census, which is held onc

PLI Scheme for Drones

Center has approved the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for drones and drone components on 15 Sep 2021. The total amount allocated for the PLI scheme for drones and drone components is INR 120 crore spread over three financial years.  This amount is nearly double the combined turnover of all domestic drone manufacturers in FY 2020-21. This amount is 1.5 times the combined size of the manufacturing drone sector. Over a period of three years, estimated investment

Fuel Prices quicken WPI inflation to 11.39% in August

Inflation in wholesale prices resurged to 11.39% in August, staying in the double digits for the fifth month in a row. Inflation in manufactured products escalated for the fourth month in a row to 11.4%, as the second order effects of high fuel prices kicked in. Fuel and power inflation firmed up to 26.1% in August after a dip in July, even though food price inflation moderated to 3.43% from 4.46% . “LPG, petrol and diesel witnessed inflation of 48.1%, 61.5% and 50.7% respectively

Digital Economy

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) NPCI was set up in 2008. It is a 'Not for Profit' company, was set up in 2008 as an umbrella organization for all retail payments system in India. It was set up with the guidance and support of (RBI) and Indian Banks’ Association  (IBA). Initially the shareholding was for 10 banks, it was diversified to 56 banks. Objectives To consolidate an

Digital Agriculture Mission

Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare signed 5 Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with private companies for taking forward Digital Agriculture. A Digital agriculture mission has been initiated for 2021 -2025 by government for projects based on new technologies like artificial intelligence, block chain, remote sensing and GIS technology, use of drones and robots etc. What is Digital Agriculture Mission? Digital Agriculture is “ICT (Information and Comm

India, Singapore to link UPI and PayNow

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Tuesday announced a project to link their respective fast payment systems — Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and PayNow — to facilitate instant, low-cost, cross-border fund transfers. The linkage is targeted to be operationalised by July 2022. “The UPI-PayNow linkage will enable users of each of the two fast-payment systems to make instant, low-cost fund transfers on a reciprocal basis witho

Drone Rules, 2021

Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has released the updated – The Drone Rules, 2021 for public consultation. Built on a premise of trust, self-certification, and non-intrusive monitoring, The Drone Rules, 2021 will replace the UAS Rules 2021 (released on 12 March 2021). Key takeaways from the Draft Drone Rules, 2021 include: Approvals abolished: unique authorisation number, unique prototype identification number, certificate of conformance, certificate of maintenance, import clear

MSP for Agriculture crops 2021-22

The policies of Government of India and decision taken in recent years towards farmers’ welfare have resulted insignificant improvement of food grain production and sustained agriculture growth despite COVID-19 pandemic. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) on 8th September 2021 for all designated Rabi crops for Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2022-23, wh

India US Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD)

India and the United States are natural partners with shared values and our agenda encompasses all major pillars of our strategic priorities - including defence, security, energy, technology, education and healthcare The United States is to collaborate with India to work towards installing 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030. Currently, India’s installed power capacity is projected to be 476 GW by 2021-22, and is expected to rise to at least 817 GW by 2030. Mr. Kerry was speaking a

Operation Blue Freedom

A team of eight persons with disabilities created a new world record for the “largest number of people with disabilities” to scale the world’s highest battlefield, Siachen Glacier, by scaling up to the Kumar Post at an altitude of 15,632 ft. The team with disabilities was trained and led by CLAW Global, a team of Special Forces veterans who had left the service due to disabilities. The expedition team climbed a total distance of 60 km atop the spine of the Siachen Glaci

NCLT, ITAT get new members

Click here to read about Insolvency and Bankruptcy Act and National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) vs NCLAT. The government has appointed 31 people as judicial, technical and accountant members at the NCLT and the ITAT, amid the Supreme Court flagging concerns about vacancies in various tribunals. Click here to read about the Administrative tribunals in India. The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) deals with matters mainly related to companies law and the insolvency law, while th

Major overhaul in the B.Sc Nursing Syllabus

The B.Sc. nursing programme in the country has undergone its first major overhaul after 1947, making it a competency-based curriculum. To be implemented from January 2022, the revised curriculum has been standardised, updated and aimed at bringing in uniformity in nursing education across India. Medical ethics has been introduced for the first time. The new system now adopts a credit-based semester pattern with more emphasis on acquiring competency in each area of study. Also, forensic

Water Pollution: Yamuna Project

The Centre accused Delhi of being a “habitual offender” in polluting the waters of the Yamuna due to which Water Pollution is on rise.  The State of Haryana, on the other hand, objected to Delhi’s accusations about it releasing untreated effluents into the river due to faulty treatment plants, saying the “problem is not with Haryana, but within Delhi”. A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice Sharad A. Bobde gave Haryana a week’s time to file

Marine Pollution

What is Marine Pollution? Marine pollution is a combination of chemicals and trash, most of which comes from land sources and is washed or blown into the ocean. This pollution results in damage to the environment, to the health of all organisms, and to economic structures worldwide. Marine pollution is a part of Water pollution. Click here to read Water pollution topic. Sources of Marine Pollution: Land Based Activities: Dumping of hazardous waste, heavy discharges from indus

ATL Space Challenge 2021

What is ATL Space Challenge 2021? Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) successfully launched the ATL Space Challenge 2021 for all school students across the country. The challenge has been designed for all the school students, mentors and teachers across the country who not only are associated with schools having ATL labs but for all the non ATL schools as well.

Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) scheme

Centre has revised "Transport and Marketing Assistance" (TMA) scheme for Specified Agriculture Products’. In February 2019, the Department of Commerce had introduced ‘Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) for Specified Agriculture Products Scheme’ to provide assistance for the international component of freight, to mitigate disadvantage of higher freight costs faced by the Indian exporters of agriculture products. The scheme was initially applicable fo

13th BRICS Summit 2021

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will chair the 13th BRICS Summit on 9 September 2021 in virtual format. The theme for the Summit is ‘BRICS@15: Intra-BRICS cooperation for continuity, consolidation and consensus’. India had outlined four priority areas for its Chairship. These are Reform of the Multilateral System, Counter Terrorism, Using Digital and Technological Tools for achieving SDGs and Enhancing People to People exchanges.

India Rankings 2021 NIRF

India Rankings 2021 is instituted by National Institutional Ranking Framework. This is the sixth consecutive edition of India Rankings of HEIs in India.'' During its maiden year in 2016, rankings were announced for University category as well as for three domain-specific rankings, namely Engineering, Management and Pharmacy institutions. Over the period of six years, three new categories and five new subject domains were added. Now the total tally is four categorie

India’s 1st indigenous Coal gasification to Methanol plant at Hyderabad

Methanol is utilized as a motor fuel, to power ship engines, and to generate clean power all over the world. Methanol is also used to generate di-methyl ether (DME), a liquid fuel that is very similar to diesel — existing diesel engines simply need to be minimally changed to use DME instead of diesel. The majority of worldwide methanol production is derived from Natural Gas, which is a relatively easy process. Since India doesn’t have much of the natural gas res

National Farmers’ Database

The Centre has created a National Farmers’ Database with records of 5.5 crore farmers, which it hopes to increase to 8 crore farmers by December by linking it to State land record databases, according to Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. Agriculture has to be linked with digital technology, scientific research and knowledge. The national database was created by taking data from existing national schemes such as PM-KISAN, soil health cards and the insurance scheme PM Fasal B

C-DOT

The Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) is an Indian Government owned telecommunications technology development centre. It was established in 1984 by Sam Pitroda with initial mandate of designing and developing digital exchanges. C-DOT has expanded to develop intelligent computer software applications. It has offices in Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata. It is one of the few government organisations in India which have been appraised at Maturity Level 5 of CMMI-DEV v1.3. In

INSPIRE Awards - MANAK scheme

MANAK stands for Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge. The INSPIRE Awards - MANAK scheme is aligned with the ‘Start-up India’ initiative launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India. The scheme aims to motivate students in the age group of 10-15 years and studying in classes 6 to 10 to become future innovators and critical thinkers. It believes that once the original ideas and innovations rooted in Science and Technology by students get incub

National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) - now BharatNet

NOFN is an ambitious initiative to trigger a broadband revolution in rural areas. NOFN was envisaged as an information super-highway through the creation of a robust middle-mile infrastructure for reaching broadband connectivity to Gram Panchayats. The Ministry of Communications has launched the National Broadband Mission that will facilitate universal and equitable access to broadband services across the country, especially in rural and remote areas. Aim of NOFN To facilitate

24th FSDC Meeting

Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the 24th meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) here today. The meeting was attended by (PT Pointers for Banking and State PSC Exams) Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, MoS (Finance); Shri Pankaj Chaudhary, MoS (Finance); Shri Shaktikanta Das, Governor, Reserve Bank of India; Dr. T. V. Somanathan, Finance Secretary and Secretary, Department of Expenditure, Ministry

Campaign for Medicinal Plants on 75000 ha of land

The National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Ministry of AYUSH has launched a national campaign to promote cultivation of medicinal plants in the country as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. This will help in increasing the income of farmers and realize the dream of Green India. Under this campaign, cultivation of medicinal plants will be done on 75,000 hectares of land in the next one year across the country. The program has been started from Saharanpur in UP and Pune in Maharasht

Shailendra Singh wins Behler Turtle Conservation Award

Shailendra Singh wins Behler Turtle Conservation Award Indian biologist Shailendra Singh has been awarded the Behler Turtle Conservation Award for bringing three critically endangered turtle conservation species back from the brink of extinction. A press statement issued by the headquarters of the Turtle Survival Alliance earlier this week said: “For some species, such as the red-crowned roofed turtle (Batagur kachuga), northern river terrapin (Batagur baska), and black softshell t

Ladakh adopts State animal and bird

Ladakh adopted two endangered species, snow leopard and black-necked crane, as State animal and State bird, two years after it was carved out as a separate Union Territory (UT) from the erstwhile State of J&K. “The snow leopard (Panther unica) and black-necked crane (Grus nicricollis) shall be the State animal and State bird respectively of the UT of Ladakh from the date of issue of the notification,” reads an order issued by the Lieutenant Administration (LG) of L

PM Gati Shakti Master Plan

On India’s 75th Independence Day, the Prime Minister announced that the Centre will launch ‘PM Gati Shakti Master Plan’. It is a 100 lakh crore Infrastructure plan for developing ‘holistic infrastructure’. The plan is aimed at easier interconnectivity between road, rail, air and waterways to reduce travel time and improve industrial productivity. The push for infrastructure is in line with the government’s efforts to step up capital expenditure in in

UNSC Resolutions 2593

Despite the abstention of two “P5” countries — Russia and China — from the India-led United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2593, the Government of India said it was a “matter of satisfaction” that the resolution addressed India’s “key concerns” on Afghanistan. P5 refers to the five permanent members of the UNSC — China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S. According to official sources, the UNSC Resolution 2593,

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