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Monday, November 18, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions -17 November,2019

8:27 PM
Doctrine of Essentiality
  • Sabrimala review petitions was referred to the larger beach of seven judges. 
  • The debate are not only to allowing women of menstruating age into the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple but also on the courts role in interfering in religious matters.
  • The doctrine of “essentiality” was invented by a seven-judge Bench of the Supreme Court in the ‘Shirur Mutt’ case in 1954.
  •  doctrine of “essentiality:“religion” will cover all rituals and practices “integral” to a religion.
  • Providing constitutional protection only to those elements of religion which the court considers “essential” (as determined by Court).
Atal Tinkering Lab Marathon
  • It is being organised by the Atal Tinkering Labs of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and the NITI Aayog in an effort to identify India’s best student innovators.
  • It is a six-month-long nationwide challenge across six different thematic areas, namely, clean energy, water resources, waste management, healthcare, smart mobility and agriculture-tech.
  • This is open to all students under the age of 18 years.
  • The objective of this scheme is to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.
 Geochemical Baseline Atlas
  • CSIR- National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad released India’s first Geochemical Baseline Atlas.
  • The 44 maps of oxides and trace elements over the entire nation aim to document the concentration and distribution of the chemical elements in the soils of India.
  • It will help in understanding how soil pollution is contributing to groundwater contamination.
Tobacco Board of India
  • Tobacco Board of India has been awarded the Golden Leaf Award in the Most Impressive Public Service Initiative category for the year 2019
  • Tobacco Board is a statutory body established underTobacco Board Act of 1975.
  • It's  headquartered in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The board functions under the overall guidance of Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
  • The main functions of the Board include regulating the production and curing of Virginia tobacco in India, improving the yields and quality of tobacco, facilitating sale of tobacco through e-auctions, undertaking various grower welfare measures and export promotion of tobacco.
  • India stands 3rd in production of tobacco and in exports. Brazil and USA are ahead of India.
Contempt of Court
  • The Supreme Court has held former Ranbaxy promoters Malvinder and Shivinder Singh guilty of contempt for violating its order that had asked them not to divest their shares in Fortis Healthcare Limited.
  • In India, the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, divides contempt into civil contempt and criminal contempt.
  • ‘Civil contempt’ is a ‘wilful disobedience to any judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or other processes of a Court or wilful breach of an undertaking given to the court’.
  • Criminal contempt is generally regarded as a disobedient or open disrespect for the court.
  • The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, very clearly states that fair criticism of any case which has been heard and decided is not contempt.
National Mission ‘NISHTHA’
  • launched in J&K
  • NISHTHA- National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA)
  • It is a Mission aimed at improving learning outcomes at Elementary level through integrated Teacher Trainings.
  • This Mission aims to build the capacities of 42 lakh participants covering all teachers and Heads of Schools at elementary level in all Government Schools across the country, faculty members of SIEs/SCERTs, DIETs etc
Wholesale and retail inflation
  • Recent data shows that the two rates are diverging – The WPI inflation for October has touched a 40-month low (0.16%). But retail inflation(CPI) in the country for the same month has touched a 16-month high.
  • Wholesale Price Index [WPI]
  1. It is the most widely used inflation indicator in India.
  2. Published by the Office of Economic Adviser, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  3. All transactions at the first point of bulk sale in the domestic market are included.
  4. Major criticism for this index is that the general public does not buy products at wholesale price.
  5. The base year of All-India WPI has been revised from 2004-05 to 2011-12 in 2017.
  • Consumer Price Index[CPI]
  1. It measures price changes from the perspective of a retail buyer.
  2. It measures changes over time in the level of retail prices of selected goods and services on which consumers of a defined group spend their incomes.
  3. Base Year for CPI is 2012.
  4. Four types of CPI are as follows:CPI for Industrial Workers (IW).,CPI for Agricultural Labourer (AL).,CPI for Rural Labourer (RL) and CPI (Rural/Urban/Combined).
  5. first three are compiled by the Labour Bureau in the Ministry of Labour and Employment. Fourth is compiled by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions -14 November,2019

8:24 PM
Chief Justice of India’s office under RTI Act

  •  The Supreme Court has held that office of the Chief Justice of India is a public authority under the transparency law, the Right to Information Act.
  • The landmark judgment was given by five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
  • Now citizens can file RTI applications to the SC, and the CPIO (Chief Public Information Officer) of the court cannot deny information saying it is held by the CJI’s office and not the registry.
  • The bench held that Increased transparency and accountability under RTI was no threat to judicial independence.
  • The Bench, however, agreed, that the right to know under RTI was not absolute,right to know and right to privacy of individual judges must be balanced
Swachh Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC)is undertaking a mass cleanliness-cum-awareness drive in beaches under the “Swachh – Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan”.
  • The identified 50 identified  beaches are in 10 coastal States/Union Territories (UTs) namely Gujarat, Daman & Diu, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha
  • Objective is to make beaches clean and create awareness amongst about the importance of coastal ecosystems.
  • The cleaning drives are being undertaken, involving school/college students of Eco-clubs, district administration, institutions, volunteers, local communities and other stakeholders.
  • Collected waste will be processed as per extant Waste Management Rules, 2016.
Green Climate Fund
  • India has kicked-off a USD 43 million project to boost climate resilience in three coastal states in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • The project is funded by the Green Climate Fund.
  • The GCF was set up in 2010 under the UNFCCC’s financial mechanism to channel funding from developed countries to developing countries.
  • The Green Climate Fund will support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing country Parties using thematic funding windows.
Jal Jeevan Mission
Jal Jeevan Mission
  • The Union Jal Shakti Minister saying at the regional review of Jal Jeevan Mission in Southern States at Hyderabad,said that the Centre would give 50 per cent of funds for Jal Jeevan Mission and it would be implemented with community participation.
  • The Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) aims at providing Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTCs) in rural areas by 2024.
  • Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation is the implementing Department for the mission.
Benefits of Jal Jeevan Mission
  • Household pipeline water supply
  • Clean and drinkable water
  •  Recharge of ground water level
  • Better local infrastructure
  •  Less water wastage

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions -13 November,2019

8:31 PM
Maharashtra placed under President’s Rule.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind has approved a proclamation imposing President’s Rule in Maharashtra under Article 356(1) of the Constitution, following a recommendation from Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
  •  The governor said a situation had arisen in which it was impossible to constitute or form a stable government in the State.
  • Upon the imposition of this rule, there would be no Council of Ministers. The Vidhan Sabha is either dissolved or prorogued. 
  • The state will fall under the direct control of the Union government, and the Governor will continue to be head of the state.
  • The imposition of the President’s rule requires the sanction of both the houses of Parliament.
  • If approved, it can go on for a period of six months ,this process will continue maximum for 3 years. 
  • A proclamation of President’s Rule may be revoked by the President at any time by a subsequent proclamation. Such a proclamation does not require parliamentary approval.
Article 356 of the Constitution of India gives President of India the power to suspend state government and impose President’s rule of any state in the country if “if he is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of the state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution”.

Clemency powers of President
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sent a letter to the Punjab government to commute the death sentence of Balwant Singh Rajoana, convicted for the assassination of former Chief Minister Beant Singh.
  • Clemency powers of the President under article 72:
  1. Pardon-A offender get rid from all sentences and punishment and disqualifications and places him in the same position as if he had never committed the offence.
  2. Commutation- denotes the substitution of a form of punishment for a lighter one
  3. Reprieve-Reprieve means temporary suspension of death sentence.
  4. Respite- Respite means awarding a lesser punishment on some special grounds. For example- the Pregnancy of women offender.
  5. Remissions– Remission means the reduction of the amount of sentence without changing its character, for example, a sentence of 1 year may be remitted to 6 months.
  • This power of pardon shall be exercised by the President on the advice of Council of Ministers.
  • The constitution does not provide for any mechanism to question the legality of decisions of President or governors exercising mercy jurisdiction.
  • The SC in Epuru Sudhakar case has given a small window for judicial review of the pardon powers of President.
BRICS 2020
BRICS 2020
  •  The 11th BRICS Summit 2019 is currently underway in Brazil.
  • The BRICS summit 2019 theme is 'Economic Growth for an Innovative.
  • Acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • All are members of G20
  • Founded: June 2006
  • Founders: Brazil, India, China, Russia.
  • South Africa joined  in 2010
  • Bilateral relations among BRICS nations will be conducted on the basis of non-interference, equality, and mutual benefit.
World Congress on Rural and Agricultural Finance
  • The 6th World Congress is being held in New Delhi.
  • It is co-hosted by NABARD and the Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) and supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India.
  • Theme: ‘Rural and Agricultural Finance: Critical Input to Achieve Inclusive and Sustainable Development’.
  • Aim: To bring member institutions and all interested development sector partners together to discuss the topics that define the future of the flow of finance to the rural and agricultural sector and to bring a powerful message to the worldwide policymaking community.
Project Zero
  • Introduced by Amazon.
  • To block selling of counterfeit goods on its platform.
  • The aim is to ensure that customers receive authentic goods when shopping on Amazon.
  • It introduces additional proactive mechanisms and powerful tools to identify, block and remove counterfeits.
Tiger triumph
  • It is a India-U.S. joint tri-services Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).
  • The exercise is aimed at developing interoperability for conducting HADR operations.
  • The maiden exercise is being held in India.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions -11,12 November,2019

8:02 PM
  • Samudra Shakti is a Bilateral Naval Exercise between Navies of India and Indonesia.
  • The latest edition is being held in Bay of Bengal.
  • The aim of the exercise is to strengthen bilateral relations, expand maritime co-operation, enhance interchangeability and exchange best practices.
NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft
  • NASA’s Voyager 2  has exited heliosphere and has entered interstellar space. It is now at 11 billion miles from the earth. 
  • Voyager 2 is the only probe ever to study Neptune and Uranus during planetary flybys.
  • Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have visited all four gas giant planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
  • It is the second man-made object to leave our planet.
  • Dhrupad is a genre in Hindustani classical music. 
  • It is one of oldest forms of compositions in classical Indian music. 
  • Dhrupad is a Sanskrit name, derived from words dhruva (permanent) and pad (verse) and in combination it means “pillar”.
  • The roots of Dhrupad are ancient and it is mentioned in Natyashastra (200 BCE – 200 CE). 
  •  One significant characteristic of Dhrupad is the emphasis on maintaining purity of the Raga.
  • Dhrupad was initially sung only in the temples, the singer facing the Lord.
National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd.(NAFED)
  • It was established in 1958, is registered under the Multi State Co-operative Societies Act.
  • It functions under Ministry of Agriculture.
  • Agricultural farmers are the main members of Nafed, who have the authority to say in the form of members of the General Body in the working of Nafed.
  • The objectives of the NAFED shall be to organize, promote and develop marketing, processing and storage of agricultural, horticultural and forest produce, distribution of agricultural machinery, implements and other inputs, undertake inter-state, import and export trade etc.
  • NAFED is now one of the largest procurement as well as marketing agencies for agricultural products in India. 
HS code
  • The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has allocated a separate Harmonised System (HS) code for Khadi.
  • The Harmonised System, or simply ‘HS’, is a six-digit identification code.
  • Developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO).
  • Called the “universal economic language” for goods.
  • It is a multipurpose international product nomenclature.
Zero Carbon Law
  • New Zealand’s Parliament passed The Zero-Carbon Act, which will commit New Zealand to zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • This is the first legislation in the world to make a legally binding commitment to living within 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming.
  • Reduce all greenhouse gases (except methane) to net zero by 2050,
  • Establish a system of emissions budget.
Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan
  • Launched by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and Environment Education Division and Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) under the Environment Ministry will be responsible for its implementation.
  • Aim: To make beaches clean and create awareness amongst citizens about the importance of coastal ecosystems – in Beaches across 10 states / UTs.
  • The campaign will be organized in the beaches after consultation with the state governments.
  • At end of the drive, the best three beaches will be suitably awarded along with a certificate of appreciation for all the participating eco-clubs.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions -8 November,2019

11:03 AM
Bru refugees

  • The Brus, also referred to as the Reangs, 
  •  They are spread across the north-eastern states of Tripura, Assam, Manipur, and Mizoram.
  • Their Hojagiri folk dance is well known all over the world. ‘Buisu’, not ‘bihu’ is the most popular festival of Reang tribes.
Moody’s ratings
  • Global ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has cut its outlook on the Government of India’s ratings to negative from stable.
  • Moody’s also affirmed India’s Baa2 local-currency senior unsecured rating and its P-2 other short-term local-currency rating.
  • he decision to change the outlook to negative reflects increasing risks that economic growth will remain materially lower than in the past.
BIMSTEC Ports’ Conclave
  • The first ever BIMSTEC Conclave of Ports is being held at Vishakhapatnam on 7-8 November, 2019.
  • The conclave aims at providing a platform to strengthen maritime interaction, port-led connectivity initiatives and sharing best practices among member countries. 
  • Providing Connectivity is one of the key priorities among BIMSTEC countries.
  • Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) have been signed between Ranong Port (Port Authority of Thailand) and the Port Trusts of Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata during the Conclave.

National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC)
  • Body responsible for the appointment and transfer of judges to the higher judiciary in India.
  • 99th Constitutional Amendment Act-2014 passed on 2014 
  • A new article, Article 124A, has been inserted into the Constitution.
  • The NJAC would have replaced the collegium system for the appointment of judges 
  • The National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014, was also passed by the Parliament of India to regulate the functions of the National Judicial Appointments Commission.
  • The NJAC Act and the Constitutional Amendment Act came into force in  2015.
  • The Constitution Bench of Supreme Court by 4:1 Majority upheld the collegium system and struck down the NJAC as unconstitutional .
  • Chief Justice of India (Chairperson, ex officio)
  •  Two other of senior judges of the Supreme Court next to the Chief Justice of India – ex officio
  •  The Union Minister of Law and Justice, ex-officio
  • Two eminent persons
These (two) eminent persons would have been nominated by a committee consisting of the
  1. Chief Justice of India,
  2. Prime Minister of India, and
  3.  Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions -7 November,2019

11:12 PM
Office of Profit
  • If an MLA or an MP holds a government office and receives benefits from it, then that office is termed as an “office of profit”.
  • A person will be disqualified if he holds an office of profit under the central or state government
Core Investment Companies (CICs)
  • CICs are non-banking financial companies with asset size of ₹100 crore and above which carry on the business of acquisition of shares and securities, subject to certain conditions.
  • allowed to accept public funds, hold not less than 90% of their net assets in the form of investment in equity shares, preference shares, bonds, debentures, debt or loans in group companies.
  • The Reserve Bank has constituted a working group that will review the regulatory and supervisory framework for core investment companies
Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation(BIMSTEC)
  • The grouping was formed in 1997.
  • Headquarters location: Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • It integrates the region and promote strategic alignment among the member-states.
  • BIMSTEC has 7 members(Bhutan,India,Bangladesh, Myanmar,Sri Lanka,Thailand and Nepal.
Shaala Darpan portal
  • Human Resource Development ministry has launched Shaala Darpan portal.
  • It is an end to end E-Governance school automation and management system for Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) in New Delhi.
  • It is a database management portal, where information about all government schools and education offices is kept online and updated as a continuous process.
South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) 
  • The 15th meeting of the Governing Council of South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) is going to be organised in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • SACEP is an inter-governmental organization, established in 1982 by the governments of South Asia.
  •  Member countries include Afghanistan , Bangladesh , Bhutan , India , Maldives , Nepal , Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • The objective is to promote and support protection, management and enhancement of the environment in the region.

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions -6 November,2019

8:49 PM
Alzheimer Disease
  • China has approved the first home-grown drug “Oligomannate (GV-971)” for the treatment of “mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
  • Scientists believe that for most people, Alzheimer's disease is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the brain over time.
  • The disease destroys brain cells and nerves, and disrupts the message-carrying neurotransmitters. 
  • Symptoms include memory loss, difficulty in completing familiar tasks, confusion with time or place, problems in speaking and writing, decreased or poor judgment, and changes in mood and personality.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that typically affects people older than 65.
  • There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, because its exact causes are not known. 
Iran nuclear deal
  • Iran agreed to rein in its nuclear programme in a 2015 deal struck with the US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany(the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany)
  • Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) Tehran agreed to significantly cut all key components for nuclear weapons.
  • The JCPoA established the Joint Commission, with the negotiating parties all represented, to monitor implementation of the agreement.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) 

  • Aimed at enabling children to eat and grow healthy, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) released draft regulations titled Food Safety and Standards (Safe Food and healthy diets for School Children) Regulations, 2019.
  • It has proposed to restrict the sale and the advertisement of food products, which are high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS), in school premises and within 50 meters of the school campus.
  • It is an autonomous statutory body established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
  • Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the administrative Ministry of FSSAI.
  • It lays down science based standards for articles of food and regulating manufacturing, processing, distribution, sale and import of food so as to ensure safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
Paris Agreement
  • Paris Agreement is an international agreement to combat climate change.
  • In 2015, the governments of 195 nations gathered in Paris, France, and discussed a possible new global agreement on climate change, aimed at reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and thus reduce the threat of dangerous climate change.
  • The Agreement asks rich and developed countries to provide financial and technological support to the developing world in its quest to fight and adapt to climate change.
  • Paris Agreement is legally binding to all parties.
 trade deficit
  • A key reason that India forwarded for declining to sign on was the existence of trade deficits with many of the constituents of the RCEP.
  • It is the amount by which the cost of a country's imports exceeds the value of its exports.