Easy IAS

Simple way for IAS preparation

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - weekly Compilation( 13 January-19 January)

6:23 PM
SC verdict on internet shutdowns
  • The Court said that all restrictive orders under Section 144 of CrPC and suspension of internet services in Jammu and Kashmir have to be reviewed by the administration within a week.
  • The verdict has laid down a framework of how the Internet can be suspended, and what rights and legal recourses a citizen has when it is suspended.
  • Right to internet is a fundamental right (subject to reasonable restrictions) included in the freedom of expression under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.
  • Restrictions on fundamental rights could not be in exercise of arbitrary powers. These freedoms could only be restricted as a last resort.
  • Any order passed to restrict or suspend judicial scrutiny will be subject to judicial scrutiny.
Private property is a human right
  • The Supreme Court has recently held that a citizen’s right to own private property is a human right and the state cannot take possession of it without following due procedure and authority of law.
  • ‘Right to private property was previously a fundamental right’ under Article 31 of the Constitution but property ceased to be a fundamental right with the 44th Constitution Amendment in 1978.
  • Article 300A required the state to follow due procedure and authority of law to deprive a person of his or her private property.
  • The right to property is now considered to be not only a constitutional or statutory right, but also a human right.
ARTEMIS ( Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of Moon’s Interaction with the Sun) Mission
  • NASA announces graduating class of 11 astronauts( Indian American- Raja Chari,one of them)for upcoming space missions including the Artemis Mission.
  • The main objective is to measure what happens when the Sun’s radiation hits our rocky moon, where there is no magnetic field to protect it.
  • For the Artemis program, NASA’s new rocket called the Space Launch System (SLS) will send astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft a quarter of a million miles away from Earth to the lunar orbit.
Bojjannakonda
Bojjannakonda
  • Buddhist site in Andhra Pradesh
  • Bojjannakonda and Lingalametta are twin Buddhist monasteries dating back to the 3rd century BC. 
  • The site is famous for many votive stupas, rock-cut caves, brick-built edifices, early historic pottery, and Satavahana coins 
  • These sites have seen three forms of Buddhism — Theravada period(Lord Buddha was considered a teacher),Mahayana(Buddhism was more devotional) and Vajrayana(Buddhist tradition was more practised as Tantra and in esoteric).
H9N2 Virus
  • Indian scientists have detected the country’s first case of infection with a rare variant of the virus- H9N2- that causes avian influenza, or bird flu.
  • H9N2 is a subtype of the influenza A virus, which causes human influenza as well as bird flu.
  • H9N2 viruses are found worldwide in wild birds and are endemic in poultry in many areas.
  • H9N2 viruses could potentially play a major role in the emergence of the next influenza pandemic.
Integrated Road Accident Database (IRAD)
  • Developed by the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M).
  • It will be implemented by the National Informatics Centre
  • The IRAD mobile application will enable police personnel to enter details about a road accident, along with photos and videos, following which a unique ID will be created for the incident.
  • The system will be first piloted in the six States with highest fatalities from road crashes — Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The project costs ₹258 crore and is being supported by the World Bank.
Retail inflation
  • Retail inflation ascended to a five and a half year high of 7.35% .
  • Released by the National Statistical Office .
  • the The Consumer Price Index (CPI)is one of the most frequently used statistics for identifying periods of inflation or deflation.
  • CPI is a measure that examines the weighted average of prices of a basket of consumer goods and services, such as transportation, food and medical care. It is calculated by taking price changes for each item in the predetermined basket of goods and averaging them.

  • Hormuz peace initiative
    Hormuz peace initiative
    • The meeting of Hormuz Peace Initiative was recently held in Iran.
    • It aims to stabilise the Strait of Hormuz, the gateway for a significant amount of global oil supplies.
    • Two-thirds of the oil and half the liquefied natural gas India imports come through the strait between Iran and Oman.
    5th Raisina Dialogue
    • Held in New Delhi.
    • This is an annual geo-political event, organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
    • It is designed to explore prospects and opportunities for Asian integration as well as Asia’s integration with the larger world and India’s vital role in the Indian Ocean Region and how India along with its partners can build a stable regional and world order.
    • More than 700 international participants, including 80 from African countries, are attending the meet.
    Classical language
    •  Recently concluded 93rd edition of the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, a resolution was passed demanding the declaration of Marathi as a ‘Classical’ language
    • Classical languages are those which are ancient, of an independent nature and not a derivative of any other tradition.
    • These are High antiquity of its early texts/recorded(original and not borrowed from another speech community) history over a period of 1500-2000 years.
    • Language are :-1)Tamil (declared in 2004) 2)Sanskrit (2005) 3)Kannada (2008) 4) Telugu (2008) 5)Malayalam (2013) 6) Odia (2014).
    Juice jacking
    • SBI has publicly issued a warning of ‘Juice Jacking’ through its twitter handle.
    • It is an attack carried out by hackers through a USB charging cable.
    • Threats:-Installing malware, cleaning user data, asking ransom in exchange for access to personal data on the phone, personal and financial account hijacking
    Bharati Script
    Bharati Script
    • It is an alternative script for the languages of India developed by a team at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Madras lead by Dr. Srinivasa Chakravarthy.
    • The scripts that have been integrated include Devnagari, Bengali, Gurmukhi, Gujarati, Oriya, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil.
    • Bharati has, in general, 17 vowels and 22 consonants.
    Blue flag programme
    • Centre eases CRZ rules to help States construct infrastructure and enable them to receive ‘Blue Flag’ certification.
    • The Blue Flag Programme for beaches and marinas cleanliness - portable toilet blocks, grey water treatment plants, a solar power plant, seating facilities, CCTV surveillance etc.
    • It is run by the international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education).
    • It started in France in 1985
    • Japan and South Korea are the only countries in South and southeastern Asia to have Blue Flag beaches.
    India’s fiscal deficit
    • Former Economic Affairs Secretary S C Garg has stated that the true fiscal deficit for 2018-19 is 4.7%.
    • Contrary to these views, the Indian government says, the fiscal deficit just 3.4 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) for 2018-19. 
    • For long, it has been suspected that the official figures hide the true fiscal deficit.
    • It happens because of some  government’s expenditure was funded by the so-called “off-budget” items-As a result,extra expenditure did not figure in the official calculations.
    • fiscal deficit=the difference between the Revenue Receipts plus Non-debt Capital Receipts (NDCR) and the total expenditure, reflected the total borrowing requirements of Government
    HSN Code
    HSN Code
    • India not to allow imports without HSN code.
    • It is a six-digit identification code developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO).
    • This system has been introduced for the systematic classification of goods all over the world,Called the “universal economic language” for goods.
    • HSN classification is widely used for taxation purposes by helping to identify the rate of tax applicable to a specific product in a country that is under review.
    Saksham
    • It is a people centric fuel conservation mega campaign of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA)- a registered society(a non-profit organization) established in 1978 under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India.
    • Saksham actively involves the Oil & Gas PSUs along with other stakeholders like State Governments
    • aims:-create focused attention on fuel conservation through people centric activities and sensitize the masses about the conservation and efficient use of petroleum products leading to better health and environment
    Women, Business and the Law 2020
    • Women, Business and the Law (WBL) is a World Bank Group project collecting unique data on the laws and regulations that restrict women’s economic opportunities.
    • It is composed by eight indicators structured around women’s interactions with the law.
    • The indicators are:-Mobility, Workplace, Pay, Marriage, Parenthood, Entrepreneurship, Assets, and Pension.
    • India is placed 117th among 190 countries.
    National Investigative Agency(NIA) Act
    • Chhattisgarh government has moved he Supreme Court against the National Investigation Act, 2008 stating it is violative of the Constitution.
    • The law governs the function of India's primer counter-terror agency passed in the wake of 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks.
    • It makes the National Investigation Agency(NIA) the only truly federal agency in the country, along the lines of the FBI in the United States, more powerful than the CBI.
    • It gives the power to the NIA to take suo-motu It gives the NIA powers to take suo motu cognisance of terror activities in any part of India and register a case, to enter any state without permission from the state government and arrest and investigate and arrest people. 
    • In its petition, the Chhattisgarh government said the Act “ultra vires the Constitution”as the 2008 Act allows the Centre to create an agency for investigation, which is a function of the state police. ‘Police’ is an entry in the State List of the Constitution’s 7th Schedule.
    GSAT-30
    • The first mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 2020.
    • India’s latest telecommunication satellite GSAT-30,launch took place from the Spaceport in French Guiana.
    • GSAT-30 is configured on ISRO’s enhanced I-3K Bus structure to provide communication services from Geostationary orbit.
    Open Acreage Licensing Policy(OALP)
    • A critical part of the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy.
    • Provides uniform licences for exploration and production of all forms of hydrocarbons, enabling contractors to explore conventional as well as unconventional oil and gas resources.
    • Fields are offered under a revenue-sharing model and throw up marketing and pricing freedom for crude oil and natural gas produced.
    • Under the OALP, once an explorer selects areas after evaluating the National Data Repository (NDR) and submits the EoI, it is to be put up for competitive bidding and the entity offering the maximum share of oil and gas to the government is awarded the block.
    Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ)
    Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ)
    • Developmental and commercial activities have been stopped within 10-km radius of Bannerghatta National Park(located near Bangalore in Karnataka) area, which is part of the eco-sensitive zone.
    • Eco-Sensitive Zones or Ecologically Fragile Areas are areas notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India around Protected Areas, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
    • Activities conducted in eco-sensitive zones are regulated under the Environment (Protection Act) of 1986 and no polluting industry or mine is allowed to come up in such areas.

    Saturday, January 18, 2020

    Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 17 January,2020

    7:28 PM
    National Investigative Agency(NIA) Act
    • Chhattisgarh government has moved he Supreme Court against the National Investigation Act, 2008 stating it is violative of the Constitution.
    • The law governs the function of India's primer counter-terror agency passed in the wake of 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks.
    • It makes the National Investigation Agency(NIA) the only truly federal agency in the country, along the lines of the FBI in the United States, more powerful than the CBI.
    • It gives the power to the NIA to take suo-motu It gives the NIA powers to take suo motu cognisance of terror activities in any part of India and register a case, to enter any state without permission from the state government and arrest and investigate and arrest people. 
    • In its petition, the Chhattisgarh government said the Act “ultra vires the Constitution”as the 2008 Act allows the Centre to create an agency for investigation, which is a function of the state police. ‘Police’ is an entry in the State List of the Constitution’s 7th Schedule.
    GSAT-30
    • The first mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 2020.
    • India’s latest telecommunication satellite GSAT-30,launch took place from the Spaceport in French Guiana.
    • GSAT-30 is configured on ISRO’s enhanced I-3K Bus structure to provide communication services from Geostationary orbit.
    Open Acreage Licensing Policy(OALP)
    • A critical part of the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy.
    • Provides uniform licences for exploration and production of all forms of hydrocarbons, enabling contractors to explore conventional as well as unconventional oil and gas resources.
    • Fields are offered under a revenue-sharing model and throw up marketing and pricing freedom for crude oil and natural gas produced.
    • Under the OALP, once an explorer selects areas after evaluating the National Data Repository (NDR) and submits the EoI, it is to be put up for competitive bidding and the entity offering the maximum share of oil and gas to the government is awarded the block.
    Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ)
    Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ)
    • Developmental and commercial activities have been stopped within 10-km radius of Bannerghatta National Park(located near Bangalore in Karnataka) area, which is part of the eco-sensitive zone.
    • Eco-Sensitive Zones or Ecologically Fragile Areas are areas notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India around Protected Areas, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
    • Activities conducted in eco-sensitive zones are regulated under the Environment (Protection Act) of 1986 and no polluting industry or mine is allowed to come up in such areas.

    Thursday, January 16, 2020

    Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 16 January,2020

    8:32 PM
    India’s fiscal deficit
    • Former Economic Affairs Secretary S C Garg has stated that the true fiscal deficit for 2018-19 is 4.7%.
    • Contrary to these views, the Indian government says, the fiscal deficit just 3.4 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) for 2018-19. 
    • For long, it has been suspected that the official figures hide the true fiscal deficit.
    • It happens because of some  government’s expenditure was funded by the so-called “off-budget” items-As a result,extra expenditure did not figure in the official calculations.
    • fiscal deficit=the difference between the Revenue Receipts plus Non-debt Capital Receipts (NDCR) and the total expenditure, reflected the total borrowing requirements of Government
    HSN Code
    HSN Code
    • India not to allow imports without HSN code.
    • It is a six-digit identification code developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO).
    • This system has been introduced for the systematic classification of goods all over the world,Called the “universal economic language” for goods.
    • HSN classification is widely used for taxation purposes by helping to identify the rate of tax applicable to a specific product in a country that is under review.
    Saksham
    • It is a people centric fuel conservation mega campaign of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA)- a registered society(a non-profit organization) established in 1978 under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India.
    • Saksham actively involves the Oil & Gas PSUs along with other stakeholders like State Governments
    • aims:-create focused attention on fuel conservation through people centric activities and sensitize the masses about the conservation and efficient use of petroleum products leading to better health and environment
    Women, Business and the Law 2020
    • Women, Business and the Law (WBL) is a World Bank Group project collecting unique data on the laws and regulations that restrict women’s economic opportunities.
    • It is composed by eight indicators structured around women’s interactions with the law.
    • The indicators are:-Mobility, Workplace, Pay, Marriage, Parenthood, Entrepreneurship, Assets, and Pension.
    • India is placed 117th among 190 countries.

    Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 15 January,2020

    12:10 AM
    Classical language
    •  Recently concluded 93rd edition of the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, a resolution was passed demanding the declaration of Marathi as a ‘Classical’ language
    • Classical languages are those which are ancient, of an independent nature and not a derivative of any other tradition.
    • These are High antiquity of its early texts/recorded(original and not borrowed from another speech community) history over a period of 1500-2000 years.
    • Language are :-1)Tamil (declared in 2004) 2)Sanskrit (2005) 3)Kannada (2008) 4) Telugu (2008) 5)Malayalam (2013) 6) Odia (2014).
    Juice jacking
    • SBI has publicly issued a warning of ‘Juice Jacking’ through its twitter handle.
    • It is an attack carried out by hackers through a USB charging cable.
    • Threats:-Installing malware, cleaning user data, asking ransom in exchange for access to personal data on the phone, personal and financial account hijacking
    Bharati Script
    Bharati Script
    • It is an alternative script for the languages of India developed by a team at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Madras lead by Dr. Srinivasa Chakravarthy.
    • The scripts that have been integrated include Devnagari, Bengali, Gurmukhi, Gujarati, Oriya, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil.
    • Bharati has, in general, 17 vowels and 22 consonants.
    Blue flag programme
    • Centre eases CRZ rules to help States construct infrastructure and enable them to receive ‘Blue Flag’ certification.
    • The Blue Flag Programme for beaches and marinas cleanliness - portable toilet blocks, grey water treatment plants, a solar power plant, seating facilities, CCTV surveillance etc.
    • It is run by the international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education).
    • It started in France in 1985
    • Japan and South Korea are the only countries in South and southeastern Asia to have Blue Flag beaches.

    Tuesday, January 14, 2020

    Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 14 January,2020

    10:58 PM
    Integrated Road Accident Database (IRAD)
    • Developed by the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M).
    • It will be implemented by the National Informatics Centre
    • The IRAD mobile application will enable police personnel to enter details about a road accident, along with photos and videos, following which a unique ID will be created for the incident.
    • The system will be first piloted in the six States with highest fatalities from road crashes — Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
    • The project costs ₹258 crore and is being supported by the World Bank.
    Retail inflation

  • Retail inflation ascended to a five and a half year high of 7.35% .
  • Released by the National Statistical Office .
  • the The Consumer Price Index (CPI)is one of the most frequently used statistics for identifying periods of inflation or deflation.
  • CPI is a measure that examines the weighted average of prices of a basket of consumer goods and services, such as transportation, food and medical care. It is calculated by taking price changes for each item in the predetermined basket of goods and averaging them.

  • Hormuz peace initiative
    Hormuz peace initiative
    • The meeting of Hormuz Peace Initiative was recently held in Iran.
    • It aims to stabilise the Strait of Hormuz, the gateway for a significant amount of global oil supplies.
    • Two-thirds of the oil and half the liquefied natural gas India imports come through the strait between Iran and Oman.
    5th Raisina Dialogue
    • Held in New Delhi.
    • This is an annual geo-political event, organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
    • It is designed to explore prospects and opportunities for Asian integration as well as Asia’s integration with the larger world and India’s vital role in the Indian Ocean Region and how India along with its partners can build a stable regional and world order.
    • More than 700 international participants, including 80 from African countries, are attending the meet.

    Monday, January 13, 2020

    Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 13 January,2020

    10:07 PM
    SC verdict on internet shutdowns
    • The Court said that all restrictive orders under Section 144 of CrPC and suspension of internet services in Jammu and Kashmir have to be reviewed by the administration within a week.
    • The verdict has laid down a framework of how the Internet can be suspended, and what rights and legal recourses a citizen has when it is suspended.
    • Right to internet is a fundamental right (subject to reasonable restrictions) included in the freedom of expression under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.
    • Restrictions on fundamental rights could not be in exercise of arbitrary powers. These freedoms could only be restricted as a last resort.
    • Any order passed to restrict or suspend judicial scrutiny will be subject to judicial scrutiny.
    Private property is a human right
    • The Supreme Court has recently held that a citizen’s right to own private property is a human right and the state cannot take possession of it without following due procedure and authority of law.
    • ‘Right to private property was previously a fundamental right’ under Article 31 of the Constitution but property ceased to be a fundamental right with the 44th Constitution Amendment in 1978.
    • Article 300A required the state to follow due procedure and authority of law to deprive a person of his or her private property.
    • The right to property is now considered to be not only a constitutional or statutory right, but also a human right.
    ARTEMIS ( Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of Moon’s Interaction with the Sun) Mission
    • NASA announces graduating class of 11 astronauts( Indian American- Raja Chari,one of them)for upcoming space missions including the Artemis Mission.
    • The main objective is to measure what happens when the Sun’s radiation hits our rocky moon, where there is no magnetic field to protect it.
    • For the Artemis program, NASA’s new rocket called the Space Launch System (SLS) will send astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft a quarter of a million miles away from Earth to the lunar orbit.
    Bojjannakonda
    Bojjannakonda
    • Buddhist site in Andhra Pradesh
    • Bojjannakonda and Lingalametta are twin Buddhist monasteries dating back to the 3rd century BC. 
    • The site is famous for many votive stupas, rock-cut caves, brick-built edifices, early historic pottery, and Satavahana coins 
    • These sites have seen three forms of Buddhism — Theravada period(Lord Buddha was considered a teacher),Mahayana(Buddhism was more devotional) and Vajrayana(Buddhist tradition was more practised as Tantra and in esoteric).
    H9N2 Virus
    • Indian scientists have detected the country’s first case of infection with a rare variant of the virus- H9N2- that causes avian influenza, or bird flu.
    • H9N2 is a subtype of the influenza A virus, which causes human influenza as well as bird flu.
    • H9N2 viruses are found worldwide in wild birds and are endemic in poultry in many areas.
    • H9N2 viruses could potentially play a major role in the emergence of the next influenza pandemic.

    Sunday, January 12, 2020

    Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - weekly Compilation( 5 January-12 January)

    6:21 PM
    Zonal Councils
    • The 25th meeting of the western zonal council will be held in January 2020.
    • Statutory bodies established under the States Reorganisation Act 1956 
    • Aim:  to promote interstate cooperation and coordination.
    • There are five Zonal councils-The Northern Zonal Council(Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh),Central Zonal Council(Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh),Eastern Zonal Council(Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, and West Bengal),Western Zonal Council(Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli),Southern Zonal Council(Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry)
    • The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of each of these Councils and the Chief Ministers of the States included in each zone act as Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council for that zone by rotation, each holding office for a period of one year at a time.
    Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India(FAME)-II Scheme
    • the Department of Heavy Industries has sanctioned 2636 charging stations in 62 cities across 24 States/UTs under FAME India scheme phase II.
    • FAME India is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. 
    • Aims to boost electric mobility and increase the number of electric vehicles in commercial fleets.
    • Target: The outlay of ₹10,000 crore has been made for three years till 2022 for FAME 2 scheme.
    • The government will offer the incentives for electric buses, three-wheelers and four-wheelers to be used for commercial purposes and encourage interlinking of renewable energy sources with charging infrastructure.
    Iran nuclear deal
    • Iran has completely withdrawn from JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) nuclear deal(with US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany) after the US troops killed General Qassem Soleimani.
    • Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA)Tehran agreed to significantly cut its stores of centrifuges, enriched uranium and heavy-water, all key components for nuclear weapons.
    • Implications for India:India’s third biggest supplier (after Iraq and Saudi Arabia) -impacted on oil price,impact the development of Chahbahar port.
    • Global Implications:Down trends in global economy;big economy like India,China may suffer;Iran may block Strait of Hormuz;US may cancel airlines from US to India because they pass over Iran-affect airspace industry.
    Ujala scheme
    • Fifth anniversary of the Centre`s zero subsidy `Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All` (UJALA) scheme
    • UJALA is a flagship project of the Govt. of India, where it promote to use LED bulbs so that the net power or energy consumption rate comes down and the carbon emission rates can also be checked.
    • The scheme is being implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of PSUs under the Union Ministry of Power.
    Project NETRA
    •  Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) has sign a pact with Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) for collaboration in establishing optical telescope facilities under Project ‘NETRA’ for tracking space objects.
    • Under the project, the ISRO plans to put up many observational facilities: connected radars, telescopes; data processing units and a control centre.
    • The project will give India its own capability in space situational awareness (SSA) like the other space powers.
    •  It is used to ‘predict’ threats from debris to Indian satellites,warning about and mitigating space debris.
    National Disaster Response Fund
    • Centre releases Rs 5908 cr for flood relief to 7 states(Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tripura, Assam, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh) from the National Disaster Relief Fund.
    • It is a fund managed by the Central Government for meeting the expenses for emergency response, relief and rehabilitation due to any threatening disaster situation or disaster.
    • Located in the “Public Accounts” of Government of India under “Reserve Funds not bearing interest“.
    • Financed through the levy of a cess on certain items, chargeable to excise and customs duty, and approved annually through the Finance Bill.
    • Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) audits the accounts of NDRF.
    Belum Caves
    • Belum Caves in Andhra Pradesh is the second longest cave(after Krem Liat Prah caves in Meghalaya)in the Indian subcontinent open to public.
    • Belum caves are renowned for their speleothem structures, such as stalactite and stalagmite formations.
    • The caves hold immense historical significance as there are several indications that these were occupied by Jain and Buddhist monks many centuries ago
    Great Indian Bustards (GIB)
    Great Indian Bustards (GIB)
    • Found in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
    • Identified as one of the species for the recovery programme under the Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
    • Listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection)Act, 1972 and in the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS Convention and in Appendix I of   Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora(CITES).
    • IUCN status: critically endangered.
    GDP growth 
    GDP growth


    • GDP growth rate for 2019-20 expected to be 5%.
    • GDP decline in 2019-20 s attributed to slowdown in Manufacturing (2%) and Construction sector (3.2%).
    • Gross Domestic product(GDP) is the total monetary  of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period.
    • Gross value Addition(GVA)=GDP+ Subsidies on Products−Taxes on Products.
    • GVA-gives picture of economy in producer side; GDP-gives picture of economy consumer side.
    Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE)

  • SASE which is a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has issued an Avalanche warning to Leh in Ladakh region.
  • HQ of SASE is located near Manali, Himachal Pradesh.
  • it’s objective: To be a centre of excellence in ‘Cryospheric(frozen water part of the Earth system) Science and Technology’ to facilitate high operational mobility for troops in snow bound regions of Indian Himalayas.
  • National Pension System (NPS)
    • National Pension System (NPS) is a government-sponsored pension scheme launched in January 2004 for government employees. However, in 2009, it was opened to all sections.
    •  NPS is being implemented and regulated by PFRDA(Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority) – a statutory body established by PFRDA Act, 2013
    • Indian citizen (Both Resident and Non-Resident) between 18 and 60 years can join NPS through fulfilling know your customer (KYC) norms.
    • OCI (Overseas Citizens of India) and PIO (Person of Indian Origin) card holders and Hindu Undivided Family (HUFs) are not eligible for opening of NPS account.
    10% reservation Quota for Economically Weaker Sections
    • Centre has held that it is States’ prerogative to provide 10% economic reservation in government jobs and admission to education institutions.
    • It was 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act that introduced provide 10 per cent reservation in government jobs and education (except in minority educational institutions) to economically backward section in the general category.
    • The act inserted Articles 15(6) and 16(6) of the Constitution that provided for these reservations.
    NASA reported the discovery of an Earth-size planet
    • NASA reported the discovery of an Earth-size planet, named TOI 700 d.
    • Found by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission.
    • TESS is Space telescope for NASA’s Explorers program,designed to search for exoplanet( a planet outside the Solar System).
    Northeast gas pipeline grid project
    • he proposed gas pipeline grid will connect Guwahati to the major Northeast cities and major load centers.
    • The project is being implemented under ambitious Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline Project.
    • Besides connecting all the state capitals in the region, the pipeline will also connect with the National Gas Grid through Barauni-Guwahati Gas Pipeline, which is being laid by GAIL.
    • It is to be implemented by Indradhanush Gas Grid, a joint venture of state-owned GAIL India, Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), Oil India Ltd (OIL) and Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL).
    Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement 
  • Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement signed between India and France.
  • It is a major milestone in enhancing people-to-people contacts, fostering mobility of students, academics, researchers and skilled professionals and strengthening cooperation on issues related to irregular migration and human trafficking between the two sides.
  • The Agreement will validate for seven years and incorporates provision for automatic renewal and a monitoring mechanism through a Joint Working Group.
  • Ordinance enabling FDI in coal mining
    Ordinance enabling FDI in coal mining
    • The decision was taken to boost domestic production of Coal to one billion tonnes by 2023-24 as it leads to cheaper inputs and increase in competitiveness
    • Ordinances are laws that are promulgated by the President of India on the recommendation of the Union Cabinet, which will have the same effect as an Act of Parliament. 
    • They can only be issued when Parliament is not in session but later ordinance must be passed in parliament for continuing the law.
    Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD)
    • It  is celebrated on 9th January( on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa) every year to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India.
    • It is celebrated once in every two years to strengthen the engagement of the overseas Indian community with the Government of India and reconnect them with their roots.
    • During the Convention, selected overseas Indians are also honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to recognize their contributions to various fields both in India and abroad. 
    Green Credit Scheme
    • In the current system, industry needs to compensate the loss of forest acquired for its commercial activity by paying the Forest department a fee and the department is then responsible for reforesting on other patch of land acquired by industry.
    • It allows agencies( private companies, village forest communities) to identify land and begin growing plantations. After three years, they would be eligible to be considered as compensatory forest land.
    • An industry needing forest land could then approach the agency and pay it for parcels of such forested land, and this would then be transferred to the Forest Department and be recorded as forest land.
    Curative Petition
    • Nirbhaya Case convicts file Curative pleas in Supreme Court.
    • It is the last legal avenue(follows the dismissal of a review petition) open for convicts in the Supreme Court.
    • Rupa Ashok Hurra vs. Ashok Hurra and Anr. (2002):The Supreme Court in the said case held that in order to prevent abuse of its process and to cure gross miscarriage of justice, it may reconsider its judgements in exercise of its inherent powers.
    •  It is only in rare cases that such petitions are given an open-court hearing and a  party can take only two limited grounds in a curative petition — 
    1.  he was not heard by the court before the adverse judgment was passed.