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Monday, February 10, 2020

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs - 10 Feb,2020

10:32 PM
Guru Ravidas
  • Guru Ravidas was a North Indian mystic poet of the bhakti movement.
  • The Adi Granth of Sikhs, in addition to the Panchvani are the two of the oldest documented sources of the literary works of Guru Ravidas.
  • He is believed to be a disciple of the bhakti saint-poet Ramananda and a contemporary of the bhakti saint-poet Kabir and one of his famous disciples was the saint, Mirabai.
  • He taught about the omnipresence of God and said that a human soul is a particle of God and hence Ravidas rejected the idea that people considered lower caste cannot meet God.
Reservation in promotion in public posts :not a fundamental right
Reservation in promotion in public posts :not a fundamental right
  • The Supreme Court has recently ruled that the states are not bound to provide reservation in appointments and promotions. 
  • Articles 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) of the Constitution does not confer individuals with a fundamental right to claim reservation in promotion.
  •  It only empowers the State to make a reservation in matters of appointment and promotion for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, only if not adequately represented in the services of the State.
  • The judgment also noted that even the courts could not issue a mandamus directing the States to provide reservation.
Muktoshri- arsenic-resistant rice
  • West Bengal government’s rice research centre has come up with a new variety of rice called Muktoshri that can be grown in arsenic prone areas. 
  •  It was developed jointly by the Rice Research Station at Chinsurah, coming under West Bengal’s Agriculture Department and the National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow.
  • Arsenic
  • Arsenic is naturally present at high levels in the groundwater of a number of countries.
  • World Health Organization’s provisional guideline value for arsenic in drinking water is 0.01 mg/l (10 μg/l).
  • Long-term exposure to arsenic from drinking-water and food can cause cancer and skin lesions.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs - 7 Feb,2020

9:27 PM

Missing Women & Children-National Crime Record Bureau(NCBC) Report
  •  Supreme Court had directed the NCRB(HQ in New Delhi, set-up in 1986 under the Ministry of Home Affairs waking as a repository of information on crime and criminals so as to assist the investigators in linking crime to the perpetrators)in 2019  to “analyse the data on missing persons [mainly on women and children], so that areas affected on trafficking can be identified”.
  • It says that The highest number of women and children who go missing in the country are from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh respectively.
  • NCRB brings out the annual comprehensive statistics of crime across the country (‘Crime in India’ report).
Genome India project
  • The Rs 238-crore Genome India Project will involve 20 leading institutions including the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru and a few IITs.
  • The IISc’s Centre for Brain Research, an autonomous institute, will serve as the nodal point of the project.
  • The project is said to be among the most significant of its kind in the world because of its scale and the diversity it would bring to genetic studies.
NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft
NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft

  • Voyager 2 is the only probe ever to study Neptune and Uranus during planetary flybys.
  • It is the second man-made object to leave our planet.
  • It is the only spacecraft to have visited all four gas giant planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs - 5 ,6 Feb,2020

8:46 PM
Soil Health Cards (SHC) scheme

  • Scheme issues Soil health cards to farmers which will carry crop-wise recommendations of nutrients and fertilisers required for the individual farms.
  • Scheme has led to a decline of 8-10% in the use of chemical fertilizers and also raised productivity by 5-6%.
  • In the second phase of the scheme’s implementation, 11.69 crore Soil Health Cards were distributed to farmers in two years.
International IP Index 2020
  • It is released by U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC).
  • Index evaluates the IP(Innovation Policy) infrastructure in each economy based on 45 unique indicators, which are critical to the growth of effective IP systems.
  • The indicators encompass 8 categories of IP protection: patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, commercialization of IP assets, enforcement etc.
  • India ranked 40 out of 53 global economies.

Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)
  • MPC is a six-member committee constituted by the Central Government
  • Once in every six months, the Reserve Bank is required to publish a document called the Monetary Policy Report to explain: (1) the sources of inflation and(2) the forecast of inflation for 6-18 months ahead.
  • The committee comprises six members – three officials of the Reserve Bank of India and three external members nominated by the Government of India.
  • The Governor of Reserve Bank of India is the chairperson ex officio of the committee.
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)
  • CPCB has the power to impose steep fines or shut a unit under the provisions of the Environment Protection Act.
  • Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of India is a statutory organisation under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
  • Established in 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
  • CPCB is also entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
Navy will have its third Scorpene sub this year
  • The third Scorpene submarine, Karanj, will be delivered to the Indian Navy by December and all six submarine deliveries would be completed by 2022
  • The first Scorpene, Kulvari, was commissioned in 2018 and  second Scorpene Khanderi was inducted in September last year.
  • These are a class of diesel-electric attack submarines jointly developed by the French Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) and the Spanish company Navantia, and now by Naval Group.

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs - 3, 4 Feb,2020

12:07 AM
Yellow Rust
Yellow Rust
  • It is a disease that appears as yellow stripes of powder or dust on leaves and leaf sheaths of the wheat crop.
  • This occurs when the rust colonies in the leaves drain the carbohydrates from the plant.
  • Rain, dew and fog favour the disease’s development.
  • It is a major disease in the Northern Hill Zone and the North-Western Plain Zone of India.
Beijing Declaration
  • The Beijing Declaration was a resolution adopted by the UN at the end of the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995.
  • The resolution adopted to promulgate a set of principles concerning the equality of men and women.
  • It was a critical point in the world’s focus on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
  • The India e-Visa is an electronic authorization to travel to India for business, tourism, or medical visits.
  • When applying for an e-Visa, it is not necessary to submit your passport or other personal documents to the consulate.
  • The e-Visa approval will be issued in advance electronically before your departure to India. and at imigration checkpoint the actual visa will be placed inside your passport.

Coastal Regulation Zones (CRZ)
  • CRZ Notification 2018 is based on the recommendations of Shailesh Nayak committee.
  • Coastal stretches of seas, bays, estuaries, creeks, rivers, and backwaters were declared as CRZs under coastal zone regulation notification in 1991.
  • CRZs have been classified into 4 zones :
  1. CRZ-I: includes ecologically sensitive areas, where no construction is allowed except activities for atomic power plants, defense.
  2. CRZ-II: includes designated urban areas that are substantially built up. Construction activities are allowed on the landward side only.
  3. CRZ-III: includes relatively undisturbed areas, mainly rural areas. No new construction of buildings allowed in this zone except repairing of the existing ones. However, constructions of dwelling units in the plot area lying between 200-500m of the high tide line is allowed.
  4. CRZ-IV: includes the water area covered between Low Tide Line and 12 nautical miles seaward. Except for fishing and related activities, all actions impugning on the sea and tidal water will be regulated in this zone.
Gram Nyayalayas
  • Gram Nyayalayas or village courts are established under the Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008 for speedy and easy access to justice system in the rural areas of India.
  • The Gram Nyayalayas are presided over by a Nyayadhikari, who will have the same power, enjoy same salary and benefits of a Judicial Magistrate of First Class.
  • They have both civil and criminal jurisdiction over the offences.
  • Only 208 ‘Gram Nyayalayas’ are functioning(only in 11 states) in the country as against 2,500 estimated to be required by the 12th five-year plan.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs - 31 January,2020

9:20 AM
President’s address to both Houses of Parliament
  • Article 87(1)  of the constitution says: “At the commencement of the first session after each general election to the House of the People and at the commencement of the first session of each year the President shall address both Houses of Parliament assembled together and inform Parliament of the causes of its summons.”
  • Originally, the Constitution required the President to address both Houses of Parliament at the commencement of “every session”but it was changed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.
  • It is about highlights the government’s policy priorities and plans for the upcoming year which is drafted by the Cabinet.
  • The President cannot refuse to perform the constitutional duty of delivering an address to the legislature. But there can be situations when they deviate from the text of the speech prepared by the government.
  • there can be situations when they deviate from the text of the speech prepared by the cabinet.
star campaigner
  • A recognised political party can have 40 star campaigners and an unrecognised (but registered) political party can have 20.
  • The list of star campaigners has to be communicated to the Chief Electoral Officer and Election Commission within a week from the date of notification of an election.
  • expenditure incurred on campaigning by such campaigners is exempt from being added to the election expenditure of a candidate if a star campaigner limits herself to a general campaign for the political party she represents.
  • If a candidate or her election agent shares the stage with a star campaigner at a rally,entire expenditure on that rally, other than the travel expenses of the star campaigner, is added to the candidate’s expenses.
Indian National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO (INCCU)
  •  It is a governmental body functioning under the Department of Secondary and Higher Education in the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • A permanent Commission was established in 1951.
  • The objective of the Commission is to advise the Government in matters relating to the UNESCO.
  • The Minister for Human Resource Development is the President of the Commission and the Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Higher Education is the Secretary-General of the Commission.
No-fly list

  • It is list of ban air passenger  because of disruptive behavior.
  • Rules in this regard have been issued by the government in 2017.
  • As per the rules, a complaint of unruly behaviour needs to be filed by the pilot-in-command, and this is to be probed by an internal committee to be set up by the airline.
  • The committee is to decide the matter within 30 days, and also specify the ban duration.
  • Any aggrieved person, upon receipt of communication of a ban from the airline, may appeal within 60 days from the date of issue of the order, to an Appellate Committee.
  • Committee is constituted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation with composition  of a High Court as Chairman; a representative from a passengers’ association or a consumer association and an airlines representative.
  • Thursday, January 30, 2020

    Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs - 30 January,2020

    10:29 PM
    • Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141 b is one of the most potent ozone depleting chemical after Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and used mainly as a blowing agent in the production of rigid polyurethane (PU) foams.
    • HCFC-141b is not produced in India and all the domestic requirements are met through imports. India stopped the iissuance of import license for HCFC-141b from 1st Jan 2020, through by Environment Ministry.
    • The complete phase out of HCFC 141 b from the country in foam sector is among the first at this scale in Article 5 parties (developing countries) under the Montreal Protocol.
    Nagoba jatara
    Nagoba jatara
    • It is a tribal festival held in Keslapur village Adilabad district, Telangana,
    • It is the second biggest tribal carnival and celebrated by Mesaram clan of Gond tribes for 10 days.
    • Tribal people from Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh belonging to the Mesram clan offer prayers at the festival.
    UN’s new rules for ships in the Arctic region
    • The IMO has banned ships from using fuels with a sulphur content above 0.5 per cent, compared with 3.5 per cent previously.
    • The new limits are monitored and enforced by national authorities of countries that are members of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex VI.
    • Only ships fitted with sulphur-cleaning devices, known as scrubbers, are allowed to continue burning high-sulphur fuel. 
    Yellow Rust Disease
    • Yellow Rust Disease detected in wheat crop in parts of Punjab & Haryana which  could eventually result in a drop of wheat crop productivity.
    • Yellow rust is a fungal disease which turns the crop’s leaves into a yellowish colour and stops photosynthesis activity
    • The recent rains in the region (sub-mountainous) coupled with a slight increase in the temperature and humid conditions are favourable for yellow rust.

    Wednesday, January 29, 2020

    Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs - 29 January,2020

    10:49 PM
    Bhuvan Panchayat 3.0
    • The Bhuvan Panchayat V 3.0 is a web portal which is part of ISRO’s Space-based Information Support for better planning and monitoring of government projects.
    • ISRO will collaborate with the gram panchayat members and stakeholders to understand their data requirements.
    • This version of the portal will provide database visualisation and services for the benefit of panchayat members, among others.
    • Using Bhuvan satellite imagery, hi-resolution database is applied to identify land use land cover, settlements, road and rail network etc.
    Ramsar sites in India
    • India has added 10 more wetlands to sites protected by the Ramsar Convention.
    • It is an international treaty for the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
    • The convention is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran on the shores of the Caspian Sea, where it was signed on 2 February 1971.
    • The Montreux Record is a register of wetland sites on the List of Ramsar wetlands of international importance where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference.
    • Currently, two wetlands of India are in Montreux record: Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) and Loktak Lake (Manipur).
    Cheetah reintroduction project
    Cheetah reintroduction project
    • The Supreme Court has allowed the Centre to introduce the African cheetah to a suitable habitat in India.
    • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had previously told the Supreme Court that African cheetahs would be translocated in India from Namibia.
    •  It would be kept at Nauradehi wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.
    • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has given a ‘no objection’ for the translocation.
    • The cheetah is also the world’s fastest land mammal.
    • It is listed as vulnerable in IUCN red listed species.