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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portion -10,11,12,13,16,17 Sep 2019

C-Sat-Fi; XGSPON and CiSTB
  • Union Minister for Communications launched Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT’s) latest innovations, “C-Sat-Fi (C-DOT Satellite WiFi”, “XGSPON (10 G Symmetrical Passive Optical Network)” and “C-DOT’s Interoperable Set Top Box (CiSTB).
  • C-Sat-Fi (C-DOT Satellite WiFi): C-Sat-Fi is based on the optimal utilization of wireless and satellite communication to extend connectivity to the remote islands and difficult terrains
  • XGSPON (10 G Symmetrical Passive Optical Network): it is an effective solution to fulfil the rapidly increasing demands of high network speeds for applications like IPTV, HD Video Streaming, Online Gaming and other cloud based services. 
  • CiSTB (C-DOT’s Interoperable Set Top Box): Based on a portable smart card like a mobile SIM, this solution will revolutionize the experience of the Cable TV operators by offering them a high degree of choice, ease and convenience without having to replace the once installed STB. 
Mega Food Park
  • Minister of Food Processing Industries inaugurated Telangana’s first food park.
  • Under the food park scheme, the Centre provides financial assistance of up to ₹50 crore.(Know about scheme types)
  • The Mega Food Park Scheme is based on “Cluster” approach 
Motive behind mega food park
  • give boost to the food processing sector by adding value and reducing food wastage at each stage of the supply chain with particular focus on perishables.
  • provide direct and indirect employment opportunities
  • double the farmer incom by 2022
  • Export boosting 
  • connection between buyers and sellers 
  • 5 trillions economy 
  • poverty and hunger reduction
  • sustainable use of food 
Strengthening Local Democracy(for mains)
Democratic decentralisation has little in India. Over 25 years after the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments (they mandated the establishment of panchayats and municipalities as elected local governments) gave a range of powers and responsibilities and made them accountable to the people for their implementation, very little and actual progress has been made in this direction. 
Key issues:
  • volume of money set local governments for them is inadequate to meet their basic requirements. 
  • Much of the money given is inflexible( Local government is not free to use money ,several conditions and restrictions 
  • Local governments do not have the staff to perform even basic tasks. 
Way forward:
  • grama sabha should be organised through smaller discussions where everybody can really participate
  • Use of Short Message Services, or social media groups could be used for facilitating discussions between members of a grama sabha.
  • Local government organisational structures have to be strengthened.
  • Local governments must be enabled to hold State departments accountable and to provide quality, corruption free service to them, through service-level agreements.
  • Increase their taxation area,if they collect taxes, their voters will never forgive them for misusing their funds. 
  • India’s efforts in decentralisation represent one of the largest experiments in deepening democracy.
  • We have given ourselves a reasonably robust democratic structure for local governance over the last two decades and more.
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
  •  7th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) ministerial meeting of 10 members of ASEAN countries and their six FTA (free trade agreement) partners is being held in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • RCEP is proposed between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and the six states with which ASEAN has existing FTAs (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand).
  • RCEP negotiations were formally launched in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia.
  • aims-boost goods trade by eliminating most tariff and non-tariff barriers,provide the region’s consumers greater choice of quality products at affordable rates and liberalise investment norms 
Why is India concerned,what India needs to do?(For mains)
India concerned
  • Greater access to Chinese goods may have impact on the Indian manufacturing sector- massive trade deficit with China-To reduce deficit India proposed differential market access strategy for China.
  •  RCEP countries demand for lowering customs duties on a number of products and greater access to the market than India has been willing to provide.
  • The current account deficit (CAD) touched 8 per cent of GDP, and the agreement in the present state of negotiations would mean forgoing a substantial part of the revenues.
  • The free movement of investments will benefit investors in the US, Singapore, Japan and China, but very few Indians will be taking advantage of this.
Why India should not miss RCEP?
  • make its exports price uncompetitive with other RCEP members’ exportsin each RCEP market, and the ensuing export-losses contributing to foreign exchange shortages
  • India would get greater market access in other countries not only in terms of goods, but in services and investments also.
Way ahead:
  • Bilateral talks between India and China are crucial for an early conclusion of RCEP negotiations as agreed by other members
  • Indian policymakers need to be mindful of domestic sectors’ concerns before agreeing on terms of deal.
  • Need to improve our competitiveness in the economy
UN Peacekeeping
  • Context: India calls for reforms in peacekeeping at UNSC debate.
  • United Nations Peacekeeping was created in 1948. Its first mission involved the establishment of the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO)
  • UN Peacekeeping is guided by three basic principles:
  1. Consent of the parties.
  2. Impartiality
  3. Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana
  • Aim: To improve the life of small and marginal farmers of the country.
  • voluntary and contributory for farmers in the entry age group of 18 to 40 years
  • monthly pension of Rs. 3000/– will be provided to them on attaining the age of 60 years. The spouse is also eligible to get a separate pension of Rs.3000/- upon making separate contributions to the Fund.
6th schedule of the constitution
  • deals with the administration of the tribal areas in the four northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) Writes to Union Home Minister & Union Tribal Affairs Minister Conveying Its recommendation to Include Union Territory of Ladakh Under 6th Schedule of Constitution Of India.
  • The total tribal population in Ladakh region is more than 97%. The region is inhabited by following Scheduled Tribes, namely:Balti,Beda,Bot, Boto,Brokpa, Drokpa, Dard, Shin,Changpa etc
  • Key provisions: governor is empowered to organise,divide the district into several autonomous regions. and re-organise the autonomous districts.
  • autonomous districts-Composition-4[nominated by the governor ]+ 26[elected on the basis of adult franchise.]
  • Term:-Elected members -5 years,nominated-pleasure of the governor.
  • Each autonomous region also has a separate regional council[can make laws on certain specified matters like land, forests, canal water, shifting cultivation, village administration, inheritance of property, marriage and divorce, social customs and so on. But all such laws require the assent of the governor.]
  • The acts of Parliament or the state legislature do not apply to autonomous districts and autonomous regions or apply with specified modifications and exceptions.
  • governor can appoint a commission to examine and report on any matter relating to the administration
    Government e Marketplace (GeM)
    • GeM is a state-of-the-art national public procurement platform of Ministry of Commerce and Industries, that has used technology to remove entry barriers for bonafide sellers and has created a vibrant e-marketplace with a wide range of goods and services.
    MPATGM missile:
    • Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile is an Indian third-generation fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile.
    • Developed by DRDO.
    • Incorporated with state-of-the-art Infrared Imaging Seeker along with advanced avionics.
    “Kartarpur Corridor” project
    • The corridor – often dubbed as the “Road to Peace” – will connect Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district.
    • The construction of the corridor will allow visa-free access to pilgrims from India. 
    • Pakistan has agreed in principle to allow visa-free, year-long travel to the Sikh shrine.
    • The gurdwara in Kartarpur stands on the bank of the Ravi, about 120 km northeast of Lahore.
    National Pension Scheme for Traders and Self Employed Persons
    • It is a pension scheme for the shopkeepers/retail traders and self-employed persons with annual turnover not exceeding Rs 1.5 crore
    • Beneficiary is required to have an Aadhaar card and a saving bank/ Jan-dhan Account passbook only.
    • He/ She should be within 18 to 40 years of age group.
    • It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme
    • The Central Government shall give 50 % share of the monthly contribution and remaining 50% contribution shall be made by the beneficiary
    • It has a provision for minimum assured pension of Rs 3,000/- monthly on attaining the age of 60 years.
    District mineral foundations(DMFs)
    • They are non-profit truststo work for the interest and benefit of persons and areas affected by mining-related operations in such manner as may be prescribed by the State Government.
    • Jurisdiction: Its manner of operation comes under the jurisdiction of the relevant State Government.
    • Chhattisgarh became the first state to amend DMF rules.(inclusion of 10 Gram Sabha members directly from mining-affected areas in the DMF Governing Council .In Scheduled Areas, at least 50 per cent of the Gram Sabha members must be from Scheduled Tribes (ST).)
    Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY):

    The programme is meant to provide for the welfare of areas and people affected by mining related operations, using the funds generated by District Mineral Foundations (DMFs).

    National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) project
    • It is an ambitious counter terrorism programme.
    • It will utilise technologies like Big Data and analytics to study and analyse the huge amounts of data from various intelligence and enforcement agencies to help track suspected terrorists and prevent terrorist attacks.
    Drought Toolbox
    • It's a kind of knowledge bank that may be used by vulnerable countries, such as India, to reduce drought risk and be better prepared and effectively respond to it.
    • At the ongoing 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), a Drought Toolbox has been launched
    • A form of terrorism where there is the intentional release of biological agents (bacteria, viruses, or other germs). This is also referred to as germ warfare.
    • The threat of bioterrorism is increasing as a result of the rise of technical capabilities, the rapid expansion of the global biotechnology industry, and the growth of loosely sophisticated networks of transnational terrorist groups that have expressed interest in bioterrorism
    Jan Soochna Portal
    • The first-ever public information portal was launched in Rajasthan – named Jan Soochna Portal – to provide information about government authorities and departments suo motu to the public 
    • The portal would ensure compliance with Section 4(2) of the RTI Act mandating the public authorities to disclose information in the public domain, so that the people need not file applications under the law to obtain information
    Uniform Civil Code (UCC)
    • Article 44 of the Constitution says that there should be a Uniform Civil Code
    • It is a proposal to have a generic set of governing laws for every citizen without taking into consideration the religion
    Water on Exoplanet
    • Astronomers have for the first time discovered water in the atmosphere of exoplanet – K2-18b, along with Earth-like temperatures that could support life.
    • An exoplanet or extrasolar planet is a planet outside the Solar System
    • The K2-18b planet orbits the cool dwarf star K2-18(Leo constellation of the milkyway galaxy)
    • Scientists used archive data from 2016 and 2017 captured by the ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope
    Collegium of Supreme Court judges
    • The Collegium of judges does not figure in the Constitution.
    • It is the Supreme Court’s invention
    • Collegium is a system under which judges are appointed by an institution comprising judges and recommends the transfer of Chief Justices and other judges.
    • a movement to combat desertification and climate change which will involve the tribal community of India
    • movement will ensure that tribals can earn a livelihood without causing environmental harm.
    • launched at the COP 14 of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
    Central Adverse List

    • The Centre has removed from the Central Adverse List names of few foreign nationals involved in anti-India activities
    • It is a list maintained by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
    • The list contains: Names of individuals who supported the Khalistan movement in 1980s and 90s but left India to take asylum in foreign countries,individuals who are suspected to have links with terrorist outfitsor have violated visa norms in their previous visit to India and persons who have indulged in criminal activities or have been accused of sexual crimes against children in their respective countries.
    International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
    • World Ozone Day-September 16 ,Theme(2019): 32 Years and Healing.
    • Ozone layer: Absorbs most of the Sun’s ultraviolet light which is harmful to human life and other life forms.
    • It Absorbs about 97 to 99% of ultraviolet rays and maintain the ozone-oxygen cycle.
    • Montreal Protocol stipulates that the production and consumption of compounds that deplete ozone in the stratosphere-chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), carbon tetrachloride, halons and methyl chloroform-are to be phased out by 2000 (2005 for methyl chloroform).
    Samudra Laksamana:
    •The Indian Navy and Malaysian Navy had recently participated in the bilateral exercise ‘Samudra Laksamana


    • known as Tiger Dance
    • folk art of Kerala, performed on the fourth day of Onam festival.
    • Artists wear a tiger mask, paint their bodies like tigers and dance to the rhythm of traditional percussion instruments such as thakil, udukku and chenda

    Tuesday, September 10, 2019

    Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portion -9 Sep 2019

    Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’
    • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme was launched in January, 2015
    • aimed at promoting gender equality, improving the Child Sex Ratio and the significance of educating girls.
    • It is a tri-ministerial effort of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare and Human Resource Development.
    Indus Valley Civilizations
    • Study of DNA from skeletal remains excavated from the Harappan cemetery at Rakhigarhi has provided new insights into Indian history.
    • The study shows that hunter-gatherers of South Asia (who later formed Harappa Civilization) have an independent origin and are not descendent of Eurasian farmers.
    • The study done through DNA analysis of Rakhigarhi thus challenges Aryan Invasion theory
     National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) 
    • set up in March 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005.
    • works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women & Child Development.
    • The Child is defined as a person in the 0 to 18 years age group.
    • SLINEX is a bi-lateral maritime fleet exercise between Navies of India and Sri Lanka
    • This has helped the two Navies in understanding each other’s procedures and contributes towards maritime security in the region.
    Great Indian Bustards (GIB)
    • IUCN status: critically endangered.
    • Found in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
    • Listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection)Act, 1972 and in the CMS Convention and in Appendix I of CITES.
    • Protected areas:Desert National Park Sanctuary — Rajasthan, Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary – Andhra Pradesh and Karera Wildlife Sanctuary– Madhya Pradesh.
    Global Liveability Index
    • Indian cities have not fared too well in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (considered 140 cities for rankings)Global Livability Index for 2019.
    • Among the BRICS countries, Suzhou from China was ranked highest at 75, while India’s capital New Delhi was ranked lowest at 118th.
    • The ranking is based on a particular country’s scores in five broad categories, namely:
    1. Stability
    2. Healthcare
    3. Culture and Environment
    4. Education
    5. Infrastructure

    Monday, September 9, 2019

    Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portion -6 Sep 2019

    Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA)
    • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) declared four individuals – Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim – as terrorists under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
    • UAPA was amended in 2004,2008,2012 and 2019. 
    key provisions of amended act
    • Empowers the government to designate individuals as terrorist,Previously only organization
    • Empowers the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to seize properties,previously required permission from the Director General of Police.
    • Allows NIA officers, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate,previously only DySP or ACP 
    Opposition parties have raised concern over the 2019 amendment act, could also be misused against political opponents-civil society activists who spoke against the government may be branded as “terrorists.”
    Apache helicopters
    • Indian Air Force (IAF) formally inducted 8 US-made Apache AH-64E helicopters at Pathankot Air Force station.
    • In 2015, IAF had signed a multi-billion dollar contract with US government and Boeing Ltd for 22 Apache helicopters. 
    • Apache is one of world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopters-Capability(all weather capable,Electronic Warfare) to shoot fire and forget anti-tank guided missiles, air to air missiles, rockets and other ammunitions
    Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs).
    • Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into 26 Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) in the financial year (April to August, 2019)
    • It is an agreement between a taxpayer and the tax authority determining the Transfer Pricing methodology for pricing the tax payer’s international transactions for future years.
    Dadabhai Naoroji
    • September 4, 2019 was the 194th birth anniversary of Dadabhai Naoroji, known “Grand Old Man of India”
    • Naoroji was a professor of Gujarati, mathematics, and natural philosophy and also worked as a businessman.
    • In 1865 and 1866, Naoroji helped found the London Indian Society and the East India Association respectively
    • First Indian member of the British parliament in 1886
    • He was Congress president thrice, in 1886, 1893, and 1906.
    • Dadabhai Naoroji was among the key proponents of the ‘Drain Theory’,- in his book ‘Poverty and Un-British Rule in India’
    External benchmark rates
    • The Reserve Bank of India has made it mandatory for all banks to link all new floating rate loans( interest varies with market conditions)(i.e. personal/retail loans, loans to MSMEs) to an external benchmark with effect from 1st October 2019.
    • Banks can choose from one of the four external benchmarks — repo rate, three-month treasury bill yield, six-month treasury bill yield or any other benchmark interest rate published by Financial Benchmarks India Private Ltd(recognised by the Reserve bank of India as an independent Benchmark administrator)
    • At present, interest rates on loans are linked to a bank’s marginal cost of fund-based interest rate, known as the Marginal Cost of Lending Rate (MCLR).

    • Harvesting festival of Odisha
    • It is also called Nuakhai Parab or Nuakahi Bhetghat.
     It is a highly contagious viral disease. Spread: Measles is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons.

    Rubella, also called German measles or three-day measles, is a contagious viral infection best known by its distinctive red rash. Rubella is not the same as measles (rubeola), though the two illnesses do share some characteristics, including the red rash

    Hepatitis B
    • Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected
    • Hepatitis A is usually a short-term infection and does not become a long-term infection.
    • Hepatitis B and hepatitis C can also begin as short-term infections but in some people, the virus remains in the body, and causes chronic, or lifelong, infection.
    • There are vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and hepatitis B; however, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C.
    Eat Right India Movement
    • It is a crucial preventive healthcare measure to trigger social and behavioural change
    • Due to increasing burden of non-communicable diseases including diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases, widespread deficiencies of vitamins and minerals and rampant food-borne illnesses
    • It was launched by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
    • Movement is aligned with the government’s flagship public health programmes such as POSHAN Abhiyaan, Anemia Mukt Bharat, Ayushman Bharat Yojana and Swachh Bharat Mission.
    Indo–Thai CORPAT•28th edition of India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) between the Indian Navy (IN) and the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) is being held.

    Institutes of Eminence Scheme
    • The institutes of eminence scheme under the Union human resource development (HRD) ministryaims to project Indian institutes to global recognition.
    • The selected institutes will enjoy complete academic and administrative autonomy
    • Only higher education institutions currently placed in the top 500 of global rankings or top 50 of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) are eligible to apply for the eminence tag.
    • The public institutions on the list will then be eligible for a government grant of ₹1,000 crore.

    Thursday, September 5, 2019

    Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portion -5Sep 2019

    North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC)

    • The NERAMAC is a pioneer marketing organization in the field of Agri-Horti sector,involved in supporting farmers right from the fields and up to the markets to the end consumers through registered FPO/FPCs.
    • It was incorporated in the year 1982 as a Government of India Enterprise and operating under the administrative control of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER

    The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

    • Founded in 2002, the Global Fund is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the diseases.
    • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (or simply the Global Fund) is an international financing organization.
    • It aims to “attract, leverage and invest additional resources to end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to support attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals
    • The organization maintains its secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland

    • Mussels are a small, edible sea animal that has a dark shell with two parts that close tightly together
    • Scientists are deploying mussels across the oceans to absorb microplastics and other pollutants in the fight against water pollution.
    • Mussels have long been used as “bio-indicators” of the health of the seas, lakes and rivers they inhabit.
    One nation-one ration card

    • It will ensure all beneficiaries especially migrants can access PDS across the nation from any PDS shop of their own choice.
    • This will provide freedom to the beneficiaries as they will not be tied to any one PDS shop and reduce their dependence on shop owners and curtail instances of corruption
    ANDREX Project

    • The project seeks to assess the role of the Weddell gyre in driving the southern closure of the meridional overturning circulation, in ventilating the deep global ocean, and in sequestering carbon and nutrients in the global ocean abyss.
    • Scientists have discovered that, contrary to existing assumptions, biological processes far out at sea are the most important factors determining how the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide.
    • This enhances the understanding of the link between the Southern Ocean — next to Antarctica — and the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels

    Secondary Market For Corporate Loans

    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) constituted Panel, headed by T.N. Manoharan, has given some suggestions for developing the secondary market for corporate loans in the country.
      Secondary Market

    Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment
    • It is a joint research mission between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) teams
    • It aims to study the viability of diverting an asteroid by crashing a spacecraft into its surface.
    • The project aims to deflect the orbit of one of the two Didymos asteroids between Earth and Mars, with an observer craft gauging the effect of the impact more effectively than ground-based observers could manage
    ASEAN-US Maritime Exercise (AUMX)
    The first ASEAN-US Maritime Exercise (AUMX) between regional bloc- Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and United States is being held at the Sattahip Naval Base in Thailand.

    Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2019
    •As part of the ongoing Indo-US defence cooperation, a joint military training, Exercise Yudh Abhyas – conducted at Joint Base Lewis Mc Chord, Washington, USA.

    Wednesday, September 4, 2019

    Prelims booster compilation august 2019

    BASIC countries
    • Context:countries recently held their 28th Ministerial meeting on Climate Change in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
    •  a bloc of four large newly industrialized countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China.
    • Significance : common position on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and raising the massive funds for fight climate change.
    •  agreement is not legally binding.
    Legislative Council
    • ContextThe Madhya Pradesh government plans to initiate steps towards creation of a Legislative Council.
    • Parliament may by law(Article 169 of the constitution) create or abolish the second chamber in a state if the Legislative Assembly of that state passes a resolution with special majority.
    • Currently, six states have Legislative Councils( Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana)
    • Strength of the house:not exceed 1/3 of the total number of the members in the legislative Assembly of that state and not less than 40.
    members of the Council election:-
    • 1.1/3rd- elected by members of the Assembly
    • 1/3rd- consisting of members of municipalities, district boards and other local authorities  of that state.
    • 1/12th - consisting of teachers.
    • 1/12th-registered graduates.
    •  remaining members(distinguished themselves in literature, science, art, the cooperative movement, and social service.) are nominated by the Governor

    Geographical indication (GI)

    •  It is under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade has recently registered 4 new GIs.
    1. Palani Panchamirtham:Palani Panchamirtham, an abishega Prasadam, is one of the main offerings for the presiding deity.first time a temple ‘prasadam’ from Tamil Nadu has been bestowed with the GI tag.
    2. Tawlhlohpuan:-It is a medium to heavy, compactly woven, good quality fabric from Mizoram.
    3.  Mizo Puanchei:Mizo Puanchei is a colourful Mizo shawl/textile, from Mizoram.
    4. Tirur Betel leaf:Tirur betel mainly cultivated in Malappuram District of Kerala, is valued both for its mild stimulant action and medicinal properties.
    Parker Solar Probe
    • Context: On August 12, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe completed a year in service
    • It is also the closest a human-made object has ever gone to the Sun.
    • goals for the mission are to trace how energy and heat move through the solar corona and to explore what accelerates the solar wind,solar energetic particles.
    • corona is hotter than the surface of the sun. The corona gives rise to the solar wind,
    Delimitation of Constituencies
    • Delimitation is the act of redrawing boundaries of Lok Sabha and state Assembly seats to represent changes in population.
    • objective of delimitation is to provide equal representation to equal segments of a population.
    •  its orders are final and cannot be questioned before any court
    •  Article 82the Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after every Census.
    • Composition: The commission is made up of a retired Supreme Court judge, the Chief Election Commissioner and the respective State Election Commissioners.
    • case of difference of opinion among members of the Commission, the opinion of the majority prevails.
    National Sports Awards•Arjuna Award: is given for consistency outstanding performance for four years.
    •Dronacharya Award: for coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious International sports events.
    •Dhyan Chand Award : for life time contribution to sports development.
    •MAKA Trophy:Overall top performing university in inter-university tournaments is given Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy.


    satellite launch vehicle
    satellite launch vehicle


    • Context
      : The second moon mission of India, the Chandrayaan-2 has been precisely inserted in defined orbit.
    • It was launched  by powerful Geostationary satellite launch vehicle (GSLV)-Mk-111 M-1 from Sriharikota
    • the orbiter would revolve around the moon for an yearLander Vikram and Rover Pragyan have a lifespan of 14 days
    •  India will become the fourth country(after united States, Russia and China)  in the world to land a rover on the Moon.
    • Scientific goals include studies of lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, the lunar exosphere, and signatures of hydroxyl and water ice.
    • 1st space mission to conduct a soft landing on the Moon’s south polar region.
    UN Security Council
    • Context: Vice President calls for renewed efforts for India to gain permanent membership of the UN Security Council
    • United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the organs of the United Nations
    •  it maintains international peace and security.
    • Members:-fifteen members. Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, and the United States(five permanent members)-have veto power.10 non-permanent members(elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms)
    Information Fusion Centre (IFC)
    • established at the Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram,Haryana
    • white shipping”, or commercial shipping, will be exchanged with countries in the region to improve maritime domain awareness in the Indian Ocean
    Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana(PMUY)
    • aims to provide LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections to poor households [identified through the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) ]
    • A report from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare places Household Air Pollution (HAP) as the second leading risk factor contributing to India’s disease burden
    Van Mahotsava: 
    • an annual tree planting festival.,started by K. M. Munshi in 1950, the Union Minister for Agriculture and Food at that time.
    • started to create awareness in the mind of the people for the conservation of forests and planting of new trees.
    NISHTHA(National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement)
    • Context: Union HRD Minister launches NISHTHA to build capacities of 42 Lakh government teachers across the country.
    • world’s largest teachers’ training programme
    • motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students.
    • training modules are developed at national level for all States and UTs
    State rooftop solar attractiveness Index (SARAL)
    • ContextSARAL – ‘State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index’ was recently launched.
    • first of its kind index to provide a comprehensive overview of state-level measures adopted to facilitate rooftop solar deployment.
    • designed collaboratively by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF), Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and Ernst & Young (EY).
    • Karnataka has been placed at the first rank.
    • SARAL currently captures five key aspects:
    1. robustness of policy framework 
    2. implementation environment 
    3. investment climate 
    4. consumer experience 
    5. business ecosystem
      International Court of Justice (ICJ)
    • Established in 1945,principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN).
    • Only countries are eligible to appear before the ICJ.
    • The ICJ is made up of 15 judges who are elected for a 9 years term by the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council
    • ICJ’s jurisdiction:-disputes of a legal nature(submitted to it by countries) and advisory jurisdiction(advisory opinion on legal questions)
     Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
     International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
     International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

    • It is also known as Washington Convention and Opened for sign : 1973
    • administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
    • Secretariat— Geneva (Switzerland).
    • an International agreement to regulate worldwide commercial trade in wild animal and plant species.
    • CITES is legally binding on state parties to the convention
    World Trade Organization (WTO) 
    • Context: WTO reforms must be taken up by all member countries: Piyush Goyal.
    • early days of the Silk Road to the creation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the birth of the WTO,played an important role in supporting economic development and promoting peaceful relations among nations.
    • GATT became the only multilateral instrument governing international trade from 1948 until the WTO was established in 1995.
    • In the Marrakesh Agreement, the World Trade Organization (WTO) established.
    • subsidies classification
    South-South and Triangular Cooperation:-
    • Context: An international dialogue on South-South and Triangular Cooperation was recently held in New Delhi.
    • Collaboration among Acountries of the South in the political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains.
    • Can take place on a bilateral, regional, intraregional or interregional basis.
    Financial Action Task Force (FATF):-
    • Context: Financial Action Task Force affiliate Asia Pacific Group (APG) places Pakistan on Blacklist for failing to combat terrorism, money laundering and meeting the required global standards.
    • Established in July 1989 by a Group of Seven (G-7) countries in a Summit held in Paris.
    • An independent inter-governmental body that develops and promotes policies to protect the Global Financial System against terror funding and Money Laundering activities.
    • FATF has 2 types of lists
    Black List:-countries which are supporting terror funding and money laundering activities are listed in the Black list.
    Grey List:- considered as the safe heaven for supporting terror funding and money laundering; included in this list. The inclusion in this list is not as severe as black listed.

    FEDOR(Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research)
    • Context: Russia has launched an unmanned rocket into space.
    • Skybot F-850 is the first humanoid robot to be sent to space by Russia.
    • can emulate movements of the human body, has apparently embraced his mission, describing himself as “an assistant to the ISS crew”.
    • In 2011, NASA sent up Robonaut 2, a humanoid robot developed that had a similar aim of working in high-risk environments.
    Baltic Nations:
    • Context: The Vice President concludes his tri-nation tour to the Baltic Nations-Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
    • group the three sovereign states in Northern Europe on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
    • All three countries are members of the European Union, NATO, the eurozone and the OECD.
    Baltic Nations
    Baltic Nations
    Gulf co-operation Council (GCC)
    • The GCC is a political and economic alliance of countries in the Arabian Peninsula.
    • It was established in 1981 to foster socioeconomic, security, and cultural cooperation.
    • Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE are its members.
      Gulf co-operation Council (GCC)
      Gulf co-operation Council (GCC)
      Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
    • Context: Stakeholders’ Consultations by Department of Commerce on RCEP.
    • members-16 {Ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei,Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and the six states with which ASEAN has existing FTAs (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand).
    • RCEP negotiations were formally launched in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia.
    • 7th RCEP Inter-Sessional Ministerial Meeting is being held in Cambodia.
    • RCEP aims to boost goods trade by eliminating most tariff and non-tariff barriers
    Image result for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
     Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
    The James Webb Space Telescope, also called Webb(JWST)
    • It is a large, space-based observatory, optimized for infrared wavelengths, which will complement and extend the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope
    •  It is only at infrared wavelengths that we can see the first stars and galaxies forming after the Big Bang. 
    • James Webb This space-based observatory is named after James E. Webb (1906- 1992), NASA’s second administrator. Webb is best known for leading Apollo, a series of lunar exploration programs that landed the first humans on the Moon
    Swatantra Sainik Samman Pension Scheme
    • context-The Supreme Court has slammed the Centre for harassing a 90-year-old freedom fighter who was struggling to get his pension under Swatantra Sainik Samman Pension Scheme.
    • It provides pension to freedom fighters and families of martyrs
    • Implemented by Ministry of Home Affairs (Freedom Fighters Division)
    National Agricultural Cooperative Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED)
    • Context: Government to substantially increase the daily supply of onions from its buffer stock held with NAFED.
    • established in 1958, is registered under the Multi State Co-operative Societies Act.
    • It promotes Co-operative marketing of Agricultural Produce to benefit the farmers.
    Composite Water Management Index (CWMI)
    • ContextNITI Aayog has released its report on Composite Water Management Index (CWMI).
    • It's aims to create awareness among people and governments about the realities of water crisis in the country.
    Composite Water Management Index (CWMI).
    Composite Water Management Index (CWMI).
    India-Bahrain ties
    • context-PM Narendra Modi paid a state visit to Bahrain on 24-25 August 2019, which was the first ever Prime Ministerial visit from India to Bahrain.
    • enhance cooperation in the field of security, counter-terrorism and the exchange of intelligence and information
    • India  launched the renovation of Shree Krishna temple in Manama, the oldest in the Gulf region.established around 1817 and was built by Thathai Bhatia Hindu community
    •  MoU was also signed between BENEFIT, a Bahrain company handling ATM and POS transactions among others, and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for launch of RuPay card in the Gulf Kingdom.
    Akademik Lomonosov :-Russian powership to be operated as the world’s first floating nuclear power station
    • The 45th edition of G7 Summit is currently being held in France.
    •  intergovernmental organisation that was formed in 1975
    • The G7 or ‘Group of Seven’ are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States
    •  G7 does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters
    • decisions taken by leaders during annual Summits are non-binding
    • The G20 was formed in 1999 to address global economic concerns
    • Apart from the G7 countries, the G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey.
    • India is selected to host a G20 summit in 2022.

    Advisory Board for Banking Frauds (ABBF)
    • Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has constituted an ‘Advisory Board for Banking Frauds (ABBF)’ to examine bank fraud of over ₹50 crore and recommend action.
    • Besides the chairman, the Board consists of three other members.
    Conservation of Otters
    • The 18th Conference of the Parties (CoP18) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)was recently held in Geneva
    • Members at the Conference have voted to move the smooth-coated otter(Lutrogale perspicillata) from CITES Appendix II to CITES Appendix I
    •  CITES is as an international legally binding agreement 
    CITES Appendix:
    • Appendix I includes species “threatened with extinction”. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.
    • Appendix II provides a lower level of protection.
    • Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, 
    Open Acreage Licensing Policy
    •  part of the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy, provides uniform licences for exploration and production of all forms of hydrocarbons
    • Fields are offered under a revenue-sharing model
      National Digital Library(NDL)
    • Human Resource Development Ministry under its National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology launched NDL in 2018
    • NDL is a digital repository containing textbooks, articles, videos, audio books, lectures, simulations, fiction and all other kinds of learning media.
    • NDL has been integrated with UMANG App(Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance developed by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)and National e-Governance Division (NeGD) to drive Mobile Governance in India,single platform for all Indian Citizens)
    Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana(PMUY)
    Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana(PMUY)

    • aims to provide deposit free LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections to poor households [identified through the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) ]
    • A report from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare places Household Air Pollution (HAP) as the second leading risk factor contributing to India’s disease burden.

    Project SURE
    • The SURE project is a commitment by India’s apparel industry to set a sustainable pathway for the Indian fashion industry
    • This framework would help the industry reduce its carbon emissions, increase resource efficiency, tackle waste and water management, and create positive social impact to achieve long-term sustainability targets
    United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
    • India for the first time will be hosting the 14th session of the Conference of Parties (COP-14) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) from 2nd -13th September 2019
    • Established in 1994 
    • UNCCD is the only legally binding international agreement linking environment and development issues to the land agenda
    • United Nations has 3 Rio Conventions namely, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). 

    Child well-being index
    Child well-being index

    • The index is prepared by NGO World Vision India and research institute IFMR LEAD to measure and tracks children’s well-being comprehensively.
    • The index contains 24 indicators based on three key dimensions of healthy individual development, positive relationships and protective contexts.
    C-DOT’s latest innovations
    • C-Sat-Fi (C-DOT Satellite WiFi): It is based on the optimal utilization of wireless and satellite communication to extend connectivity to the unserved areas including the remote islands and difficult terrains
    • It will help in meeting the demands of applications like IPTV, HD Video Streaming, Online Gaming and host of other cloud-based services that necessitate the seamless availability of high bandwidth
    Indonesia’s new capital:The capital of Indonesia, which is Jakarta at present, will be relocated to the province of East Kalimantan on the lesser populated island of Borneo.


    •  Found in Pakkamalai Reserve Forests(Tamil Nadu)
    • It is a critically endangered species.
    • The species is known to be endemic to India.
    Antimicrobial Resistance
    Antimicrobial Resistance
    Antimicrobial Resistance
    • Anti microbial resistance is the resistance acquired by any microorganism (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasite, etc.) against antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics) that are used to treat infections.
    • As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others.
    • Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”.
    • It is now regarded as a major threat to public health across the globe.
     H1N1 Virus(Swine flu)
     H1N1 Virus(Swine flu)
    • a highlAntimicrobial Resistancey contagious respiratory disease in pigs caused by one of several swine influenza A viruses
    • Transmission of swine influenza viruses to humans is uncommon. However, the swine influenza virus can be transmitted to humans via contact with infected pigs or environments contaminated with swine influenza viruses.
    • Symptoms are cough, fever, soar throat , stuffy or runny nose, headache, body ache etc.
    REDD(Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation)
    REDD(Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation)
    • Context: The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programme being carried out in the himalayan states jointly by Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has been extended till July 2020.
    • It is a mechanism
    • It is under negotiation under UNFCC since 2005
    • objective is to mitigate climate change through reducing net emissions of greenhouse gases through enhanced forest management in developing countries.
    • India did not participated in UN-REDD
    • REDDD+ (Defined in Bali Action Plan, 2007, CoP13)
    • What is the difference between REDD and REDD+?
    1. REDD = “reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries”
    2. REDD+ (or REDD-plus) = to “reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries”
    • REDD+ is essentially a vehicle to financially reward developing countries for their verified efforts to reduce emissions and enhance removals of greenhouse gases.
    • India favours REDD+
    Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
    The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) known commonly as the Iran deal, is an international agreement on the nuclear program of Iran reached in Vienna on 14 July 2015 between Iran, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany),and the European Union