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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 25,26 November,2019

Private member’s Bill
  • A bill introduce by any MP who is not a Minister is called private member's bill.
  • The admissibility is decided by the Chairman for Rajya Sabha and Speaker in the case of Lok Sabha.
  • Private can be discuss and introduce only in Friday while government Bills can be introduced and discussed on any day.
  • 28 private member’s Bills were introduced in Lok Sabha.
GST Council
  • The GST council is the key decision-making body that will take all important decisions regarding the GST.
  • The GST Council dictates tax rate, tax exemption, the due date of forms, tax laws, and tax deadlines, keeping in mind special rates and provisions for some states.
  • members:
  1. The Union Finance Minister will be the Chairperson
  2. As a member, the Union Minister of State will be in charge of Revenue of Finance
  3. The Minister in charge of finance or taxation or any other Minister nominated by each State government, as members.
  • voting strength :centre-1/3; state-2/3, decisions need 75% vote support.
Ken-Betwa interlinking
  •  The government has said it is pushing Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to make progress on the Ken-Betwa river interlinking project.
  • The project involves transferring surplus water from Ken river in Madhya Pradesh to the Betwa in Uttar Pradesh and irrigate 3.64 lakh hectares in the Bundelkhand region of both States. 
  • The most recent one is a disagreement between the States on the share of water. There are outstanding environmental obstructions too.
  • The ₹18,000 crore project has been mired in several controversies. The most recent one is a disagreement between the States on the share of water..
  • Ken and Betwa rivers originate in MP and are the tributaries of Yamuna.
One Stop Centre(OSC) Scheme
  • Scheme popularly known as Sakhi, Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) has formulated this Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
  • Under the scheme, One Stop Centres are being established across the country to provide integrated support and assistance under one roof to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces in phased manner.
  • It will support all women including girls below 18 years of age affected by violence.
  • Union government has approved setting up of six plastic parks in different parts of the country.
  • These parks will have an ecosystem with infrastructure building and enabling the common facility to consolidate and synergize the capacities of the domestic downstream plastic processing industry.
  • These parks are located in Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu. Out of them, the plastic park at Tamot in Madhya Pradesh is functional.
  • Four new plastic parks have also been given in-principle approval for establishment in West Bengal, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh. 
  • Under the scheme, the Union government provides grant funding up to 50 per cent of the project cost. The remaining project cost is to be funded by State Government beneficiary industries and by a loan from financial institutions
Living root bridges
Living root bridges

  • Also known as Jing Kieng Jri
  • these are aerial bridges built by weaving and manipulating the roots of the Indian rubber tree.
  • They have been serving as connectors for generations in Meghalaya.
  • Built over centuries, the bridges, primarily a means to cross streams and rivers, have also become world-famous tourist attractions.
Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)
  • The centre is planning to launch India’s first fixed income Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) comprising debt securities of large central public sector enterprises (PSUs).
  • ETFs are mutual funds listed and traded on stock exchanges like shares.
  • It is an ETF mirrors a particular index, which means the group of stocks in the ETF would be similar to those in the index that it is benchmarked to.
  • ETFs are passive funds where the fund manager doesn’t select stocks on your behalf. Instead, the ETF simply copies an index and endeavours to accurately reflect its performance.
  • In an ETF, one can buy and sell units at prevailing market price on a real time basis during market hours.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 21,22 November,2019

National Register of Citizens (NRC)
  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said that India soon introduce a National Register of Citizens.How such big exercise can be carried out, not yet known.
  • The NRC is the list of Indian citizens and was prepared in 1951, following the census of 1951.
  • The process of NRC update was taken up in Assam as per a Supreme Court order in 2013.
  • In case of Assam, the cut off date -march 25,1971, after which all foreigner as per Assam accord were to be detected,deleted and expelled in accordance with the law. 
  • complex verification process may expelled Indian citizens from the list, not good for us.
  • some measures-exercise demands a robust process that minimizes data infirmities and should get adequate legal recourse.
Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for enactment of Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 and accession to the Hong Kong International Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009.
  • It restricts and prohibits the use or installation of hazardous material.
  • For new ships, such restriction or prohibition on use of hazardous material will be immediate while existing ships have 5 years to compliance.
  • Restriction or prohibition on use of hazardous material would not be applied to warships and non-commercial ships operated by Government.
  • Ships shall be surveyed and certified on the inventory of hazardous material used in ships.
  •  ship recycling facilities are required to be authorized and ships shall be recycled only in such authorized ship recycling facilities with a ship-specific recycling plan.
 Citizenship of a MLA was revoked for hiding foreign visits
  • The home ministry has revoked the citizenship of Telangana MLA Ramesh Chennamaneni on the ground of misrepresentation of facts at the time of applying for citizenship in 2008.
  • Ramesh, who had been living in Germany since 1993, applied for Indian citizenship on March 31, 2008 and was granted the same on February 4, 2009.
  • When the MLA applied for Indian Citizenship, he was holding Germany’s citizenship and never stayed in India for more than 12 months as required for a foreign national in the Foreigners Act.
  • According to Section 5(1)(f) of Citizenship Act of 1955 “the Central Government may, on an application made in this behalf, register as a citizen of India any person if a person of full age and capacity who, or either of his parents, was earlier citizen of independent India, and has been residing in India for one year immediately before making an application for registration.”
Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019
  • Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951 provided for the erection of a National Memorial in memory of those killed or wounded on April 13, 1919, in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar.
  • The 1951 Act also provided for a Trust to manage the National Memorial.
  • Composition: The Trust as per the 1951 Act included the Prime Minister, as Chairperson, (ii) the President of the Indian National Congress, (iii) the Minister in-charge of Culture, (iv) the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, (v) the Governor of Punjab, (vi) the Chief Minister of Punjab, and (vii) three eminent persons nominated by the central government.
  • Changes:(i)bill removes the President of the Indian National Congress as a Trustee.(ii)when there is no Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, the leader of the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha will be the Trustee.(iii) a clause to allow the central government to terminate the term of a nominated trustee before the expiry of his term without assigning any reason but earlier 5 years. 
Prithvi-II missile:
  • It is a surface-to-surface tactical missile with a strike range of 350 km.
  • It is India’s first missile indigenously developed by DRDO under prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).
  • It is capable of carrying 500 to 1,000 kg of warheads, both conventional as well as nuclear.
  • Powered by liquid propulsion twin engines.
Arundhati Swarna Yojana
  • Launched by Assam government.
  • Under the scheme, the government will offer 10 grams of gold as a gift to every adult bride who has completed at least 10th standard and has registered her marriage.
  • The government will not give the gold directly but Rs. 30,000 to purchase 10 gms of gold.
  • Eligibility: the annual income of the bride’s family must be less than five lakh rupees and minimum age should be 18 years and 21 years for the bride and bridegroom respectively
  • FASTags, or reloadable tags for payment at toll booths, will be available for free until November 30, Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari.
  • FASTag is an electronic toll collection system in India, operated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
  • It employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it or directly toll owner. 
  • It is affixed on the windscreen of the vehicle and enables to drive through toll plazas without stopping for transactions. The tag can be purchased from official Tag issuers or participating Banks and if it is linked to a prepaid account, then recharging or top-up can be as per requirement.
  • In January 2019, state-run oil marketing companies IOC, BPCL and HPCL have signed MoUs enabling the use of FASTag to make purchases at petrol pumps.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 20 November,2019

National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) 

  • It is an ambitious  project will be operational by December 31, 2020.
  • The project was started in 2009 in the aftermath of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks with a budget of Rs. 2800 crore
  • NATGRID is an online database for collating scattered pieces of information from more than 20 organisations in the field of telecom, tax records, bank, immigration, etc. to enable the generation of intelligence inputs.
  • At least 10 central agencies like IB, R&AW and others will have access to the data on a secured platform for counter-terror investigations.
  • NATGRID is exempted from the Right to Information Act, 2005 under sub-section (2) of Section 24.
Forest Rights Act (FRA)
  • The act was passed in December 2006.
  • It deals with the rights of forest-dwelling communities over land and other resources.
  • The Act grants legal recognition to the rights of traditional forest dwelling communities, partially correcting the injustice caused by the forest laws.
West Bank
West Bank
  • The West Bank was captured by Jordan after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
  • Israel snatched it back during the Six Day War of 1967, and has occupied it ever since.
  • It is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bordered by Jordan to the east and by the Green Line separating it and Israel on the south, west and north.
  • The West Bank also contains a significant section of the western Dead Sea shore.
  • Uighurs are a Muslim minority community concentrated in the country’s northwestern Xinjiang province.
  • They claim closer ethnic ties to Turkey and other central Asian countries than to China
  • They are prosecuted by the China but resolutely denies all such allegations.
  • Xinjiang is technically an autonomous region within China — its largest region, rich in minerals, and sharing borders with eight countries, including India, Pakistan, Russia and Afghanistan.


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions -18,19 November,2019

250th session of Rajya Sabha,MPs have made the following suggestions:
  • Giving all States, irrespective of their population and size, an equal number of seats in the Rajya Sabha.
  • Unlike the US Senate which ensures equal representation for all federal units (each state having two representatives(50×2=100), India’s Rajya Sabha does have more members from populous states.
  • All members, irrespective of their parties’ strength in the House, the same amount of time to speak in debates
  • The Upper House of the Indian Parliament traces its direct history to the first bicameral legislature introduced in British India in 1919 as a consequence of the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms.
Gram Sabha
  • The Haryana Cabinet has taken an in-principle decision to bring an amendment in Section 31 of the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, allowing devolution of powers to the Gram Sabha to ban liquor within the local area of a Gram Panchayat
  • Gram Sabha is the primary and permanent body of the Panchayati Raj system and by far the largest.
  • The term Gram Sabha is defined in the Constitution of India under Article 243(b).
  • qualification of the members of gram sabha: those who are above 18 years of age. (Living in the village ).Whose names are included in the electoral rolls for the Panchayat at the village level.
  • Constitution mentions that Gram Sabha exercises such powers and performs such functions at the village level as the Legislature of a State may, by law, provide.
Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh
  • Ministry of Women and Child Development has launched Bharatiya PoshanKrishiKosh
  • It is a repository of diverse crops across 128 agro-climatic zones to help enable better nutritional outcomes.
  • It aims to promote and reinforce healthy dietary practices both at the individual and community level and tackle malnutrition  through a multi-sectoral results-based framework, including agriculture, among women and children across the country. 
Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)
  • It is a maternity benefit rechristened from erstwhile Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY).[ IGMSY was launched in 2010.]
  • The scheme is a conditional cash transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating women.
  • It provides a partial wage compensation to women for wage-loss during childbirth and childcare and to provide conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices.
  • They receive a cash benefit of Rs. 5,000 in three instalments on fulfilling the respective conditionality.
Winter-grade diesel
  • State-run Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC) launched a special winter-grade diesel that remains unfrozen up to minus 33 degree Celsius.
  • Motorists in high-altitude sectors like Ladakh, Kargil, Kaza and Keylong face the problem of freezing of diesel in their vehicles when winter temperatures drop to as low as -30o Celsius. 
  • The fuel would help provide year-round access to snow-capped border regions, and is part of India’s efforts to speed up strategic road connectivity
Kimberley Process[KP]-
  • It is an international certification scheme that regulates trade in rough diamonds(in reducing the flow of conflict diamonds)
  • KP members account for approximately 99.8% of the global production of rough diamonds
  • “Conflict Diamonds” means rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to finance conflict aimed at undermining legitimate governments. It is also described in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
  • India is a founding member
  • The Plenary meeting of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is being hosted by India in November 2019.
 Space internet:
  • SpaceX, the world’s leading private company in space technology, has launched 60 satellites into the low earth orbit, under the Starlink network project
  • The project announced in 2015, has now 122 satellites in the orbit
  • Under the project, the company intends to evolve into a constellation of nearly 12,000 satellites.
  • That is because the traditional ways to deliver the Internet — fibre-optic cables or wireless networks  cannot take it everywhere on Earth.
  • Currently, about 4 billion people, more than half the world’s population, do not have access to reliable Internet networks.
Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS):
  • Launched by Ministry of Sports within the ambit of National Sports Development Fund (NSDF).
  • It aims at identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for upcoming Olympic Games.
  • It will provide selected sportspersons customized training at institutes having world class facilities and also other necessary support is being provided to the elite athletes.
  • Sports Authority of India (SAI) and federations, which are members of Mission Olympic Cell (MOC), will be nodal agencies for disbursal for fund
Germany’s Climate Protection Act
  • The German parliament has passed the Climate Protection Act in an attempt to reach its climate target by 2030.
  • This will be Germany’s first climate action law.
  • The bill consists of emissions targets for different sectors of the economy such as transport, energy and housing
  • With this bill, a price on carbon emissions in the transport and heating sectors will be imposed along with some other measures to combat climate change.
  • ISRO is set for launch of Cartosat-3
  • It is an advanced earth imaging and mapping satellite, will be flown on the PSLV-C47 vehicle.
  • Cartosat-3, with an ISRO-best resolution of 25 cm, will be the first of a series of high resolution, third generation satellites planned for observing the Earth.
  • The satellite will be able to pick up objects of that size (25 cm) from its orbital perch about 509 km away.

Monday, November 18, 2019

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

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

Friday, November 15, 2019

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

Chief Justice of India’s office under RTI Act

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

Thursday, November 14, 2019

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

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

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

Sunday, November 10, 2019

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

Bru refugees

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

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

Saturday, November 9, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 8, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions -5 November,2019

Mutual logistics agreement
  • India and Russia are expected to conclude a mutual logistics agreement and review the setting up of joint ventures for manufacturing spares for Russian defence platforms in India.
  • A 50-member industry delegation is accompanying Defence Minister to Russia to explore ways to jointly manufacture spares and components with Russian original equipment manufacturers (OEM) under ‘Make in India’.
Skills Build Platform
  •  Skills Build platform was launched by Directorate General of Training (DGT), under the aegis of Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) in Collaboration with IBM.
  • As part of the programme, a two-year advanced diploma in IT, networking and cloud computing, co-created and designed by IBM, will be offered at the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) & National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs)
  • The platform will be extended to train ITI & NSTI faculty on building skills in Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • Significance of the programme::-enhancing cognitive capabilities and personality-writing, problem solving and communication., foundational knowledge about digital technologies,role-based education for specific jobs etc
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
  • RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between ASEAN + 5 FTA partners(China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.)
  •  India dropped out of the agreement, citing its negative effects on “farmers, MSMEs and the dairy sector(shaded Indian markets with Chinese goods and agricultural produce from oceania and lack of access to Indian services )
NBFC liquidity norms
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has introduced ‘liquidity management framework’ for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs).
  • It is applicable to all non deposit-taking NBFCs with an asset size of ₹100 crore and above, systemically important Core Investment Companies and all deposit-taking NBFCs irrespective of their asset size.
  • The liquidity coverage ratios(LCR) requirement will be binding on NBFCs from December 1, 2020, with the minimum HQLAs to be held being 50% of the LCR, progressively reaching up to the required level of 100% by December 1, 2024.
  • NBFC:-It is a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 engaged in the business of loans and advances, acquisition of shares/stocks/bonds/debentures/securities issued by Government or local authority or other marketable securities of a like nature, leasing, hire-purchase, insurance business, chit business but does not include any institution whose principal business is that of agriculture activity, industrial activity, purchase or sale of any goods (other than securities) or providing any services and sale/purchase/construction of immovable property.
Polypedates bengalensis
Polypedates bengalensis
  • It is a newly discovered frog species from West Bengal.
  • Also known as the Brown Blotched Bengal Tree Frog
  • It belongs to the genus Polypedates. There are 25 other Polypedates species round the world. Polypedates bengalensis is the 26th.


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions -4 November,2019

Amendment to the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016

  • It has been passed to include this provision amid demands for an inner line permit (ILP) system to stop illegal immigration into the state.
  •  registration on entry in Meghalya is mandatory for visitors who intend to spend more than 24 hours in the state.
  • Central and state government employees are exempt from the new entry rule.
  • It is an official travel document required by Indian citizens residing outside certain “protected” states while entering them.
  •   It is issued by the Government of India.
  • It is obligatory for all those who reside outside the protected states.
  • Aim to protect tribal cultures in northeastern India.
  • Currently, it is operational in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organization Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search & Rescue,the latest edition is being held in India.
  • It is Hosted by National Disaster Response Force(NDRF)
  • Aim to rehearse the disaster response mechanism, share knowledge, experience, technology & also for mutual coordination, etc.
  • The participants are Members of SCO(China, India, Kazakhastan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.)

  • The 14th East Asia Summit (EAS) was held in Bangkok, Thailand
  • The first summit was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 14 December 2005 and it was created in this year.
  • EAS(ASEAN+6), representing nearly 50 per cent of the world’s population and over 20 per cent of global trade
  • EAS is an initiative of ASEAN and is based on the premise of the centrality of ASEAN.
  •  It has evolved as a forum( annual forum of 18 countries of the Asia-Pacific region) for strategic dialogue and cooperation on political, security and economic issues of common regional concern and plays an important role in the regional architecture.
Significance for India:
  • India's membership to the EAS is a recognition of its fast growing economic and political clout.
  • EAS acts as an alternative to the APEC in which India doesn’t enjoy the membership.
  • Act East policy of India:build and strengthen bilateral relations,multi-faceted relations with ASEAN, multilateral relations.
  • Role in cultural and people to people cooperation with the region.
  • ISRO and its commercial arm Antrix Corporation Ltd. are poised to commercialise India’s regional navigation satellite system, NavIC.
  • NavIC (Navigation in Indian Constellation) is the Indian system of eight satellites that is aimed at telling business and individual users where they are, or how their products and services are moving. 
  • The indigenous positioning or location based service (LBS) works just like the established and popular U.S. Global Positioning System or GPS, but within a 1,500-km radius over the sub-continent.
Dustlik 2019
  • It is the first-ever India-Uzbekistan Joint Exercise.
  • Being held at Tashkent in Uzbekistan.
  • The primary focus will be on counterterrorism.
National Waterway -2
  • First ever movement of container cargo on Brahmaputra (National Waterway -2) begins.
  • The journey of a container took place between Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) to the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) terminal at Pandu in Guwahati.
    National Waterway -2

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions -1 November,2019


  • The Pegasus spyware is capable of operating on Android, iOS, and even Microsoft's Windows Mobile systems.
  • The surveillance was carried out using an Israeli spyware tool called Pegasus.
  • The code is transmitted via WhatsApp call. The code enters the phone even if the call is not answered.
  • It has been reported that the popular messaging platform WhatsApp was used to spy on journalists and human rights activists in India earlier this year. 
BAMBOO Technology Park
BAMBOO Technology Park

  • Union Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) announced that Bamboo Technology Parks would be set up in the two new Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • The Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre (CBTC) under North Eastern Council (NEC) will implement the project.
  • The model for bamboo cultivation, harvesting and utilisation currently existing in the North Eastern Region shall be replicated in the two new Union Territories to give a fillip to the sector.
  • A Bamboo Industrial Park has already been approved to be set up in the Dima Hasao district of Assam. 
UNESCO Creative City Network(UNCCN)
UNESCO Creative City Network(UNCCN)
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has included Mumbai and Hyderabad in its network of 'Creative Cities' among the 66 cities selected on the occasion of World Cities Day 2019
  • Mumbai has been designated as Creative City of Films and Hyderabad as a Creative City of Gastronomy.
  • Earlier,  Chennai and Varanasi have been included in UNESCO Cities of Music and Jaipur has been included in the City of Crafts and Folk Arts.
  • By joining the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), the cities committed to share best practices and develop partnerships involving public and private sectors as well as civil society to strengthen the creation, production, and distribution of cultural activities.
Dharma Guardian-2019
  • India and Japan have been holding a two-week-long joint military exercise called Dharma Guardian-2019 in Mizoram from 19 October to 2 November 2019.
  • The primary focus of the exercise was to train and equip the contingents in counter-insurgency and counter- terrorism operations in mountainous terrain
  • The joint exercise marks reaffirmation of India and Japan to further bolster bilateral security and defense cooperation