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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 31 December,2019

Electro-kinetic streaming
  • The Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT-G) researchers have developed materials that can produce energy from flowing or stagnant water in households.
  • Electro-kinetic streaming potential: When fluids stream through tiny channels that are charged, they can generate an electrical voltage, which may be harnessed through miniaturised generators.
  • Devices with doped graphene(form of carbon) flakes was also fabricated for generating power by dipping it in a bucket of water or any stagnant water source to “complementary charge transfer activities”
  • Graphene is the sheet produced by oxidation followed by reduction of natural graphite flakes.
Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA)
  • It gives armed forces the power to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”.
  • They have the authority to prohibit a gathering of five or more persons in an area, can use force or even open fire after giving due warning if they feel a person is in contravention of the law.
  • The Central Government, or the Governor of the State or administrator of the Union Territory can declare the whole or part of the State or Union Territory as a disturbed area.
Sustainable Development Goal Index
Sustainable Development Goal Index
  • NITI Aayog has released the 2019 SDG India Index.
  • The index evaluates progress of States and Union Territories on social, economic and environmental parameters.
  • The SDG India Index, launched last year by Niti Aayog with the help of United Nations, took into account 16 out of 17 goals specified by the United Nations as SDGs .
  • Kerala retained the top rank and 
  • Himachal Pradesh took the second spot while Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana shared the third spot.
  • Chandigarh maintained its top spot among the UTs.
  • Bihar, Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh are the worst performing states.
Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)
  • The government has launched a web portal, ‘Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)’, to facilitate blocking and tracing of stolen/lost mobile phones in Delhi.
  • The launch of the project in Delhi.
  •  It will facilitate  request for blocking of stolen or lost mobile phone by customers; blocking of such mobile phones across mobile networks; sharing of traceability data with the Police; and unblocking of recovered/ found stolen or lost mobile phones etc.
  • The web portal was first launched in Mumbai


Monday, December 30, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 30 December,2019

Instrument of Accession
  • From 2020, people in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have a public holiday on 26 October for the first time. 
  • The day, which will be observed as Accession Day, marks the signing of the Instrument of Accession(legal document ) by the last Dogra ruler of J&K, Maharaja Hari Singh, with the then Governor-General of India, Lord Mountbatten  on October 26, 1947.
  • It declared that the state of Jammu and Kashmir accedes to India and gave India’s Parliament the power to legislate in respect of J&K only on the matters of defence, external affairs and communications.
  • Using Instrument of Accession, Article 370 was incorporated in the Constitution of India.

  • NASA has launched a seasonal campaign called SnowEx for better understand how water is contained in each winter’s snowfall and how much will be available when it melts in the spring.
  • Aim is to address the most important gaps in our snow remote sensing knowledge and lay the groundwork for a future snow satellite mission.
  • It assesses where snow has fallen, how much there is and how its characteristics change as it melts. 
  • It uses airborne measurements, ground measurements and computer modelling
 Deposit insurance
  • The finance ministry and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) seek insurance for bank deposits above Rs 1 lakh aftermath of the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank scam.
  • Deposit insurance is providing insurance protection to the depositor’s money by receiving a premium.
  • The government has set up Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) under RBI to protect depositors if a bank fails.
  • Every insured bank pays premium amounting to 0.001% of its deposits to DICGC every year.
  • When a bank is liquidated, depositors are entitled to receive an insurance amount of ₹1 lakh( principal + interest)per individual from the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (DICGC).
UN backs Russia on internet convention
  • The United Nations has approved a Russian-led bid that aims to create a new convention on cybercrime.
  • The General Assembly approved the resolution sponsored by Russia and backed by China, which would set up a committee of international experts in 2020.
  • A new UN treaty on cybercrime could render the Budapest Convention obsolete, further alarming rights groups and Western powers that fear a bid to restrict online freedom.
  • The Budapest Convention was drafted by the Council of Europe, but other countries have joined, including the United States and Japan.
  • Budapest convention  is the first international treaty seeking to address Internet and computer crime by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques, and increasing cooperation among nations.
  • Russia has opposed the Budapest Convention, arguing that giving investigators access to computer data across borders violates national sovereignty.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 27 December,2019

Grounds for divorce under Hindu law(The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955)
  • recently Supreme Court used extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to grant divorce in a case of “irretrievable breakdown of marriage”.
  • Article 142 is one such provision in our Constitution which empowers the Supreme Court to pass such "decree or order as may be necessary for doing complete justice between the parties"
  • Irretrievable breakdown of marriage:-situation that exists when either or both spouses are no longer able or willing to live with each other, thereby destroying their husband and wife relationship with no hope of resumption of spousal duties.
  • Currently, Hindu marriage law does not include “irretrievable breakdown of marriage” as a ground for divorce.
  • The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, lays down the law for divorce, which applies to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs.
  • Under Section 13 of the Act, the grounds for divorce include: voluntary sexual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse, cruelty,desertion (continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition),Hindu by conversion to another religion,incurably of unsound mind.
  • In addition, Section 13B provides for “divorce by mutual consent”.
  • Section 27 of The Special Marriage Act, 1954 provides the grounds for grant of divorce in the case of marriages solemnised under that Act.
BrahMos Missile
BrahMos Missile
  • DRDO carried out two successful tests of the latest variant of the BrahMos missile, one from the land platform and the other from air. 
  • BrahMos name was taken from the names of the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva. 
  • BrahMosis is a cruise missile, being produced by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture company set up by DRDO and Mashinostroyenia of Russia in 1998.
  • Its land-to-land, submarine-fired and now air-fired variants have been developed stage by stage.
  • A newer version under development is aimed at flying at speeds greater than Mach 5. These are called hypersonic cruise missiles. 
 Eat Right Mela
  • Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare(Harsh Vardhan) inaugurated the 2nd edition in New Delhi.
  • As a part of the Eat Right India movement, the ‘Eat Right Mela ’aims to usher in a ‘new food culture’ by nudging businesses and consumers to adopt safe, healthy and sustainable food practices and habits.
  • Eat Right India’ movement :Launched by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
  • FSSAI has prescribed a limit for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) at 25% in cooking oil to avoid the harmful effects of reused cooking oil.
Typhoon Phanfone:
  • It is a typhoon that lashed the central Philippines recently.
  • It is known as Ursula in the local language in the Philippines.
  • A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone that develops between 180° and 100°E in the Northern Hemisphere(referred as the Northwestern Pacific Basin,most active tropical cyclone basin on Earth, world one-third of the world’s annual tropical cyclones)

Friday, December 27, 2019

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

‘Good Governance Index’
  • Good Governance Day is observed on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee (25th December).
  • It is a tool to assess the status of governance and the impact of various interventions taken up by the State Government and UTs.
  • The GGI takes into consideration 10 sectors — agriculture and allied sectors, commerce and industries, human resource development, public health, public infrastructure and utilities, economic governance, social welfare & development, judicial and public security, environment and citizen-centric governance.
  • Top performers among the big states: Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat and bottom six states are Odisha, Bihar, Goa, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.
  • The Epigraphy Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered the earliest epigraphic evidence so far for the Saptamatrika cult.
  • It is also the earliest Sanskrit inscription to have been discovered in South India as on date.
  • Saptamatrikas are a group of seven female deities worshipped in Hinduism as personifying the energy of their respective consorts.
  • The inscription is in Sanskrit and in Brahmi characters and was issued by Satavahana king Vijaya in 207 A.D. 
Bharatnet Project(Free WiFi to all villages)
  • To promote uptake of the Internet in rural areas, government promised free Wi-Fi to about 48,000 villages, which are connected through the government’s flagship Bharatnet project
  • Digital Village, conceptualised by the Common Service Centre (CSC) -Special Purpose Vehicle(SPV) under the Ministry of Electronics and IT, is a village where citizens can avail various e-services of the central and the State governments, as well as of private players. 
  • There were about 3.6 lakh CSCs in the country covering 2.25 lakh gram panchayats.
National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
  • India continues to have the dubious distinction of recording the highest number, or 34% of all suicides in the world.
  • According to provision of Section 309 of the IPC attempted suicide continues to be a criminal offence( punishable with simple imprisonment, which may extend up to one year)
  • However, Section 115 of the Mental Healthcare Act(MCHA), 2017 states that “any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress and shall not be tried and punished under the said Code (Section 309 of IPC).” 
  • After the MCHA, 2017, the Section has become “redundant” but still remains in law books.
  • Therefore, once National strategy of prepared, it is expected to remove confusion surrounding inconsistencies between IPC and MCHA

Thursday, December 26, 2019

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

Swadesh Darshan Scheme(SDS)
  • Ministry of Tourism launched the scheme in 2015.
  • Objective to develop theme based tourist circuits having high tourist value in the country.
  • A National Steering Committee (NSC)will be constituted with Minister in charge of M/O Tourism as Chairman, to steer the mission objectives and vision of the scheme.
  • Scheme is 100% centrally funded.
  • Under the Scheme 15 circuits have been identified for development namely Himalayan Circuit, North East Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Buddhist Circuit and Coastal Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, Heritage Circuit, Tirthankar Circuit and Sufi Circuit.
  • First Tribal Circuit Project under SDS will be inaugurated in Chhattisgarh.
Atal Bhujal yojana
  • It is a Rs.6000 crore World Bank approved Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • The funding pattern is 50:50 between Government of India and World Bank.]
  • It Aims to improve ground water management in priority areas in the country through community participation.
  • The scheme will also facilitate convergence of ongoing Government schemes in the states by incentivizing their focussed implementation in identified priority areas.
  • The priority areas identified under the scheme fall in the states of Gujarat,Rajasthan,Haryana,Uttar Pradesh,Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Rohtang Pass
Rohtang Pass
  • The Union Cabinet has decided to name the Strategic Tunnel under Rohtang Pass after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • The 8.8-km-long tunnel(cut through Pir Panjal range) is the world’s longest above an altitude of 3,000 metres.
  • It will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 kilometres.
  • It will provide all weather connectivity to remote border areas of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh which otherwise remained cut off from the rest of the country for about six months during winters. 
Hypersonic Weapons
  • President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is the only country in the world that has hypersonic weapons[weapons that travel faster than Mach5 (~6174kmph)], have the capability to manoeuvre during the entire flight.
  • The first unit equipped with the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle is set to go on duty by Dec 2019, while that the air-launched Kinzhal hypersonic missiles already have entered service.
  • Avangardhas an intercontinental range and can fly in the atmosphere at a speed 20 times the speed of sound.
  • Kinzhal hypersonic missiles flies 10 times faster than the speed of sound, has a range of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) and can carry a nuclear or a conventional warhead.
  • Mach Number:- It is the ratio of the speed of the body to the speed of sound in the undisturbed medium through which the body is traveling. 
Bar-headed goose(also known as Anser indicus)
Bar-headed goose(also known as Anser indicus)
  • It is known to be one of the highest flying birds in the world.
  • The species has been reported as migrating south from Tibet, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia before crossing the Himalaya.
  • It is classified as “Least Concerned” as per the IUCN Red List

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 24 December,2019

Burden of mental disorders across the States of India
  • Global Burden of Disease Study 1990-2017,conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI)
  • Mental disorders of various kinds are adversely affecting a large population of Indians, especially in South Indian States and in women.
  • 1 in every 7 Indians were affected by mental disorders of varying severity in 2017.
  • The higher prevalence of depressive and anxiety disorders in southern States could be related  modernisation and urbanisation in these States and many other factors that are not yet well understood.
Rohingya Crisis
Rohingya Crisis
  • Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi is defending Myanmar in ICJ against accusations of genocide.
  • The Rohingya, who numbered around one million in Myanmar at the start of 2017, are one of the many ethnic minorities in the country.
  • Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist country, denies the Rohingya citizenship  and treated as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
  • It is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 on the initiative of the G7. 
  • The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
  • The FATF Secretariat is housed at the OECD headquarters in Paris.
  • The FATF has kept Pakistan on the Grey List  until February 2020.
  •  FATF had warned Pakistan that if it failed to complete its action plan on terror financing could possibly lead to the country getting blacklisted.
  •  now blacklist ;-Iran and North Korea  and seven on the grey list, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria.
  • When a country comes in the Grey list:-Economic sanctions from international institutions (IMF, World Bank, ADB etc.) and countries and overall Reduction in its international trade.
US Space Force
  • China has criticised US of turning the cosmos into a battlefield and pursuing the weaponisation of outer space
  • 2020 National Defence Authorization Actwas signed byU.S. President Donald Trump,which creates a new branch(Space Force) of the U.S. military.
  • The Space Force will be the sixth formal force of the U.S. military, after the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.
  • It is not intended to put troops into orbit, but will protect US assets – such as the hundreds of satellites used for communication and surveillance.
Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air missiles (QRSAM)
  • DRDO has successfully test-fired indigenously developed Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air missiles (QRSAM) from a test range off the Odisha coast
  • It has been developed to replace the ‘Akash’ missile defence system, and has 360-degree coverage.
  • It uses solid fuel propellant and has a strike range of 25-30 km with capability of hitting multiple targets and low flying objects.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 23 December,2019

Future Skills
  • It is a new age platform built to bridge the industry-academia skill gap and help students keep pace with the emerging technologies — artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, cybersecurity and internet of things (IoT).
  • Wipro has partnered with NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies) to launch a skilling platform called ‘Future Skills’
  • This is a part of Wipro’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme, TalentNext.
  • TalentNext aims to enhance the quality of engineering education by preparing faculty and academic leaders to train students.
Chabahar Port
Chabahar Port
  • Located on the Gulf of Oman and is the only oceanic port of the country.
  • India, Afghanistan and Iran recently met to discuss the issues in the implementation of Chabahar port in Iran.
  • This was the 2nd meeting of the Follow-up Committee for implementation of the trilateral Chabahar Agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran at the level of Joint Secretary/ Director General.
  • With this, India can bypass Pakistan in transporting goods to Afghanistan.
  • It also helps India counter Chinese presence in the Arabian Seawhich China is trying to ensure by helping Pakistan develop the Gwadar port.
EChO Network
  •  Indian Government has launched a network to encourage cross-disciplinary leadership- Called EChO Network.
  • Aim to identify gaps in knowledge regarding environment and then train postdoctoral leaders in research and outreach on these topics, incorporating current public and private efforts.
  • It provides interactive sessions with citizens, industry, academia, and the government, the Network will identify gaps in knowledge regarding selected topics in human and environmental ecosystems.
  • This network will inspire an entirely new approach to Indian education and exploration necessary for the post-technological world.
European Green Deal
  • On recently annual Madrid Climate talks, the European Union came up with an announcement on additional measures it would on climate change,Called the European Green Deal.
  • EU with 28 member countries are together the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world after China and the United States.
  • Climate neutrality: The EU has promised to bring a law, binding on all member countries, to ensure it becomes “climate neutral” by 2050.
  • Climate neutrality, sometimes also expressed as a state of net-zero emissions, is achieved when a country’s emissions are balanced by absorptions and removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
  • The EU is now the first major emitter to agree to the 2050 climate neutrality target.
Islamic Cooperation countries (OIC)
  • It is an international organization founded in 1969, consisting of 57 member states.
  • It is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations.
  • It safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony “.
  • It has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union.
  • Permanent Secretariat is in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Section 144 CrPC
  • It gives power to a District Magistrate, a sub- divisional Magistrate or any other Executive Magistrate on behalf of the State Government to issue an order to an individual or the general public in a particular place or area to “abstain from a certain act” or “to take certain order with respect to certain property in his possession.
  • Section 144 restricts carrying any sort of weapon in that area where it has been imposed and people can be detained for violating it. 
  • The maximum punishment for such an act is three years.
  • No order under Section 144 shall remain in force for more than two months but the state government can extent the validity for two months and maximum up to six months.
  • It can be withdrawn at any point of time if situation becomes normal.
Hunar Haats
  • Hunar Haats are organised by Ministry of Minority Affairs under USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills & Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) scheme.
  • The USTTAD scheme aims at preserving & promoting the rich heritage of the traditional arts & crafts of the Minority communities.
  • Hunar Haat is an exhibition of handicrafts and traditional products made by artisans from the Minority communities.
  • Aim:-promoting and supporting artisans from Minority communities and providing them domestic as well as international markets for displaying and selling their products.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

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

United Nations Peacekeeping
  • Indian peacekeepers have received the United Nations Medal for their dedication and sacrifice serving so far away from home to protect civilians and build durable peace in South Sudan.
  • India has been the largest troop contributor(49 Peacekeeping missions with a total contribution exceeding 2,45,000 troops) to UN missions since inception.
  • United Nations Peacekeeping was created in 1948.
  • Its first mission involved the establishment of the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), which served to observe and maintain ceasefire during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
  •  It brings together the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Secretariat, troop and police contributors and the host governments in a joint effort to maintain international peace and security.
United Nations International Children’s Education Fund(UNICEF): Ensure Child Rights
  • Children’s rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, including in peaceful protest, are enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
  • UNCRC is a human rights treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children.
  • The Convention defines a child as any human being under the age of eighteen.
  • The treaty came into force in 1990.Currently, 196 countries have signed and ratified it (including India).
Tripura gets its first Special Economic Zone (SEZ)
  • Recently, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has notified setting up of Tripura’s first ever Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
  • It will be developed by Tripura Industrial Development Corporation (TIDC) Ltd. for the industries based on rubber, textile and apparel, bamboo and agri-food processing.
  • Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are geographically delineated zone in which regulations and practices related to business and trade differ from the rest of the country and therefore all the units therein enjoy special privileges.
  • Facilities and incentives:-Duty-free import/domestic procurement of goods for development.Income tax exemption on export income,Exemption from Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) and Single window clearance.
Concrete Maturity Meter: To measure the strength of concrete
  • The Construction Engineering Research Foundation (PCERF)- a non-profit body- has developed the country’s first indigenous Concrete Maturity Meter that determines the strength of concrete used in construction.
  • The device can help in significantly reducing the margin of error in estimating the strength of a structure .
  • The device can also be directly connected to mobile phones so as to suit the techniques and skills of end users in India.
Kaleswaram project
Special Economic Zone
  • Telangana State government has requested the Centre to treat Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP)(on the Godavari River.)as a National Project
  • National Projects are provided Central grant of 90% of the estimated cost for their completion in a time bound manner.
  • The Kaleshwaram project is an off-shoot of the original Pranahitha-Chevella Lift Irrigation Scheme.
  • The project is designed to irrigate 7,38,851 hectares (over 18.47 lakh acres) uplands in the erstwhile districts of Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Warangal, Medak, Nalgonda and Ranga Reddy.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

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

Can the strength of Lok Sabha be increased?

  • The Constitution (126th Amendment) Billpassed by Parliament last week, while extending the reservation for SC/STs, did away with the provision for nomination of Anglo Indians. This has brought the strength of Lok Sabha down to 543 now.
  • Article 81 of the Constitution defines the composition of the House of the People or Lok Sabha.
  • It states that the House shall not consist of more than 550 elected members of whom not more than 20 will represent UTs.
  • As per Clause 3 of Article 81, population, for the purpose of allocation of seats, means “population as ascertained at the last preceding Census of which the relevant figures have been published” . But as a result of an amendment to this Clause in 2003, the “population” now means population as per the 1971 Census — and will be so until the first Census that is taken after 2026.
  • Need for more seats:The number of Lok Sabha seats should be rationalized on the basis of population..
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana-lll (PMGSY-III)
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana-lll (PMGSY-III)

  • Phase III of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) has been launched.
  • A total of 5,99,090 Km road length has been constructed under the scheme since inception till April, 2019 (inclusive of PMGSY-I, PMGSY-II and RCPLWEA Scheme.
  • Under the PMGSY-III Scheme, it is proposed to consolidate 1,25,000 Km road length in the States.
  • Consolidation of Through Routes and Major Rural Links connecting habitations to Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), Higher Secondary Schools and Hospitals.
  • Funds shared- 60:40 between the Centre and State for all States except for 8 North Eastern states and Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand for which it is 90:10.

Impeachment of US president

  • Impeachment is a provision that allows Congress to remove the President of the United States. Under the US Constitution:
  • The House of Representatives (Lower House) has the “the sole power of impeachment” while the Senate (Upper House) has “the sole power to try all impeachments”.
  • The Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court has the duty of presiding over impeachment trials in the Senate.
  • Grounds for impeachment: The President can be removed from office for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”.

Biosimilar medicine:

  • WHO prequalifies first biosimilar medicine– trastuzumab- to increase worldwide access.
  • Trastuzumab is a monoclonal antibody – was included in the WHO Essential Medicines List in 2015 as an essential treatment for about 20% of breast cancers.
  • Biosimilar is a biologic medical product that is almost an identical copy of an original product that is manufactured by a different company. contain active substances from a biological source.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

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

AMRUT mission
  • the Centre has decided to extend the mission period of its flagship initiative Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) by two more years.
  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) is the new avatar of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
  • Five hundred cities have been selected under AMRUTlike All Cities and Towns with a population of over one lakh with notified Municipalities as per Census 2011, including Cantonment Boards (Civilian areas)
  • All Cities/ Towns classified as Heritage Cities by MoHUA under the HRIDAY Scheme.
  • The Mission will focus on the following Thrust Areas:
1.Water Supply.
2.Sewerage and septage management.
3.Storm Water Drainage to reduce flooding
4.Non-motorized Urban Transport.
5.Green space/parks.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
  • It is used to understand how much of any nutrient (salt, sugar, fat) should be consumed from different meals.
  • Most packaged foods fall in the ‘snack’ category and the RDA of this food is, therefore, a proportion of daily intake
  • laboratory analysis of most packaged and fast food items sold in India has revealed high salt and fat content, in violation of thresholds set by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
Global Refugee Forum
  • First ever Global Refugee Forum is being held in Geneva, Switzerland on 17 and 18 December 2019.
  • The GRF will be held every four years at the Ministerial level. 
  • Jointly hosted by United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) along with Government of Switzerland.
  • Guided by the Global Compact on Refugees, the Global Refugee Forum is an opportunity to translate the principle of international responsibility-sharing into concrete action.
  • The Forum will showcase impactful pledges and contributions and the exchange of good practices.
Indian Culture Portal
  • Culture Minister unveiled a portal on Indian culture which brings together all the cultural resources of the country on one platform(www.indianculture.gov.in)
  • The Indian Culture Portal is a part of the National Virtual Library of India project, funded by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. 
  • Data has been provided by organisations of the Ministry of Culture and curated by Indira Gandhi National Open University.
  • The portal has been created and developed by the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. 
National Broadband Mission (NBM)
National Broadband Mission (NBM)
  • The union government has launched the National Broadband Mission (NBM).
  • The mission will facilitate universal and equitable access to broadband services across the country, especially in rural and remote areas.
  • It also involves laying of incremental 30 lakh route km of optical fibre cable and increasing tower density from 0.42 to 1 tower per thousand population by 2024.
  • It will also strive for the creation of a digital fibre map of the communications network and infrastructure, including optical fibre cables and towers across the country.
No State-wise minority classification
  • Religion has no borders, Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde said on Wednesday, as the Supreme Court dismissed a petition to recognise Hindus as minorities in the States where they are low in population.
  • Articles 29 (protection of the interests of minorities) and Article 30 (the right of minorities to administer educational institutions) of the Constitution deals with special provisions for minorities.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

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

privilege motion
  • Congress moves privilege motion against Smriti Irani for remark on Rahul Gandhi.
  • certain rights and immunities enjoyed by members of Parliament, individually and collectively, so that they can “effectively discharge their functions
  • It's concerned with the"breach of parliamentary privilege by a minister"
  • Motion can moved by any member of either House against those being held guilty of breach of privilege
  • Rule No 222 in Chapter 20 of the Lok Sabha Rule Book and correspondingly Rule 187 in Chapter 16 of the Rajya Sabha rulebook governs privilege.
  • The Speaker/RS chairperson is the first level of scrutiny of a privilege motion.
  • The Speaker/Chair can decide on the privilege motion himself or herself or refer it to the privileges committee(LS↪15 &RS↪10 members) of Parliament.
Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV)
Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV)
  • Fuel-cell electric vehicle is essentially a hybrid electric vehicle wherein, the internal combustion engine is replaced with a fuel-cell stack. The on board sources of power include hydrogen as well as an advanced battery system.
  • The fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to generate an electric current, water being the only byproduct.
  • Fuel cells generate electricity through an electrochemical process.
  • Unlike a battery-electricity vehicle, it does not store energy and, instead, relies on a constant supply of fuel and oxygen ;in the same way that an internal combustion engine relies on a constant supply of petrol or diesel, and oxygen.
National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT)
  • RBI has extended the availability of National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) round-the-clock on all the seven days of the week (24×7 basis) to facilitate beyond the banking hour fund transfer
  • NEFT is an electronic funds transfer system maintained by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • Started in November 2005, the setup was established and maintained by Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT).
  • NEFT enables bank customers in India to transfer funds  via electronic messages between any two NEFT-enabled bank accounts on a one-to-one basis.
Project Dolphin
  • The government is planning to launch a programme called “Project Dolphin”to enhance the population of these dolphins.
  • The Gangetic river dolphins were officially discovered in 1801 and are one of the oldest creatures in the world along with some species of turtles, crocodiles and sharks, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
  • The Gangetic river dolphins can only live in freshwater, are blind and catch their prey in a unique manner, using ultrasonic sound waves.
  • Dolphins have been included in Schedule I of the Indian Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972, Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and categorised as ‘Endangered’ on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 16 December,2019

Doorstep delivery of public services scheme
  • The doorstep delivery of  100 public services scheme is implemented by the administrative reforms department of the Delhi government.
  • It helps citizen from avoid queues, touts, bribery and multiple visits to government offices.
  • Under the scheme, citizens can call on the number — 1076 — to avail government services. After the call, a person will visit the citizen and collect documents required for the service and process the request.Citizens can also book an appointment  through online.
National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM)
  • The Ministry of Environment has set up the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM).
  • Aims & objectives:-
  1. Strive for being a World Class Knowledge Institution related to coastal zones, environment, resources and processes.
  2. To promote integrated and sustainable management of the coastal and marine areas in India for the benefit and wellbeing of the traditional coastal and island communities and advice the Union and State Governments  on policy, and scientific matters related to Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM).
National Ganga Council (NGC)
  • It is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,met for the first time at Kanpur since its inception in 2016, with the proposal to save and enhance the population of the Gangetic Dolphin.
  • The council consists of chief ministers from five states along the Ganga — Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Jharkhand along with nine Union ministers and NITI Aayog vice-chairman.
  • It replaced the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA).
  • The central objective of the council is to work on the “protection, prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution in River Ganga.
Wi-Fi Calling
Wi-Fi Calling
  • Bharti Airtel has introduced Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi), a first for India.
  • Wi-Fi Calling is aimed especially for areas where cellular networks are not strong.
  • It uses high speed Internet connection, available via broadband, to make and receive high definition (HD) voice calls.
  • It  can be configured on compatible smartphones by upgrading operating systems to the version that supports Wi-Fi Calling.
  • Users don’t have to pay extra for these calls as it is using a Wi-Fi network.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 12,13 December,2019

Shore temple

  • The shoreline on the northern side of the Shore Temple in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu is facing severe sea erosion.
  • The Public Works Department is awaiting funds to construct groynes for coastal protection at a cost of ₹95.95 crore.
  • A groyne is a shore protection structure built perpendicular to the shoreline of the coast (or river), over the beach to reduce longshore drift and trap sediments. A groyne functions as a physical barrier by intercepting sand moving along the shore. 
River Pollution
  • Samples taken from two-thirds of the water quality stations spanning India’s major rivers showed contamination by one or more heavy metals, exceeding safe limits set by the Bureau of Indian Standards.
  • Source of metal pollution: Mining, milling, plating and surface finishing industries that discharge a variety of toxic metals into the environment.
  • The presence of metals in drinking water is to some extent unavoidable and certain metals, in trace amounts, required for good health.
  • India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its 50th flight (PSLV-C48), successfully launched RISAT-2BR1, an earth observation satellite, along with nine commercial satellites of Israel, Italy, Japan and USA from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.
  • It is a radar imaging earth observation satellite weighing about 628 kg. 
  • The satellite will provide services in the field of Agriculture, Forestry and Disaster Management. 
United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement(USMCA) trade deal
  • The US, Mexico and Canada have finalised the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that will replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
  • But the deal needs approval by legislatures in the three countries before it can move forward.
  • USMCA is intended to last 16 years and will be reviewed every 6 years.
Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme
  • It allows for purchase of high-rated pooled assets from financially-sound non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and housing finance companies (HFCs) by public sector banks (PSBs).
  • The scheme would cover NBFCs and HFCs that might have slipped into “SMA-0” category during the one-year period prior to August 1, 2018, and asset pools rated “BBB+” or higher.
  • The window for one-time partial credit guarantee offered by the government would remain open till June 30, 2020 or till such date by which Rs 1 lakh crore worth of assets get purchased by the banks, whichever is earlier.
  • The Finance Minister would have the power to extend the validity of the scheme by up to three months by taking into account its progress.
Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT)
  • Cabinet authorises National Highways Authority of India(NHAI) to set up Infrastructure Investment Trust and monetize National Highway projects.
  •  NHAI will set up the Infrastructure Investment Trust(s) (InvIT) as per InvIT Guidelines issued by SEBI.
  • Under InvIT, highway projects will be bundled to form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to be offered to investors.
  • The SPV would then be traded on the stock exchanges, and returns will be linked to the InvIT’s performance in the capital market.
  • International technology companyIBM plans to make a high-resolution weather forecast model that will also rely on user-generated data to improve the accuracy of forecasts available in India.
  • IBM GRAF, as the forecast system is called, can generate forecasts at a resolution of 3 kilometres.
  • For its forecasts, IBM relies on a global network of sensors — automatic weather station, data bouys and barometric pressure data from cellphones of users who’ve downloaded the application.
  • Weather forecasts will be available to individuals for free download and can be used by farmers.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
  •  The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has added about 1,840 new species to its updated “Red List of Threatened Species”.
  • It is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species.

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 10,11 December,2019

UN development index
  • India ranks 129 out of 189 countries on the 2019 Human Development Index (HDI) — 130(2018.).
  • The HDI measures average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development — life expectancy, education and per capita income.
  • Norway, Switzerland and Ireland occupied the top three positions in that order.
  • Among India’s neighbours, Sri Lanka (71) and China (85) are higher up the rank scale while Bhutan (134), Bangladesh (135), Myanmar (145), Nepal (147), Pakistan (152) and Afghanistan (170) were ranked lower on the list.
Anglo- Indians in Lok Sabha and Assemblies
  • Anglo-Indians are unlikely to be nominated to Lok Sabha and state Assemblies from now on with the government recently introducing a bill to amend the Constitution seeking to not to extend the provision that is in place for the past 70 years but expires in January next year.
  • Article 334 has laid down provisions for reserving the seats for SCs and STs and nomination of Anglo-Indians to Lok Sabha and state Assemblies, which shall cease to be in effect on the 25 January 2020.
  • Under article 331; the President of India is authorised to nominate 2 members of the Anglo Indian community if know member of this community is elected among the 543 members for the Lok Sabha.
  •  The governor of the state is authorised to nominate 1 Anglo Indian in the lower house of the State Legislature in case of under representation.
  • Anglo- Indians :-a person whose father or any of whose other male progenitors in the male line is or was of European descent but who is a native of India
6th Schedule of the Constitution
  • The centre has asserted that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been tweaked so that states where the Inner Line Permit (ILP) is applicable, and tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram that are notified under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution would be kept out of its purview.
  • Under Article 244, it deals with the administration of the tribal areas in the four northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • Passed by the Constituent Assembly in 1949, it seeks to safeguard the rights of tribal population through the formation of Autonomous District Councils (ADC).
  • The governor is empowered to organise and re-organise the autonomous districts.
Skills Build Platform
  • It is a digital platform developed by IBM enabling holistic learning and aligning it with Skills India initiative by Government of India.
  • Launched by Directorate General of Training (DGT), under the aegis of Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
  • 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).
  • Students will also receive recommendations on role-based education for specific jobs that include technical and professional learning.
Land Boundary Agreement (LBA)Land Boundary Agreement (LBA)
  • More than four years after the historic Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) between India and Bangladesh, a report released by civil rights organisations on the situation in erstwhile enclaves states that protest and resistance have become an essential part of their survival in India.
  • Under the Land Boundary Agreement between, the Bangladeshi enclaves in India and Indian enclaves in Bangladesh were transferred on July 31, 2015.
  • The agreement involved handing over 17,000 acres of land to Bangladesh in return for 7,000 acres in 162 enclaves in West Bengal, Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya.
  • It also required an amendment to the Constitution.
U.S. International Commission on Religious Freedom (USCIRF)
  • In the wake of the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in the Lok Sabha, USCIRF has expressed concern over it and considered recommending sanctions against Home Minister Amit Shah and other top leaders.
  • The USCIRF is   an independent, bipartisan US federal government commission- an advisory body, which advises the US Congress and the administration on issues pertaining to international religious freedom
  • It often takes maximalist or extreme positions, and has been used by civil society groups to put pressure on US Congress members and administration officials.
Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana
  • It provides free of cost 'assisted-living devices' which can restore near normalcy in their bodily functions to Senior Citizens, belonging to BPL category and suffering from any of the age related disability/infirmity Low vision, Hearing impairment etc.
  • This is a Central Sector Scheme, fully funded by the Central Government. 
  • Beneficiaries in each district will be identified by the State Governments/UT Administrations through a Committee chaired by the Deputy Commissioner/District Collector.
  • As far as possible, 30% of the beneficiaries in each district shall be women
  • The Government is developing ‘Gandhi Encyclopedia’ to spread awareness in the society.
  • Ministry of Culture has approved a project for development of GandhiPaedia by National Council of Science Museums, Kolkata.
  • The objective of the initiative is promotion of Gandhian philosophy and thoughts through social media platforms 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 9 December,2019

Data Protection Bill
  • The Bill has three key aspects that were not previously included in a draft version, prepared by a committee headed by retired Justice B N Srikrishna.
  • The bill constitutes 3 personal information types:
  1. Sensitive data :-constitutes or is related to passwords, financial data, health data, official identifier, sexual orientation, religious or caste data, biometric data and genetic data. (It may be processed outside India with the explicit consent of the user.)
  2. Critical data:- will be characterised by the government every once in a while, and must be stored and handled only in India.
  3. General data:- Any data that is non-critical and non-sensitive is categorised as general data with no limitation on where it is stored or managed.
  • Large collection of information about individuals and their online habits has become an important source of profits. It is also a potential avenue for invasion of privacy because it can reveal extremely personal aspects
  • Data principal: As per the bill, it is the individual whose data is being stored and processed.
  • Exemptions: The government is qualified to order any data fiduciary to acquire personal and non-personal data for the sake of research and for national security and criminal investigations.
  • An independent regulator Data Protection Agency (DPA) will oversee assessments and audits and definition making.
  • Each company will have a Data Protection Officer (DPO) who will liaison with the DPA for auditing, grievance redressal, recording maintenance and more.
  • It gives the right to data portability, and the ability to access,transfer one’s own data and right to be forgotten.
Asian Elephant Specialist Group (AsESG) 
Asian Elephant Specialist Group (AsESG)

  • IUCN 10th Asian Elephant Specialist Group (AsESG) Meeting: held recently at Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia.
  • It is a global network of specialists (both scientists and non-scientists) concerned with the study, monitoring, management, and conservation of Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus).
  • Aim: To promote the long-term conservation of Asia’s elephants and, where possible, the recovery of their populations to viable levels.
  • It shall provide the best available scientifically grounded evidence to the abundance, distribution, and demographic status of Asian elephant populations in all 13 range states.
Creamy layer principle in SC, ST quota for promotion
  • Creamy layer’ : a layer which isolate “some members of a backward class who are highly advanced socially as well as economically and educationally.
  • In its landmark 1992 decision in Indra Sawhney vs Union of India, the Supreme Court had held that reservations under Article 16(4) could only be provided at the time of entry into government service but not in matters of promotion
  • Central government has asked the Supreme Court of India to refer to a seven-judge Bench the question whether the creamy layer concept should apply (or not) to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes while giving them reservation in promotions.
Adaptation fund
  • Established under the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • It finances projects and programmes that help vulnerable communities in developing countries adapt to climate change.
  • Initiatives are based on country needs, views and priorities.
  • The World Bank serves as trustee of the Adaptation Fund on an interim basis.
  • The Adaptation Fund, despite its limited size, is one of the few consistent avenues for finance sourced from developed countries, over which developing countries have significant control.
Head on Generation (HOG) technology
  • The system runs the train’s ‘hotel load’ (the load of air conditioning, lights, fans, and pantry, etc.) by drawing electricity from the overhead electric lines through the pantograph
  • In the End on Generation (EOG) system, the ‘hotel load’ is provided with electricity from two large diesel generator sets. [The generator cars are attached to either end of the train, giving the system its name.]
  • HOG-fitted trains do not require power from diesel generators and need only one emergency generator car attached,instead of two regular generator cars.
  • HOG system is free of air and noise pollution: It would bring down yearly CO2 and NOx emissions
Paika Rebellion
  • President Ram Nath Kovind to lay the foundation of a memorial dedicated to the 1817 Paika Rebellion
  •  In 1817, a valiant uprising of soldiers led by Buxi Jagabandhu (Bidyadhar Mohapatra) took place in Khurda of Odisha, is known as Paika rebellion.
  • Their resistance is sometimes seen as the first expression of resistance against colonial rule — and therefore considered to be “nationalist” in nature

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

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

Parliamentary standing committees
  • Persistent absenteeism from meetings of department-related standing committees should cost MPs their spot on these parliamentary panels was a strong view that emerged during a meeting of chairpersons of the committees with Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu recently.
  • Committees are an instrument of Parliament for its own effective functioning. 
  • Most committees are ‘standing’ as their existence is uninterrupted and usually reconstituted on an annual basis.
  • Some are ‘select’ committees formed for a specific purpose, for instance, to deliberate on a particular bill.
  • Some important committee:- 
  1. Public Accounts Committee:-15 members elected by the Lok Sabha and 7 members of the Rajya Sabha;Minister is not eligible;the Committee is to ascertain whether the money granted by Parliament has been spent by Government “within the scope of the Demand”,
  2. Estimates Committee:-30 members who are elected by the Lok Sabha ;Minister is not eligible for election; main function of the Committee on Estimates is to report what improvements in organisation, efficiency, or administrative reform, consistent with the policy underlying the estimates may be effected.
  3. Committee on Public Undertakings:-15 members elected by the Lok Sabha and 7 members of Rajya Sabha; Minister is not eligible;function-to examine the reports and accounts of Public Undertakings,CAG etc
Fugitive Economic Offender
  •  A special court has declared diamond businessman Nirav Modi, the key accused in the $2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, a fugitive economic offender, on a plea of the Enforcement Directorate.
  • Nirav Modi is the second businessman, after liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, to be declared a fugitive economic offender under provisions of the Fugitive Economic Offenders (FEO) Act.
  • A person can be named an offender under the law if there is an arrest warrant against him or her for involvement in economic offences involving at least Rs. 100 crore or more and has fled from India to escape legal action.
National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)
  • Canada’s largest pension fund Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has agreed to invest about $600 million in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) through the NIIF Master Fund.
  • NIIF has been set up as a fund of funds and is registered with Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) as a Category II Alternate Investment Fund (“AIF”) under the SEBI (Alternative Investments Funds) Regulations, 2012 (“AIF Regulations”).
  • NIIF shall have various sector specific or investor specific close ended Schemes (“Sub-funds”). Each Sub-fund may issue various classes of units. Sub-funds may be bilateral or multilateral.
  • The aim of the Fund is to pool commitments from sophisticated long term investors such as Multilateral Institutions, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Pension Funds, Insurance Funds, Endowments and other long term funds based outside India and government supported institutions within and outside India as permitted under the AIF Regulations to subsequently utilize the same in making investments into the infrastructure sector.
Hera mission
  • The European Space Agency (ESA) has approved the budget of Hera, the European component of the mission to slam a spacecraft into an asteroid.
  • Hera is the European contribution to an international double-spacecraft collaboration.
  • Hera is named after the Greek goddess of marriage.
  • Due to launch in 2024, Hera would travel to a binary asteroid system – the Didymos pair of near-Earth asteroids.
RBI keeps interest rate unchanged
RBI keeps interest rate unchanged
  • The Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) announced that it would not cut the repo rate (presently at 5.15%) in its last monetary policy review for the current calendar year
  • Repo rate is the rate at which India’s central bank loans money to the banking system. 
  • It is also the rate to which all new loans in the economy are benchmarked. 
  • A cut in the repo rate would have signalled a further reduction in the interest rate new borrowers.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 4,5 December,2019

Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana(MKSP)
  • It is a sub component of the Deendayal Antodaya Yojana-NRLM (DAY-NRLM).
  • It seeks to improve the present status of women in Agriculture, and to enhance the opportunities available to empower her.
  • MKSP recognizes the identity of “Mahila” as “Kisan” and strives to build the capacity of women in the domain of agro-ecologically sustainable practices.
  • Funding support to the tune of up to 60% (90% for North Eastern States) for such projects is provided by the Government of India.
  • It is a genus of double-stranded RNA virus in the Reoviridae family.
  • Rotavirus is a leading cause of severe diarrhoea and death among children less than five years of age.
  • Symptoms: Kids with a rotavirus infection have fever, nausea, and vomiting, often followed by abdominal cramps and frequent, watery diarrhea. (Kids may also have a cough and runny nose.)
  • Vice- President has launched the new rotavirus vaccine – ROTAVAC5D,designed and developed by Bharat Biotech
DRDO to develop naval fighter jet
  • DRDO has offered to develop a new twin-engine deck-based fighter aircraft for the Navy based on the experience of the naval light combat aircraft (LCA)
  • The new aircraft should be ready by 2026, after meeting the qualitative requirements.
  • The naval LCA recently successfully completed the take-off and landing trials on the shore-based test facility in Goa.
PISA test
  • The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a study done to produce comparable data on education policy and outcomes across countries.
  • It is initiated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental economic organisation with 36 member countries.
  • The study, which began in the year 2000, conducts a test evaluating 15-year-olds in member and non-member countries to assess the quality and inclusivity of school systems in these countries. 
  • The PISA test is held every three years and the next test will be held in 2021, in which students from government schools in Chandigarh will represent India.
‘eat right movement’ campaign

  • This movement is aligned with the government’s flagship public health programmes such as POSHAN Abhiyaan, Ayushman Bharat Yojana,Anemia Mukt Bharat and Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • It was launched by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
  • It also aims to engage and enable citizens to improve their health and well-being by making the right food choices.
Meteor missiles:
  • They are beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles.
  • Have a range of 150 km and no escape zone of 60 km
  • India has requested for an early delivery of Meteor air-to-air missiles from France.

Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Bill, 2019

  • It seeks to amend The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Bill, 2007.
  • Minimum standards for senior citizen care homes has been included in the Bill.
  • Appointment of Nodal Police Officers for Senior Citizens in every Police Station and District level Special Police Unit for Senior Citizens has been included.
  • Maintenance of Helpline for senior citizens has been included.”
Centre stops online sale of medicines
  • The Delhi High Court in December 2018 had ordered the ban on sale of illegal or unlicensed online sale of medicines till the government drafts rules to regulate e-pharmacies.
  • The PIL filed in the court observed that the online illegal sale of medicines would lead to a drug epidemic, drug abuse and misuse of habit forming and addictive drugs
  • All the e-pharmacies have to be registered compulsorily with the Central Drugs Standard control organisation
  • Both state and central drug authorities will be monitoring the data of sales and transactions of e pharmacies. Any violation of rules the registration of e-pharmacies will be suspended, and it can be cancelled too.
Global Carbon Project
Global Carbon Project


Friday, December 6, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 2,3 December,2019

Inner Line Permit (ILP)
  • Union Home Minister has assured the civil society groups that the Citizenship Bill would provide protection to such regions and states where the Inner Line Permit (ILP) is applicable, and autonomous administration has been granted under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
  • The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill aims to make it easier for 6 minority religious groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to obtain Indian citizenship.
  • Inner Line Permit is a document that allows an Indian citizen to visit or stay in a state that is protected under the ILP system.
  • The ILP is obligatory for those who reside outside the protected states.
  • An ILP is issued by the state government concerned.
  • Currently, the Inner Line Permit is operational in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT)
  • It was constituted under Section 410 of the Companies Act, 2013
  • It is the Appellate Tribunal for hearing appeals against the orders passed by Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India under Section 202 and Section 211 of IBC.
  • It is the Appellate Tribunal to hear and dispose of appeals against any direction issued or decision made or order passed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
  • The President of the Tribunal and the chairperson and Judicial Members of the Appellate Tribunal shall be appointed after consultation with the Chief Justice of India
Points-based policy
  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to introduce an Australian style points-based visa policy from January 1, 2021.
  • Generally, for visas that are points-tested, points may be given for different categories ranging from age to proficiency in English and amount of work experience. 
  • For workers with an “eligible skilled occupation” there are 10 categories of visas available. Applications are tested with points awarded in various categories.
  • One of these is “Skilled Independent Visa”.
Administration of Oath in legislature
  • The Third Schedule requires the taker of the oath to either “swear in the name of God” or to “solemnly affirm” to “bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution…”
  • Article 164(3) says: “Before a Minister enters upon his office, the Governor shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.”
  • Art 164 makes it clear that the text of the oath is sacrosanct, and the person taking the oath has to read it out exactly as it is, in the given format
Operation ‘Clean Art’
Operation ‘Clean Art’
  • It was conceived by Wildlife Crime Control Bureau(WCCB).
  • It is first pan India operation to crackdown on the smuggling of mongoose hair.
  • Aim: To ensure that the mongoose hair brush trade should be closed down across the country.
  • Protection: Mongoose is listed in Schedule II Part 2 of the Wildlife Protection Act. Any smuggling or possession of its body part is a non-bailable offence.
Blue flag programme
  • The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)(NGO)
  • The MoEFCC has embarked upon a programme for ‘Blue Flag’ Certification for select beaches in the country
  • 13 pilot beaches have been identified for the certification.
  • Chandrabhaga beach of Odisha’s Konark coast was the first to complete the tag certification process will be the first in Asia to get the Blue Flag certification
  • It started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987, and in areas outside Europe since 2001, when South Africa joined.
  • Japan and South Korea are the only countries in South and southeastern Asia to have Blue Flag beaches.
  • Spain tops the list with 566 such beaches; Greece and France follow with 515 and 395, respectively
Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG)
  • PVTGs are more vulnerable among the tribal groups.
  • They have declining or stagnant population, low level of literacy, pre-agricultural level of technology and are economically backward.
  • They generally inhabit remote localities having poor infrastructure and administrative support.
  • In 1975, the Government of India initiated to identify the most vulnerable tribal groups as a separate category called PVTGs and declared 52 such groups, while in 1993 an additional 23 groups were added to the category, making it a total of 75 PVTGs out of 705 Scheduled Tribes
  • Among the 75 listed PVTG’s the highest number are found in Odisha (13), followed by Andhra Pradesh (12).
India’s first maritime museum in Gujarat:
  • A National Maritime Heritage Museum will be established at Lothal in Gujarat.
  • The museum will act as an independent research center for archaeology of boat building, reconstruction of maritime history and materials traded.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 27,28,29 November,2019

  • Rectangular cloth, typically of red and white, used in a variety of ritual actions in Assamese culture.
  •  It is valued as a gift for visitors, used as a scarf, anti-dust mask, wrapped around the head as a turban.
  • Assam’s ‘Gamosa’ and a semi-glutinous winter rice variety Chokuwa have earned the coveted geographical indications (GI) recognition in 2019 as proof of their unique geographical origins, thereby getting legal protection to prevent their unauthorized use. 
Etalin Hydroelectric Project
  • The Centre has recommended a biodiversity study of the proposed 3,097 MW Etalin Hydroelectric Project in Arunachal Pradesh by a credible international institute since the current environmental impact assessment was found to be “completely inadequate”
  • It involves diversion of 1,165.66 hectares of forest land for the construction of the mega project in the State’s Dibang Valley district .
  • The project area falls under the “richest bio-geographical province of the Himalayan zone” and would be located at the junction of the Palaearctic, Indo-Chinese and Indo-Malayan bio-geographic regions.
Rohtang Tunnel
  • The Rohtang Tunnel, when complete by sep 2020, will cut through the mighty PirPanjal range and become the world’s longest highway tunnel above 10,000 feet.
  • Now, the tunnel provides a temporary winter link to the outside world not only to residents of Lahaul and Spiti but also to those living in Zanskar Valley of Ladakh.
  • The project also has significant strategic implications for the military as it will allow access beyond Rohtang Pass even in peak winters. 
Golden Rice
  • In the late 1990s, German scientists developed a genetically modified variety of rice called Golden Rice.
  • It was claimed to be able to fight Vitamin A deficiency, which is the leading cause of blindness among children and can also lead to death due to infectious diseases such as measles.
  • Now, Bangladesh could be on the verge of becoming the first country to approve plantation of this variety.
  • The Golden Rice that is being reviewed in Bangladesh is developed by the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute.
Kolleru lake
  • Not less than 6,000 grey pelicans and nearly 1,200 painted storks have made the Atapaka sanctuary their winter home for breeding. 
  • Atapaka Bird Sanctuary, located in Kolleru Lake on the borders of Krishna and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh has been identified as the largest spot-billed pelican home in the world.
  • Kolleru lake is located between Krishna and Godavari deltas.
  • Kolleru lake was declared as wildlife sanctuary in November 1999 under Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, and designated wetland of international importance in November 2002 under Ramsar Convention.
Type of questions asked in Indian Parliament
  • Starred Questions: In starred questions a member desires an oral answer from the Minister in the House and is required to be distinguished by him/her with an asterisk
  • Unstarred Questions: In unstarred questions written answer is desired by the member and is deemed to be laid on the Table of the House by Minister.
  • Short Notice Questions: In this a member may give a notice of question on a matter of public importance and of urgent character for oral answer at a notice less than 10 days prescribed as the minimum period of notice for asking a question in ordinary course.
  • Questions to Private Members: A Question may also be addressed to a Private Member (Under Rule 40 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha), provided that the subject matter of the question relates to some Bill, Resolution or other matter connected with the business of the House for which that Member is responsible.
HIM VIJAY Military Exercise:
  • HIM Vijay is the Indian Army’s biggest mountain combat exercise.
  • It is the first-ever military drill that was held in the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The exercise will include troop mobilization, mountain assault and air assault.
Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) Initiative
  • The initiative is aimed at providing a Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) as a developmental effort that would benefit both vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs.
  • Compressed Bio-Gas plants are proposed to be set up mainly through independent entrepreneurs.
  • Bio-gas is produced naturally through a process of anaerobic decomposition from waste / bio-mass sources like agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal solid waste, sewage treatment plant waste, etc
  • Compressed Bio-Gas is exactly similar to the commercially available natural gas in its composition and energy potential. With calorific value (~52,000 KJ/kg) and other properties similar to CNG
  • From December 1, lanes on national highway toll plazas across India will accept toll only through FASTag.
  • The objective is to remove bottlenecks and capture all toll electronically.
  • FASTag is a radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology sticker that can be installed on the windshield of any vehicle.
  • By this, toll payments can be made directly from the pre-paid account linked to it
Double taxation avoidance treaty (DTAA)
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Chile. 
  • The tax agreement helps tax-payers in these countries avoid being taxed twice for the same income. 
  • A DTAA applies in cases where a tax-payer resides in one country and earns income in another.
  • Clear allocation of taxing rights between contracting states through these type of agreement will provide tax certainty to investors and businesses of both countries, thus attracting foreign investment.
Labour Code on Industrial Relations 2019
  • The Union cabinet has approved the Labour Code on Industrial Relations 2019.
  • The code will combine Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the Trade Unions Act, 1926, and the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946.
  • It seeks to allow companies to hire workers on fixed-term contract of any duration.
  • The code has retained the threshold on the worker count at 100 for prior government approval before retrenchment, but it has a provision for changing ‘such number of employees’ through notification.
  • While this means workers can be hired seasonally for six months or a year it also means that all workers will be treated at par with regular workers for benefits.
Supplementary Grants’
  • Supplementary grants are the additional grant required to meet the required expenditure of the government 
  • Supplementary, additional or excess grants and Votes on account, votes of credit and exceptional grants are mentioned in the Constitution of India.(Article 115: Supplementary, additional or excess grants and Article 116: Votes on account, votes of credit and exceptional grants.)
  • These grants are presented and passed by the Parliament before the end of the financial year.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO)
  • It is an intergovernmental military alliance, established by Washington treaty.
  • Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.
  • Headquarters — Brussels, Belgium.
  • It constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
  • NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defence and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.