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Thursday, January 30, 2020

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

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

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

Bhuvan Panchayat 3.0
  • The Bhuvan Panchayat V 3.0 is a web portal which is part of ISRO’s Space-based Information Support for better planning and monitoring of government projects.
  • ISRO will collaborate with the gram panchayat members and stakeholders to understand their data requirements.
  • This version of the portal will provide database visualisation and services for the benefit of panchayat members, among others.
  • Using Bhuvan satellite imagery, hi-resolution database is applied to identify land use land cover, settlements, road and rail network etc.
Ramsar sites in India
  • India has added 10 more wetlands to sites protected by the Ramsar Convention.
  • It is an international treaty for the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
  • The convention is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran on the shores of the Caspian Sea, where it was signed on 2 February 1971.
  • The Montreux Record is a register of wetland sites on the List of Ramsar wetlands of international importance where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference.
  • Currently, two wetlands of India are in Montreux record: Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) and Loktak Lake (Manipur).
Cheetah reintroduction project
Cheetah reintroduction project
  • The Supreme Court has allowed the Centre to introduce the African cheetah to a suitable habitat in India.
  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had previously told the Supreme Court that African cheetahs would be translocated in India from Namibia.
  •  It would be kept at Nauradehi wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has given a ‘no objection’ for the translocation.
  • The cheetah is also the world’s fastest land mammal.
  • It is listed as vulnerable in IUCN red listed species.
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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 28 January,2020

Legislative Council
  •  Andhra Pradesh Cabinet has approved a statutory resolution seeking the abolition of the Legislative Council.
  • Besides Andhra Pradesh, five other states have Vidhan Parishads — Bihar (58 members), Karnataka (75), Maharashtra (78), Telangana (40), UP (100). 
  • Parliament may by law create or abolish(Under Article 169 of the constitution) the second chamber in a state if the Legislative Assembly of that state passes a resolution to that effect by a special majority.
  • Total number of members in the legislative council of a state shall not exceed one third of the total number of the members in the legislative Assembly of that state and minimum members should not below 40.
  • members of the Council  are elected through:-
  1. 1/3rd of members are elected by members of the Assembly.
  2. 1/3rd by electorates consisting of members of municipalities, district boards and other local authorities in the state.
  3. 1/12th by an electorate consisting of teachers.
  4. 1/12th by registered graduates.
  5. 1/6th members are nominated by the Governor from among those who have distinguished themselves in literature, science, art, the cooperative movement, and social service.
Polycrack technology
Polycrack technology
  • India's 1st Govt-owned Waste to Energy Plant inaugurated in Odisha
  • It is the world's very first patented heterogeneous catalytic process which converts multiple feedstocks into hydrocarbon liquid fuels, gas, carbon as well as water.
  • The pre-segregation of waste is not required for processing in the plant, can be directly fed into the polycrack plant.
  • The waste is processed in the plant and reformed within a period of 24 hours
  • The plant has high tolerance to moisture hence drying of the waste after treatment, is not required.
National Population Register (NPR)
  • It is a Register of usual residents of the country and mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR.
  • A usual resident is defined for the purposes of NPR as a person who has resided in a local area for the past 6 months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more.
  • It is being prepared at the local (village/sub-town), subdistrict, district, state and national level under provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and the Citizenship ... of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
  • It's objectives to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country.
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Monday, January 27, 2020

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 27 January,2020

Inland Waterways Authority of India(IWAI)
Inland Waterways Authority of India(IWAI)

  • IWAI is the statutory body in charge of the waterways in India.
  • It mainly build the necessary infrastructure in the inland waterways, surveying the economic feasibility of new projects and also carrying out administration and regulation.
  • Its headquarters is located in Noida, UP.
Kalasa-Banduri project 
  • The project involves diverting water from Mahadayi river, the lifeline of Goa, into the Malaprabha river.
  • Mahadayi river originates from a cluster of 30 springs at Bhimgad in the Western Ghats in the Belgaum district of Karnataka. Then it enters Goa and finally drains in Arabian sea.
  • The Kalasa Banduri project is aimed at providing drinking water to three important districts of north Karnataka (Belagavi, Gadag and Dharwad )
Archaea
  • They are a primitive group of microorganisms that thrive in extreme habitats such as hot springs, cold deserts and hypersaline lakes.
  • These slow-growing organisms are also present in the human gut, and have a potential relationship with human health.
  • They are known for producing antimicrobial molecules, and for anti-oxidant activity with applications in eco-friendly waste-water treatment.
Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT)
  • It is a quasi-judicial institution set up in 1941 under section 5A of the Income Tax Act, 1922.
  • It deals with appeals under the Direct Taxes Acts namely, the Income-tax Act, 1961.
  • The orders passed by the ITAT are final, an appeal lies to the High Court only if a substantial question of law arises for determination.
National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement(NISHTHA)
  • NISHTHA is the world’s largest teachers’ training programme of its kind in the world.
  • It has been launched to improve Learning Outcomes at the Elementary level.
  • The initiative is first of its kind wherein standardized training modules are developed at national level for all States and UTs.
  • The basic objective of this massive training programme is to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students.
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Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - weekly Compilation( 20 January-26 January)

Northern white rhinoceros
Northern white rhinoceros
  • Researchers had created another embryo the third of the nearly extinct northern white rhino, a remarkable success in an ongoing global mission to keep the species from going extinct.
  • The northern white rhinoceros, is one of two subspecies of the white rhinoceros (the other -southern white rhinoceros). 
  • Found in several countries in East and Central Africa south of the Sahara.
  • According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the subspecies is considered Critically Endangered.
Steppe eagle
  • A lone endangered steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis) has been sighted by a group of birdwatchers
  • It is also the National bird (animal) of Egypt.
  • According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), it is considered   Endangered.
  • It is also the National bird (animal) of Egypt.
Yada Yada alphavirus
  • Yada Yada is an alphavirus, a group of viruses that the researchers described as “small, single-stranded positive-sense RNA viruses.
  • Alphavirus are transmitted primarily by mosquitoes and (are) pathogenic in their vertebrate hosts”.
  • Yada Yada does not pose a threat to human beings.
Blockchain Technology
  • A new Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Blockchain Technology, which will strive to adapt emerging technology to create e-governance solutions is established in Bangalore 
  • Centre of Excellence (CoE)  by National Informatics Centre (NIC) is the third such centre, following -Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.
  • A blockchain, originally block chain, is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked using cryptography.
  • The technology supports cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and the transfer of any data or digital asset.
Kerala’s move to challenge CAA 
  • Recent controversy concerning the Kerala government’s move to the Supreme Court under Article 131 without first informing Governor to challenge the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.
  • Article 131 : Original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court,means that Court has the power and authority to address, hear and rule a decision in the initial instance
  • Under Article 167, Chief Minister’s duty to communicate to the Governor all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to the administration and proposals for legislation and Governor may need to ask a top bureaucrat or the head of the police force for a report on a major incident or development, but even that should be for the limited purpose of getting an accurate picture before sending a report to the Centre.
Global social mobility report
  • It can be understood as the movement in personal circumstances either “upwards” or “downwards” of an individual in relation to those of their parents.
  • World Economic Forum has come out with its first-ever Global Social Mobility Report.
  • The report has ranked India a lowly 76 out of the 82 countries profiled.
  • The Nordic nations hold the top five spots, Denmark in the first place.
  • Most countries underperform in four areas: fair wages, social protection, working conditions and lifelong learning.
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons(NPT)
  • The NPT is a landmark international treaty on only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.
  • It's objectives are:- prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.
  • Treaty establishes a safeguards system under the responsibility of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Hyperloop
Hyperloop
  • The proposed Pune-Mumbai Hyperloop project, an ultra-modern transport system that will reduce the travelling time between the two cities, may be scrapped by the state government.
  • It is a transportation system where a pod-like vehicle is propelled through a near-vacuum tube connecting cities at speeds matching that of an aircraft.
  • The hyperloop concept is a brainchild of Tesla founder Elon Musk.
Carbon Disclosure Project(CDP)
  • The CDP is a global disclosure system that enables companies, cities, states and regions to measure and manage their environmental impacts.
  • It's  aimed at measuring the carbon reduction activities undertaken by different companies and firms operating in various countries across the globe.
  • Carbon disclosure project India  has released a annual report  base on carbon reduction activities of companies.
  • countries performance USA top>Japan>UK>France.
  • The boards of 98% of the firms directly monitor climate change risks with top management integrating these concerns in performance evaluation.
  • 2/3rd of the 59 firms that were surveyed use climate analysis tools to formulate their business strategies.
  • Indian farms key focus area -renewable energy 23 companies reported renewable energy target in in 2019, a 44% rise over 2018 and Infosys, Dalmia Cement and Tata Motors have reported 100% renewable energy consumption.
Time to Care report
  • A report titled- “Time to Care”-has been released by Oxfam International base on  the alleviation of global poverty.
  • world had 2,153 billionaires in the world in 2019 ,number of billionaires has doubled in the last decade despite their combined wealth having declined in 2018.
  • From 2011 to 2017, average wages in G7 countries grew 3%, while dividends to wealthy shareholders increased by 31%.
  • Globally, 42% of working-age women are outside the paid labour force, compared with 6% of men, due to unpaid care responsibilities.
  • India’s richest 1% hold more than four-times the wealth held by the bottom 70% of the country’s population and  total wealth of 63 Indian billionaires is higher than the total Union Budget of India for the fiscal year 2018-19(Rs 24,42,200 crore.)
  • Concerns:-Economic inequality is out of control,wealth and power into the hands of a rich few and exploiting the labour of women and girls, and systematically violating their rights.
National Startup Advisory Council
National Startup Advisory Council
  • The Central Government has notified the structure of the National Startup Advisory Council being set up to advise the government on measures needed to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in the country.
  • The Council will be chaired by Minster for Commerce & Industry.
  • Aims to drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities.
  • It will consist of the non-official members, to be nominated by Central Government, from various categories like founders of successful startups, veterans  etc.
  • The term of the non-official members of the Startup Advisory Council will be for a period of two years.
  • The nominees of the concerned Ministries/Departments/Organisations, not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India, will be ex-officio members of the Council.
UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
  • An International Arbitration Tribunal has dismissed all claims brought against India in entirety.
  • The arbitration arose out of the cancellation of Letters of Intent for the issuance of telecom licences to provide 2G services in five telecommunications circles by reason of India’s essential security interests.
  • The UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is a subsidiary body of the U.N. General Assembly(Established in 1966) .
  • It is responsible for helping to facilitate international trade and investment.
  • The Tribunal constituted in accordance with the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 1976 is seated at the Hague, Netherlands, and proceedings are administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
  • Annual sessions held alternately in New York City and Vienna( headquartered)
Sub Categorization of other Backward Classes(OBC)
  • The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) proposed the sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) back in 2015.
  • In October 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind  appointed a commission(Article 340) to examine the issue of sub-categorisation of OBCs, chaired by retired Justice G. Rohini.
  • Aim to ensure social justice in an efficient manner by prioritising the Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs).
  •  The Union government is now seeking to ensure a more equitable distribution of reservation benefits by further differentiating caste groups coming under backward classes on the basis of their levels of social and economic backwardness.
EAO (East Asian Observatory)
EAO (East Asian Observatory)
  • India is discussing to be a part of the East Asian Observatories Consortium.
  • Formed  by EACOA (East Asian Core Observatories Association) for the purpose of pursuing joint projects in astronomy within the East Asian region.
  • The intention of EAO is to build and operate facilities, which will enhance and leverage existing and planned regional facilities.
  • The EAO is chartered as a non-profit Hawaii corporation;raise funding and to build an observatory staff, separate from that of the EACOA institutions.
  • It consists of China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea as full members and Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia as ‘observers’.
Democracy Index 2019
  • Democracy Index 2019 has been released by annually by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
  • It provides a snapshot of the state of world democracy for 165 independent states and two territories.
  • Parameters of index:-Electoral process and pluralism,Civil liberties,Functioning of government ,Political participation and Political culture.
  • Based on their scores,each country is then itself classified as one of four types of regime: full democracy; flawed democracy; hybrid regime; and authoritarian regime.
  • India is “flawed democracy” category and Bangladesh, USA are also same line.
  • China (2.26) and North Korea (bottom-ranked with 1.08) are categorised as “authoritarian regimes”.
  • Norway (top-ranked with 9.87) is counted as a “full democracy” and Other “full democracies” include Germany, the United Kingdom and France.
  • Its score, down from from 7.23 in 2018 to 6.90 in 2019, is its lowest ever since the Democracy Index was begun in 2006.
Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
  • State-owned Khadi Village Industries Corporation is eyeing international trademark for 'khadi' under the Paris Convention for protection of industrial property.
  • Aim to To prevent any product from masquerading as ‘khadi’ nationally or globally.
  • presently protected through the Regulations issued in 2013 by the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises, empower KVIC to grant ‘Khadi Mark’ registration and take royalties from any producer using the Khadi mark.
  • It is a multilateral treaty dealing with the protection of industrial property in the widest sense and the Convention has 177 contracting member countries.
  • Administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
National Data and Analytics Platform (NDAP)
  • NITI Aayog released its vision for the National Data and Analytics Platform (NDAP).
  • The platform aims to democratize access to publicly available government data.
  • It will host the latest datasets from various government websites, present them coherently, and provide tools for analytics and visualization.
  • NDAP will follow a user-centric approach and will enable data access in a simple and intuitive portal tailored to the needs of a variety of stakeholders.
ICJ ruling on Rohingya crisis
  • The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has given its verdict on the Rohingya crisis which is binding on Myanmar, and cannot be appealed.
  • the case reached ICJ by he Republic of the Gambia and supported by  he 57-member Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
  • Myanmar was represented by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • Ruling says:-government of Myanmar should immediately take measures to prevent atrocities against members of the minority Rohingya Muslim community; ensure military or any irregular armed units within its control, do not commit any of the acts described above, or conspire to commit, direct, attempt to commit, or be complicit in genocide.
  • It is done  in accordance with its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
  • Myanmar shall take “effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence related to allegations of acts” of genocide.
NavIC

NavIC
  • It is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1500 km around the Indian mainland.
  • It is a regional system and so its constellation will consist of seven satellites-Three of these will be geostationary and  four will be geosynchronous.
  • IRNSS would provide two types of services, namely Standard Positioning Services available to all users and Restricted Services provided to authorised users.
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Friday, January 24, 2020

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 24 January,2020

National Data and Analytics Platform (NDAP)
  • NITI Aayog released its vision for the National Data and Analytics Platform (NDAP).
  • The platform aims to democratize access to publicly available government data.
  • It will host the latest datasets from various government websites, present them coherently, and provide tools for analytics and visualization.
  • NDAP will follow a user-centric approach and will enable data access in a simple and intuitive portal tailored to the needs of a variety of stakeholders.
ICJ ruling on Rohingya crisis
  • The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has given its verdict on the Rohingya crisis which is binding on Myanmar, and cannot be appealed.
  • the case reached ICJ by he Republic of the Gambia and supported by  he 57-member Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
  • Myanmar was represented by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • Ruling says:-government of Myanmar should immediately take measures to prevent atrocities against members of the minority Rohingya Muslim community; ensure military or any irregular armed units within its control, do not commit any of the acts described above, or conspire to commit, direct, attempt to commit, or be complicit in genocide.
  • It is done  in accordance with its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
  • Myanmar shall take “effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence related to allegations of acts” of genocide.
NavIC

NavIC
  • It is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1500 km around the Indian mainland.
  • It is a regional system and so its constellation will consist of seven satellites-Three of these will be geostationary and  four will be geosynchronous.
  • IRNSS would provide two types of services, namely Standard Positioning Services available to all users and Restricted Services provided to authorised users.
,

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 23 January,2020

Sub Categorization of other Backward Classes(OBC)
  • The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) proposed the sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) back in 2015.
  • In October 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind  appointed a commission(Article 340) to examine the issue of sub-categorisation of OBCs, chaired by retired Justice G. Rohini.
  • Aim to ensure social justice in an efficient manner by prioritising the Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs).
  •  The Union government is now seeking to ensure a more equitable distribution of reservation benefits by further differentiating caste groups coming under backward classes on the basis of their levels of social and economic backwardness.
EAO (East Asian Observatory)
EAO (East Asian Observatory)
  • India is discussing to be a part of the East Asian Observatories Consortium.
  • Formed  by EACOA (East Asian Core Observatories Association) for the purpose of pursuing joint projects in astronomy within the East Asian region.
  • The intention of EAO is to build and operate facilities, which will enhance and leverage existing and planned regional facilities.
  • The EAO is chartered as a non-profit Hawaii corporation;raise funding and to build an observatory staff, separate from that of the EACOA institutions.
  • It consists of China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea as full members and Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia as ‘observers’.
Democracy Index 2019
  • Democracy Index 2019 has been released by annually by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
  • It provides a snapshot of the state of world democracy for 165 independent states and two territories.
  • Parameters of index:-Electoral process and pluralism,Civil liberties,Functioning of government ,Political participation and Political culture.
  • Based on their scores,each country is then itself classified as one of four types of regime: full democracy; flawed democracy; hybrid regime; and authoritarian regime.
  • India is “flawed democracy” category and Bangladesh, USA are also same line.
  • China (2.26) and North Korea (bottom-ranked with 1.08) are categorised as “authoritarian regimes”.
  • Norway (top-ranked with 9.87) is counted as a “full democracy” and Other “full democracies” include Germany, the United Kingdom and France.
  • Its score, down from from 7.23 in 2018 to 6.90 in 2019, is its lowest ever since the Democracy Index was begun in 2006.
Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
  • State-owned Khadi Village Industries Corporation is eyeing international trademark for 'khadi' under the Paris Convention for protection of industrial property.
  • Aim to To prevent any product from masquerading as ‘khadi’ nationally or globally.
  • presently protected through the Regulations issued in 2013 by the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises, empower KVIC to grant ‘Khadi Mark’ registration and take royalties from any producer using the Khadi mark.
  • It is a multilateral treaty dealing with the protection of industrial property in the widest sense and the Convention has 177 contracting member countries.
  • Administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 22 January,2020

Carbon Disclosure Project(CDP)
  • The CDP is a global disclosure system that enables companies, cities, states and regions to measure and manage their environmental impacts.
  • It's  aimed at measuring the carbon reduction activities undertaken by different companies and firms operating in various countries across the globe.
  • Carbon disclosure project India  has released a annual report  base on carbon reduction activities of companies.
  • countries performance USA top>Japan>UK>France.
  • The boards of 98% of the firms directly monitor climate change risks with top management integrating these concerns in performance evaluation.
  • 2/3rd of the 59 firms that were surveyed use climate analysis tools to formulate their business strategies.
  • Indian farms key focus area -renewable energy 23 companies reported renewable energy target in in 2019, a 44% rise over 2018 and Infosys, Dalmia Cement and Tata Motors have reported 100% renewable energy consumption.
Time to Care report
  • A report titled- “Time to Care”-has been released by Oxfam International base on  the alleviation of global poverty.
  • world had 2,153 billionaires in the world in 2019 ,number of billionaires has doubled in the last decade despite their combined wealth having declined in 2018.
  • From 2011 to 2017, average wages in G7 countries grew 3%, while dividends to wealthy shareholders increased by 31%.
  • Globally, 42% of working-age women are outside the paid labour force, compared with 6% of men, due to unpaid care responsibilities.
  • India’s richest 1% hold more than four-times the wealth held by the bottom 70% of the country’s population and  total wealth of 63 Indian billionaires is higher than the total Union Budget of India for the fiscal year 2018-19(Rs 24,42,200 crore.)
  • Concerns:-Economic inequality is out of control,wealth and power into the hands of a rich few and exploiting the labour of women and girls, and systematically violating their rights.
National Startup Advisory Council
National Startup Advisory Council
  • The Central Government has notified the structure of the National Startup Advisory Council being set up to advise the government on measures needed to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in the country.
  • The Council will be chaired by Minster for Commerce & Industry.
  • Aims to drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities.
  • It will consist of the non-official members, to be nominated by Central Government, from various categories like founders of successful startups, veterans  etc.
  • The term of the non-official members of the Startup Advisory Council will be for a period of two years.
  • The nominees of the concerned Ministries/Departments/Organisations, not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India, will be ex-officio members of the Council.
UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
  • An International Arbitration Tribunal has dismissed all claims brought against India in entirety.
  • The arbitration arose out of the cancellation of Letters of Intent for the issuance of telecom licences to provide 2G services in five telecommunications circles by reason of India’s essential security interests.
  • The UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is a subsidiary body of the U.N. General Assembly(Established in 1966) .
  • It is responsible for helping to facilitate international trade and investment.
  • The Tribunal constituted in accordance with the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 1976 is seated at the Hague, Netherlands, and proceedings are administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
  • Annual sessions held alternately in New York City and Vienna( headquartered)
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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 21 January,2020

Kerala’s move to challenge CAA 
  • Recent controversy concerning the Kerala government’s move to the Supreme Court under Article 131 without first informing Governor to challenge the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.
  • Article 131 : Original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court,means that Court has the power and authority to address, hear and rule a decision in the initial instance
  • Under Article 167, Chief Minister’s duty to communicate to the Governor all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to the administration and proposals for legislation and Governor may need to ask a top bureaucrat or the head of the police force for a report on a major incident or development, but even that should be for the limited purpose of getting an accurate picture before sending a report to the Centre.
Global social mobility report
  • It can be understood as the movement in personal circumstances either “upwards” or “downwards” of an individual in relation to those of their parents.
  • World Economic Forum has come out with its first-ever Global Social Mobility Report.
  • The report has ranked India a lowly 76 out of the 82 countries profiled.
  • The Nordic nations hold the top five spots, Denmark in the first place.
  • Most countries underperform in four areas: fair wages, social protection, working conditions and lifelong learning.
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons(NPT)
  • The NPT is a landmark international treaty on only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.
  • It's objectives are:- prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.
  • Treaty establishes a safeguards system under the responsibility of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Hyperloop
Hyperloop
  • The proposed Pune-Mumbai Hyperloop project, an ultra-modern transport system that will reduce the travelling time between the two cities, may be scrapped by the state government.
  • It is a transportation system where a pod-like vehicle is propelled through a near-vacuum tube connecting cities at speeds matching that of an aircraft.
  • The hyperloop concept is a brainchild of Tesla founder Elon Musk.
,

Monday, January 20, 2020

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - 20 January,2020

Northern white rhinoceros
Northern white rhinoceros
  • Researchers had created another embryo the third of the nearly extinct northern white rhino, a remarkable success in an ongoing global mission to keep the species from going extinct.
  • The northern white rhinoceros, is one of two subspecies of the white rhinoceros (the other -southern white rhinoceros). 
  • Found in several countries in East and Central Africa south of the Sahara.
  • According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the subspecies is considered Critically Endangered.
Steppe eagle
  • A lone endangered steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis) has been sighted by a group of birdwatchers
  • It is also the National bird (animal) of Egypt.
  • According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), it is considered   Endangered.
  • It is also the National bird (animal) of Egypt.
Yada Yada alphavirus
  • Yada Yada is an alphavirus, a group of viruses that the researchers described as “small, single-stranded positive-sense RNA viruses.
  • Alphavirus are transmitted primarily by mosquitoes and (are) pathogenic in their vertebrate hosts”.
  • Yada Yada does not pose a threat to human beings.
Blockchain Technology
  • A new Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Blockchain Technology, which will strive to adapt emerging technology to create e-governance solutions is established in Bangalore 
  • Centre of Excellence (CoE)  by National Informatics Centre (NIC) is the third such centre, following -Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.
  • A blockchain, originally block chain, is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked using cryptography.
  • The technology supports cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and the transfer of any data or digital asset.
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Sunday, January 19, 2020

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

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

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

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