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Sunday, January 12, 2020

Prelims booster(Micro notes), current affairs with static portions - weekly Compilation( 5 January-12 January)

Zonal Councils
  • The 25th meeting of the western zonal council will be held in January 2020.
  • Statutory bodies established under the States Reorganisation Act 1956 
  • Aim:  to promote interstate cooperation and coordination.
  • There are five Zonal councils-The Northern Zonal Council(Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh),Central Zonal Council(Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh),Eastern Zonal Council(Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, and West Bengal),Western Zonal Council(Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli),Southern Zonal Council(Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry)
  • The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of each of these Councils and the Chief Ministers of the States included in each zone act as Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council for that zone by rotation, each holding office for a period of one year at a time.
Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India(FAME)-II Scheme
  • the Department of Heavy Industries has sanctioned 2636 charging stations in 62 cities across 24 States/UTs under FAME India scheme phase II.
  • FAME India is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. 
  • Aims to boost electric mobility and increase the number of electric vehicles in commercial fleets.
  • Target: The outlay of ₹10,000 crore has been made for three years till 2022 for FAME 2 scheme.
  • The government will offer the incentives for electric buses, three-wheelers and four-wheelers to be used for commercial purposes and encourage interlinking of renewable energy sources with charging infrastructure.
Iran nuclear deal
  • Iran has completely withdrawn from JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) nuclear deal(with US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany) after the US troops killed General Qassem Soleimani.
  • Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA)Tehran agreed to significantly cut its stores of centrifuges, enriched uranium and heavy-water, all key components for nuclear weapons.
  • Implications for India:India’s third biggest supplier (after Iraq and Saudi Arabia) -impacted on oil price,impact the development of Chahbahar port.
  • Global Implications:Down trends in global economy;big economy like India,China may suffer;Iran may block Strait of Hormuz;US may cancel airlines from US to India because they pass over Iran-affect airspace industry.
Ujala scheme
  • Fifth anniversary of the Centre`s zero subsidy `Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All` (UJALA) scheme
  • UJALA is a flagship project of the Govt. of India, where it promote to use LED bulbs so that the net power or energy consumption rate comes down and the carbon emission rates can also be checked.
  • The scheme is being implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of PSUs under the Union Ministry of Power.
Project NETRA
  •  Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) has sign a pact with Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) for collaboration in establishing optical telescope facilities under Project ‘NETRA’ for tracking space objects.
  • Under the project, the ISRO plans to put up many observational facilities: connected radars, telescopes; data processing units and a control centre.
  • The project will give India its own capability in space situational awareness (SSA) like the other space powers.
  •  It is used to ‘predict’ threats from debris to Indian satellites,warning about and mitigating space debris.
National Disaster Response Fund
  • Centre releases Rs 5908 cr for flood relief to 7 states(Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tripura, Assam, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh) from the National Disaster Relief Fund.
  • It is a fund managed by the Central Government for meeting the expenses for emergency response, relief and rehabilitation due to any threatening disaster situation or disaster.
  • Located in the “Public Accounts” of Government of India under “Reserve Funds not bearing interest“.
  • Financed through the levy of a cess on certain items, chargeable to excise and customs duty, and approved annually through the Finance Bill.
  • Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) audits the accounts of NDRF.
Belum Caves
  • Belum Caves in Andhra Pradesh is the second longest cave(after Krem Liat Prah caves in Meghalaya)in the Indian subcontinent open to public.
  • Belum caves are renowned for their speleothem structures, such as stalactite and stalagmite formations.
  • The caves hold immense historical significance as there are several indications that these were occupied by Jain and Buddhist monks many centuries ago
Great Indian Bustards (GIB)
Great Indian Bustards (GIB)
  • Found in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Identified as one of the species for the recovery programme under the Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
  • Listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection)Act, 1972 and in the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS Convention and in Appendix I of   Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora(CITES).
  • IUCN status: critically endangered.
GDP growth 
GDP growth


  • GDP growth rate for 2019-20 expected to be 5%.
  • GDP decline in 2019-20 s attributed to slowdown in Manufacturing (2%) and Construction sector (3.2%).
  • Gross Domestic product(GDP) is the total monetary  of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period.
  • Gross value Addition(GVA)=GDP+ Subsidies on Products−Taxes on Products.
  • GVA-gives picture of economy in producer side; GDP-gives picture of economy consumer side.
Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE)

  • SASE which is a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has issued an Avalanche warning to Leh in Ladakh region.
  • HQ of SASE is located near Manali, Himachal Pradesh.
  • it’s objective: To be a centre of excellence in ‘Cryospheric(frozen water part of the Earth system) Science and Technology’ to facilitate high operational mobility for troops in snow bound regions of Indian Himalayas.
  • National Pension System (NPS)
    • National Pension System (NPS) is a government-sponsored pension scheme launched in January 2004 for government employees. However, in 2009, it was opened to all sections.
    •  NPS is being implemented and regulated by PFRDA(Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority) – a statutory body established by PFRDA Act, 2013
    • Indian citizen (Both Resident and Non-Resident) between 18 and 60 years can join NPS through fulfilling know your customer (KYC) norms.
    • OCI (Overseas Citizens of India) and PIO (Person of Indian Origin) card holders and Hindu Undivided Family (HUFs) are not eligible for opening of NPS account.
    10% reservation Quota for Economically Weaker Sections
    • Centre has held that it is States’ prerogative to provide 10% economic reservation in government jobs and admission to education institutions.
    • It was 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act that introduced provide 10 per cent reservation in government jobs and education (except in minority educational institutions) to economically backward section in the general category.
    • The act inserted Articles 15(6) and 16(6) of the Constitution that provided for these reservations.
    NASA reported the discovery of an Earth-size planet
    • NASA reported the discovery of an Earth-size planet, named TOI 700 d.
    • Found by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission.
    • TESS is Space telescope for NASA’s Explorers program,designed to search for exoplanet( a planet outside the Solar System).
    Northeast gas pipeline grid project
    • he proposed gas pipeline grid will connect Guwahati to the major Northeast cities and major load centers.
    • The project is being implemented under ambitious Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline Project.
    • Besides connecting all the state capitals in the region, the pipeline will also connect with the National Gas Grid through Barauni-Guwahati Gas Pipeline, which is being laid by GAIL.
    • It is to be implemented by Indradhanush Gas Grid, a joint venture of state-owned GAIL India, Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), Oil India Ltd (OIL) and Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL).
    Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement 
  • Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement signed between India and France.
  • It is a major milestone in enhancing people-to-people contacts, fostering mobility of students, academics, researchers and skilled professionals and strengthening cooperation on issues related to irregular migration and human trafficking between the two sides.
  • The Agreement will validate for seven years and incorporates provision for automatic renewal and a monitoring mechanism through a Joint Working Group.
  • Ordinance enabling FDI in coal mining
    Ordinance enabling FDI in coal mining
    • The decision was taken to boost domestic production of Coal to one billion tonnes by 2023-24 as it leads to cheaper inputs and increase in competitiveness
    • Ordinances are laws that are promulgated by the President of India on the recommendation of the Union Cabinet, which will have the same effect as an Act of Parliament. 
    • They can only be issued when Parliament is not in session but later ordinance must be passed in parliament for continuing the law.
    Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD)
    • It  is celebrated on 9th January( on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa) every year to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community in the development of India.
    • It is celebrated once in every two years to strengthen the engagement of the overseas Indian community with the Government of India and reconnect them with their roots.
    • During the Convention, selected overseas Indians are also honoured with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award to recognize their contributions to various fields both in India and abroad. 
    Green Credit Scheme
    • In the current system, industry needs to compensate the loss of forest acquired for its commercial activity by paying the Forest department a fee and the department is then responsible for reforesting on other patch of land acquired by industry.
    • It allows agencies( private companies, village forest communities) to identify land and begin growing plantations. After three years, they would be eligible to be considered as compensatory forest land.
    • An industry needing forest land could then approach the agency and pay it for parcels of such forested land, and this would then be transferred to the Forest Department and be recorded as forest land.
    Curative Petition
    • Nirbhaya Case convicts file Curative pleas in Supreme Court.
    • It is the last legal avenue(follows the dismissal of a review petition) open for convicts in the Supreme Court.
    • Rupa Ashok Hurra vs. Ashok Hurra and Anr. (2002):The Supreme Court in the said case held that in order to prevent abuse of its process and to cure gross miscarriage of justice, it may reconsider its judgements in exercise of its inherent powers.
    •  It is only in rare cases that such petitions are given an open-court hearing and a  party can take only two limited grounds in a curative petition — 
    1.  he was not heard by the court before the adverse judgment was passed.
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