Daily Current Affairs News Analysis 31 December 2019

MYUPSC.COM Daily Current Affairs 31 December 2019 covered from The Hindu, Indian Express and PIB Daily News Analysis for UPSC IAS Prelims, Mains and Other State PSC Exams. MYUPSC.COM is dedicated to preparation of Indian Administrative Services (UPSC) and Rajasthan Administrative Services (RPSC). The site intends to provide free study notes, knowledge or information related to IAS/RAS exams that can help to crack these Examinations. The Study Portal has also published its Ebooks/ PDF on various aspects & dimensions of World, India and Rajasthan. The vision of the Study Portal is to consolidate all the relevant information related to India and Rajasthan, regarding its History, Geography, Polity, Art-Culture, Heritage, Economy, Environment & Biodiversity and Current Affairs etc.

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GS2: Governance

Supreme Court judgments recognise dissent as a ‘symbol of a vibrant democracy’ (TH) Justice Rao’s dissent was resurrected by a nine-judge Bench in the 2017 privacy judgment, which said “neither life nor liberty are bounties conferred by the State”.

“Kerala tops SDG index; Bihar at last rank (TH) Bihar, Jharkhand and Arunchal Pradesh are the worst performing states in this year’s Index for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

NITI Aayog Releases SDG India Index and Dashboard 2019 (PIB)” NITI Aayog today released the second edition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index, which comprehensively documents the progress made by India’s States and Union Territories towards achieving the 2030 SDG targets.

Guarantee Internet rights (TH) Access to Internet must be recognised as a fundamental right to free speech, basic freedoms and the right to life

GS3: Environment

“Overall green cover rises, but north-east records dip (TH) Sharpest decline in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram, says ISFR report.

Total Forest and Tree Cover rises to 24.56 percent of the total geographical area of the Country (PIB) Sharpest decline in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram, says ISFR report.

India’s forest cover goes up by nearly 3% this decade; but all is not well (DTE)” ‘Very dense forests’, which absorb maximum carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, increased by a mere 1.14 ?tween 2017 and 2019, according to the State of India’s forest Report 2019

GS3: Infrastructure

“Reforming the Indian railways – On the right track (ORF) For the past 3-4 years, Indian Railways’ finances have been under severe stress. This year witnessed an even steeper downward trend.

Railways look to AI for security solutions (TH)” National transporter plans to use facial-recognition software on CCTV cameras

GS3: Security

General Bipin Rawat named India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (IE) General Bipin Rawat, as the Chief of Defence Staff, will be the principal military adviser to the government.

Biometric enabled Centralised Access Control System (CACS) &Training Module of e-BCAS Covering 43 Airports of AAI and 5 Joint Venture airports at present, the CACS project is aimed to digitize the employee movement process at the airports.

GS3: Indian Economy
RBI buys ₹10,000 crore worth government securities via OMO (TH) Stricter norms for urban co-operative banks also proposed.

Some Other Important Notes

General Awareness/Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Indian Economy Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Indian And World Geography Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Indian Polity Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Indian History: Latest Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Daily News Analysis, daily current affairs.

General Awareness/Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

MYUPSC.COM – Current Affairs Yearbook 2020 covered from The Hindu, Indian Express, PIB, Yojana and some useful government resources for UPSC IAS Prelims, Mains and Other State PSC Exams 2020. General Awareness/ Current Affairs Yearbook 2020 is very useful book for both objective and subjective papers. This Current Affairs/General Awareness Yearbook 2020 is Prepared by experts team of MYUPSC.COM is dedicated to preparation of Indian Administrative Services (UPSC) and Rajasthan Administrative Services (RPSC). The site intends to provide free study notes, knowledge or information related to IAS/RAS exams that can help to crack these Examinations. The Study Portal has also published its Ebooks/ PDF on various aspects & dimensions of World, India and Rajasthan. The vision of the Study Portal is to consolidate all the relevant information related to India and Rajasthan, regarding its History, Geography, Polity, Art-Culture, Heritage, Economy, Environment & Biodiversity and Current Affairs etc.

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General Awareness/Current Affairs Year Book 2020

Current Affairs Yearbook – 2020

Current Affairs / General Awareness 2020

Useful For UPSC, PSC & All Other Competitive Exams

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

Preface

It gives us immense pleasure in presenting the Current Affairs Yearbook 2020, Useful for UPSC, State PSC and all other competitive exams.

This book deals with the relevant features and topics of Current affairs of India & World in a systematic and comprehensive manner by the use of simple and concise language for easy and quick understanding. Varied subjects covered are Geography, History, Art-Culture & Heritage, Polity & Administration,  Economy, Science & Technology and other trending topic related to current affairs of India & world in detailed for exams point of view. We hope that the readers will find this book user friendly and helpful in preparation of their examinations. I look forwarded to have the views, comment, suggestions and criticism from readers which would definitely help in further improvement of the Book. I would like to heartfelt thanks to all my team members for their efforts to prepare this book.

Wish you happy reading and best wishes for the examinations.

(Team MYUPSC.COM)

Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Current Affairs/General Knowledge has become an integral part of a lot of entrance exams being conducted at the graduate and under-graduate levels. It is very important for students to remain updated on the current happenings in their surroundings especially those that are important from the perspective of India. Current Affairs Yearbook 2020, a thoroughly revised, reorganised, updated and ENLARGED edition, presents a comprehensive study of all the sections that are covered under the subject of General Knowledge. The Yearbook 2020 provides the latest information & most authentic data reference material on Current Affairs and General Knowledge. It has specially been designed to cater to aspirants of various competitive exams like UPSC and State PSC Civil services Exams across the country. The material has been written in a lucid language and prepared as per the requirements of the various competitive exams.

Current Affairs Yearbook 2020 consists of latest news/ information about India/ World based on The Hindu, Indian Express, PIB, Yojana, People, Events, Ideas and Issues across the Social, Economic & Political climate of the country. General Knowledge covers India/ World Panorama, Geography, History, Polity, Economy, General Science, Technology, Ecology and Environment, Art & Culture, Sports, Healthcare, Communication, News & Media, Education & Career, IT & Computers.

Why should you buy this Book?

Latest and Authentic information must for All Competitive Exams – The Mega Current Affairs Yearbook 2020 provides the latest information & most authentic data reference material on current Affairs and General Knowledge. It has specially been designed to cater to aspirants of various competitive exams like Civil services, UPSC and PSC exams and across the country.

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Must Have for Multiple Reasons: The Current Affairs Mega Yearbook 2020 is a Must-Have book for all kinds of Objective & Descriptive Tests, Essay Writing and Group Discussions & Personal Interviews; The General Knowledge section provides crisp and to-the-point information in Geography, History, Polity, Economy, General Science, etc. which otherwise could be very exhaustive.

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Daily Current Affairs 30 December 2019

MYUPSC.COM Daily Current Affairs 30 December 2019 covered from The Hindu, Indian Express and PIB for UPSC IAS Prelims, Mains and Other State PSC Exams. MYUPSC.COM is dedicated to preparation of Indian Administrative Services (UPSC) and Rajasthan Administrative Services (RPSC). The site intends to provide free study notes, knowledge or information related to IAS/RAS exams that can help to crack these Examinations. The Study Portal has also published its Ebooks/ PDF on various aspects & dimensions of World, India and Rajasthan. The vision of the Study Portal is to consolidate all the relevant information related to India and Rajasthan, regarding its History, Geography, Polity, Art-Culture, Heritage, Economy, Environment & Biodiversity and Current Affairs etc.

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GS2: Governance

Governance Index: On study of States on governance (TH) Marking States on different parameters can incentivise performance

3 years on, a mere 30% of Poshan Abhiyaan funds used (TH) The State governments and the Union Territories utilised a mere 30% of the funds released under the Poshan Abhiyaan, or the National Nutrition Mission, since it was launched in 2017.

What is the directive on detention centres? (TH) Those likely to be excluded from the NPR-NRC have a number of apprehensions. How have States responded?

Supreme Court rules flouted in demand for damages (TH) Guidelines mandate court-monitored process of assessment based on evidence
 

GS2: International Relations

Taliban council agrees to cease-fire in Afghanistan (TH) A cease-fire had been demanded by Washington before any peace agreement, which would allow the U.S. to bring home its troops, could be signed

GS3: Indian Economy

No extra charge on payments via RuPay, UPI from January 1 (TH) Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the MDR charges for businesses with over ₹50 crore annual revenues will be waived off from January 1, 2020.

FPI flows cross ₹1-lakh crore in 2019 (TH) Cumulative flows since September pegged at about ₹51,500 crore

Bank deposit cover set for increase (TH) DICGC proposes raising cover from the current ₹1 lakh to ₹3 lakh-₹5 lakh

Reforms restored PSBs’ health (TH) The Ministry of Finance on Saturday said that the health of public sector banks which have been reeling under non-performing assets for the last few years has been restored and a total of 13 banks reported profits in the first half of the current financial year.

GS3: Science and Technology

Shape of Sun’s corona accurately predicted (TH) The advance prediction gives a large window of preparedness for space weather variations

Biomarkers for glioma brain tumour found in peripheral blood (TH) These can be used for prognosis and early diagnosis of the most aggressive glioblastoma.

GS3: Environment

Madhya Pradesh gets its first elephant colony (TH) 38 elephants who strayed into Bandhavgarh last year have stayed bac

Daily Current Affairs 28 December 2019

MYUPSC.COM Daily Current Affairs 28 December 2019 covered from The Hindu, Indian Express and PIB for UPSC IAS Prelims, Mains and Other State PSC Exams. MYUPSC.COM is dedicated to preparation of Indian Administrative Services (UPSC) and Rajasthan Administrative Services (RPSC). The site intends to provide free study notes, knowledge or information related to IAS/RAS exams that can help to crack these Examinations. The Study Portal has also published its Ebooks/ PDF on various aspects & dimensions of World, India and Rajasthan. The vision of the Study Portal is to consolidate all the relevant information related to India and Rajasthan, regarding its History, Geography, Polity, Art-Culture, Heritage, Economy, Environment & Biodiversity and Current Affairs etc.

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Tibetan Gazelles

Also known as the Goa (Procapra picticaudata).

A species of antelope that inhabits the Tibetan plateau.

IUCN Status- Near Threatened.

Their fur lacks an undercoat, consisting of long guard hairs only, and is notably thicker in winter.

They are almost restricted to the Chinese provinces of Gansu, Xinjiang, Tibet, Qinghai, and Sichuan, with tiny populations in the Ladakh and Sikkim regions of India.

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. This region is referred to as the Northwestern Pacific Basin, and is the most active tropical cyclone basin on Earth, accounting for almost one-third of the world’s annual tropical cyclones.

Nari Shakti Puraskar

To acknowledge Women’s achievements, the Government of India confers Nari Shakti Puraskars on eminent women and institutions in recognition of their service towards the cause of women empowerment.

The Awards were initiated in the year 1999.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development announces these national level awards for eminent women, organisations and institutions.

The Nari Shakti Puraskar carries a cash award of Rs.1 Lakh and a certificate for individuals and institutions.

Note: The remaining articles of today’s current events will be covered tomorrow.

Government proposes BS VI emission norms

The government has proposed to make BS VI emission norms mandatory for quadricycles from April 1, 2020, an official said. Currently, quadricycles are covered under Bharat Stage IV emission norms.

The BS VI emission norms are in line with European standards. Various testing, including those related to durability, would be as per Europe quadricycle norms, the official said.

Proposed emission limits in BS VI are in line with Euro 5 mass emission guidelines which will be applicable from January 1, 2020 in Europe, the official added.

Threshold limits for emission pollutants, conformity of production (CoP) frequency and sampling plan have been proposed.

The official said the government is soliciting comments and suggestion on the draft notification before finalising it.

GS2: Governance

MGNREGA trends: fewer jobs since July, wider demand-supply gap (TH) The gap between the number of households demanding MGNREGA work and the number who were provided work has been the highest in 2019-20. This indicates that even if demand fell, supply of work fell even more.

GS2: International Relations

Explained: Significance of Iran, China, Russia holding the joint naval drill in Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman (IE) Iran, China and Russia Friday began a joint naval exercise in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman, in what is being seen as a response to recent US manoeuvers in the region

GS1: Modern Indian History

Explained: Who was Swami Shraddhanand, who fell to bullets in December 1926 (IE) On December 23, 1926, Arya Samaj missionary Swami Shraddhanand was assassinated by a man called Abdul Rashid.

GS3: Environment

Winged visitors flock to Pulicat, with birdwatchers in tow (TH) District authorities plan to conduct annual flamingo festival in first week of January

Ten zero-waste cities: How Seoul came to be among the best in recycling (DTE) Seoul, the capital of South Korea, has over 10 million people generating 9,189 tonnes of municipal solid waste per day. Nevertheless, it has one of the most rigorous waste recycling programmes in the world.

GS3: Defence and security

Decisive shift (TH) The Chief of Defence Staff could finally bring about unison among the armed forces.

GS3: Economy

Financial system stable despite slow growth (TH)

The country’s GDP slowed to a six-year low of 4.5% in the second quarter of FY20, forcing the RBI to slash its growth forecast.

Gross NPAs may rise to 9.9% by next Sept., says RBI report (TH) A Reserve Bank of India (RBI) report released on Friday showed that the worst may not be over for banks on the bad loan front as gross non-performing asset (GNPA) ratio of banks may increase to 9.9 per cent by September 2020 from 9.3 per cent in September 2019. The GNPA ratio of banks stood at 9.3 per cent in March 2019, the RBI said in its Financial Stability Report (FSR).

Some Important Study Notes for UPSC Exam 2020

Indian Economy Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Indian and World Geography Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Indian Polity Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Indian History: Latest Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

India Yearbook 2020

MYUPSC ! IAS Prelims Exam 2020 Test 7

UPSC IAS Prelims 2020 Online 60 Days Programme

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2018 Prelims- 33+ questions asked from MYUPSC Test Series Programme 

2019 Prelims- 40+ questions asked from MYUPSC Test Series Programme

There are Full Length 60 Very High Quality Tests that match very UPSC standard (acknowledged by hundreds of toppers every year).

  1. These 60 Tests are structured in such a way as to help you start from scratch and gradually gain advanced knowledge through self study using standard textbooks and multiple revisions.
  2. First 10 Tests are based on all Important NCERT Textbooks (New NCERTs).
  3. There will be full length REVISION TEST after every 5 Tests. This helps in timetaly revision of every important topic you have read, including current affairs, before you move on to new topics.
  4. Every Test will cover Current Affairs comprehensively from May 1, 2019. This helps you read and revise current affairs from the beginning.
  5. All tests will cover previous year question papers of UPSC civil services. NDA, CDS, IES, CAPF exams. This feature helps you understand the expectations of UPSC and prepare accordingly.
  6. Every test will cover 10 percent of previous test’s syllabus. This is to let you not forget what you have read for first test and thereafter. Helps you revise previous tests before the next test.
  7. There will be section-wise analysis of your performance in each test. This helps you know where you need to put extra efforts to prepare well for your weakest areas.
  8. Unlimited access to previous tests in the form of PDFs.

This test series will seriously prepare you to tackle actual exam with full confidence.

MYUPSC – UPSC CSP (2020) Test series will strategically provide its students with an in-depth coverage of the syllabus and scientifically designed revision plans covering the entire static and current portions (multiple times). With the help of guidance, we aim to make sure that our students are exam ready, with all the skills and tools needed to handle any surprise UPSC throws at them.

Unique Features of MYUPSC Prelims Test Series

  1. Comprehensive coverage of entire syllabus of UPSC CSP exam through UPSC standard MCQs
  2. Sectional Tests have been designed in a manner that students can cover each subject comprehensively in sufficient time and can evaluate his/her performance through our tests
  3. Strictly adhering to UPSC pattern, the nature of questions ranges from factual to conceptual, proportionally dividing in each of the Test Papers
  4. Options of MCQs have also been arranged in such a manner that elimination tactics can be applied by students while solving questions
  5. All tests will be conducted in same manner as in real examination hall which helps in better time management and prepare students to solve MCQs correctly under exam pressure

Performance Analysis of aspirants, Section wise analysis, Difficulty Analysis, All India Rank, comparison with toppers, Integrated Score Card, Analysis of Mock Test papers based on difficulty level & nature of questions etc. will be provided to students. It will help in evaluating their performance and course correction.

Current Affairs MCQ 27 December 2019

MYUPSC.COM Daily Current Affairs MCQS: 27 December 2019 covered from The Hindu, Indian Express and PIB for UPSC IAS Prelims, Mains and Other State PSC Exams. Current Affairs Daily Quiz 27 December 2019: MYUPSC.COM is dedicated to preparation of Indian Administrative Services (UPSC) and Rajasthan Administrative Services (RPSC). The site intends to provide free study notes, knowledge or information related to IAS/RAS exams that can help to crack these Examinations. The Study Portal has also published its Ebooks/ PDF on various aspects & dimensions of World, India and Rajasthan. The vision of the Study Portal is to consolidate all the relevant information related to India and Rajasthan, regarding its History, Geography, Polity, Art-Culture, Heritage, Economy, Environment & Biodiversity and Current Affairs etc.

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Question Bank – 27 December 2019

Q1. Which of the following are the main salt producing states in India?

1) Andhra Pradesh

2) Kerala

3) Gujarat

4) Tamilnadu

a) 1, 2& 3 only

b) 2, 3 & 4 only

c) 1, 3 & 4 only

d) all of the above

Answer: C – 1, 3 & 4 only

Q2. The Ganga Mahasabha to oppose the damming of Ganges was formed by which of the following Indian freedom struggle leaders:

a) Lala Lajpat rai

b) Madan Mohan Malaviya

c) S Radhakrishnan

d) Annie Besant

Answer:

b) Madan Mohan Malaviya

Q3. Torrefaction, recently seen in news is related to?

 a) Farm extension services and mechanization

 b) Management of pesticides and plant quarantine

 c) Converting biomass into a coal-like material

 d) None of the above

Answer: c)

India tests Swedish torref action technology to reduce stubble burning.

It is a thermal process used to produce high-grade solid biofuels from various streams of woody biomass or agro residues.

Q4. Sukapaika river, recently seen in news is the distributary of which river?

 a) Yamuna

 b) Godavari

 c) Mahanadi

 d) Krishna

Solution: c)

Sukapaika is one of the several distributaries of the mighty Mahanadi river in Odisha.

Embankments have killed Odisha’s Sukapaika river that was the lifeline of over 0.5 million people.

Q5.Which state is going to observe 2020 as Susashan Sankalp Varsh?

 [A] Uttar Pradesh

 [B] Gujarat

 [C] Haryana  

[D] Madhya Pradesh

Answer: C  Haryana

Q6.The followers of which religion are called the “Hynniew Trep”?

[A] Shinto

[B] Taoism

[C] Seng Khasi

[D] Confucianism

Answer: C  Seng Khasi

Q7.Which government is going to conduct ‘Night Walk’ to promote women empowerment?

[A] Tamil Nadu

[B] Andhra Pradesh

[C] Karnataka

[D] Kerala

Answer: D  Kerala

Q8.In which state, India’s first university for transgender community will be opened?

[A] Uttar Pradesh

[B] Kerala

[C] Gujarat

[D] Andhra Pradesh

Answer: A   Uttar Pradesh

Q9.Which of the following is called the Falcon Capital of the World?

[A] Siberia

[B] Nagaland

[C] Meghalaya

[D] China

Answer: B     Nagaland

Q10. Which American firm is developing the Project Kuiper, which is to launch thousands of satellites into space?

[A] SpaceX

[B] NASA

[C] Amazon

[D] Blue Origin

Answer: C   Amazon

Some Important Study Notes for UPSC Exam 2020

Indian Economy Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Indian and World Geography Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Indian Polity Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Indian History: Latest Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Daily Current Affairs 27 December 2019

MYUPSC.COM Daily Current Affairs 27 December 2019 covered from The Hindu, Indian Express and PIB for UPSC IAS Prelims, Mains and Other State PSC Exams. MYUPSC.COM is dedicated to preparation of Indian Administrative Services (UPSC) and Rajasthan Administrative Services (RPSC). The site intends to provide free study notes, knowledge or information related to IAS/RAS exams that can help to crack these Examinations. The Study Portal has also published its Ebooks/ PDF on various aspects & dimensions of World, India and Rajasthan. The vision of the Study Portal is to consolidate all the relevant information related to India and Rajasthan, regarding its History, Geography, Polity, Art-Culture, Heritage, Economy, Environment & Biodiversity and Current Affairs etc.

UPSC IAS Prelims 2020 Online 60 Days Programme

JOIN OUR TELEGRAM CHANNEL FOR REGULAR UPDATES

Jal Jeevan Mission

The Mission was announced in August 2019

The chief objective of the Mission is to provide piped water supply (Har Ghar Jal) to all rural and urban households by 2024.

It also aims to create local infrastructure for rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household waste water for reuse in agriculture.

The Mission will converge with other Central and State Government Schemes to achieve its objectives of sustainable water supply management across the country.

Benefits of the mission:

Household pipeline water supply.

Clean and drinkable water.

Recharge of groundwater level.

Less water-borne diseases.

Less water wastage.

Need for and significance of the mission:

India has 16% of the world population, but only 4% of freshwater resources. Depleting groundwater level, over exploitation and deteriorating water quality, climate change, etc. are major challenges to provide potable drinking water.

Good Governance Index

Context: Latest edition of the ‘Good Governance Index’ has been launched on the occasion of ‘Good Governance Day’.

Background:

Good Governance Day is observed on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee (25th December). It was observed for the first time in 2014.

What is the Good Governance Index (GGI)?

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 objectives of GGI are:

To provide quantifiable data to compare the state of governance in all states and UTs. To enable states and UTs to formulate and implement suitable strategies for improving governance.

Expert Panel for Oil & Gas Sector

Govt. constitutes expert panel for Oil & Gas sector disputes

With overhang of disputes choking investments in the oil and gas sector, the government has constituted an expert committee for time-bound resolution of exploration and production disputes.

India’s oil and gas sector has been plagued by disputes from cost recovery to production targets, and companies as well as the government have resorted to lengthy and costly arbitration followed by judicial review — a process that takes years to resolve differences.

The notification said the committee will arbitrate on a dispute between partners in a contract or with the government over commercial or production issues for oil and gas.

Last Solar eclipse of the decade witnessed

This was the last solar eclipse of the decade.

A partial solar eclipse was visible in India along with several other countries.

This was an annular solar eclipse that happens when the Moon covers the sun’s centre, leaving the sun’s visible outer edges to form a ‘ring of fire’ or annulus – around the moon.

Prime Minister NarendraModi watched the solar eclipse on the live stream.

Devotees took a holy dip in rivers and water pools across the country on the occasion of the solar eclipse.

Atal Bhujal Yojana

This is a groundwater management scheme

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the pan-India scheme Atal Bhujal Yojana, to commemorate Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 95th birth anniversary. The scheme will deal with the groundwater problem and will be implemented in 5 years. For the implementation of this scheme, the Government allocated Rs. 6000 crores. Of this total amount, Rs. 3000 crore will be provided by the World Bank and Rs 3000 crores will be given by the Central Government.

Eat Right Mela

Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the second edition of Eat Right Mela. Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare inaugurated the second edition of the Eat Right Mela at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium. The Eat Right Mela of FSSAI is a commendable effort and outreach activity for citizens towards eating right.

The rise of diet-related diseases suggests that people are eating less healthy food than they were eating a decade ago. In this context, the movement of ‘Eat Right India’ started by FSSAI is a timely initiative”.

FSSAI: Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

The PURPLE Book’

Union Minister launched ‘The PURPLE Book’ a handbook on diets for diseases. The book provides general guidelines for hospitals on suitable diets for common medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, gut disorders and so on in a simple format and has been developed and vetted by experts in the field of food and nutrition.

This book is available for free download on www.fssai.gov.in

Abhinav Lohan wins Bengaluru Open Golf Championship

Abhinav Lohan lifted PGTI title securing a narrow one-shot triumph at the Bengaluru Open golf championship. Lohan shot four-under 68 his four-day total to 13-under-275  with seven birdies. It was Lohan’s first title on the TATA Steel PGTI and his second win of the year emerged victorious at the PGTI Feeder Tour event in Lucknow.

Virat Kohli named in Wisden cricketers of the decade list

Indian captain Virat Kohli named in the Cricketers of the decade list along side four others by the Wisden Cricketers Almanac. South African duo of Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers, Australia’s Steve Smith and women’s all-rounder Ellyse Perry added in the list. Kohli scored 5,775 more international runs than anyone else in the last 10 years, has arguably been the best batsman over the last decade.

Some Important Study Notes for UPSC Exam 2020

Indian Economy Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Indian and World Geography Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Indian Polity Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Indian History: Latest Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Current Affairs MCQ 26 December 2019

MYUPSC.COM Daily Current Affairs Question Bank: The Hindu, Indian Express and PIB 26 December 2019: Current Affairs quiz Questions & Answers to enhance your General Awareness. Practice with our esteemed Current Affairs quiz December 26, 2019 questions which covers all important events across India as well as World. Make use of all important Current Affairs quiz December 26, 2019 questions with answers updated here, these questions are very important and succeed in UPSC IAS Prelims, State PSC and all other competitive Exams and Interviews.

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Current Affairs Question Bank – 26 December 2019

1. Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) is prepared by

 a) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

 b) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

 c) Germanwatch

 d) UN Environment

Solution: a)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) was approved at the IPCC’s 51st Session (IPCC-51) in September 2019 in Monaco.

The report is the third in the series of three Special Reports in the current Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) cycle, which began in 2015 and will be completed in 2022. The first was the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C, while the second was the Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL).

2. Consider the following statements regarding Formation of a New Country.

1. There is no law barring regions from declaring independence.

2. A region’s quest for nationhood mainly depends on how many countries and international organisations it manages to convince to recognise it as a country.

3. The right of “self-determination” is not included in the UN charter.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

 a) 1, 3

 b) 2, 3

 c) 1, 2

 d) 1 only

Solution: c)

How does a territory become a new country?

There is no straightforward rule. Beyond a few set requirements, a region’s quest for nationhood mainly depends on how many countries and international organisations it manages to convince to recognise it as a country. The biggest sanction of nationhood is the United Nations recognising a territory as a country.

3. Bougainville island, recently in news is part of

 a) Sunda Islands

 b) Islands on the Great Barrier Reef

 c) Solomon Islands

 d) Marshall Islands

Bougainville island-solomon group island

Solution: c)

Bougainville island is the largest of the Solomon Islands archipelago.

4. Consider the following statements regarding hydrogen fuel cell:

1. Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) use hydrogen, and an oxidant to create electricity by an electrochemical process.

2. Like a battery-electricity vehicle, fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) can also store energy.

3. Hydrogen fuel cells produce much smaller quantities of greenhouse gases.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

 a) 1, 2

 b) 2, 3

 c) 1, 3

 d) 1, 2, 3

Solution: c)

Supreme Court has asked government to look into the feasibility of hydrogen-based tech to deal with vehicular air pollution in capital.

At the heart of the fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) is a device that uses a source of fuel, such as hydrogen, and an oxidant to create electricity by an electrochemical process. Put simply, the fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to generate an electric current, water being the only byproduct. Like conventional batteries under the bonnets of automobiles, hydrogen fuel cells too convert chemical energy into electrical energy.

5. Which of the following constitutes highest human source of Methane?

 a) Livestock Farming

 b) Fossil fuel production and use

 c) Biomass burning

 d) Rice agriculture

Solution: b)

There are both natural and human sources of methane emissions. The main natural sources include wetlands, termites and the oceans. Natural sources create 36% of methane emissions. Human sources include landfills and livestock farming. But the most important source being the production, transportation and use of fossil fuels, Human-related sources create the majority of methane emissions, accounting for 64% of the total. Methane levels have more than doubled over the last 150 years. This is because of human activities like fossil fuel use and intensive farming.

6) “Zero Day Vulnerability” sometimes seen in the news recently is associated with which of the following?

a.  Cyber Attacks

b.  Drinking Water Crisis

c.  Aids Control Programme

d.  Production and Distribution mismatches

Answer : a

Cyber security experts have recently found a zero-day vulnerability in Windows, allowing attackers to gain higher privileges on the target machine and dodging protection mechanisms in the Google Chrome browser.

The newly discovered exploit was used in the malicious Wizard Opium operation.

A zero day exploit is a cyber attack that occurs on the same day a weakness is discovered in software.

At that point, it is exploited before a fix becomes available from its creator.

Zero-day vulnerabilities are basically bugs in software, which leaves the doors open for cyber criminals to break into the system.

7) AIS-155 sometimes seen in the news recently is associated with which of the following?

a.  Aviation Safety Systems

b.  Motor Vehicle Standards

c.  Agriculture Information System

d.  None of the above

Answer : b

To enhance vehicle safety, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has recently amended the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, thereby allowing motor vehicles and their parts, components, assemblies and sub-assemblies to be affixed with permanent and nearly invisible microdots.

As per the new notification, manufacturers who are affixing microdot identifiers in the motor vehicles and their parts, components, assemblies, sub-assemblies shall conform to Automotive Industry Standards (AIS)-155 as amended from time to time.

8) Consider the following statements with respect to Microdot Technology:

1. It involves spraying the body and parts of a vehicle with microscopic dots.

2. These dots are permanent and easily visible to the naked eye.

3. It helps to check vehicle theft and use of fake spare parts.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are incorrect?

a.  2 only

b.  1 and 2 only

c.  1 and 3 only

d.  1, 2 and 3

Answer : a

Microdot technology involves spraying the body and parts of a vehicle – or any other machine – with microscopic dots.

The permanent and nearly invisible microdots can be read physically with a microscope and identified with an ultra violet light source.

Use of this technology helps to check vehicle theft and use of fake spare parts.

To enhance vehicle safety, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has recently amended the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, thereby allowing motor vehicles and their parts, components, assemblies and sub-assemblies to be affixed with permanent and nearly invisible microdots.

9) Consider the following statements with respect to a currency ‘Eco’ which was in news recently

1. It is a newly announced common currency of the Gulf countries.

2. The currency will be pegged to the US dollor.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

a.  1 only

b.  2 only

c.  Both 1 and 2

d.  Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : d

Eight West African countries have announced a new common currency “Eco” to end French dominance from the region.

These 8 countries are, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, and Ivory Coast.

The French-backed currency ‘CFA Franc’ was established in 1945 and initially pegged to the French franc but has been linked to the euro for about two decades.

Former French colonies Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo still use the currency.

10) Consider the following statements with respect to, Galapagos Islands:

1. The Galapagos Islands are part of the country of Ecuador.

2. It is a United Nations World Heritage Site and it is one of the most active hot spots of the world.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

a.  1 only

b.  2 only

c.  Both 1 and 2

d.  Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : c

Ecuador declared a state of emergency after a barge carrying nearly 2,300 liters of diesel fuel sank at the Galapagos Islands, The Galapagos, which are part of Ecuador, is a United Nations World Heritage Site. It is one of the globe’s most fragile ecosystems and active hot spots of the world.

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Indian Economy Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

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Indian Polity Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

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Daily Current Affairs 26 December 2019

MYUPSC.COM Daily Current Affairs 26 December 2019 covered from The Hindu, Indian Express and PIB for UPSC IAS Prelims, Mains and Other State PSC Exams. MYUPSC.COM is dedicated to preparation of Indian Administrative Services (UPSC) and Rajasthan Administrative Services (RPSC). The site intends to provide free study notes, knowledge or information related to IAS/RAS exams that can help to crack these Examinations. The Study Portal has also published its Ebooks/ PDF on various aspects & dimensions of World, India and Rajasthan. The vision of the Study Portal is to consolidate all the relevant information related to India and Rajasthan, regarding its History, Geography, Polity, Art-Culture, Heritage, Economy, Environment & Biodiversity and Current Affairs etc.

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Swadesh Darshan Scheme

It is launched by Tourism Ministry

Objective: to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country. These tourist circuits will be developed on the principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner.

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.

Features of Swadesh Darshan Scheme:

100% centrally funded 

Funding of individual project will vary from state to state 

A National Steering Committee (NSC)

A Mission Directorate 

Chief of Defence Staff

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has approved the creation of a chief of defence staff (CDS).

He will be the single-point military adviser to the government as suggested by the Kargil Review Committee in 1999.
CDS oversees and coordinates the working of the three Services.

Conditions:

He will be a Four-star General.

Not eligible to hold any Government office after demitting the office of CDS.

No private employment without prior approval for a period of five years after demitting the office of CDS.

Roles and functions:

CDS will provide “single-point military advice” to the government, inject synergy in planning, procurements and logistics in the armed forces.

It will ensure integration of land-air-sea operations through the eventual setting up of theatre commands.
The CDS will also function as the military advisor to the PM-led Nuclear Command Authority, as also have direct command of tri-Service organizations to handle the new warfare domains of space and cyberspace.

Mission Shat Pratishat

The Punjab Education Department recently launched Mission Shat Pratishat to achieve 100 per cent result in classes 5, 8, 10, and 12 of government schools.

The Mission was launched in September 2019 by the Punjab education department.

It aimed to improve the results of the government schools in terms of pass percentage in the 10th and 12th board examinations.

WhatsApp groups of teachers, students, and parents by different subject teachers have been formed to ensure proper coordination as well as sharing of good practices.

Model question papers have been prepared for every subject and students are being made to solve them.

Oxygen Parlour” At Nashik Railway Station

To battle rising air pollution in cities, an ”Oxygen Parlour” has been opened at Nashik railway station.

It aims to provide an experience of breathing clean air to the commuters.

The initiative comes with the efforts of the Airo Guard in collaboration with the Indian Railways.

The parlour contains some unique plants that better absorb the five most harmful pollutants from the air.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee Tunnel

The government will name the strategic tunnel under Rohtang Pass after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his birth anniversary on December 25th.

Key facts:

The 8.8-km-long tunnel is the world’s longest above an altitude of 3,000 metres.

The tunnel will cut through Pir Panjal range.

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 Seri nullah default zone lies inside the tunnel.

Bar-Headed Goose

Also known as Anser indicus, it is known to be one of the highest flying birds in the world. It can fly at altitudes of 25,000 feet, while migrating over the Himalayas, where oxygen and temperature levels are extremely low.

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.

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Indian Economy Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

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RBI’S INFLATION TARGETING PROMOTES INDIA’S GROWTH?

RBI-Inflation-growth-India-economy-reasons.

RBI India inflation growth: Indian Economy is being through a slowdown, and in this scenario, the efficacy of RBI’s Inflation targeting process has come under criticism, stating it as a reason behind this slowdown.#RBI #Inflation #India

So, the process of inflation targeting and the benefits accrued due to it and the possible reasons (apprehensions) behind various criticisms and the way forward has been discussed in this article in brief.

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What is Inflation Targeting?

  • Inflation Targeting is a part of monetary policy framework wherein the Central Bank of a country focuses on maintaining the rate of Inflation within a targeted range.
  • It is believed that increasing prices in an economy create uncertainties in decision making, adversely affecting savings and encouraging speculative investments (such as buying Gold).  Inflation targeting brings in more predictability and transparency in deciding monetary policy.
  • Inflation targeting was first adopted by New Zealand and subsequently, a large number of countries including India have been following Inflation Targeting as their core element of monetary policy.
  • In case of India, the Inflation targeting was introduced through the Monetary Policy Framework Agreement signed between the RBI and Government in 2015. As per terms of the agreement, RBI’s primary objective would be to maintain price stability, while keeping in mind the objective of growth. The RBI is required to maintain rate of inflation of 4% with a deviation of 2% i.e. inflation has to be maintained between 2% to 6%.

Benefits of Inflation Targeting

1. Enhanced Transparency: The Inflation targeting explicitly states as to what would be the targeted rate of Inflation in an economy. Such explicitly mandated target brings in more clarity and predictability with respect to the rate of Inflation and monetary policy formulation.
2. Promote Growth: A high rate of inflation leads to decrease in the purchasing power of currency, reduces the savings and investment rate, increases the unemployment and leads to overall decrease in the GDP growth rate.  Further, high rate of inflation is accompanied by higher levels of Fiscal Deficit and Current Account Deficit leading to an adverse impact on the macro-economic stability of the country. Hence, low and moderate level of inflation would incentivise the investors to undertake the investment in the economy leading to the promotion of higher growth and development.
3. Autonomy and Accountability of RBI: As per the monetary policy framework agreement, the RBI has been given complete autonomy in maintaining the rate of inflation within the mandated targets. If the RBI fails to maintain the Inflation within the target, then it would be required to submit in writing, the reasons for its failure.

Such a provision enables the RBI to enjoy autonomy and at the same time, it enables the Government to have enhanced accountability over the actions of the RBI.

4. Empirical Evidence:  The Inflation targeting has been quite successful in some of the advanced economies such as UK, New Zealand etc. These advanced economies have been able to maintain moderate rate of inflation for a much longer time leading to increased macro-economic stability.

Problems and Challenges with Inflation Targeting

1. Disregards the Multi-faceted role of RBI: In a developing country like India, it is not practical for the central bank to focus exclusively on inflation without taking into account the larger development context. The RBI needs to balance between growth, price stability and financial stability.
2. No Clear link between Price Stability and Financial Stability: Prior to 2008, advanced economies were able to maintain moderate rate of inflation for a long term mainly due to adoption of Inflation Targeting. It was believed that Inflation targeting was responsible for overall macroeconomic stability of the country.
However, the 2008 Global Financial Crisis has clearly proved that price stability alone cannot lead to financial stability and the excessive focus of the Central banks on the price stability may lead to neglect of other crucial functions such as regulation leading to the economic crisis.

3. Empirical Evidence failing in India: The RBI has been able to maintain stable rate of Inflation within the mandated range since last 2-3 years. However, inspite of stable rate of Inflation, Indian economy is facing challenges on multiple fronts. The GDP growth rate has been reduced to 25 quarter low of 5% for the first quarter of financial year 2019-20.

The unemployment has increased to 45- year high of 6.1%. There has been contraction in the manufacturing activity as evident in declining IIP. The agriculture sector is staring at agrarian distress. All these clearly highlight that the Inflation targeting has failed to promote growth and development.

4. Poor Monetary Policy Transmission: The Inflation targeting is more suited to the developed economies since the monetary policy transmission in such economies is quite efficient. However, in case of India, the monetary policy transmission is quite inefficient and this can in turn reduce the effectiveness of Inflation Targeting.
5. Hinder GDP Growth: In order to contain Inflation, the RBI would be required to increase the rate of Interest by following the contractionary monetary policy. However, such a policy would lead to increase in the rate of interest on the loans leading to decrease in investment and consumption expenditure leading to decline in the GDP growth rates. For example, during 2013-2015, the higher interest rates in the country on account of higher rate of inflation had led to decrease in the GDP growth rates.
6. Does not address the Supply Side Inflation: The inflation in India may take place due to supply side bottlenecks such as increase in global crude oil prices, poor monsoon, floods etc. For instance, the recent increase in the prices of Tomato and Onions is mainly on account of supply side disruptions.
Under such circumstances, RBI would have limited role to play in easing the rate of inflation. Rather, the Government of India would be required to address these supply side disruptions in order to moderate the prices of such commodities.

Way Forward

  • Post-Global Financial crisis, the dominant view around the world is that flexible inflation targeting, rather than pure inflation targeting is more efficient for monetary policy formulation.
  • According to the Flexible inflation targeting, the major role of the Central Bank would depend on the prevailing rate of inflation in the country. If the rate of inflation is way off the target, the primary emphasis of the central Bank would be to bring the rate of inflation within an acceptable range.
  • On the other hand, if the rate of inflation is within the range, the central Bank should focus on its other core objectives. Thus, it is being said that the Central banks should focus on flexible inflation targeting rather than pure inflation targeting. Here pure inflation targeting means RBI solely concentrating on the inflation targeting at the cost of other major functions of it.
  • In this aspect, there is a need for greater debate around kind of Inflation targeting in India.

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  1. Indian Economy Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

2. Indian and World Geography Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

3. Indian Polity Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

4. Indian History: Latest Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

MAHABALIPURAM’S CHINA CONNECTION

Mahabalipuram-china-india-summit-Prime minister modi meet xi jinping.

Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram where PM Modi will meet China’s President Xi Jinping on October 11 & 12 in an informal Wuhan-style summit had ancient links with Buddhism and China through the maritime outreach of the Pallava dynasty. #mahabalipuram’s china connection

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The Pallavas:

  • The name Mamallapuram derives from Mamallan, or “great warrior”, a title by which the Pallava King Narasimhavarman I (630-668 AD) was known.
  • It was during his reign that Hiuen Tsang, the Chinese Buddhist monk-traveller, visited the Pallava capital at Kanchipuram.
  • Narasimhavarman II (c.700-728 AD) aka Rajasimhan built on the work of earlier Pallava kings to consolidate maritime mercantile links with Southeast Asia.
  • The Descent of the Ganga/Arjuna’s Penance, a rock carving commissioned by Narasimhavarman I, with its depiction of the Bhagirathi flowing from the Himalayas, may serve as a reminder of the geography of India-China relations, and their shared resources.
  • Tamil-Chinese links continued after the Pallavas, flourishing under the Cholas as the Coromandel coast became the entrepot between China and the Middle East.

Overseas Mission:

  • He sent a mission to the Tang court in 720 with a request that would seem unusual in the context of India-China relations today.
  • The emissaries of the Pallava king sought the permission of Emperor Xuangzong to fight back Arab and Tibetan intrusions in South Asia.
  • Pleased with the Indian king’s offer to form a coalition against the Arabs and Tibetans, the Chinese emperor bestowed the title of ‘huaide jun’ (the Army that Cherishes Virtue) to Narayansimha II’s troops.
  • The offer of help by the Pallava ruler, Sen noted, may have had more to do with furthering trade and for the prestige of association with the Chinese emperor, rather than any real prospect of helping him to fight off enemies in the faraway north.

Continuing Connections:

  • In later centuries, the Coromandel coast retained its importance for trade between China and the west.
  • In the 17th and 18th centuries, it was a staging post for the Dutch, French and British for control of the seas between South Asia and SE Asia, as the Europeans fought to protect their trade routes with China and other countries in the region.
  • The ancient port city of Pondicherry, 80 km south of Mahabalipuram, was a French colony famous for its Chinese exports known as “Coromandel goods”, including crepe de chine.
  • Today the UT, with its French legacy, Tamil residents, Bengali and international devotees of Sri Aurobindo, is among the most diverse and cosmopolitan of cities in South India.

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Indian Economy Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

Indian and World Geography Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

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Source

GOVERNMENT PROCURED ONLY 3% OF OILSEEDS AND PULSES UNDER PM-AASHA

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GOVERNMENT PROCURED ONLY 3% OF OILSEEDS AND PULSES UNDER PM-AASHA

Why in News?

  • Data from Agriculture Ministry has indicated that only less than 3% of this season’s sanctioned amount of pulses and oilseeds have actually been procured so far under the once-hyped PM-AASHA scheme.

About PM-AASHA:

  • The PM-AASHA or Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan was announced with great fanfare in September 2018, as an effort to ensure that farmers growing pulses, oilseeds and copra actually get the minimum support prices they are promised for their crops each year.
  • Apart from initiatives to allow cash payment to farmers or procurement by private traders, PM-AASHA’s main feature was a price support scheme whereby Central agencies would procure pulses and oilseeds directly from farmers.
  • The three schemes that are part of AASHA are:
    • The Price Support Scheme (PSS)
    • The Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS)
    • The Pilot of Private Procurement and Stockist Scheme (PPPS)
  • PSS – Under the PSS, physical procurement of pulses, oilseeds and copra will be done by Central Nodal Agencies.
  • Besides, NAFED and Food Cooperation of India will also take up procurement of crops under PSS.
  • The expenditure and losses due to procurement will be borne by the Centre.
  • PDPS – Under the PDPS, the Centre proposes to cover all oilseeds.
  • The difference between the MSP and actual selling/modal price will be directly paid into the farmer’s bank account.
  • Farmers who sell their crops in recognised mandis within the notified period can benefit from it.
  • PPSS – In the case of oilseeds, States will have the option to roll out PPSSs in select districts.
  • Under this, a private player can procure crops at MSP when market prices drop below MSP.
  • The private player will then be compensated through a service charge up to a maximum of 15% of the MSP.
  • The Centre had budgeted ₹15,053 crore over two years to implement the scheme apart from an additional government credit guarantee of ₹16,550 crore for agencies undertaking procurement.
  • It was launched as increasing MSP was not adequate and it is more important that farmers should get full benefit of the announced MSP.
  • Crops covered under the Scheme for this Season:
  • The main crops covered under the scheme this season are moong, urad, arhar, and groundnut and soya bean.
  • The late arrival of the monsoon means that harvests and crop arrivals also began slightly later than expected, especially for arhar or tur dal, so procurement is likely to continue, though tapering, until February.

Issues Associated with the MSP Scheme:

  • The scheme provides little to strengthen the procurement mechanism infrastructure in the country which largely only works for two crops – wheat and rice.
  • According to a survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) in the 70th round in 2013, only 6% of farmers are able to sell their produce at MSP.
  • A 2017 study found that only 24% households were aware about the MSP of crops grown by them.
  • Further, the study found, although MSP is announced for the whole of India, the operation is limited only to few states where the designated government agencies procure the produce from farmers and except for crops like rice and wheat, quantity procured is very limited leading to low level of awareness.
  • According to a 2016 NITI Aayog evaluation report 79% farmers were dissatisfied with the MSP regime.
  • Some of the reasons for their dissatisfaction were delay in payments, lack of infrastructure at procurement centres, distance to procurement centres and delayed announcement of MSP rates.
  • NITI Aayog’s evaluation also found that there were several states where the procurement infrastructure facilities were ‘inadequate’.

What is the Current Issue regarding the PM-AASHA?

  • Procurement is still lagging badly in most States.
  • The highest sanctioned procurement is in Maharashtra, where 10 lakh tonnes of soya bean procurement were sanctioned, apart from 58,000 tonnes of moong and urad dal. However, barely 1,709 tonnes have been procured in the State so far, including just 14 tonnes of soya bean.
  • The highest procurement so far has taken place in Rajasthan, where more than 51,000 tonnes of moong and groundnut have been procured, against a total sanctioned amount of 9.6 lakh tonnes.
  • While almost 5 lakh tonnes had been sanctioned in Madhya Pradesh, and 1.18 lakh tonnes in Uttar Pradesh, procurement has not yet begun in either State.

MISSION FOR INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT OF HORTICULTURE (MIDH)

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MISSION FOR INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT OF HORTICULTURE (MIDH)

Why in News?

  • Information about the MIDH was provided by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare in the Lok Sabha.

MIDH:

  • The MIDH is a centrally sponsored scheme for the holistic growth of the horticulture sector covering fruits, vegetables, root & tuber crops, mushrooms, spices, flowers, aromatic plants, coconut, cashew, cocoa and bamboo.
  • Under MIDH, the Government of India contributes 60% of the total outlay for developmental programmes in all the states except states in the North East and the Himalayas. 40% share is contributed by State Governments. In the case of North Eastern and Himalayan States, GOI contributes 90%.
  • MIDH also provides technical advice and administrative support to State Governments/State Horticulture Missions (SHMs) for the Saffron Mission and other horticulture-related activities like the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).
  • The Mission was started in 2014.

Objectives of the MIDH:

  • To promote the holistic growth of horticulture sector, including coconut through area-based regionally differentiated strategies which include research, technology promotion, extension, post-harvest management, processing and marketing in consonance with comparative advantage of each State/region and its diverse agri-climatic features.
  • To encourage aggregation of farmers into farmer groups like FIGs/FPOs and FPCs to bring economy of scale and scope.
  • To enhance horticulture production.
  • To augment farmers’ income.
  • To strengthen nutritional security.
  • To improve productivity by way of quality germ-plasm, planting material and water use efficiency through micro-irrigation.
  • To support skill development and create employment generation opportunities for the rural youth in horticulture and post-harvest management, especially in the cold chain sector.

MIDH Sub-Schemes:

  • National Horticulture Mission (NHM)
  • Horticulture Mission for North East & Himalayan States (HMNEH)
  • National Horticulture Board (NHB)
  • Coconut Development Board (CDB)
  • Central Institute for Horticulture (CIH), Nagaland

Major interventions of MIDH:

  • Setting up of nurseries, tissue culture units for production of quality seed and planting material.
  • Area expansion i.e., the establishment of new orchards and gardens for fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
  • Rejuvenation of unproductive, old, and senile orchards.
  • Protected cultivation, i.e. poly-house, green-house, etc., to improve productivity & grow off-season high value vegetables and flowers.
  • Organic farming and certification.
  • Creation of water resources structures and watershed management.
  • Bee-keeping for pollination.
  • Horticulture mechanization.
  • Creation of post-harvest management and marketing infrastructure.

NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY MISSION (NFSM) – OILSEEDS AND OIL PALM

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NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY MISSION (NFSM) – OILSEEDS AND OIL PALM

Why in News?

  • The Government is implementing the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) – Oilseeds and Oil Palm to increase production of oilseeds and domestic availability of Edible Oils.

NFSM – Oilseeds and Oil Palm:

  • This scheme is under implementation in 29 States and has three subcomponents namely, Oilseeds, Oil palm and Tree Borne Oilseeds (TBOs).
  • The main objective is to increase oilseeds production & productivity and area expansion under oil palm & TBOs cultivation.

Objectives of NFSM:

  • Increasing the production of rice, wheat, pulses, coarse cereals (maize and barley) and nutri-cereals through area expansion and productivity enhancement in a sustainable manner in the identified districts of the country.
  • Restoring soil fertility and productivity at the individual farm level.
  • Enhancing farm level economy (i.e. farm profits) to restore confidence amongst the Farmers.

Oilseeds Agriculture in India:

  • India is one of the major oilseeds grower and importer of edible oils.
  • India’s vegetable oil economy is the world’s fourth-largest after USA, China & Brazil.
  • Oilseeds account for 13% of the Gross Cropped Area, 3% of the Gross National Product and 10% value of all agricultural commodities.
  • The diverse agro-ecological conditions in the country are favourable for growing 9 annual oilseed crops, which include 7 edible oilseeds (groundnut, rapeseed & mustard, soybean, sunflower, sesame, safflower and niger) and two non-edible oilseeds (castor and linseed).
  • Oilseeds cultivation is undertaken across the country in about 27 million hectares mainly on marginal lands, of which 72% is confined to rain-fed farming.
  • During the last few years, the domestic consumption of edible oils has increased substantially and has touched the level of 18.90 million tonnes in 2011-12 and is likely to increase further.
  • A substantial portion of our requirement of edible oil is met through import of palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia.

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Indian Economy Current Affairs Yearbook 2020

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Important Topics for UPSC IAS Prelims and Mains Exam 2020 

Former CJI wants cyber space as part of school curriculum

PM denies existence of detention camps in the country

Despite decline in GDP growth rate, FPI’s surge in 2019

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India, China to reach agreement on boundary question

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Mission Shat Pratishat

West African Nations Rename Common Currency- eco

Chilai-Kalan

Hunar Haat

Winter solstice 2019

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Current Affairs is an important section of UPSC Civil Services Examination, State PSC, Banking, SSC and Railways exams and aspirants who are preparing for the upcoming exams in 2020 must be well prepare with this section. The current affairs are made by our experts for all competitive exams UPSC Prelims Exam 2020, State PSC, SSC, IAS, Railway-RRB, RPSC, UPPSC, UKPSC, TNPSC, MPPSC & Other State Government Exams and latest Current Affairs 2019-20 for banking exams SBI PO Clerk, IBPS PO Clerk, RBI, RRB and more. Keep reading current affairs and GK facts updated on a daily & monthly basis. Stay aware about the recent happenings in the country and across the globe and equip your preparation for upcoming govt. exams 2020.

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Central government aims to achieve 100 Hunar Haats in 5 years

India claims to be top performer in Paris agreement

Centre plans to increase global trade by 8-10%

IMF says Indian economy less likely to see recovery soon

India holds meeting with stakeholders on implementation of Chabahar agreement

Ethiopia launches its first satellite

Study finds transmission of chicken pox virus from mother to child

Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP)

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Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 – Government’s Clarification on CAA

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Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA) passed by the Indian Parliament has resulted in nationwide protests as many felt the new provisions added by the Central Government are discriminatory in nature.

The Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 is connected with illegal migrants who came to India before 31-12-2014.

The new amendments are intended to help illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh get an opportunity to apply for Indian citizenship if they belong to Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Jain, Parsi or Buddhist religious beliefs. Muslims are not listed.

Citizenship Amendment Act 2019: Why are people opposing it?

Those who oppose the CAA feel that the new provisions are against the principles and secular foundations of Indian Constitution, and hence ethically wrong. There are also apprehensions in some sections that the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019, followed by the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is to alter the voters’ profile in favour of the ruling party.

Natives of north-east India, who are most affected by the problems of illegal migration, are against the whole idea of giving citizenship to illegal migrants, irrespective of their religion

Government’s Clarification on Citizenship Amendment Act 2019

To bring more clarity about the stand of the Central Government, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has released the clarification of the government on the issue. The questions and answers published by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) are reproduced below.

Does the CAA affect any Indian citizen?

No, it has absolutely nothing to do with any Indian citizen in any way. The Indian citizens enjoy fundamental rights conferred on them by the Constitution of India. No statute, including the CAA, can abridge or take them away. There has been a misinformation campaign. The CAA does not affect any Indian citizens, including Muslim citizens.

Who does the CAA apply to?

It is relevant only for Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian foreigners, who have migrated from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan into India up to 31.12.2014, on account of persecution faced by them due to their religion. It does not apply to any other foreigners, including Muslims migrating to India from any country, including these three countries.

How does it benefit Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian foreigners hailing from these three countries?

If their travel documents like passport and visa are not in order or are not available, they can apply for Indian citizenship if they were persecuted back home. The CAA creates this legal right for such migrants. Secondly, they get a faster route for Indian citizenship through the Naturalisation Mode. The minimum residency requirement in India would be only 1+5 years instead of 1+11 years as applicable for all other categories of foreigners.

Does this mean that Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan can never get Indian citizenship?

No, the present legal process of acquiring Indian citizenship by any foreigner of any category through Naturalization (Section 6 of the Citizenship Act) or through Registration (Section 5 of the Act) stays operational. The CAA does not amend or alter it in any manner whatsoever. Hundreds of Muslims migrating from these three countries have been granted Indian citizenship during the last few years. If found eligible, all such future migrants shall also get Indian citizenship, irrespective of their numbers or religion.

In 2014, after the settlement of Indo-Bangladesh boundary issues, 14,864 Bangladeshi citizens were given Indian Citizenship when their enclaves were incorporated into the territory of India. Thousands of these foreigners were Muslims.

Will illegal Muslim immigrants from these three countries be deported under the CAA?

No, the CAA has absolutely nothing to do with the deportation of any foreigner from India. The deportation process of any foreigner irrespective of his religion or country is implemented as per the mandate of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and/or The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920. These two laws govern entry, stay movement within India and exit from India of all foreigners irrespective of their religion or country.

Therefore, the usual deportation process would apply to any illegal foreigner staying in India. It is a well-considered judicial process that is based on a proper inquiry by the local police or administrative authorities to detect an illegal foreigner. It is ensured that such an illegal foreigner has been issued a proper travel document by the embassy of his country so that he can be duly received by officials of his country when he is deported.

In Assam, the process of deportation happens only after the determination of such a person as a “foreigner” under The Foreigners Act, 1946. Then he becomes liable for deportation. Therefore, there is nothing automatic, mechanical or discriminatory in this

Exercise. The state governments and their district-level authorities enjoy the power of Central Govt. under Section 3 of the Foreigners Act and Section 5 of The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 to detect, detain & deport any illegal foreigner.

Can Hindus facing persecution on grounds of religion in countries other than these 3 countries apply under the CAA?

No, they will have to apply through the usual process to get Indian Citizenship just like any other foreigner for either registration or naturalization as a citizen of India. They would get no preference under The Citizenship Act, 1955, even after the CAA.

Does the CAA also cover other forms of persecution – on grounds of race, gender, membership of a political or social group, language, ethnicity etc.?

No, the CAA is a very focused law that deals specifically with foreigners of six minority community groups hailing from three neighbouring countries that have their distinct state religion. Any foreigner persecuted abroad on any account may apply for registration or naturalization as a citizen of India like any other foreigner if he fulfils the minimum qualifications laid down in The Citizenship Act, 1955.

The CAA will gradually exclude Indian Muslims from the citizenship of India?

The CAA does not apply to any Indian citizen at all. All Indian citizens enjoy the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India. CAA is not meant to deprive any Indian citizen of his citizenship. Rather it is a special law to enable certain foreigners facing a particular situation in three neighbouring countries to get Indian citizenship.

CAA will be followed by NRC and all migrants except Muslims will be given citizenship and Muslims will be sent to detention camps?

The CAA has nothing to do with NRC. The legal provisions regarding NRC have been part of The Citizenship Act, 1955 since December 2004. Also, there are specific statutory rules of 2003 to operationalise these legal provisions. They govern the process of registration of Indian citizens and the issuance of national identity cards to them. These legal provisions have been on the statute books since the last 15-16 years. The CAA has not altered them in any way whatsoever.

What are the rules for citizenship under CAA?

Appropriate rules under the CAA are being framed. They will operationalise various provisions of the CAA.

CAA – Myths and Facts in Perspective of North-East (Government’s Release)

Government of India has also released (PIB) Myth Busters in connection with CAA and North-East India.

MYUPSC! Daily Current Affairs 18 December 2019

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New definition of kilogram

What is Trakea?

Wi-Fi Calling

ISRO’s PSLV helps increase forex by 90 crores this fiscal

India’s UNMISS wins prestigious medal

India donates solar powered lamps to Palestine

Centre approve changes in MSME interest subvention guidelines

VP asks mining industries not to compromise of worker’s safety

Project Dolphin

Finance ministry assures payment of GST compensation to states

PM assures citizenship act not to affect Indian citizens

What is Strand Hogg?

MYUPSC Daily Current Affairs 15 December 2019

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Current Affairs 15 December 2019

IMD issues red alert as heavy rain lashes across north India

Lok Sabha adjourned sine die

Centre releases economic census foe New Delhi

Finance ministry assures addressing of problems of industries

India reiterates commitment for strong and peaceful Maldives

U.S and China agree upon tariff concession and structural reforms

FSSAI to develop app to prevent food wastage

Disha Bill

New definition of kilogram

What is Trakea?

Wi-Fi Calling

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Daily Current Affairs 08 December 2019

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VP expresses concern over crimes against women

NGT directs for 100% treatment of sewage entering rivers

Govt. to rework findings of household consumer expenditure

States demand GST compensation from centre

PM meets Mauritian counterpart to expand cooperation

OPEC decides to cut oil production

India to outreach towards arctic region for mineral explorations

Asian Elephant Specialist Group (AsESG)

Odisha’s Kalia to be merged with PM- KISAN

Head on Generation (HOG) technology

Neutrino Project

Adaptation fund

Effective Use of Technology for Welfare Schemes

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Effective Use of Technology for Welfare Schemes

Today’s workforce programs, especially MGNREGS (NeFMS-Use of Technology for MGNREGS), which are used to alleviate distress and poverty, owe their intellectual origins to “food for work” programs during the rule of Chandragupta Maurya (320 BC to 298 BC), “Food for work” is first referred in Kautilya’s Arthashastra;

 Much later in 1784, but more than a century before Keynes (1909), Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula started a “food for work” programme to help the famine-stricken people of Lucknow. Some workers were employed during daytime to construct the Imambara. Others were hired at night to demolish part of what was constructed during the day time.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), which was enacted through an Act of Parliament in 2005, represents the modern version of such “food for work” programmes in India.

The programme was operationalised through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) with effect from February 2, 2006.

The programme was initiated to ameliorate rural distress by providing at least 100 daysof manual labour at minimum wages to anyone who seeks employment under the program.

Creation of productive assets for prescribed quality and durability, social inclusion, gender parity, social security and equitable growth form the founding pillars of the programme.

The Act states that “the objective of the legislation is to enhance the livelihood security of poor households in rural areas”.

The programme was reviewed in 2015 and the government initiated major reforms using technology and emphasized on bringing in more transparency and accountability, robust planning and creation of durable productive assets.

The scheme was also integrated with the Aadhaar Linked Payments (ALP) system. The ALP leveraged the Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile (JAM) trinity to provide Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT) to the beneficiary accounts.

As a result, the wage payment system underlying MGNREGS was streamlined, thereby reducing the scope for delays in payment.

USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN IMPLEMENTATION OF MGNREGS

Before the implementation of DBT, MGNREGS wages were transferred to the panchayat bank accounts and a significant number of workers had to collect wages in cash from the gram panchayat office. Though attempts were made to implement a system of DBT, two structural constraints limited these attempts.

As per a World Bank report, until 2015, close to 50 per cent of the country’s population did not have bank accounts.

The proportion of unbanked population was significantly higher for rural people who are the target group for MGNREGS.

According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)2 ,total banking outlets in villages as of March, 2014 was 1,15,350.This has increased by around five times since then with total banking outlets in villages at 5,69,547 as of March, 2018.

By December, 2015, the total number of Aadhaar enrolments in the country exceeded 100 crore, thereby covering a major portion of the adult population.

In 2015, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) was launched to ensure universal access to banking facilities with at least one basic banking account for every household.

National electronic Fund Management System (NeFMS)

In order to streamline the system of fund flow and to ensure timely payment of wages, NeFMS was implemented in the year 2016.

Under the system, the Central Government directly credits the wages of the MGNREGS workers, on a real time basis, to a specific bank account opened by the State Governments.

All the Programme Officers debit this state-level single account for authorization of wage payment.

Currently, NeFMS is implemented in 24 States and 1 Union Territory wherein payment of wages is being credited directly to the bank/post office accounts of MGNREGS workers by the Central Government.

As a result of this initiative, the e-payment under MGNREGS has increased from 77.34 per cent in FY 2014-15 to 99 per cent in FY 2018-19

Perceived Benefits of DBT

 Providing timely release of payments;

 Ensuring correct funds are transferred to correct beneficiaries, reducing corruption & leakages in system.

 Reduction in delays in system for funds transfer (improving programme performance and instilling trust and confidence in system by beneficiaries).

 Strong focus on security, tracking and monitoring of funds (through use of digital sign/signatures and convergence/interoperability), Reconciliation process during payments between intermediate agencies involved in funds transfer (near real time tracking, accountability and transparency).

IMPACT OF DBT ON EFFECTIVENESS OF MGNREGS

Timely Payment of Wages: DBT focused on directly transferring funds into the beneficiary bank account. The NREGA Soft monitors generation of payment of wages within 15 days. Sustained efforts and intensive engagement with all stakeholders has enabled vast improvements in the timely payment of wages. In 2014-15, 26.9 per cent of the payments were generated within 15 days, which has now risen to 90.4 per cent in 2018-19.

Demand for MGNREGS Work: However, in blocks that are affected by drought, the persons demanding work increased by 20.7%.

Supply of MGNREGS work: We observe a 20% increase in the supply of work in blocks that are affected by drought. This suggests that the supply of work under MGNREGS also responds to the increase in demand in the blocks affected by drought. It can be inferred that the increased state capacity to implement anti-poverty programmes brought about by ALP can potentially bridge the demand supply gap in MGNREGS. State governments will be able to effectively monitor the implementation of MGNREGS and nudge the officials to provide jobs wherever and whenever they are needed the most.

Work Done under MGNREGS: Muster rolls are a form of attendance register signed by workers. It acts as a preliminary check in the sense that, if demand and supply of work increases, but there is no change in muster rolls filled, then it means that there may be a false reporting of numbers.

USE OF DATA ON CONSUMPTION TO PROXY DISTRESS

While drought is the primary source of rural distress, there is a possibility of some extremely local unobserved distress which is not related to drought such as pest attacks, disease outbreak, sale of land for infrastructure development etc.. Such distress should reduce consumption expenditure of the local areas affected by it. Therefore, monthly consumption expenditure from NSS round 72 survey data can be used as a proxy for distress. The hypothesis is that there should be an increase in demand for MGNREGS work in areas with decline in consumption expenditure.

WAY FORWARD

Highlighting the benefits of using technology in welfare schemes to improve end to end governance, create a robust evidence based implementation framework in partnership with the States, streamline the processes, timely transfer of funds to implementing agencies and beneficiaries, plugging of leakages, optimum utilization of public funds and improving overall performance (outputs/outcomes) of the programmes.

There are some policy implications:

Probable Indicator of distress: Demand for work under MGNREGS may be used to develop a real-time indicator of distress at the granular district/ panchayat level. Distress at the level of a district or panchayat is difficult to identify in real-time using the current datasets. While employment related NSS surveys are carried out once in 5-6 years, district-level GDP is released irregularly. Both these datasets are released with lags. As demand for MGNREGS work is also affected by the governance capacity in the state, this indicator of real-time distress can be constructed after accounting for the effect of the same.

Expansion of ‘works’ under MGNREGS: To further increase the effectiveness of the Scheme, the definition of ‘works’ under the Scheme should be regularly reviewed and amended in light of the requirements

Up-skilling the MGNREGS Workers: The objective of the scheme to enhance livelihoods for households can be reinforced by enabling them to acquire suitable skills, which in turn will help them increase incomes and provide horizontal and vertical mobility to them. The convergence of MGNREGS with Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) and involvement with women Self-Help Groups needs to be strengthened so that supply for skilled wage labour increases.

Expanding use of JAM to other Welfare Schemes: The adoption of DBT in programmes which involve transfer of cash benefits (scholarships or pensions) and price subsidies (such as those given for kerosene, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), public distribution system (PDS), fertilizers and other input subsidies needs to be strengthened to minimize exclusion and inclusion errors.

Use of Digital Infrastructure for micro-benefits: A huge digital infrastructure, linking Aadhaar, bank accounts and mobiles has been created and effectively used for MGNREGS – the largest welfare programme. This can be used to expand the reach of the programmes through provision of micro-insurance, micro-pensions and micro-credit to people in every corner of the country

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

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‘CARICOM’

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM or CC) is an organisation of fifteen Caribbean nations and dependencies having primary objectives to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a $14-million grant for community development projects in a grouping of Caribbean nations and another $150 million Line of Credit for solar, renewable energy and climate-change related works as he hosted the first ever India-Caricom leaders’ summit in the United ates.

He invited CARICOM countries to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), which was announced by the prime minister in his address to the UN Climate Action Summit. 

The meeting was the first-ever meeting of Modi with CARICOM leaders in a regional format 

Modi also expressed his condolences on the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian in the region and the worst hit island of Bahamas to which India has provided an immediate financial assistance of $1 million.

He also announced the setting up of the Regional Centre for Excellence in Information Technology in Guyana’s Georgetown and the Regional Vocational Training Centre in Belize by upgrading the existing India-funded centres in these two countries.

Member Countries: Members include Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)

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Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)

During his speech at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York on Monday, Modi announced that India was presenting a practical approach and roadmap to make infrastructure resilient to disasters by launching a Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and invited all member states of the UN to join the grouping.

Modi first mooted CDRI as an idea in November 2016, while inaugurating an Asian ministerial conference on disaster risk reduction.

CDRI, in its formative years, plans to focus on developing resilience in ecological infrastructure, social infrastructure with a concerted emphasis on health and education, and economic infrastructure with special attention to transportation, telecommunications, energy and water.

Within two to three years, the coalition aims to have a three-fold impact, achieving considerable changes in member countries’ policy framework, future infrastructure investment and high reduction in economic losses from climate-related events and natural disasters across sectors.

The CDRI can emerge as a platform for generating and exchanging knowledge and providing member countries technical support, training and advocacy in building resilient infrastructure systems

The idea is to look at how the present infrastructure in countries where natural or man-made disasters have an impact, is equipped to face current as well as future risks.

Similarly, to develop standards that can meet these challenges and train people to design and build infrastructure such as rail, roads, airports or bridges that would have a reduced impact in the wake of a calamity.

World Digital Competitive Ranking 2019-India Improves Ranking

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World Digital Competitive Ranking 2019-India Improves Ranking

India has advanced four places to 44th position in terms of digital competitiveness in the world as the country has made improvement in terms of knowledge and future readiness to adopt and explore digital technologies, according to world digital competitiveness ranking 2019.

The Ranking, produced by the IMD World Competitiveness Center, measures the capacity and readiness of 63 nations to adopt and explore digital technologies as a key driver for economic transformation in business, government and wider society.

To evaluate an economy, WDCR examines three factors: Knowledge, the capacity to understand and learn the new technologies; technology, the competence to develop new digital innovations; and future readiness, the preparedness for the coming development.

India rose from 48th place in 2018 to 44th rank this year as the country has improved overall in all factors — knowledge, technology and future readiness — as compared to the previous year’s ranking.

The US was ranked as the world’s most digitally competitive economy, followed by Singapore in the second place. Sweden was ranked third on the list, followed by Denmark and Switzerland in the 4th and 5th place, respectively.

The largest jump in the overall ranking was registered by China, moving from 30th to 22nd, and Indonesia, from 62nd to 56th.

‘Quantum Supremacy’

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‘Quantum Supremacy’

Tech websites and theoretical computer-science outlets were aflame earlier this week after a story said that Google had claimed to have achieved ‘quantum supremacy’. In a line, it means that researchers at Google had solved a really difficult problem in seconds with the help of quantum computers which a supercomputer could not. The ideas governing quantum computers have been around since the 1990s but actual machines have been around since 2011, most notably built by Canadian company D-Wave Systems

What has Google achieved?

Quantum supremacy refers to quantum computers being able to solve a problem that a classical computer cannot. In the research paper, Google used a 53-qubit processor to generate a sequence of millions of numbers. Though these numbers appeared randomly generated, they conform to an algorithm generated by Google. A classical supercomputer checked some of these values and they were correct. Google’s quantum computer, named Sycamore, claimed ‘supremacy’ because it reportedly did the task in 200 seconds that would have apparently taken a supercomputer 10,000 years to complete.

What are quantum computers?

Quantum computers work differently from the classical computers we work on today.

Exploiting the principles of quantum mechanics, they can easily tackle computational problems that may be tough for the classical computer as the size of the numbers and number of inputs involved grows bigger.

Conventional computers process information in ‘bits’ or 1s and 0s, following classical physics under which our computers can process a ‘1’ or a ‘0’ at a time. Quantum computers compute in ‘qubits’ (or quantum bits). They exploit the properties of quantum mechanics, the science that governs how matter behaves on the atomic scale. In this scheme of things, processors can be a 1 and a 0 simultaneously, a state called quantum superposition.

While this accelerates the speed of computation, a machine with less than a 100 qubits can solve problems with a lot of data that are even theoretically beyond the capabilities of the most powerful supercomputers. Because of quantum superposition, a quantum computer — if it works to plan — can mimic several classical computers working in parallel.

In theory, a quantum computer can solve complex problems rapidly because it can attack complex problems that are beyond the scope of a classical computer. The basic advantage is speed as it is able to simulate several classical computers working in parallel

What will it mean for online banking?

Breaking banking grade encryption is far away. Scott Aaronson, a theoretical computer scientist who has written on Google’s feat, opines that current encryption standards would require a quantum computer to have “several thousand logical qubits” working in tandem perfectly.

Is India working on quantum computing?

There are no quantum computers in India yet. In 2018, the Department of Science & Technology unveiled a programme called Quantum-Enabled Science & Technology (QuEST) and committed to investing ₹80 crore over the next three years to accelerate research. The ostensible plan is to have a quantum computer built in India within the next decade. Phase-1 of the problem involves hiring research experts and establishing teams with the know-how to physically build such systems.

Bio-Restoration of Sunderbans

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Bio-Restoration of Sunder bans

A new technology called ‘Bio-restoration’ developed by Indian scientists for ecological restoration is helping in revival of mangroves degraded due to rising sea levels, climate change and human intrusion in the Sunderbans in West Bengal. The Bio-restoration of Sunderbans involves plantation of native salt-tolerant grasses and a diverse set of carefully identified mangrove species in different zones of degraded mangrove patches. It also involves the use of growth-promoting bacteria.

Ecological restoration means reviving native ecosystem in degraded areas. This has to be done while maintaining diversity of original flora and fauna through regeneration but bringing down the regeneration period to four-five. Natural regeneration takes longer time.

The Sunderbans is a protected wetland under the Ramsar Convention and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Small coastal patches of mangroves are highly vulnerable and fragmentation of the ecosystem is creating barriers to species movement and dispersal. Bio-restoration of Sunderbans, therefore, is an effective method of ecological restoration and the need of the hour.

The restoration process begins with stabilizing entire site of restoration by planting native salt tolerant grasses. An onsite mangrove nursery was developed to propagate mangroves for transplantation. Besides local mangroves and associate species, the nursery also grew threatened, endangered and vulnerable species. In all, 22 species of mangroves and associate plants were grown so as to maintain native diversity.

Particles Accelerator to reveal 2000 year old secrets

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Particles Accelerator to reveal 2000 year old secrets

A bid to decipher Roman-era scrolls carbonized in the deadly eruption of Mount Vesuvius has led to the discovery of a Particle Accelerator to reveal 2000 year old secrets.

Researchers have turned to Diamond, Britain’s national synchrotron in did cot, Oxford shire, to examine the papyri, which are described as “fragile like butterfly wings“.

They hope the synchrotron—which harnesses the power of electrons to produce powerful scans—could now end a decades-long effort to read the historic artifacts owned by the Institute de France.

A normal idea of a scroll is that you can just unroll it and read it,

These scrolls can’t be unrolled because the carbonization makes them completely brittle and that brittle nature would damage it completely if you tried to bend it at all.

Instead, the Diamond facility acts like a giant microscope, producing light 10 billion times brighter than the sun that allows scientists to study anything from fossils and jet engines to viruses and vaccines.

Rising Oceans, Sinking Cities

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Rising Oceans, Sinking Cities

1. This RSTV Summary is about an IPCC Report that says that The Earth could witness a dramatic decline in fish stocks, a 100-fold increase in the damage caused by super storms and millions of people displaced by rising seas, if humanity does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

2. The objective of the UNFCCC is to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous human-induced interference with the climate system”. According to the report Small Island and many low lying Mega cities will face Extreme Sea level events every year and the four countries for example USA, China, India and Europe will face the most devastating fallout of Oceans and ice related impacts of Climate change. The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report was a critical scientific input into the UNFCCC’s Paris Agreement in 2015.

3.Oceans serve as a marine sponge for the planet, soaking up a quarter of the CO2 emitted by humans and absorbing more than 90 per cent of the additional heat generated by greenhouse gas emissions since 1970. As a result, the oceans have become warmer, more acidic and less salty.

  • The global warming is the main cause of melting oceans. Because our land, water and air are closely related to this.
  • Oceans are covered three-fourth part of the globe and large number of fishermen and the economy is depend upon oceans because of the global warming our oceans are suffering very badly.

4. Some Main Concerns Raised by This Problem

Freshwater supplies for billions of people, including the world’s mountain dwellers, will be hit by melting glaciers that will first release far too much water, and then not enough.

Without cuts to man-made emissions, at least 30 per cent of the northern hemisphere’s surface permafrost could melt by the end of the 21st century, unleashing billions of tones of carbon and accelerating global warming even more.

By the year 2100, ‘annual flood damages are expected to increase by two to three orders of magnitude’, or 100- to 1,000-fold.

Glaciers are melting rapidly and consequently the volume of water in the oceans is increasing. It is estimated that around 400 million ton ice is being melted away every year in the last ten years.

5. Consequences

Higher temperatures caused by global warming have led to greater-than-average summer melting as well as diminished snowfall due to later winters and earlier springs. That creates an imbalance between runoff and ocean evaporation, causing sea levels to rise.

Mountain glaciers, increased heat is causing the massive ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica to melt more quickly.

These rising sea levels pose a major threat to island nations and coastal areas meaning that these areas could be swamped and submerged by water anytime in the future. Since low lying areas are mostly occupied by poor people, they will be forced to migrate to hinterlands as the sea level rises

Contamination of freshwater sources would also affect irrigation and farming, eventually leading us to a food crisis.

Animals are facing the threat of extinction, and then humans living in coastal areas and island nations also face the threat of getting submerged in case a deluge happens.

If the climatic conditions are going to continue, it will be difficult to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) before the set timeline of 2030.

6. Action taken by the Indian government

India is doing well to achieve Paris agreement and promoting non-fossil fuels. And already achieved target of installed solar power capacity and also plan to raise its target.

To utilize and upgrade the excellent network of railways which is a far less polluting, cheaper and having less requirement of space than highways, as a mode of transport. In that direction, we need to calibrate our developmental roadmap so as to not blindly follow the developed countries.

India should take up the leadership role by demonstrating examples for other countries such as China and the USA which are sceptical about climate change.

Blue Revolution

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Blue Revolution

Vice President recently inaugurated the Aqua Aquaria India 2019.The theme for the 2019 edition was “To take Blue Revolution to India’s hinterland”. It is the largest aquaculture exhibition in India. It is a biennial exhibition organised by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).India is today the 2nd largest producer of fisheries in the world. The sector forms 20% of the agricultural exports.

2. Blue Revolution, focuses on promoting fisheries and allied activities among farmers i.e. furthering the Blue economy-Blue economy is a term used for describing an aquatic or water based economy. It  has the vision to achieve economic prosperity of the country and the fishers and fish farmers as well as contribute towards food and nutritional security through full potential utilization of water resources for fisheries development in a sustainable manner.

2. Aim of the Revolution

To fully tap the total fish potential of the country both in the inland and the marine sector and triple the production by 2020 all this while keeping the emphasis on sustainable aquaculture.

To transform the fisheries sector as a modern industry with special focus on new technologies and processes

Better marketing post harvest infrastructure including e-commerce and other technologies and global best innovations.

To triple the export earnings by 2020 with focus on benefits flow to the fishers and fish farmers including through institutional mechanisms in the cooperative, producer companies and other structures

To enhance food and nutritional security of the country

3. What is Blue Revolution 2.0?

Government of India has announced Neel Kranthi Mission or Blue Revolution 2.0 for the development and management of fisheries across inland aquaculture, deep sea fishing and Mari culture sectors.

It will also expand the activities of the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB).

It attempts to develop fisheries in a sustainable manner keeping in view the concerns of biosecurity and environment conservation.

The focus areas of Blue Revolution 2.0 include strengthening fisheries sector, increasing seafood output and export.

4. The peninsular region of India is covered on all 3 sides by ocean. There are tremendous fresh water resources as well. Fishing is a primary source of livelihood for several communities in India. In the recent years, Mari cultures also growing with the production of mussels, oysters, etc. Mari culture is the cultivation of marine organisms in the open-ocean or enclosed spaces filled with sea water.

5. Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana:

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana‘s aim to increasing production in the sectors of fisheries and robust fisheries management framework.

 The government intends to bring all fishermen under the ambit of farmer welfare programs and social security schemes.

The new scheme has been introduced under the newly established department of fisheries announced by the government in its interim budget this year.

Its aim is to augment fish production to achieve its target of 15 million tons by 2020 under the blue revolution and raise it thereafter to about 20 million tons by 2020 to 2023.

6. Challenges in Indian Fisheries Sector

Concern over stagnation of production of marine fisheries

Resource quality issues-It pertains to the length of time for which adequate water would be standing in a water body.

Alternate demands on the same water body

Water quality problems resulting from these alternate demands

Limited rights over the water bodies

Security and length of tenancy when these are leased

Poaching of fish

Availability of spawn, seedlings and fingerlings on time

Availability of necessary feed and medicine

Access to markets and working capital, There is a major issue with ponds and tanks in most parts of the mainland in India —these are typically multiple-use water bodies. These multiple-use water bodies, therefore, are unreliable for fish production unless managed well.

Global warming and climate change adversely impacts the marine habitats and life forms, Challenges such as environmental threats, disease risks and trade barriers.

 7. Caution also needs to be exercised against reckless exploitation of limited resources, stopping exploitation of endangered marine species, Discharge of harming substances such as plastics and other wastes into water bodies, etc.

Nobel Prize for Medicine

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Nobel Prize for Medicine

US researchers William Kaelin and Gregg Semenza and Britain’s Peter Ratcliffe were awarded Nobel Prize for Medicine for study on hypoxia.

The Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded as they established the basis for our understanding of how oxygen levels affect cellular metabolism and physiological function.

Beyond describing a fundamental physiological process that helps animals to thrive in some of the highest regions on Earth, the mechanism has given researchers new insights into treatments for anaemia, cancer and other diseases.

In work that spanned more than two decades, the researchers teased apart different aspects of how cells in the body sense and then respond to low oxygen, a gas that is crucial for converting food into useful energy.

When the amount of oxygen available to cells drops, levels of a protein complex named HIF rise, this then ramps up the activity of a gene used in the production of erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone that in turn boosts the production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

Randall Johnson, professor of molecular physiology and pathology at Cambridge University, said this year’s Nobel laureates “have greatly expanded our knowledge of how physiological response makes life possible.”

A drug that boosts the body’s production of red blood cells by tapping into the molecular machinery identified by the winners has already been approved in China and is under consideration by regulators in Europe

Non-Cooperation & Khilafat Movement in India

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Non-Cooperation & Khilafat Movement in India

The Non – Cooperation Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi on August 1, 1920 was the first mass movement organized nationwide during India’s struggle for freedom. In this article, we will read in detail about the Non – Cooperation Movement’s causes, methods, impact, and end.

Causes of Non-Cooperation Movement: The Non – Cooperation Movement has had four main causes:
 

1. Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and Resultant Punjab Disturbances
 

2. Dissatisfaction with Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms
 

3. Rowlatt Act
 

4. Khilafat Agitation
 

Let’s look in detail at every cause of the Non – Cooperation Movement.

1. Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and Resultant Punjab Disturbances
On April 13, 1919, a large but unarmed crowd gathered at Amritsar in the Jallianwala Bagh to protest the arrest of their popular leaders, Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew and Dr. Satyapal. However, this unarmed crowd of women and children, among others, was fired mercilessly with rifles and machine guns on General Dyer’s orders. Thousands of people have been killed and injured. Martial law was proclaimed throughout Punjab after this massacre and the people were subjected to the most uncivilized atrocities.
 
In order to investigate the Jallianwala Bagh incident and the role of General Dyer, the British government set up the Inquiry Disorders Committee, popularly known as the Hunter Committee after its chairman Lord William Hunter. While the Hunter Committee held General Dyer responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, it upheld his reasons for ordering the firing on the unarmed crowd as well as for imposing martial law in Punjab.
 
The people of India, due to their clear biases, did not accept the recommendations of the Hunter Committee. There has been unrest among the masses to ensure justice for the wrongs of Punjab has been delivered. In protest, Mahatma Gandhi gave up the Kaiser – I – Hind title granted to him by the British government. 

2. Unhappiness with the reforms in Montagu – Chelmsford
The 1919 Government of India Act was enacted based on the 1918 Montagu – Chelmsford proposals recommendations. This Act introduced the ‘ Dyarchy ‘ system and divided topics into lists – Reserved and Transferred. The Legislative Assembly (lower house) was introduced with direct elections, but the right to vote was severely curtailed. In addition, there was no control over the Governor General and his Executive Council by the Legislative Assembly.
 
Indian nationalists, however, had gone far beyond such stopping concessions. The Indian National Congress met under Hasan Imam’s presidency at a special session in Bombay in August 1918 and condemned the reforms of Montagu – Chelmsford and instead called for effective self – government.
 
3. Rowlatt Act
The government enacted the 1919 Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes Act, popularly called the Rowlatt Act, based on the findings of the Rowlatt Committee. This act allowed the government to imprison any person suspected of terrorism for a maximum period of two years without trial. The government passed Montagu Chelmsford Reforms and Rowlatt Act in succession, which were part of the British ‘ Carrot and Stick policy. This action gave the movement a new direction. At all levels of India, Gandhi organized a mass protest.
 
4. Khilafat Movement
The Khilafat Movement, which began in 1919, brought the Muslims and the Hindus on a common platform against the British rule, was the most important cause of the Non – Cooperation Movement.
 
Khilafat Movement in India
Turkey had aligned itself in the First World War with Germany – led Axis powers that were defeated by Great Britain – led Allied powers. The political – conscious Muslims were critical of British and their allies treatment of the Turkish (Ottoman) Empire that had divided it and properly removed Thrace from Turkey.
 
The Muslims also regarded the Sultan of Turkey as the Caliph or the religious head of the Muslims and they strongly felt that his position over the Muslim religious places should not be undermined.
 
Under the leadership of the Ali Brothers (Maulana Mohammed Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali), Maulana Azad, Hakim Ajmal Khan and Hasrat Mohani, and countrywide Khilafat agitation, a Khilafat Committee was soon formed. The All – India Khilafat Conference held in November 1919 in Delhi decided to withdraw all government cooperation if the government did not meet its demands.
 
Mahatma Gandhi saw the Khilafat agitation as “an opportunity not to unite Hindus and Muslims in a hundred years time.”Also, the Muslims League gave full support to the National Congress and its political agitation.
 
In early 1920, Gandhi declared that the Khilafat question overshadowed the constitutional reforms and the Jallianwala massacre and announced that he would lead a non – cooperation movement if the terms of peace with Turkey did not satisfy the Indian Muslims.
 
Who were the Leaders of the Khilafat Movement?
The Ali Brothers (Maulana Mohammed Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali), Maulana Azad, Hakim Ajmal Khan, and Hasrat Mohani were the leaders of the Khilafat Movement. Mahatma Gandhi later also became one of the leaders of the Khilafat Movement in India by strongly advocating the Khilafat cause.

The launch of the Non-Cooperation Movement
The above mentioned causes resulted in unrest among the masses anxious to take political action against the British government. Only added fuel to the fire was the economic hardship suffered by ordinary Indians. On August 1, 1920, the Non – Cooperation Movement was officially launched.
 
Congress Nagpur session in December 1920 defined the Non – Cooperation program clearly in detail. Following changes to the Indian National Congress Constitution at the December 1920 Nagpur Session:
 

1. The Congress goal has been shifted from achieving self – government through constitutional and legal means to achieving Swaraj through peaceful and legitimate means.
 

2. The Congress now had to have a 15-member Working Committee to look after its daily affairs.
 

3. Linguistically, Provincial Congress Committees were to be organized now.
 

4. The membership fee was reduced to 4 years per year to make it possible for the poor to join.
 

5. Congress was to use Hindi as far as possible.

 
The non – cooperation movement method and spread

  • Together with the Ali brothers, Mahatma Gandhi undertook a nationwide tour of numerous student and political worker rallies and meetings. This led to thousands of students leaving schools and colleges to join over 800 national schools and colleges throughout the country. 
  • The educational boycott in Bengal was especially successful. C.R Das played an important role in promoting the movement and Subhash Bose became the head of the Calcutta National Congress. The educational boycott was also very successful in Punjab, and Lala Lajpat Rai played the leading role here.
  • The other successful boycott observed was lawyers such as C.R Das, Motilal Nehru, M.R Jaykar, Saifuddin Kitchlew and others boycotting the law courts.
  • However, the Non – Cooperation Movement’s most successful item was the foreign cloth boycott. A major form of the boycott was also the picketing of shops selling foreign cloth. Liquor shops were also picketing.
  • Gandhi and Congress put a lot of stress on handspun Khadi in support of domestic textiles. Charkhas were widely popularized and khadi became the national movement’s uniform.
  • In July 1921, at the All India Khilafat Conference in Karachi, Mohammed Ali declared that continuing in the British Army was ‘ religiously unlawful for the Muslims. Gandhi repeated Mohammed Ali’s exhortation, adding that every civilian and army member should sever links with the repressive British government.
  • A movement against Union board taxes has been launched in Midnapore district of Bengal. No – tax movements were also organized in the Andhra district of Guntur in Chirala – Pirala and Pedanandipadu taluka.
  • In U.P, where a powerful Kisan Sabha movement was underway, Jawaharlal Nehru led the non – cooperation movement among others.
  • The Non – Cooperation and Khilafat propaganda in the Malabar region of Kerala helped to arouse Muslim tenants, called the Moplahs, against their renters, but the movement sometimes took on a common color.
  • In Assam, tea plantation laborers went on strike. While Andhra became popular with defiance of forest laws.
  • The Akali movement took place in Punjab as part of the Non – Cooperation Movement to wrest control of the gurudwaras from the corrupt mahants (priests)

 
End of the Non-Cooperation Movement
While in 1921 the Non – Cooperation Movement was in full steam, the masses were awakened from their slumber and the grass root workers of Congress, as well as the leadership, were asking Mahatma Gandhi to launch the next phase of mass civil disobedience.

Gandhi announced that massive civil disobedience would begin in the Bardoli Taluka district of Surat and that all other parts of the country should cooperate by maintaining total discipline and silence in order to concentrate the entire attention of the movement on Bardoli.

However, the Chauri Chaura incident occurred before mass civil disobedience could be launched.
 
 
Chauri Chaura Incident
A Congress – Khilafat procession took place at Chauri Chaura in U.P. district of Gorakhpur on February 5, 1922. Irritated by some policemen’s behavior, they were attacked by a crowd section. The police opened fire on the unarmed procession in retaliation. Instigated by this, the whole procession attacked the police and the mob set fire to the building when the police hid inside the police station. The cops who were trying to escape were hacked into pieces and thrown into the fire. In the Chauri Chaura incident, 22 police officers were killed.


Gandhi was profoundly disturbed by the Chauri Chaura incident news. Gandhi decided to withdraw the movement because it violated the strict condition of non – violence that he had set for the launch of the civil disobedience phase and the continuation of the non – cooperation movement. Thus, the Non – Cooperation Movement came to an end on February 12, 1922.
 
Impact of the Non-Cooperation Movement
Despite the failure of the Non – Cooperation Movement to achieve its primary goal of Swaraj, it has succeeded on many other counts highlighted below:
 

1. The National Congress has shown that it represents the country’s majority opinion. It can not be charged with representing a ‘ microscopic minority ‘ anymore.’
 

2. The movement’s geographical spread was also nationwide. While some areas were more active than others, few areas, if any, remained entirely passive to the call for non – cooperation.
 

3. The Non – Cooperation Movement was the masses ‘ first opportunity to participate in politics and combat injustice and economic hardship caused by years of foreign rule.
 

4. Notwithstanding the incidents of Malabar, which were not seen later during the Civil Disobedience Movement, there was considerable involvement of Muslims in the movement and the maintenance of communal harmony.

Important Features of Indian Constitution

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Every written constitution in the world has its own unique characteristics, and no exception is the Indian Constitution. But the Indian Constitution has many prominent features that distinguish it from the other Constitutions. This article clearly explains the Indian Constitution’s 8 key features.

1. World’s Longest Constitution
The Indian Constitution contains 395 articles and 12 schedules, making it the world’s longest written constitution. Just compare it with other countries Constitutions. For example, the UK has no written constitution, while the US Constitution contains only seven articles.
 
Not only have this but since 1951 about 90 articles and more than 100 amendments been added. However, since the articles are not added separately as part of an existing article (e.g. Article 21A, 35A etc.) the total number of articles remains the same at 395.
 
2. Taken from various sources
The Indian Constitution was framed from multiple sources including the 1935 Government of India Act and Other Countries Constitutions.

Feature of Indian Constitution                           
 
Borrowed From (Source)
Basic structure (Federal scheme, Judiciary, Governors, Emergency powers, Public Service Commissions, Administrative details etc.) Government of India Act 1935
Fundamental Rights American Constitution
Directive Principles Irish Constitution
Cabinet form of government British Constitution


In addition to these, the Constitutions of Canada, Australia, Germany, the U.S.S.R., and France also adopted various provisions.

 
3. Federal System with Unitary Features
Federal System with Unitary The Indian Constitution includes all the federal characteristics of governance such as dual government system (center and state),division of powers between the three state organs (executive, judiciary and legislature), constitutional supremacy, independent judiciary and bicameralism (lower and upper house).

Nevertheless, the Indian Constitution is unique in that it includes many unitary features such as a strong centre, all India services common to the center and the states, emergency provisions that can transform the Constitution into a unitary one if necessary, appointment of governors by the president on the advice of the center, etc.
 
Indeed, Article 1 clearly states that India is a ‘ Union of States ‘ rather than a federation of States. In India, the states did not come together to form the centre (or Union) like in the case of the USA which is the purest form of a federation. Rather, for administrative convenience, it is the center that created the states. Article 3 of the Indian Constitution makes Parliament the sole authority to create new states clearly indicating that the Indian Constitution is of a unitary nature with certain federal characteristics.
 
4. Parliamentary Form of Government
On the pattern of the British parliamentary system of government, the Indian Constitution has opted for the parliamentary form of government. The key characteristics of the parliamentary form of government are:

1. Executive are members of the legislature

2. Collective responsibility to the legislature of the Council of Ministers


3. Rule of the majority party

4. Prime Minister’s or chief minister’s leadership in the state


5. Lower house dissolution (Lok Sabha and state assemblies)

6. Government form of the Cabinet


5. Balance between the Sovereignty of Parliament and Judicial Supremacy
A fine balance has been struck between parliamentary sovereignty and judicial supremacy by the Indian Constitution. The Supreme Court is vacuumed by Articles 13, 32 and 136 with the power of judicial review. By its power of judicial review, it can strike down any parliamentary law as unconstitutional.

On the other hand, the Parliament, being the representative of the people’s will, has the authority to make laws, and it can also amend the major part of the Constitution through its video vested powers under Article 368.
 
6. Independent and Integrated Judicial System
In India, unlike the United States where there is a two-tiered judiciary, a single judicial system prevails with the Supreme Court at the top, the State and District High Courts and other subordinate courts below and subject to the supervision of the High Courts.
 
It is the duty of all levels of courts in India to enforce both central and state laws unlike in the US, where federal courts adjudicate on federal matters and state courts on state matters.
 
Not only is the judiciary system well fully integrated in India, but because of the following provisions it is also independent

1. Appointment of judges of Supreme Court and High Courts by collegium system


2. Removal of judges in Parliament through an impeachment procedure that is very difficult to pass

3. Supreme Court judges salaries, pensions, and allowances are charged to India’s Consolidated Fund

4. Power to punish for self – disregard


5. Ban on judges practice after retirement…etc
 
7. Directive Principles of State Policy
In Part IV of the Constitution, the Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSPs) aims to make India a welfare state. Therefore, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar calls the Directive Principles as the Indian Constitution’s novel feature. The Principles of the Directive are inherently unjustifiable, that is, they are not enforceable for their violation by the courts.
 
Their usefulness, however, lies in their moral obligation to apply these principles to the state in making laws. As such, the principles of the directive are fundamental to the country’s governance.
 
8. Combination of rigidity and flexibility
The Indian Constitution strikes a fine balance between rigidity and flexibility when it comes to ease of modification. Article 368 lays down two types of modifications:

1. Some provisions may be amended by a special parliamentary majority, i.e. a 2/3rd majority of the members of each House present and vote and majority (i.e. more than 50 %) of each House’s total membership.

2. Some other provisions can be amended by a special parliamentary majority and with half of the total states ratifying them.
This ensures that with the widest possible majority, the Constitution is amended.

At the same time, in the manner of the ordinary legislative process, certain provisions of the Constitution can be amended by a simple majority of Parliament. Such amendments are not within the scope of Article 368.

MYUPSC Current Affairs MCQ 05 December 2019

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MYUPSC Daily Current Affairs 05 December 2019

Topics : UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam 2020

UPSC Prelims 2020 Test Series

Govt. to implement portability of NFSA benefits

Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan today said the Government has begun implementing nation-wide portability of the benefits under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013.

He was speaking during the Question Hour in the Lok Sabha today. Mr Paswan said eligible households or beneficiaries covered under NFSA would be able to lift their entitled food grains from any Fair Price Shop, FPS, in the country.

This would be possible by using the same ration card after biometric or Aadhaar authentication on Electronic Point of Sale, EPoS, and device at an FPS of Destination/Sale State through ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ Plan.

The Minister reiterated that the facility of inter-State portability under this initiative would be available only through FPSs, having fully online ePoS devices.

The system would largely benefit numerous migratory beneficiaries such as labourers, daily wagers and blue-collar workers who frequently change their place of dwelling in search of employment or for other reasons, across the country.

Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana

Context: In line with the provisions of National Policy for Farmers (NPF) (2007), the Department of Rural Development, Ministry of Rural Development is implementing a programme exclusively for women farmers namely, Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP).

Funding support to the tune of up to 60% (90% for North Eastern States) for such projects is provided by the Government of India.

About Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana:

It is a sub component of the Deendayal Antyodaya 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.

Objectives and significance:

The focus of MKSP is on capacitating smallholders to adopt sustainable climate resilient agro-ecology and eventually create a pool of skilled community professionals.

Its objective is to strengthen smallholder agriculture through promotion of sustainable agriculture practices such as Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture (CMSA), Non Pesticide Management (NPM), Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF), Pashu-Sakhi model for doorstep animal care services, Sustainable regeneration and harvesting of Non-Timber Forest Produce.

Need for feminization of agriculture:

Rural women form the most productive work force in the economy of majority of the developing nations including India.

More than 80% of rural women are engaged in agriculture activities for their livelihoods.

About 20 per cent of farm livelihoods are female headed due to widowhood, desertion, or male emigration.

Agriculture support system in India strengthens the exclusion of women from their entitlements as agriculture workers and cultivators.

Most of the women-headed households are not able to access extension services, farmers support institutions and production assets like seed, water, credit, subsidy etc. As agricultural workers, women are paid lower wage than men.

Centre to provide assistance to intensify use of buckwheat

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar today said that to intensify the use of buckwheat, ICAR-All India Co-ordinated Research Network on potential crops has developed nutritionally rich five varieties.

He said they are promoted by ICAR and respective State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) through front line demonstrations, trainings and kisan melas.

In a written reply in the LokSabha today, the Agriculture Minister said Buckwheat is grown in the Hilly regions of Northern and Northeastern states including in the Nilgiris & Palani Hills, in an estimated area of 25,800 hectares.

Mr. Tomar said, to encourage farmers to grow buckwheat, Government is providing assistance through programmes like Paramparagat KrishiVikasYojana (PKVY) and Mission on Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region.

Rotavirus

Rota-virus-complete-detail

Vice- President has launched the new rotavirus vaccine – ROTAVAC5D.

The vaccine has been designed and developed by Bharat Biotech.

About Rotavirus:

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.

It is responsible for around 10% of total child mortality every year.

Rotavirus-Signs and 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.

Sometimes the diarrhea that accompanies a rotavirus infection is so severe that it can quickly lead to dehydration.

As with all viruses, though, some rotavirus infections cause few or no symptoms, especially in adults.

Transmission:

Rotavirus is transmitted by the faecal-oral route, via contact with contaminated hands, surfaces and objects, and possibly by the respiratory route. Viral diarrhea is highly contagious.

Background:

Out of all the causes of diarrhoea, rotavirus is a leading cause of diarrhoea in children less than 5 years of age. Rotavirus diarrhoea presents in similar manner like any other diarrhoea but can mainly be prevented through rotavirus vaccination. Other diarrhoea can be prevented through general measures like good hygiene, frequent hand washing, safe water and safe food consumption, exclusive breastfeeding and vitamin A supplementation.

Centre not to stop circulation of high denomination notes

The Government today clarified that it is not contemplating to stop the circulation of two thousand rupee notes.

In a written reply in the RajyaSabha today, Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur said there is no such proposal under consideration. He also said that a declining trend is visible in the seizure of unaccounted cash in the denomination of two thousand rupee notes.

The Minister said in the year 2017-18, around 68 per cent of unaccounted cash was seized in the denomination of two thousand rupees, while in the year 2018-19, it was around 66 percent. In the current financial year, over 43 per cent of unaccounted cash was seized in the denomination of two thousand rupees.

The Minister said as on March this year, over 31 per cent of total notes in circulation are of two thousand rupees.

“Top 100 City Destination” ranking

Released by Euro monitor International, a UK-based global market research company

The Euro monitor report highlights top 100 cities based on 2018 international arrivals. An arrival encompasses all purposes of visit such as business, leisure and visiting friends and relatives.

Key findings:

India has emerged as the strongest emerging destination with seven cities in the top 100 popular cities this year.

Delhi is forecast to be hold the 8th place in 2019.

Despite political unrest and protests in the last few months, Hong Kong remained No.1 destination this year. However, the number of visitors arriving to Hong Kong declined in 2019.

Asia posted fastest growth in the number of international arrivals globally.

Developed infrastructure, government’s focus on tourism and digitization of travel facilities like e-visa are some of the reasons behind Asian countries’ popularity among global tourists.

Prithvi-II missile

  • It is a surface-to-surface tactical missile with a strike range of 350 km.
  • It is developed by DRDO under Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).
  • It is capable of carrying 500 to 1,000 kg of warheads, both conventional as well as nuclear.
  • The state-of-the-art missile is powered by liquid propulsion twin engines.
  • It uses an advanced inertial guidance system with maneuvering orbit to hit its target.
  • It was inducted into Armour of the defence forces in 2003.

TRAI implements new mobile number portability rules

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has revamped mobile number portability (MNP) rules, making the entire process faster and simpler. The TRAI has prescribed three working days timeline for port out requests within a service area.

Similarly, timeline of five working days has been prescribed for requests for port out from one circle to another. The new rules will come into effect from December 16.

Validity of the Unique Porting Code (UPC) has also been brought down to four days instead of a fortnight earlier. It will be applicable to all circles except Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and North East, where the validity of the said code remains unchanged to 30 days.

The MNP request under the present rule will be processed till December 9 and the service will not be available between December 10 and December 15 as entities involved in the process will be migrating their systems to implement new rules.

Must Read Books For UPSC Exam 2020

MYUPSC! Daily Current Affairs MCQ 04 December 2019

UPSC Prelims 2020 Test Series

UPSC Civil Services Examination – 2020

The following quiz will have 5-10 MCQs. The questions are mainly framed from The Hindu and PIB news articles.

This quiz is intended to introduce you to concepts and certain important facts relevant to UPSC IAS civil services preliminary exam 2020. It is not a test of your knowledge. If you score less, please do not mind. Read again sources provided and try to remember better.

Please try to enjoy questions, discuss the concepts and facts they try to test from you and suggest improvements.

Hope you enjoy this quiz. If you like it, then please share it. Thank you.

To view Solutions, follow these instructions:

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  2. Solve Questions
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Start Quiz

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MYUPSC Daily Current Affairs 04 December 2019

UPSC Prelims 2020 Test Series

NHRC sends notices to centre & states regarding sexual harassment cases

  • The National Human Rights Commission has issued notices to the Centre, all States and Union Territories seeking reports on the Standard Operating Procedures, SOPs to deal with cases related to sexual violence against women and use of the Nirbhaya Fund.
  • Taking suo motu cognizance of media reports on cases of sexual assault, the rights panel issued notices to the Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories seeking reports within six weeks about the status of Nirbhaya Fund.
  • It has also asked the details about the availability of the fund and the money spent during the last three years.
  • The commission has also issued notices to the Directors General of Police of all States and UTs calling for their response about the SOPs and the best practices adopted by them to deal with matters relating to sexual abuse and atrocities against women.
  • Meanwhile, both houses of Parliament expressed outrage over the gruesome gang rape and murder case of a veterinary doctor in Hyderabad and called for stringent punishment to the perpetrators.

National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT)

Context: Government to set up National Company Law Appellate Tribunal Bench in Chennai.

National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) was constituted under Section 410 of the Companies Act, 2013.

  1. It is the Appellate Tribunal for hearing appeals against the orders passed by NCLT(s) under Section 61 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

The Members of the Tribunal and the Technical Members of the Appellate Tribunal shall be appointed on the recommendation of a Selection Committee consisting of:

  1. Chief Justice of India or his nominee—Chairperson.
  2. A senior Judge of the Supreme Court or a Chief Justice of High Court— Member.
  3. Secretary in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs—Member.
  4. Secretary in the Ministry of Law and Justice—Member.
  5. Secretary in the Department of Financial Services in the Ministry of Finance— Member.

Centre asks Supreme Court to review SC/ST creamy layer verdict of 2018

  • The central government on Monday sought a reconsideration of the 2018 Supreme Court judgment that sought to exclude “creamy layer” within the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) categories from reservation benefits.
  • The law officer said the five-judge bench seemed to have not taken into account that the SC/ST communities were kept outside the ambit of the creamy layer concept by another five-judge bench in the Indra Sawhney (Mandal case) judgment in 2008.
  • AG’s arguments were opposed by senior lawyer Gopal Sankaranarayanan, who was appearing for Samata Andolan Samiti, which represents the poor and downtrodden strata of SC/ST communities in Rajasthan.
  • Attorney General, on his part, said a seven-judge bench needs to be set up to reconsider the latest judgment. He also submitted to the bench the terms of reference and the issues that the larger bench should decide. The bench will now take up the matter after two weeks.
  • In the 2018 Jar nail Singh case, the five-judge bench had said: “Constitutional courts, when applying the principle of reservation will be well within their jurisdiction to exclude the creamy layer from such groups or sub-groups when applying the principles of equality.”
  • The creamy layer principle, under which the “advanced” among the socially disadvantaged sections are excluded from the quotas for jobs and admissions, now applies only to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

National Pension Scheme for Traders and Self Employed Persons

It is a pension scheme for the Vyaparis (shopkeepers/retail traders and self-employed persons) with annual turnover not exceeding Rs 1.5 crore.

  • It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme.
  • The enrollment under the scheme is free of cost for the beneficiaries.
  • The enrollment is based upon self-certification.
  • It has a provision for minimum assured pension of Rs 3,000/- monthly on attaining the age of 60 years.
  • The Central Government shall give 50 % share of the monthly contribution and remaining 50% contribution shall be made by the beneficiary.

Eligibility:

  1. Beneficiary is required to have an Aadhaar card and a saving bank/ Jan-dhan Account passbook only.
  2. He/ She should be within 18 to 40 years of age group.
  3. GSTIN is required only for those with turnover above Rs. 40 lakhs.
  4. The beneficiary should not be income tax payer and also not a member of EPFO/ESIC/NPS (Govt.)/PM-SYM

Significance:

This scheme will target enrolling 25 lakh subscribers in 2019-20 and 2 crore subscribers by 2023-2024. An estimated 3 crore Vyaparis in the country are expected to be benefitted under the pension scheme.

Govt. claims rural India achieved 100% ODF status

  • The sanitation coverage under Swachh Bharat Mission(Grameen) is 100 per cent and all the 5,99,963 villages have declared themselves Open-Defecation Free (ODF), the government said on Monday.
  • The Centre launched SBM (G) on October 2, 2014 with the aim to attain Open Defecation Free (ODF) India by October 2, 2019.
  • “As per the data reported by states/UTs on the online Integrated Management Information System of SBM (G), 10.14 crore individual household toilets have been constructed under the programme as on November 28.
  • “As a result, the sanitation coverage in the country, which was 38.7 per cent as on October 2, 2014 has increased to 100 per cent and all the 5,99,963 villages of the country have declared themselves ODF,” Minister of State in the Jal Shakti Ministry Rattan Lal Kataria said in a written response to a question in the RajyaSabha.

Power of Siberia

What is it? It is a massive gas pipeline linking one of the most remote parts of Russia with a far-flung region of China.

  • The pipeline stretches more than 3,000km (1,864 miles).
  • Under this pipeline project, Russia will deliver 1 trillion cubic meters of natural gas to China over the next 30 years.
  • The pipeline will pass through the deltas of the Yangtze and Amur rivers of China.

Transport ministry claims 15 fold increases in NH related works

  • Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has said that there is a marked improvement in the pace of works relating to National Highways.
  • Replying to a query during Question Hour in the RajyaSabha, he said, the speed of works has increased from two kilometres a day earlier to 30 kilometres now, a 15-fold increase.
  • He listed out the problems for the delay as land acquisition, securing various clearances and financing by banks. He informed the house that there is a remarkable improvement in the financing side now.
  • To another question, he replied that air pollution in Delhi will significantly reduce as the new National Highways projects including those connecting the Airport will check fuel emissions.
  • To a question on the stringent laws on road safety, he said, the recent legislation on motor vehicles including the increased penalty for traffic violation is not to generate revenue but to reduce loss of lives. He also informed the house that one thousand driving schools across the country have been given approval.

India’s first maritime museum in Gujarat

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.
  • It will hold display of salvaged materials from shipwreck sites in Indian Ocean waters.

India urges nations to fulfil pre-2020 emission pledges

  • India has called on the rich, industrialised countries to take the lead in combating climate change and curbing the rise in global temperature by fulfilling their pre-2020 commitments to reduce emissions and provide finance to developing countries.
  • “The pre-2020 implementation gaps should not present an additional burden to developing countries in the post-2020 period,” the Indian government said in an official statement released ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference COP 25.
  • India said if the developed countries fail to meet their Cancun pledges to reduce emissions by 2020, it would put additional pressure on the developing countries.
  • The recent UN Emissions Gap report found that while the G20 countries will collectively exceed their 2020 Cancun pledges, countries including the US, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, the Republic of Korea and South Africa are projected to miss or not achieve them.
  • India also asked the rich countries to provide finance to developing countries as committed. Ensuring the adequate and predictable provision of finance and technology is critical for developing countries to ramp up their climate action, it said.

Japan offers help to address India’s RCEP concerns

  • Japan on Sunday gave clear indications that efforts were on to make India join the ambitious Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), saying all member countries of the grouping were committed to address New Delhi’s concerns.
  • After years of negotiations, India last month pulled out of the proposed RCEP over unresolved “core concerns” at a summit meeting of the participating countries, saying the proposed pact in its current form would have adverse impact on lives and livelihoods of all Indians.
  • When asked whether efforts are on to address India’s concerns and whether Japan was hopeful of New Delhi joining the grouping, Kaif said the RCEP statement mentioned that all negotiating countries will work together to resolve outstanding issues.
  • The negotiations for the proposed free-trade agreement included 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and six of the bloc’s dialogue partners — China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
  • In the RCEP summit in Bangkok, Modi conveyed India’s decision not to join the RCEP deal at a summit meeting of the 16-nation bloc, effectively wrecking its aim to create the world’s largest free trade area having half of the world’s population.

Hornbill Festival

  • Nagas celebrate this festival to revive, protect, sustain and promote the richness of the Naga heritage and traditions.
  • It occurs during 1 – 10 December on an annual basis.
  • It is also called the “Festival of Festivals”.
  • The festival pays tribute to Hornbill; the most admired and revered bird for the Nagas for its qualities of alertness and grandeur.
  • It is organized by State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments and also supported by Union Government.
  • Hornbill Festival was established on 1st December 1963 and was inaugurated by the then President Dr. S Radhakrishnan.

Study finds undersea telecom cables could be used to study earthquakes

  • Fibre-optic cables that make up the global undersea telecommunications network may help researchers assess offshore earthquakes, and hidden geologic structures in the depths of the ocean, according to a study.
  • The study, published in the journal Science, describes an experiment which turned a 20 kilometre section of undersea fibre-optic cable into the equivalent of 10,000 seismic stations monitoring quakes along the ocean floor.
  • The researchers, including those from the University of California (UC) Berkeley in the US, recorded a 3.5 magnitude earthquake and seismic scattering from underwater fault zones during their four-day experiment.
  • They used a technique where a device with components for creating, manipulating and detecting light sent short pulses of laser down the cable, and detected how this was backscattered due to strain in the cable caused by stretching.
  • The researchers said the new system is sensitive to changes of nanometers to hundreds of picometres for every metre of cable length — a change happening at the scale of one part in a billion.
  • The scientists hope to use the dense fibre-optic networks around the world, spanning more than 10 million kilometers, on both land and under the sea to measure the sensitive seismic movements on the Earth.

Blue flag programme

Context: The MoEFCC has embarked upon a programme for ‘Blue Flag’ Certification for select beaches in the country.

Beaches identified in India:

13 pilot beaches have been identified for the certification.

These include Ghoghala Beach (Diu), Shivrajpur beach (Gujarat), Bhogave (Maharashtra), Padubidri and Kasarkod (Karnataka), Kappad beach (Kerala) etc.

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.

The Blue Flag Programme for beaches and marinas is run by the international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education).

  • 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.

There are nearly 33 criteria that must be met to qualify for a Blue Flag certification, such as the water meeting certain quality standards, having waste disposal facilities, being disabled- friendly, have first aid equipment, and no access to pets in the main areas of the beach. Some criteria are voluntary and some compulsory.

India’s U-19 world cup team to be led by Priyam Garg

  • Uttar Pradesh batsman Priyam Garg will lead defending champions India in next year’s Under-19 ICC Cricket World Cup to be held in South Africa.
  • The All-India Junior Selection Committee, which met in Mumbai yesterday, picked the squad for the tournament to be held from 17th January to 9th February next year.
  • The 19-year-old Garg, a right handed top-order batsman, has a first-class double hundred and a List ‘A’ century to his name.
  • The 13th edition of the U-19 World Cup will be played among 16 teams, split into four groups. India is placed in Group ‘A’ with first-time qualifier Japan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super League stage.

Must Read Books for UPSC Exam

MYUPSC! Daily Current Affairs MCQ 03 December 2019

UPSC Prelims 2020 Test Series

Must Read Books for UPSC Exam

UPSC Civil Services Examination – 2020

The following quiz will have 5-10 MCQs. The questions are mainly framed from The Hindu and PIB news articles.

This quiz is intended to introduce you to concepts and certain important facts relevant to UPSC IAS civil services preliminary exam 2020. It is not a test of your knowledge. If you score less, please do not mind. Read again sources provided and try to remember better.

Please try to enjoy questions, discuss the concepts and facts they try to test from you and suggest improvements.

Hope you enjoy this quiz. If you like it, then please share it. Thank you.

To view Solutions, follow these instructions:

  1. Click on – ‘Start Quiz’ button
  2. Solve Questions
  3. Click on ‘Quiz Summary’ button
  4. Click on ‘Finish Quiz’ button
  5. Now click on ‘View Questions’ button – here you will see solutions and links.

Start Quiz

MYUPSC Daily Current Affairs 03 December 2019

UPSC Prelims 2020 Test Series

Must Read Books for UPSC Exam

Parliament to discuss on crimes against women

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said the government is ready for a discussion in LokSabha on the issue of crime against women and willing to explore stringent provisions in laws to check incidents like the Hyderabad rape and murder case.

Responding to a discussion during Zero Hour in the wake of the rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad, Singh said he was falling short of words to condemn the heinous crime.

As soon as the House met for the day, Speaker Om Birla said he would allow members to raise the “serious issue” in Zero Hour.

Uttam Kumar Reddy (Cong) raised the issue of the rape and murder of the 26-year-old veterinarian and slammed the Telangana Home Minister for his purported “insensitive” remarks.

He also slammed the state police for initially delaying to lodge a case.T R Baalu (DMK) raised the issue of sexual assault of a school girl in Coimbatore.Saugat Roy (TMC) said rape convicts should be hanged.

PinakiMisra (BJD) questioned the delay in executing the death sentence awarded to convicts in the “Nirbhaya” gang-rape case.He said laws and establishment on fast track courts will not make a differences till the time the death sentences are not executed.

On November 29, four men, aged between 20 and 24, were arrested on charges of raping and killing the young woman veterinarian in Hyderabad.

Inner Line Permit (ILP)

Simply put, an 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.

Context: Union Home Minister Amit Shah 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 non-Muslim refugees from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to obtain Indian citizenship.

  • If it is implemented with provisions for excluding from its ambit the states under the ILP regime, it means that beneficiaries under CAB will become Indian citizens but will not be able to settle in these three states.
  • As a matter of fact, the same restriction applies to existing Indian citizens.

Now, on these lines, even Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya are demanding the implementation of ILP system.

The ILP is obligatory for all those who reside outside the protected states;

  • Currently, the Inner Line Permit is operational in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
  • It can be issued for travel purposes solely.
  • An ILP is issued by the state government concerned.

Origin of ILP:

ILP’s origin dates back to the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873- It prohibited “British subjects” or Indians from entering into these protected areas.

After Independence, in 1950, the word “British subjects” was replaced by Citizens of India and the focus of the ban on free movement was explained as a bid to protect tribal cultures in northeastern India.

Nationwide vaccination to be conducted under Mission Indradhanush 2.0

Centre is launching nationwide vaccination drive to prevent eight diseases under Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0 across the country today.

The government’s flagship scheme is aimed at immunizing children under the age of 2 years and pregnant women against eight vaccine preventable diseases.

The IMI covers vaccines for diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, poliomyelitis, tuberculosis, measles, meningitis and Hepatitis B. Vaccines for Japanese encephalitis and hemophilus influenza are also being provided in selected areas.

The IMI 2.0 aims to achieve targets of full immunization coverage in 272 districts spread over 27 States. The IMI 2.0 will be carried out between December 2019 and March 2020.

The campaign will be carried out in 260 development blocks of 43 districts of the state including the capital Bhopal and Indore. In addition , the mission will be running in four-phases in state. Children will be vaccinated under the National Mission Indradhanush in the months in January , February and March next year.

Public Health and Family Welfare Minister Tulsiram inaugurated this campaign in Indore district. The Project Officers of the District Urban Development Agency has been made the nodal officer for the successful operation of the mission.

Australia’s points-based visa policy

Context: In what is seen as an effort to block entry to unskilled people, 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. To be granted such visas, the individual’s score must reach a cutoff fixed by the authorities.

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”.

  • A migrant with this visa can live and work permanently anywhere in Australia, study in Australia, sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence and if eligible, enroll in Australia’s health-care system and subject to eligibility, also become an Australian citizen.

Some of the skilled jobs that come under the ambit of the skilled migration program include: accountant, actor, aeronautical engineer, advertising manager, air conditioning and mechanical services plumber, author, baker, swimming coach, urologist and vegetable grower.

What are the advantages of points systems? 

The ability to qualify without an employer sponsor- workers entering under the Australian points system are less dependent on their employers and do not need permission to switch between jobs as they do in the UK; as a result, they are expected to have more bargaining power and to operate in a more competitive labour market.

Steel imports have increased over a period of 5 years ,claims govt.

Government today said import of steel has increased during the last few years.

Replying to questions in the LokSabha, Steel Minister DharmendraPradhan, however, said domestic production has consistently increased regardless of such imports. Mr Pradhan said, in the current year, country is a net exporter.

He said, to counter import of cheap steel, anti-dumping duties have been imposed on various grades of steel which were dumped into the country.

Mr Pradhan further said, import of steel grades which are not manufactured in adequate quantity in the country is essential for supporting manufacturing sector.

The Minister informed the House that the total number of steel plants in the country is 977. He said, work is currently going on in NMDC steel plant in Nagarnar, Chattisgarh, which is a Greenfield project.

In reply to another question, the Minister said, the production of iron ore in the country is sufficient to meet the current demand by domestic steel industry. Mr Pradhan said, the supply of iron ore during last year 2018-19 was 207 metric tonne against its demand of 189 metric tonne.

Centre plans listing of single-use plastics

The Centre is likely to identify as many as eight articles as ‘single-use plastic’ items that will be discontinued on a priority basis, including plastic cutlery, plastic bags and certain Styrofoam items.

Defining single-use plastic is the first step in the direction of doing away with such products in India by 2022, as called for by Prime Minister NarendraModi during his Independence Day address.

While many states have banned plastic, there are wide variations in implementation and the range of products covered.After consulting stakeholders, the environment ministry is close to announcing a clear and uniform definition of single-use plastic.

The idea is to completely phase out single-use plastic where it is replaceable with environment friendly alternatives and to bring in a robust segregation, collection and disposal mechanism for single-use plastic.

The ministry wrote to the states in September asking them to curb production of plastic bags, irrespective of thickness and size, and Styrofoam (thermocol) cutlery and to encourage manufacturers and consumers to shift to other environmentally friendly material.

Every village will be asked to start waste segregation. They will send plastic waste to block-level units that will convert the aggregated waste into bales, shred them and transport them to aggregators for recycling to build in a sustainable mechanism.

India –Sweden to expand cooperation at delegation level talks

Prime Minister NarendraModi held delegation level talks with King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden at Hyderabad House in New Delhi today.

The meeting is aimed at giving a boost to bilateral co-operation in various sectors. Several agreements are expected to be signed between the two countries.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia arrived on a state visit to India this morning at the invitation of President Ram NathKovind. They were given a ceremonial welcome at RashtrapatiBhawan. This is His Majesty’s third visit to India. The King will meet President Ram NathKovind this evening.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called on the King and Queen after their arrival and held discussions on ways to deepen bilateral ties.

Apart from the official programme in Delhi, the royal couple is scheduled to visit Mumbai and Uttarakhand. Several documents on furthering bilateral engagement are likely to be signed during the five day visit.

UN chief urges to improve efforts to counter climate change

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said that the world’s efforts to stop climate change have been utterly inadequate so far.

There is a danger global warming could pass the point of no return. He was speaking before the start of a International Climate Conference in Madrid scheduled for today.

The U.N. Chief noted that the world has the scientific knowledge and the technical means to limit global warming, but the political will is lacking.

Mr Guterres said, he hoped the meeting in Madrid would see governments make more ambitious pledges ahead of a deadline to do so next year.

Delegates from almost 200 countries will try to put the finishing touches on the rules governing the 2015 Paris climate accord at the two-week meeting.

Govt. considering satellite mechanisms to monitor forestation

A satellite-based mechanism to monitor areas under green cover and the growth of saplings planted there is being developed by the government, Union Environment Minister PrakashJavadekar said on Saturday. The Environment minister said some states have made significant achievements in nurturing planted saplings to their full growth.

The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) funds to the tune of Rs 47,000 crore will be utilised for greening India, he said after a meeting with the forest ministers and officials of various states.

The minister said “very positive discussions” on issues like the use of CAMPA fund for forestation, water conservation, fodder augmentation and moisture management in the forests, besides the eradication of Lantana weed were held in the meeting.

In August this year, the Environment minister handed over Rs 47,436 crore of CAMPA funds to various states for the promotion of afforestation and achieving green objective of the country.

In the wake of under-utilisation of money for compensatory afforestation, the Supreme Court in 2001 had ordered for coming up with CAMPA fund.

In 2009, the Supreme Court permitted release of Rs 1,000 crore every year to the states and Union territories for compensatory afforestation and other activities.

Jnanpith Award

Context: Eminent Malayalam poet Akkitham has been chosen for 55th Jnanpith Award for the year 2019, Instituted in 1961.

Eligibility: Any Indian citizen who writes in any of the official languages of India is eligible for the honour.

Operation ‘Clean Art’

It is first pan India operation to crackdown on the smuggling of mongoose hair. Conceived by WCCB

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.

Gurpreetsingh and Sunil Kumar wins national wrestling championships

In wrestling, Asian Championships silver medallists Gurpreet Singh and Sunil Kumar clinched gold medals on the final day of the senior national championships in Jalandhar yesterday.

Gurpreet defeated two-time world junior championships medallist SajanBhanwal, who was representing the Railways, by a 3-1 margin, in the 77 kilogram category. This was Punjab grappler’s fourth senior national title.

Sunil also managed an easy win over Punjab’s Prabhal. The Railway’s grappler used all his experience to crush the Punjab wrestler 5-1 in the 87 kg final. In the 55 kg category, Arjun, representing Services, won against Ajay by technical superiority.

Source: The Hindu/Indian Express/Times of India/PIB

MYUPSC IAS Prelims Exam 2020 Test – 1

Geography and Economy

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Mock Test – 1

Section – 1 (Geography MCQ)

1. Consider the following statements;

1. Continent-making movements are called Epeirogenic movements.

2. Mountain-making movements are called orogenic movements.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are incorrect?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) None of these

2. Which of the following conditions does not favour the formation of a tropical cyclone?

(a) Temperature above 27°C

(b) Significant vertical wind difference

(c) High humidity levels

(d) Divergence in the upper atmosphere

3. Consider the following statements;

1. Prairies are called Parklands.

2. Tropical rainforests are known as Selva.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) None of these

4. Which one of the following countries of South-West Asia does not open out to the Mediterranean Sea?

(a) Syria

(b) Jordan

(c) Lebanon

(d) Israel

5. Which one of the following is also known as Top Slip?

(a) Simlipal National Park

(B) Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

(C) Manjira Wildlife Sanctuary

(d) Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park

6. Consider the following statements;

1. Visakhapatnam is the deepest port of India.

2. Kochi is a natural harbour.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) None of these

7. Consider the following statements;

1. Assam shares a border with Bhutan and Bangladesh.

2. West Bengal shares a border with Bhutan and Nepal.

3. Mizoram shares a border with Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(A) 1 and 3

(b) 1 and 2

(c) 2 and 3

(d) All of these

8. Which of the following pairs is incorrectly matched?

(a) Kosi: Consequent River

(b) Narmada: Rift Valley River

(c) Sutlej: Antecedent River

(d) Ghaggar: River with interior drainage

9. Consider the following statements;

1. Groundnut is not grown in kharif season.

2. Sesame is a kharif crop in North India and Rabi crop in South India.

3. Cotton is not grown in Rabi season.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(A) 1 and 2

(b) 1 and 3

(c) 1, 2 and 3

(d) None of these

10. In which one of the following environment does one expect the presence of dispersed rural settlements?

(a) Alluvial plains of the Ganga

(b) Arid and semi-arid regions of Rajasthan

(c) Lower valleys of the Himalayas

(d) Forests and hills in the North-East

11. In the context of ecosystem productivity, marine upwelling zones are important as they increase the marine productivity by bringing the?

1. Decomposer micro-organisms to the surface.

2. Nutrients to the surface.

3. bottom-dwelling organisms to the surface.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(A) 1 and 2

(b) Only 2

(c) 2 and 3

(d) Only 3

12. Which of the following is called as the ‘lighthouse of the Mediterranean’?

(a) Mount Vesuvius

(b) Mount Fujiyama

(c) Mount Chimborazo

(d) Mount Stromboli

13. Consider the following statements;

1. The winds which blow between 30°N and 60°S latitudes throughout the year are known as Westerlies.

2. the most air masses that cause winter rains in North-Western region of India are part of Westerlies.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

14. Consider the following statements;

1. Namdapha National Park is in Assam.

2. Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary is in Bihar.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) None of these

15. The type of fault in which the rock blocks are displaced in opposite directions and one of the blocks moves downwards is called?

(a) Normal fault

(b) Reverse fault

(c) Thrust fault

(d) Step fault

16. Consider the following statements;

1. River Ken is a left bank tributary of Ganga.

2. River Chenab is the largest tributary of Indus.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) None of these

17. Consider the following statements;

1. between the valley of Narmada and Tapti lies Satpura.

2. Banas and its tributaries lies to the East of Aravallis.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) None of these

18. Shallow ploughing only to the depth need to ensure quick seed germination and leaving crop residues and ground litter to protect the soil is?

(a) no-tillage farming

(b) Minimum tillage farming

(c) Contour cropping

(d) Gully reclamation

19. According to the Demographic Transition Model;

1. Late expanding stage has declining fertility and mortality rates.

2. Early expanding stage has high fertility and declining mortality rates.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) None of these

20. Which one of the following countries is the first country in the world to propose a carbon tax for its people to address the global warming?

(a) Australia

(b) Germany

(c) Japan

(d) New Zealand

21. Consider the following statements;

1. Cement industry is not a weight losing industry.

2. Hindustan Aluminium Corporation is located at Jaykaynagar.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) None of these

22. Which of the following add/adds nitrogen to soil?

1. Excretion of urea by animals.

2. Burning of coal by man.

3. Death of vegetation.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(a) Only 1

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 3

(d) All of these

23. Consider the following statements;

1. The desert proper is known as Marusthali.

2. The shifting sand-dunes are locally known as Durian.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) None of the above

24. Which of the following have short life cycle and may form a fairly dense stand after rainfall?

(a) Perennials

(b) Ephemerals

(c) Succulents

(d) Both ‘a’ and ‘b’

25. In which of the following types of age-sex pyramids, both birth and death rates are low and declining?

(A) Progressive

(b) Regressive

(C) Stationary

(d) Intermediate

26. Brunt land Commission is also known as

(a) The World Commission on Environmental and Development

(b) The World Commission on Reduction of Greenhouse Gases

(c) The World Commission on Ozone Depletion

(d) The World Commission on Protection of Spice

27. Volcanic activity occurs in which of the following tectonic settings?

1. Sea floor spreading 2. Subduction

3. Hotspot

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(A) 1 and 2

(b) Only 3

(c) 2 and 3

(d) All of these

28. Which one of the following rivers has the highest replenishable groundwater resource in the country?

(a) The Indus

(b) The Ganga

(c) The Brahmaputra

(d) The Godavari

29. Consider the following statements;

1. Cork, Oak, Jarrah, Karri, Cedar, Sequoia trees are found in tropical rainforest.

2. Quinine is extracted from the bark of Cinchona trees.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) None of these

30. Which one of the following pairs is correctly matched?

(a) Vikramshila Monastery: Uttar Pradesh

(b) Hemkund Gurudwara: Himachal Pradesh

(c) Udayagiri Caves: Maharashtra

(D) Amaravati Buddhist Stupa: Andhra Pradesh

31. Which of the following findings are evident for the climate change?

1. Carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere now reached about 398 PPM that is highest in last 65000 years.

2. Global surface temperature increased about 0.6°C from the average temperature.

3. Arctic ice sheet is declining at a rate of 11.5% per decade.

4. The global average sea level has risen 4-8 inches over the past century.

5. 2000 to 2009 was the warmest decade on record.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below;

(A) 1 and 2

(b) 1, 2 and 3

(c) 2, 4 and 5

(d) All of these

32. Economic density is?

(a) Total number of people per unit of land

(b) Agricultural population per unit area of land

(c) Agricultural population per unit area of cultivated land

(d) Ratio between the requirements of population and the resources made available to it

33. Consider the following statements;

1. Length of a terrestrial mile is lesser than that of a nautical mile.

2. Harmattan is a dusty land-wind of the East African coast.

3. Greece and Albania form a part of the lberian Peninsula.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) 2 and 3

(c) Only 3

(d) All of these

34. Which one of the following phenomenons happens when the sun shines vertically over the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern hemisphere?

(a) High pressure develops over the North-Western India due to low temperatures

(b) Low pressure develops over the North-Western India due to high temperatures

(c) No changes in temperature and pressure occur in the North-Western India

(d) ‘Loo’ blows in the North-Western India

35. Which one of the following sets of elements was primarily responsible for the origin of life on the Earth?

(a) Hydrogen, Oxygen, Sodium

(b) Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen

(c) Oxygen, Hydrogen, Phosphorus

(d) Carbon, Hydrogen, Potassium

36. Which of the following signifies an elimination of thin fertile film of soil from large area?

(a) Rill erosion

(b) Sheet erosion

(c) Gully erosion

(d) Slip erosion

37. Which one of the following is not one of the missions in India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change?

(a) National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture

(b) National Water Mission

(c) National Mission on Sustainable Habitat

(d) National Pollution Mission

38. Which of the following is true about Coriolis force?

1. Occurs as a result of Earth’s rotation from West to East.

2. Deflection of wind/current occurs to the right in North hemisphere and left in South hemisphere.

3. Coriolis effect is maximum at the equator and minimum at poles.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below;

(A) 1 and 2

(b) 1 and 3

(C) All of these

(d) None of these

39. Through which one of the following groups of countries does the equator pass?

(a) Brazil, Zambia and Malaysia

(b) Columbia, Kenya and Indonesia

(c) Brazil, Sudan and Malaysia

(d) Venezuela, Ethiopia and Indonesia

40. Consider the following statements;

1. Air borne plants that form symbiotic relationships with host plants is called epiphytes.

2. Low lying broad leaved plants is called as Forbes.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) None of the above

41. In the context of CO2 emission and global warming, what is the name of a market driven device under the UNFCC that allows developing countries to get funds/ incentives from the developed countries to adopt better technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

(a) Carbon Footprint

(b) Carbon Credit Rating

(c) Clean Development Mechanism

(d) Emission Reduction Norm

42. Consider the following statements;

1. Thein Dam Project provides drinking water to Delhi.

2 The purpose of Damodar Project is both flood control and irrigation.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) None of the above

43. Which one of the following facts was not considered by those while discussing the concept of sea floor spreading?

(a) Volcanic activity along the mid-oceanic ridges

(b) Stripes of normal and reverse magnetic field observed in the rocks of ocean floor

(c) Distribution of fossils in different continents

(d) Age of rocks from the ocean floor

44. If there were no Himalayan ranges, what would have been the most likely geographical impact on India?

1. Much of the country would experience the cold waves from Siberia.

2. Indo-Gangetic plain would be devoid of such extensive alluvial soils.

3. The pattern of monsoon would be different from what it is at present.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below?

(a) Only 1

(b) 1 and 3

(c) 2 and 3

(d) All of these

45. In India, which type of forest among the following occupies the largest area?

(A) Montane wet temperate forest

(b) Sub-tropical dry evergreen forest

(c) Tropical moist deciduous forest

(d) Tropical wet evergreen forest

46. Ecotone is?

(a) Mixed ecosystem

(b) Borders of ecosystem

(c) Transitional region between ecosystems

(d) Core of ecosystem

47. Which of the following substances are found in the beach sands of many parts of Kerala?

1. Ilmenite

2. Zircon

3. Sillimanite

4. Tungsten

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(A) 1 and 2

(b) 1, 2 and 3

(c) 3 and 4

(d) All of the above

48. Most of the winter precipitation of lowlands in the middle latitudes is of?

(a) Cyclonic origin

(b) Convectional origin

(c) Orographic origin

(d) Monsoonal origin

49. The ‘Red Data Books’ published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) contain lists of?

1. Endemic plant and animal species present in the biodiversity hotspots.

2. threatened plant and animal species.

3. Protected sites for conservation of nature and natural resources in various countries.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(A) 1 and 3

(b) Only 2

(c) 2 and 3

(d) Only 3

50. If a tropical rainforest is removed, it does not regenerate quickly as compared to a tropical deciduous forest. This is because

(a) The soil of rainforest is deficient in nutrients

(b) Propagules of the trees in a rainforest have poor viability

(c) The rainforest species are slow growing

(d) Exotic species invade the fertile soil of rainforest

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Section – 2: Practice Test – 1 (Economy MCQ)

1. Which of the following statement(s) is true about HDI?

1. Since 2010, UNDP began using the new method of calculating HDI.

2. It is based on life expectancy, per capita income mean years of schooling and expected years of schooling.

3. HDI is the arithmetic mean of the Life Expectancy Index, Education Index and Income Index.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(a) Only 1

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 2

(d) All of these

2. Deficit financing leads to inflation in general, but it can be checked if?

(a) Government expenditure leads to increase in aggregate supply in ratio of aggregate demand

(b) Only aggregate demand is increased

(c) All the expenditure is devoted to the payment of national debt

(d) All of the above

3. Name the bank announced to be set-up in the budget for regulating and refinancing all Micro-Finance Institutions (MFI) which are in the business of lending to micro/small business entities engaged in manufacturing, trading and services activities?

(a) Micro Bank

(b) MUDRA Bank

(c) SIDBI Bank

(d) Micro-Finance Bank

4. Which of the following are the main causes of slow rate of growth of per capita income in India?

1. High level of fiscal deficits.

2. High capital output ratio.

3. High rate of household savings.

4. High rate of growth of population.

5. High rate of capital formation.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(a) 1, 2 and 4

(b) 2 and 4

(c) 3 and 4

(d) 2, 3 and 5

5. Which of the following statements are true regarding the TRIPS agreement of the WTO?

1. TRIPS are related to protecting the intellectual property rights.

2. Developing countries were supposed to pass TRIPS Complaint National Legislation by 2005. While for developed countries the time limit was till 1995.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(a) Only 2

(b) Only 1

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

6. Consider the following statements regarding the OPEC

1. At present, OPEC has total 14 members’ countries.

2. The objective of OPEC was to control production and price of petroleum so as to safeguard the interests of oil exporting countries.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

7. Consider the following regarding the functions of WTO

1. To provide facilities for implementation, administration and operation of multilateral agreements of the World Trade.

2. To provide a platform to member countries to decide future strategies related to trade and tariff.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

8. Consider the following statements;

1. Geographical indication is granted to a community or group or an institution that represents the interests of the world.

2. It is given to a product for a specific period of time (10 years in India).

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

9. The GST Bill comprises –

1. The CGST Bill – The Central Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017

2. The IGST Bill – The Integrated Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017

3. The UTGST Bill- The Union Territory Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017

4. The Compensation Bill – The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to the States) Bill, 2017

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(a)Only 1

(b) 1 and 2

(C) 1, 2 and 3

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

10. After a gap of over 20 years, ` 1 note has been released in the country on 6th March, 2015 by Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi. The new ` 1 note bears the signature of

(A) Finance Minister

(B) RBI Governor

(C) Finance Secretary

 (d) Home Secretary

11. The capital account convertibility of the Indian Rupee implies

(a) That the Indian Rupee can be exchanged by the authorised dealers for travel

(b) That the Indian Rupee can be exchanged for any major currency for the purpose of trade in goods and services

(c) That the Indian Rupee can be exchanged for any major currency for the purpose of trading financial assets

(d) None of the above

12. World Bank provides long-run capital to member countries for economic reconstruction and development.

World Bank provides capital mainly for the following purposes

1. To rehabilitate war ruined economics.

2. To finance productive efforts according to peacetime requirements.

3. To develop resources and production facilities in underdeveloped countries.

Which of the statement(s) given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 (b) 2 and 3 (c) 1 and 3 (d) All of these

13. Consider the following statements

1. Ministerial conference is the highest decision-making body of the WTO, which usually meets once every 2 years.

2. Its headquarters is in Geneva.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

14. Consider the following statement(s) regarding the International Monetary fund

1. IMF is controlled and managed by a Board of Governors.

2. Each Governor has the right of 250 votes on the basis of membership and one additional vote for each SDR 1 lakh quota.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

15. Consider the following statements

1. General agreement on trade in services is a treaty of the

World Trade Organisation (WTO) that entered into force in

January, 1995.

2. All members of the WTO are signatories to the general agreement on trade in services.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

16. IMF was established to meet which of the following objectives?

1. Promoting International Monetary Co-operation.

2. Expanding International Trade.

3. Lessening the disequilibrium in balance of trade.

4. Avoiding competitive exchange depreciations.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(a) 3 and 4

(b) 1, 2 and 3

(c) 2 and 3

(d) All of these

17. Consider the following statements about ‘Mega Food Park’

1. To provide good infrastructure facilities for food processing industries.

2. To increase processing perishable items and reduce wastage.

3. To provide emerging and eco friendly food processing technology to entrepreneurs.

Which of the statement(s) given above are correct?

(a) 2 and 3

(b) 1 and 2

(c) 1 and 3

(d) All of these

18. Which one of the following is related with the Baltic Dry index?

(a) An assessment of the price of moving the major raw materials by sea

(b) An index showing the rising and falling prices of shares and equities in the Baltic region

(c) An assessment showing the prices of the crude oil produced in the Baltic region

(d) None of the above

19. Which one of the following items has the highest share of India in the world exports?

(a) Coffee, Tea, Mate, Spices etc

(b) Pearls, Precious stones, Metals, Coins etc

(c) Lac, Gums, Resins, Vegetable Saps and extracts etc

(d) Vegetable Plaiting Materials, Vegetable Products etc

20. The fair and remuneration price of sugarcane is approved by the

(a) Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs

(b) Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices

(c) Directorate of Marketing and Inspection, Ministry of Agriculture

(d) Agricultural Produce Market Committee

21. Which one of the following factors is taken account to calculate the Balance of Payment (BOP), of a country?

(A) Current account

(b) Changes in the foreign exchange reserves

(c) Errors and omissions (d) All of these

22. Which one of the following international organisations offers political risk insurance guarantees to help investors to protect foreign direct investments made in developing countries against political risk?

(a) IDA

(b) IFC

(c) IMF

(d) MIGA

23. Examine the following statements in the context of the Base Rate system of interest rates

1. Corporate entities were able to get loans at interest rates lower than PLR while it is not possible with Base Rate.

2. Monetary policy is transmitted better through Base Rate system.

3. Base Rate is applicable only to loans given after 1st July, 2010.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) 2 and 3

(c) Only 2

(d) All of these

24. Consider the following statements

1. Regional Rural banks were set-up in 1975, under an Act of Parliament to exclusively cater to the credit needs of rural population.

2. The sponsor banks have the largest share in the equality of Regional Rural banks.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

25. Which of these statements is true regarding the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) of IMF?

1. The SDRs are equivalent to a currency and represent a claim on the IMF.

2. The value of SDRs in terms of its component currencies is fixed annually.

3. The basket of currencies of SDRs which presently consist of US Dollar, Euro, the Chinese renminbi, Pound and Yen is revised every 5 years.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(a) Only 3

(b) Only 1

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) All of these

26. Which of the following statements are true regarding Hedge Funds?

1. Hedge funds are open to only select group of investors.

2. Hedge funds have been allowed to function in India recently after registering with SEBI.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

27. Consider the following statements;

1. NABARD is the nodal agency for implementing the schemes in respect of co-operative credit and RRBs.

2. NABARD was the nodal agency for implementing the agricultural debt waiver and Debt Relief Scheme, 2008.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1 (b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) neither 1 nor 2

28. Which of the following statements is true regarding the Agreement on Agriculture of the WTO?

1. Green box, blue box and amber box refer to domestic subsidies in agriculture.

2. There is no limit on green box subsidies for both developing and developed economies.

3. In the long-run, the agreement on agriculture is expected to benefit the developing countries.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) All of these

29. Which State Government launched ‘Bhagya shree’ scheme in place of the Sukanya scheme which caters to girls from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families?

(a) Gujarat

(b) Kerala

(c) Maharashtra

(d) Haryana

30. Which of the following are the objectives of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP)?

1. To stabilise agricultural prices.

2. To ensure meaningful real income levels to the farmers.

3. To protect the interest of the consumers by providing essential agricultural commodities at reasonable rate through PDS.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(A) 1 and 2

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 3

(d) All of the above

31. Which of these statements is true regarding the lending provisions of the IMF?

1. IMF lends to only member countries.

2. IMF lends only to help with Balance of Payments (BoP) problems.

3. IMF lending is also possible for specific projects relating to economic restructuring of an economy.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(A) 1 and 3

(b) Only 1

(c) 1 and 2

(d) Only 3

32. Which of the following statements is true regarding a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC)?

1. NBFC cannot accept demand deposits.

2. For a NBFC financial assets must be 50% more than its total assets.

3. Normal banks do all of the activities normally done by an NBFC.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(a)Only 1

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 2

(d) All of these

33. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) wants the rules tightened to bring a larger number of Mergers and Acquisitions (M and As) under its scrutiny. In this context, consider the following statements about CCI

1. Competition Commission of India (CCI) was established with effect from14th October, 2003.

2. The goal is to curtail the monopoly tendencies and foster the competition among public sector enterprises.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

34. Which of the following statements is true regarding the innovation index measure?

1. It is developed by INSEAD, France.

2. Japan is the top country in this index.

3. The National Innovation Council (NIC) was formed to foster innovation in India especially in the area of growth.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below;

(a) 2 and 3

(b) 1 and 2

(c) 1 and 3

(d) All of the above

35. Examine these statements in the context of the financial instruments known as futures.

1. Futures are agreements between two parties to buy or sell shares at a future date.

2. Options are a class of futures where there is a right, but not the obligation to buy or sell at a future date.

3. Forwards are a particular class of futures.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(A) 1 and 3

(b) Only 1

(c) Only 2

(d) All of these

36. Which one of the following is likely to the most inflationary, in its effect?

(a) Repayment of public debt

(b) Borrowing from the public to finance a budget deficit

(c) Borrowing from banks to finance a budget deficit

(d) Creating new money to finance a budget deficit

37. Consider the following statements regarding Reserve Bank of India;

1. It is a banker to the Central Government.

2. It formulates and administers monetary policy.

3. It acts as an agent of the government in respect of India.

4. It handles the borrowing programme of Government of India.

Which of the statement(s) given above are correct?

(A) 1 and 2

(b) 2, 3 and 4

(c) 3 and 4

(d) All of the above

38. Consider the following regarding World Trade organisation

1. The Uruguay round of GATT (1986-93) gave birth to WTO.

2. WTO was officially constituted as a permanent body on 1st January, 1995 as an effective formal organisation.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

39. Under the WTO agreement, Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), developing countries won over with some concessional features and flexibilities. Its three pillars are?

1. Domestic support

2. Export subsidies

3. Market access

4. Non-tariff barriers

Which of the statement(s) given above are correct?

(a) 1, 2 and 3

(b) 2, 3 and 4

(c) 1, 3 and 4

(d) All of the above

40. Consider the following regarding WTO

1. WTO negotiations proceed not by consensus of all members, but by a process of informal negotiations between small groups.

2. Such negotiations are often called green room.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

41. Personal Income Tax limit was not changed in Union Budget 2016-17. What is the present Personal I-T exemption limit?

(a) 2.5 lakh

(b) 2.75 lakh

(c)  3 lakh

(d)  5 lakh

42. Which one of the following items has gained the highest growth rate in the import composition of the Indian economy in the last decade?

(a) Pearls, precious and semiprecious stones

(b) Gold and silver

(c) Oil-cake and other solid residues

(d) None of the above

43. Consider the following regarding the objectives of WTO

1. To improve the standard of living of people in member countries.

2. To ensure full employment and increase in effective demand.

3. To enlarge production and trade of goods and services.

Which of the statement(s) given above are correct?

(A) 1 and 2

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 3

(d) All of these

44. The Indian banking system consists of?

1. 26 public sector banks

2. 20 private sector banks

3. 43 foreign banks

4. 56 regional rural banks

5. 1589 urban cooperative banks

6. 93550 rural cooperative banks

Select the correct option from the codes given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3

(b) 3, 4 and 5

(c) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

(d) All of these

45. Hawala transactions relate to payments

(a) Received in rupees against overseas currencies and vice versa without going through the official channels

(b) Received for sale or transfer of shares without going through the established stock exchanges

(c) Received as commission for services rendered to overseas investors, buyers or sellers in assisting them to get over the red tape and in getting preferential treatment

(d) Made to political parties or to individuals for meeting election expenses

46. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cancelled the certificate of registration of the 26 Non- Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) including?

(a) Mathura Financial Services Limited

(b) SJ Finance & Consultants Private Limited

(c) Modern Vintrade Private Limited

(d) All of the above

47. The main cause of cyclical unemployment is that?

(a) Firms engage in race, gender and sex discrimination in their hiring practices

(b) Some individuals do not have marketable job skills

(c) The level of overall economic activity fluctuates

(d) Workers often voluntarily quit a job look for a better job

48. If the Cash Reserve ratio is lowered by the RBI, its impact upon credit creation will be to?

(a) Decrease it

(b) Increase it

(c) No impact

(d) None of these

49. Which of the following is true about money market in India?

1. the most active segment of money market is overight call market.

2. The money market instruments have maturity of less than 1 year.

3. The money market instruments in India are regulated by RBI and SBI.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(A) 1 and 2

(b) Only 2

(c) 2 and 3

(d) All of the above

50. With regard to proposed GST, which of the following is correct?

1. Taxes on items containing alcohol and petroleum product are kept out of GST.

2. Entertainment tax, luxury tax and taxes on gambling are part of GST.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

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