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Current Affairs 2020

NPR and NCR

December 25, 2019

Recently :National Population register | NPR Union Cabinet has announced that it has allocated around Rs 3,500 crores for updating National Population Register (NPR). The process shall commence from April next year and will be completed by September. NPR was first done in 2010 and was later updated in 2015 when it was linked with […]

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“Act East Policy” of India: Meaning and Objectives

December 14, 2019

Look East Policy of India was launched by the former Prime Minister  P.V. Narasimha Rao in 1991.The main focus of this policy was to shift the country’s trading focus from the west and neighbours to the booming S.E. Asian countries. The new NDA government in the centre upgraded this policy as the “Act East Policy” […]

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Citizenship Amendment Bill

December 13, 2019

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (CAB) is a bill amending the Citizenship Act of 1955 to give a path to Indian citizenship to illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who entered India on or before 31 December 2014. WHO GETS THE INDIAN CITIZENSHIP? The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill proposes to grant citizenship to the non-Muslims […]

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Emissions Gap Report

December 3, 2019

Why in news? The 2019 UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report paints a “bleak” picture of accelerated global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and a growing gap between “what we need to do and what we are actually doing to tackle climate change.” Providing the first-ever estimate of annual cuts needed to achieve the Paris […]

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Inner line permit

December 3, 2019

Why in news? In the run-up to the likely introduction of the Citizenship Amendment Bill during the current session of Parliament, the concept of Inner Line Permit has been part of the conversation. When political and civil society representatives from the Northeastern states met him to express their concerns about the Bill, Union Home Minister Amit Shah […]

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What is the Chagos Islands dispute about?

December 2, 2019

Why in news? The UN had given the UK six months to return the Chagos Islands to Mauritius. After the UK missed the deadline to do so, Mauritius called the UK an “illegal colonial occupier”. Mauritius called the UK an “illegal colonial occupier” on Friday, after it ignored a UN mandated deadline to return the […]

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Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)

November 29, 2019

Context: The 19th IORA Council of Ministers meeting will be held on November 7 in Abu Dhabi with the theme of “Promoting a Shared Destiny and Path to Prosperity in the Indian Ocean”. The meeting is important as two of India’s important partners, the United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh, will take charge as the new chair and vice-chair of one […]

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Eligibility Criteria for Grant of Maharatna, Navratna and Miniratna Status

November 29, 2019

Context: Government of India has accorded ‘Maharatna’ status to public sector undertaking’s (PSU’s) Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Power Grid Corporation. Impact: This will impart greater operational and financial autonomy thus enhancing powers to their Boards to take financial decisions. Boards of these PSUs can make equity investments to undertake financial joint ventures (JV) and wholly owned […]

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BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change 

November 29, 2019

Context: The 29th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change was held recently in Beijing, China. Outcomes of the recent meet- demands by BASIC: The developed countries to take urgent action to close gaps and provide support to developing nations as a part of the commitment under the Paris agreement on climate change. Global climate action should promote climate […]

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Global Mobility Report

November 29, 2019

Context: Global Mobility Report has been released by Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All) initiative. What is SuM4All? The SuM4All initiative, launched in 2017, is an umbrella platform that brings together 55 public and private organisations and companies to act collectively to implement the SDGs and transform the transport sector. Key findings: Not a single country — developed or developing — […]

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The Citizenship Amendment Bill:

November 29, 2019

Context: With political positions on the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) largely unchanged, the government, which is hoping to move a new version of it during the winter session of Parliament, faces tough negotiations. The Citizenship Amendment Bill: It seeks to allow illegal migrants from certain minority communities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenshipby amending the Citizenship Act […]

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BHIM 2.0 

November 29, 2019

Context: Govt launches BHIM 2.0 with new functionalities, additional language support. What is BHIM? Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is a UPI based payment interface. Developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). Allows real time fund transfer. Launched in December, 2016. What’s new in BHIM 2.0? Donation’ gateway, increased transaction limits for high value transactions, linking multiple bank accounts, offers […]

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linking of Aadhaar with social media

November 29, 2019

Context: From January, the Supreme Court will hear cases seeking the linking of Aadhaar with social media profiles of individuals. It will be the first big legal battle on the right to privacy after the Supreme Court held in a landmark verdict in 2017 that privacy is a fundamental right. Need for linking of Aadhar? To keep a check on […]

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Adjusted Gross revenue

November 29, 2019

Context: The Supreme Court has upheld the definition of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) calculation as stipulated by the Department of Telecommunications. This means that telecom companies will have to pay up as much as Rs 92,642 crore to the government. What is AGR? Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) is the usage and licensing fee that telecom operators are charged by the […]

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BSNL and MTNL Revival plan

November 29, 2019

  Context: Union Cabinet approves revival plan of BSNL and MTNL. The revival plan includes: Allotment of spectrum for 4G services. Debt restructuring by raising of bonds with sovereign guarantee. Reducing employee costs. Monetisation of assets. In-principle approval of merger of BSNL & MTNL. What’s the crisis all about? For some time now, BSNL is […]

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18th Non-Aligned Movement summit.

November 29, 2019

Context: Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu will represent India at the 18th Non-Aligned Movement summit. Theme: ‘Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of contemporary world’. Some interesting facts about the latest NAM summit: Prime Minister Modi will skip the meet. This is the second time in a row that PM Narendra Modi will skip the summit, marking India’s transformation […]

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 Government e-Marketplace (GeM)

November 29, 2019

Context: The Government e-Marketplace (GeM) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Federal Bank to offer various services. Significance: The MoU will facilitate a cashless, paperless and transparent payment system on the portal and would create an efficient procurement system for government entities. About GeM: What is it? GeM is a state-of-the-art national public procurement platform of Ministry […]

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Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)

November 29, 2019

Context: About 70% of Indian contribution to the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will be in the form of both hardware and software for the telescope. Indian entities are engaged in developing observatory software as well as telescope control system. About TMT: The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is an astronomical observatory with an extremely large telescope (ELT). It is an international project being funded by scientific organisations of […]

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Global Wealth Report.

November 29, 2019

Context: The Credit Suisse Group, a Switzerland-based multinational investment bank, has released the 10th edition of its annual Global Wealth Report. How is wealth defined and calculated? Wealth is defined in terms of “net worth” of an individual. This, in turn, is calculated by adding up the value of financial assets (such as money) and real assets (such […]

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Intensified mission indradhanush

November 29, 2019

Context: To ensure that not a single child in the country misses out on vaccination, the government will launch the ‘Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0‘ on October 31 with a special focus on improving coverage in areas with “low” immunisation. Key facts: Through ‘IMI 2.0’, the health ministry aims to reach each and every child below the age […]

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Section 11 of Representation of the People Act.

November 29, 2019

Context: Delhi High Court has sought a response from the Centre and the Election Commission (EC) on a petition challenging the EC’s decision to reduce the disqualification period of Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang from six years to 13 months. This was done in accordance with the Section 11 of Representation of the People Act. Background: Mr. Tamang was […]

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EL Nino Effect

November 29, 2019

Context: In a new study, researchers have found that because of climate change, extreme El Niño events are likely to become more frequent. Key findings: There is a shift in El Niño behaviour since the late 1970s. All events beginning in the eastern Pacific occurred prior to that time, while all events originating in the western-central […]

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Food Safety Mitra (FSM) scheme

November 29, 2019

Context: Food Safety Mitra (FSM) scheme for strengthening and scaling up ‘Eat Right India’ movement launched. What is FSM scheme? A scheme to support small and medium scale food businesses to comply with the food safety laws and facilitate licensing and registration, hygiene ratings and training. Significance of the scheme: Apart from strengthening food safety, this scheme would also […]

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World’s Children report for 2019. 

November 29, 2019

Context: UNICEF released its State of the World’s Children report for 2019.  Ranking of countries: The report has ranked countries in the order of ‘highest burden of death among children of under-5’ to the ‘lowest burden of death among children of under-5’. The report analyses the global state of children’s health vis-a-vis malnutrition, obesity, anaemia and other health issues. Key […]

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20th Livestock Census.

November 29, 2019

Context: Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying releases 20th Livestock Census. Significance: The Census will prove beneficial not just for policy makers but also for agriculturists, traders, entrepreneurs, dairying industry and masses in general. key results of the Census: Total Livestock population is 535.78 million- an increase of 4.6% over Livestock Census-2012. Total Bovine population (Cattle, Buffalo, Mithun and Yak)-79 Million in 2019- an increase […]

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IPC to be reworked

November 29, 2019

Context: The Home Ministry is all set to overhaul the Indian Penal Code designed by the British. Rebooting the code introduced by the British in 1860 was necessary as it is primarily based on the spirit of “master and servant”. Efforts to overhaul: Recently the Ministry wrote to all States and Union Territories seeking suggestions to amend various sections of […]

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One Nation One FASTag scheme

November 29, 2019

Context: One Nation One FASTag scheme inaugurated recently. The government has already announced that FASTags will be mandatory for all vehicles at all National Highways from December 1. Features of the scheme- One Nation One FASTag: The scheme will be implemented from December 1, 2019, and can be availed upon activation by new cars having Radio Frequency Identification […]

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World Economic Outlook (WEO)

November 29, 2019

Context: IMF’s 2019 World Economic Outlook (WEO) has been released. India- specific observations: India retains its rank as the world’s fastest-growing major economy, tying with China. It has a projected growth rate of 6.1 per cent for the current fiscal year, despite an almost one per cent cut in the forecast. However, India’s economy is projected to pick up and grow by […]

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Who are Kurds?

November 29, 2019

Who are Kurds? At an estimated 25 million to 35 million population, they are the world’s largest stateless ethnic group. The majority among the Kurdish people today are Sunni Muslim, but there are adherents of other faiths too, including Sufism and other mystical practices. They live in the highlands of southern and eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, the northeastern Syria, northwestern Iran, […]

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2019 Global Hunger Index

November 29, 2019

Context: The 2019 Global Hunger Index report has been released. The GHI ranks countries on a 100-point scale, with 0 being the best score (no hunger) and 100 being the worst. Values less than 10 reflect low hunger, values from 20 to 34.9 indicate serious hunger; values from 35 to 49.9 are alarming; and values of 50 or more are extremely […]

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The Nobel Prize in Physics 2019:

November 29, 2019

Awarded “for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos”. Winners are: James Peebles “for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology”. Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz “for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star”. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019: John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino “for the development of lithium-ion batteries” […]

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Dark Grey list?

November 29, 2019

Context: Pakistan is on the verge of strong action by the international terror financing watchdog FATF and the country may be put in the ‘Dark Grey’ list, the last warning to improve. Pakistan is on the verge of strong action by FATF, given its inadequate performance, whereby it managed to pass in only six of 27 items. What […]

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India China -second Informal Summit.

November 29, 2019

Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in the ancient coastal town of Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu for a second Informal Summit. The two countries convened their first Informal Summit in central China’s Wuhan in April 2018, where they exchanged views on issues of global and bilateral significance. Outcomes: To celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations […]

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National Medical Commission.

November 29, 2019

Context: Government selects 25 members of National Medical Commission. For selecting members of the commission, that replaces the Medical Council of India (MCI), health ministry held a draw of lots. The draw of lot was held from the nominations sent by the state governments, union territories and state medical councils. The members include 10 Vice-Chancellors (VCs) […]

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Election Manifesto

November 29, 2019

What are Manifestos? Election manifestos are not legally enforceable documents. This has been reiterated by the Supreme Court in 2015. They are a formality, and their release is often no more than a photo-op in the campaign of political parties. They are frequently delayed, leaving no time for voters to go through the contents in order […]

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Green wall 

November 29, 2019

Context: The Centre is mulling an ambitious plan to create a green wall on North- Western part of India. About the proposed wall: It will be a 1,400km long and 5km wide green belt from Gujarat to the Delhi-Haryana border, on the lines of the “Great Green Wall” running through the width of Africa, from Dakar (Senegal) to Djibouti, to combat climate […]

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Himalayas and Climate change

November 29, 2019

Context: To better gauge the impact of climate change on the Hindu Kush mountains, which includes the Himalayas, and spruce up data-gathering, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) will collaborate with meteorological agencies in China and Pakistan, among others, to provide climate forecast services to countries in the region.   About Hindu Kush-Himalayan region: The Hindu Kush-Himalayan region spans an […]

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Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN)

November 29, 2019

Context: The Union Government has launched Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan (SUMAN) to provide quality healthcare at zero cost to pregnant women, new mothers and newborns. About the scheme: It aims to provide dignified and quality health care at no cost to every woman and newborn visiting a public health facility. Under the scheme, the beneficiaries visiting public health facilities are […]

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POSHAN Atlas

November 29, 2019

Context: The ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) in association with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Deendayal Research Institute is developing a POSHAN atlas under POSHAN abhiyan. About the POSHAN Atlas: Aim: to map the crops and food grains grown in different regions of the country so that nutritious protein rich food in local areas can be […]

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DHRUV

November 29, 2019

Context: Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme- ‘DHRUV’, a 14 day learning programme, was launched recently from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Headquarters at Bengaluru. About DHRUV: The programme is called DHRUV (after the Pole Star) and every student to be called ‘DHRUV TARA’. 60 students, 30 each from Science and Performing Arts discipline, have been selected for this […]

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 Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

November 29, 2019

Context: Ten years ago (Oct. 9), NASA slammed a hunk of space junk into the moon, forever changing our perception of Earth’s nearest neighbour. Background: The space agency’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) missions launched together on June 18, 2009, riding atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. LRO sped to lunar […]

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C40 Cities Climate Summit:

November 29, 2019

Context: C40 Cities World Mayors Summit is being held in Copenhagen. Key facts: C40 is a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a group of 94 cities around the world. C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of […]

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GRAP

November 29, 2019

Context: Soon, some stricter measures to fight air pollution will come into force in Delhi’s neighbourhood, as part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). As per the plan: Measures aimed at stopping the use of diesel generator sets will extend beyond Delhi to the NCR, where many areas see regular power cuts. Measures will be incremental. As […]

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Global Competitiveness Index

November 29, 2019

Context: GCI 2019 has been released. The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), which was launched in 1979, maps the competitiveness landscape of 141 economies through 103 indicators organised into 12 pillars. The pillars, which cover broad socio-economic elements are: institutions, infrastructure, ICT adoption, macroeconomic stability, health, skills, product market, labour market, the financial system, market size, business […]

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Nobel Prize in detail

November 29, 2019

Context: The 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine has been awarded jointly to William G. Kaelin Jr, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza “for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.”a Why does this matter? The oxygen-sensing ability of the body has a role in the immune system and the earliest stages of development inside […]

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Sedition law

November 29, 2019

Context: Recently, a Bihar court directed the filing of an FIR against 49 eminent persons who signed an open letter to the Prime Minister expressing concerns over mob lynching. However, many experts opined that this move is shocking, disappointing, and completely disregards the true meaning of the law. Need of the hour: Many would agree […]

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Single use plastics

November 29, 2019

Context: The government has launched massive campaigns against single-use, or disposable, plastic products, as part of the year-long celebrations to mark 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. What are Single-use plastics? They are disposable plastics meant for use-and-throw. These comprise polythene bags, plastic drinking bottles, plastic bottle caps, food wrappers, plastic sachets, plastic wrappers, straws, stirrers and […]

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Hyderabad Nizam heirs win UK court battle with Pakistan

November 29, 2019

Context: The UK high court has ruled in favour of India and the titular 8th Nizam of Hyderabad and his younger brother in a case they had been fighting against Pakistan relating to who has the rights to £35m (Rs 306 crore) stashed away in a British bank account since Partition. What is the dispute all about? On September 20, 1948, a corpus of […]

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Gandhian Challenge

November 29, 2019

Context: On the 150th birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, AIM, NITI Aayog’s Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) and UNICEF India, including Generation Unlimited, have launched ‘The Gandhian Challenge’. What is it? This innovation challenge provides a platform for every child across India to ideate innovative solutions for a sustainable India of their dreams, using Gandhi’s principles. The winners of The Gandhian […]

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Supreme Court verdict on SC/ST Act

November 29, 2019

Context: Supreme Court has recalled its directions in a March 20, 2018 verdict that had effectively diluted provisions of arrest under the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. This was following a plea by the Centre seeking a review of that judgment. Background: Dilution of the stringent provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act had […]

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School Education Quality Index

November 29, 2019

Context: NITI Aayog releases the first edition of School Education Quality Index (SEQI). About the School Education Quality Index (SEQI): Developed by NITI Aayog to evaluate the performance of States and Union Territories (UTs) in the school education sector. Aim: To bring an ‘outcomes’ focus to education policy by providing States and UTs with a platform to identify their […]

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National nutrition survey

November 29, 2019

Context: With the help of UNICEF, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently conducted the first-ever comprehensive National Nutrition Survey. The survey recorded malnutrition that included micronutrient deficiencies and details of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol and kidney function in children and adolescents.   Key findings of the survey: Around 10% of children in the age group of 5 to 9 […]

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Emissions Trading Scheme

November 29, 2019

What is it? Launched in Surat by Gujarat Government, the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is a regulatory tool that is aimed at reducing the pollution load in an area and at the same time minimising the cost of compliance for the industry. ETS is a market in which the traded commodity is particulate matter emissions. It is also being described as the world’s […]

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Sardar Sarovar Dam 

November 29, 2019

Context: Oustees displaced in Madhya Pradesh due to the backwaters of the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat are not convinced by the government of Madhya Pradesh’s promises to help them even as they stare at continual displacement.   Background: The height of the dam was increased to 138.68 metres in 2017. The water level in the dam reached 136.04 […]

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6th Schedule amendment

November 29, 2019

Context: National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) Writes to Union Home Minister & Union Tribal Affairs Minister Conveying Its recommendation to Include Union Territory of Ladakh Under 6th Schedule of Constitution Of India. The total tribal population in Ladakh region is more than 97%. The region is inhabited by following Scheduled Tribes, namely: Balti Beda Bot, Boto Brokpa, […]

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District Mineral Foundation (DMF)

November 29, 2019

Context: Amendments to District Mineral Foundation (DMF) Trust Rules, 2015, by Chhattisgarh government has made it more inclusive, people-centric and will also empower people affected by mining in the state, according to Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a New Delhi-based non-profit. Background: Chhattisgarh became the first state in July 2019, to amend DMF rules. The new rule mandates […]

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Indias Cooling Action Plan

November 29, 2019

Context: India’s Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) has received appreciation from the UN on World Ozone Day. Significance of ICAP: India is the first country in world to develop such a document. The goals emerging from the suggested interventions stated in ICAP are: Reduction of cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25 % by year 2037-38. Reduction of refrigerant […]

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Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR)

November 29, 2019

Context: India is going to be possibly the first country in the world to implement a Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) Policy on the lines of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). A draft of the new policy has been made available by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). Aims: To encourage science and technology (S&T) institutions and individual […]

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Market Intervention Price Scheme:

November 29, 2019

Context: The government is planning to procure almost 12 lakh metric tonnes of apple this season, under the MISP. About the Market Intervention Price Scheme: It is a price support mechanism implemented on the request of State Governments. It is for procurement of perishable and horticultural commodities in the event of a fall in market prices. The Scheme […]

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Recent reforms in Judiciary

November 29, 2019

Context: The recent controversy over the transfer of the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, Justice Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani, to the Meghalaya High Court has once again brought to the fore a long-standing debate on the functioning of the ‘Collegium’ of judges. What is the Collegium system? The Collegium of judges does not figure in the Constitution. It […]

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‘NIRVIK’ scheme

November 29, 2019

Context: Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) has introduced ‘NIRVIK’ scheme to ease the lending process and enhance loan availability for exporters. Key features of the scheme: Insurance cover guaranteed will cover up to 90 percent of the principal and interest. The increased cover will ensure that foreign and rupee export credit interest rates are below 4 percent […]

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 Kisan Man Dhan Yojana.

November 29, 2019

Context: PM Modi to launch Kisan Man Dhan Yojana. Aim: To improve the life of small and marginal farmers of the country. Salient features of the scheme: The scheme is voluntary and contributory for farmers in the entry age group of 18 to 40 years. A monthly pension of Rs. 3000/– will be provided to them on attaining the age of 60 […]

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National Genome Grid

November 29, 2019

Context: Recently, the government has announced to set up a National Genomic Grid (NGG). About NGG: It will study genomic data of cancer patients from India. It will collect samples from cancer patients, through a network of pan-India collection centres by bringing all cancer treatment institutions on board. The grid to be formed will be in line with the National Cancer Tissue Biobank […]

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UN Peacekeeping Reforms

November 29, 2019

Context: India calls for reforms in peacekeeping at UNSC debate. Need for reforms: Peacekeeping currently is in a “no-man’s land” between trying to keep the peace in fragile environments and trying to enforce the maintenance of peace, where there is none to keep. There is not effective improvement of the cooperation between Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs), the […]

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Krishna Water Dispute

November 29, 2019

Context: The Krishna river dispute has taken a new turn with Maharashtra and Karnataka CMs agreeing to jointly oppose Andhra Pradesh’s application seeking a relook at the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal’s 2010 order on water distribution between the riparian states. What is the Krishna river dispute, and what has been done to resolve it? The Krishna: It is an east-flowing […]

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Hepatitis A,B and C

November 29, 2019

Context: On September 3, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Thailand became the first four countries in the World Health Organization’s southeast Asia region to have successfully controlled hepatitis B. The virus is said to be controlled when the disease prevalence is reduced to less than 1% among children less than five years of age. India’s scenario: Despite the introduction of […]

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Indian Ocean Conference 2019

November 29, 2019

Context: Fourth Indian Ocean Conference 2019 was recently held in Male, capital of Maldives. Theme: ‘Securing the Indian Ocean Region: Traditional and Non-Traditional Challenges’. About Indian Ocean Conference: Initiated by India Foundation along with its partners from Singapore, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It is an annual effort to bring together Heads of States/Governments, Ministers, Thought Leaders, scholars, diplomats, bureaucrats and practitioners from […]

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Eastern Economic Forum

November 29, 2019

Context: India extends $1 billion line of credit for development of Russia’s Far East. This was announced by PM Modi at the ongoing 5th Eastern Economic Forum. About the Eastern Economic Forum: Established by Decree of the President of the Russian Federation in 2015. It takes place each year in Vladivostok. Serves as a platform for the discussion of key issues in the world economy, regional integration, and […]

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Measles and Rubella

November 29, 2019

Context: Member-countries of the World Health Organisation (WHO) South-East Asia Region have resolved to eliminate highly infectious childhood killer diseases measles and rubella by 2023. A resolution to eliminate the diseases was adopted at the 72nd session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia in Delhi. How the new target is to be achieved? By strengthening the immunisation […]

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Advance Price agreements

November 29, 2019

Context: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into 26 Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) in the first 5 months of the financial year (April to August, 2019). Out of these 26 APAs, 1 is a BAPA entered into with the United Kingdom and the remaining 25 are Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (UAPAs). What are APAs? An APA […]

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Global Liveability Index 2019.

November 29, 2019

Context: The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released the Global Liveability Index 2019. The index ranks 140 global cities based on their living conditions. Significance: The liveability index quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle in 140 cities worldwide, and assesses which locations provide the best living conditions. The list is topped by Vienna (Austria) for […]

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ANDREX project

November 29, 2019

Context: Scientists have discovered that, contrary to existing assumptions, biological processes far out at sea are the most important factors determining how the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide. This enhances the understanding of the link between the Southern Ocean — next to Antarctica — and the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Scientists studied data collected as part of the ANDREX […]

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Male Declaration

November 29, 2019

Context: The fourth South Asian Speakers’ Summit was held recently in Maldives capital with the secretary general of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and senior lawmakers from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Background: This is the fourth event in a series of Speakers’ Summits for the region on SDGs, the previous three having been hosted by the Jatiya Sangsad of Bangladesh (in 2016), […]

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Samudrayaan

November 29, 2019

Context: India to undertake deep ocean mining with ‘Samudrayaan’ project. About Samudrayaan: It is a pilot project of the Ministry of Earth Sciences for deep ocean mining for rare minerals. It proposes to send men into the deep sea in a submersible vehicle for ocean studies. The project is expected to become a reality by 2021-22. The project […]

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‘Build for Digital India’ programme

November 29, 2019

Context: The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Google have signed a statement of intent to roll-out ‘Build for Digital India’ programme. Key features of the programme: The programme will give engineering students a platform to develop market-ready, technology-based solutions that address key social problems. Applicants will take part in online and offline learning opportunities on key technologies such […]

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Economic capital framework

November 28, 2019

Context: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the transfer of record Rs 1.76 lakh crore dividend and surplus reserves to the government. The excess reserve transfer is in line with the recommendation of former RBI governor Bimal Jalan-led panel constituted to decide size of capital reserves that the central bank should hold. Background: RBI had constituted a panel […]

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G-7

November 28, 2019

Context: The 45th Annual G7 Summit is being held in the French town of Biarritz. What is G7 Summit? G7 Summit is an event conducted annually where world leaders from seven powerful economies of the world come together to discuss burning issues happening around the globe. They, by mutual understanding, also form policies or figure out […]

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Open Acreage Licensing Policy

November 28, 2019

Context: Govt offers seven oil and natural gas blocks for bidding under OALP-IV. What is Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP)? The OALP, a critical part of the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy, provides uniform licences for exploration and production of all forms of hydrocarbons, enabling contractors to explore conventional as well as unconventional oil and gas resources. Fields are […]

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Mitra

November 28, 2019

Context: On 23 August, Chandrayaan-2 captured images of various craters on the moon while passing over its north polar region. Of the various craters, it spotted one called ‘Mitra’. Why is it named so? It is an impact based crater named after noted Indian physicist Sisir Kumar Mitra. The name was given by Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN), […]

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Gravitational lensing

November 28, 2019

Context: Using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope as a sort of time machine, researchers plan to investigate how new stars are born, with the help of a natural phenomenon called “gravitational lensing”. What is gravitational lensing? How it works? Gravitational lensing is an effect of Einstein’s theory of general relativity – simply put, mass bends light. The gravitational field of […]

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Regional comprehensive economic Partnership

November 28, 2019

Context: Stakeholders’ Consultations by Department of Commerce on RCEP. What you need to know about RCEP? RCEP is proposed between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and the six states with which ASEAN has existing FTAs (Australia, China, India, Japan, South […]

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Oxytoxin Ban

November 28, 2019

Context: The final decision on whether the government can block private pharmaceutical companies from manufacturing and selling vital pregnancy drug oxytocin in India has been deferred, with the Supreme Court deciding the issue needs further deliberation. Background: The health ministry in April 2018 notified a ban on private firms from manuacturing and selling oxytocin, stating […]

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Financial Action Task Force

November 28, 2019

Context: Financial Action Task Force affiliate Asia Pacific Group (APG) places Pakistan on Blacklist for failing to combat terrorism, money laundering and meeting the required global standards. Pakistan was put in the list for the following reasons: Pakistan was non-compliant in 32 of the 40 Compliance Parameters on Money Laundering & Terror Financing and Pakistan was low in 10 […]

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South-South and Triangular Cooperation

November 28, 2019

Context: An international dialogue on South-South and Triangular Cooperation was recently held in New Delhi. About South-South and Triangular Cooperation: South-South cooperation is a broad framework of collaboration among countries of the South in the political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains. Involving two or more developing countries, it can take place on a bilateral, regional, intraregional or […]

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WTO Reforms

November 28, 2019

Context: WTO reforms must be taken up by all member countries: Piyush Goyal. Need of the hour: The World Trade Organization remains an indispensable organisation but it requires urgent modernisation. Members have to face the reality that the organisation requires non-cosmetic, serious root-and-branch reform for a WTO adapted to 21st century economic and political realities. Problems facing […]

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International Court of Justice

November 28, 2019

Context: Pakistan has said it will approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the Kashmir issue, weeks after India revoked the special status to Jammu and Kashmir. India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter and […]

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NISHTHA

November 28, 2019

Context: Union HRD Minister launches NISHTHA to build capacities of 42 Lakh government teachers across the country. About NISHTHA: NISHTHA is the world’s largest teachers’ training programme of its kind in the world. It has been launched to improve Learning Outcomes at the Elementary level. The basic objective of this massive training programme is to motivate and equip teachers to […]

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Chief of defence staff

November 28, 2019

Context: On Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). When was it first proposed? Officially, this post was first proposed by the Group of Ministers Report in 2001 but the idea for a CDS can be traced back to Lord Louis Mountbatten, the architect of India’s higher defence organisation. Also […]

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Fly Ash

November 28, 2019

Context: IIT Hyderabad scientists convert fly ash into waterproofing material. Treating fly ash with stearic acid, used in soaps and shampoos, modified the nature of fly ash and helped develop materials with contrasting adhesion behaviours — high adhesions like a rose petal and low adhesion like a lotus leaf. What is Fly Ash? Fly ash is a major source of […]

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CHANDRAYAAN-2

November 28, 2019

Context: The second moon mission of India, the Chandrayaan-2 has been precisely inserted in defined orbit. Next in line is the landing mission. The soft landing will be near lunar South Pole.   WHAT IS CHANDRAYAAN-2? It was launched from Sriharikota on 22nd July this year. It was launched on-board the powerful Geostationary satellite launch vehicle (GSLV)-Mk-111 M-1. While the orbiter would revolve around the […]

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No First Use’ doctrine

November 28, 2019

Context: India’s ‘No First Use’ doctrine (NFU) on the use of nuclear weapons is open for change in the future, defence minister Rajnath Singh has indicated, reflecting thinking within the establishment that no policy is writ in stone and could be modified to deal with current realities. What is No First Use doctrine, and how did it come into […]

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Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

November 28, 2019

Context: The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is hailed as a timely intervention to rectify the harm caused by Household Air Pollution (HAP). Challenges that India is currently facing: The single greatest contributor to air pollution in India is the burning of solid fuels in households. Burning of such solid fuels, like firewood, impacts the health of household members […]

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National Resource Efficiency Policy 2019.

November 28, 2019

Context: Driven by serious sustainability concern, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change had proposed a draft National Resource Efficiency Policy 2019. It aims to streamline the efficient use of these resources with minimum negative impact on environment. Key features of the policy: It seeks to set up a National Resource Efficiency Authority (NREA) with a core working group housed in the […]

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Public Safety Act (PSA).

November 27, 2019

Why in News? Former IAS officer has been detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA). What is the J&K PSA? The Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA) received the assent of the J&K Governor on April 8, 1978. The Act was introduced as a tough law to prevent the smuggling of timber and keep the smugglers “out of circulation”. […]

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World wide fund report-First Ever assessment forest biodiversity

November 27, 2019

Context: World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has released the first-ever global assessment of forest biodiversity. Background: Until now, forest biodiversity had never been assessed, but forest area was often used as a proxy indicator. The new findings were based on the Forest Specialist Index, developed following the Living Planet Index methodology — an index that tracks wildlife that […]

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CBI Autonomy

November 27, 2019

Context: Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has recommended a comprehensive legislation to make the Central Bureau of Investigation functional as an efficient and impartial investigative agency. Problems associated with CBI: The agency is dependent on the home ministry for staffing, since many of its investigators come from the Indian Police Service. The agency depends on the law […]

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Gulf War and India

November 26, 2019

Context: In an emotive gesture, Iraq recently handed over the remains of 48 Kuwaiti nationals, more than 28 years after the Gulf War ended. What is the Gulf War? The Gulf War, which lasted between August 1990 and February 1991, was an international conflict that erupted after Iraq, under dictator Saddam Hussain, invaded neighbouring Kuwait, claiming it […]

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Stubble burning

November 26, 2019

Context: Through the various efforts under the Central Sector Scheme on ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in the State of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh & NCT of Delhi’ the paddy residue burning events have reduced by 15% and 41% in 2018 as compared to that in 2017 and 2016, respectively […]

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Bank Nationalisation in India and present status

November 26, 2019

Context: Nationalisation of banks in 1969 was a watershed moment in the history of Indian banking. From July 19 that year, 14 private banks were nationalised; another six private banks were nationalised in 1980. Why Nationalisation of banks was necessary? Large share of non- institutional sources: At the time of Independence, India’s rural financial system was marked by the domination of […]

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What is resolution 47

November 26, 2019

Context: Pakistan PM Imran Khan has termed the Government of India’s decision to remove the special status for the state of Jammu and Kashmir by modifying Article 370 as illegal since it violates UNSC resolution 47. What is Resolution 47? Resolution 47 of the UNSC focuses on the complaint of the Government of India concerning the dispute over the State […]

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Simla Agreement

November 26, 2019

What is Simla Agreement and why was it signed? The Simla Agreement was signed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Pakistani President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on 2 July 1972, following a full-blown war between India and Pakistan in 1971. The Simla Agreement was “much more than a peace treaty seeking to reverse the consequences of the 1971 war […]

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Samagra Shiksha-Jal Suraksha’

November 26, 2019

Context: ‘Samagra Shiksha-Jal Suraksha’ Drive has been launched by the Department of School Education & Literacy, HRD Ministry to create awareness about water conservation among all school students in the country. Five Major Objectives: To educate students learn about conservation of water. To sensitize Students about the impact of scarcity of water. To empower Students to […]

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CITES

November 26, 2019

Context: India has submitted proposals regarding changes to the listing of various wildlife species in the CITES secretariat meeting, scheduled later this month in Geneva, Switzerland. The proposals submitted are regarding changes in the listing of the smooth-coated otter, small-clawed otter, Indian star tortoise, Tokay gecko, wedgefish and Indian rosewood. The country seeks to boost the protection of all […]

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PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana.

November 26, 2019

Context: Registration opens for PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana. Aim: To improve the life of small and marginal farmers of the country. Also Read : Fame 2 Salient features of the scheme: (Note: The list is comprehensive, but important from exam point of view). The scheme is voluntary and contributory for farmers in the entry age group […]

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Code of Conduct for MPs and MLAs

November 26, 2019

  Context: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu has sought a consensus on a Code of Conduct for MPs and MLAs. This has been a longstanding concern — progress has been slow and uneven, however. A Code of Conduct for members of Rajya Sabha has been in force since 2005; there is no such code for Lok Sabha. Background: Code […]

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FAME 2

November 26, 2019

Context: The Department of Heavy Industry has approved the sanction of 5595 electric buses to 64 Cities, State Government Entities, State Transport Undertakings (STUs) for intra-city and intercity operation under FAME India scheme phase II in order to give a further push to clean mobility in public transportation. Also Read : PM Kisan  What are the salient […]

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National Medical Commission Act 2019

November 26, 2019

Context: The National Medical Commission Act 2019 has been passed by both Houses of Parliament is historic and path-breaking. What is the NMC Bill? The National Medical Commission Bill seeks to improve the medical education system in the country by ensuring availability of adequate and high-quality medical professionals, periodic assessment of medical institutions, adoption of the latest […]

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Article 371

November 26, 2019

Context: Northeastern states of India have expressed apprehension that having rendered Article 370 irrelevant, the government might unilaterally move to abrogate or modify Article 371. However, the government has clarified that it had no intention of removing Article 371 of the Constitution. What is Article 371 all about? Articles 369 through 392 appear in Part XXI of the Constitution, titled ‘Temporary, […]

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Consumer Protection Bill, 2019

November 26, 2019

Context: Landmark Consumer Protection Bill, 2019 gets Parliamentary approval. Key Provisions of the Bill: Definition of consumer: A consumer is defined as a person who buys any good or avails a service for a consideration. What it covers? It covers transactions through all modes including offline, and online through electronic means, teleshopping, multi-level marketing or direct selling. What […]

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Reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir

November 26, 2019

Context: Ending Jammu & Kashmir’s special status in the Indian Union, the government has extended all provisions of the Constitution to the State in one go, downsized the State into two Union Territories and allowed all citizens to buy property and vote in the State. In this regard, Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah, introduced two […]

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The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 

November 26, 2019

Context: The Lok Sabha has passed the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 by a voice vote. Key features of the bill: Regulation of surrogacy: The Bill prohibits commercial surrogacy, but allows altruistic surrogacy. Also Read : Right to education and amendments  Purposes for which surrogacy is permitted: Surrogacy is permitted when it is: (i) for intending couples who suffer from proven infertility; (ii) altruistic; […]

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The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019.

November 26, 2019

Context:  Lok Sabha approves The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019. Impact: The Bill will benefit a large number of transgender persons, mitigate the stigma, discrimination and abuse against this marginalized section and bring them into the mainstream of society. This will lead to inclusiveness and will make the transgender persons productive members of the society.  Background: […]

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Rajasthan Assembly Passes Anti-Lynching Bill.

November 26, 2019

Context: Rajasthan Assembly Passes Anti-Lynching Bill. Key features of the bill: Definitions: “Mob”– a group of two or more individuals. “Lynching“- “an act or series of acts of violence or those of aiding, abetting or attempting an act of violence, whether spontaneous or preplanned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place […]

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POCSO Act

November 26, 2019

Context: Parliament has passed the Amendments in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. Key changes proposed: Penetrative sexual assault: The bill increases minimum punishment for this offence from 7 years to 10 years. It also provides for with imprisonment between 20 years to life, with fine if person commits penetrative sexual assault on child […]

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Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019.

November 26, 2019

Why is it in news? : Parliament passes the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019. Key features of the Bill: The Bill amends the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. Who may commit terrorism: Under the Act, the central government may designate an organisation as a terrorist organisation if it: (i) commits or participates in acts of terrorism, (ii) […]

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Institution of eminence Scheme

November 26, 2019

Context: The UGC, in its Recent meeting, has considered the reports of the Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) appointed by Government under the Chairmanship of Shri N Gopalaswami recommending  (15) Public institutions and (15) Private institutions for considering to give status of Institutions of Eminence. Background: Since the scheme has only provided for (10) Public and […]

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Inter-State River Water disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

November 26, 2019

Context: Lok Sabha has passed the Inter-State River Water disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Bill seeks to amend the Inter State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 with a view to streamline the adjudication of inter-state river water disputes and make the present institutional architecture robust. Features of the bill: Disputes Resolution Committee: The Bill requires the central government to set […]

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New Educational Policy

November 26, 2019

Context: Vice President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the New Educational Policy will make India a global educational hub. He urged the public to give their views and suggestions on the draft NEP by the stipulated time of 15th of this month. The Draft Policy is built on foundational […]

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J and K Reservation Bill

November 26, 2019

Context: Rajya Sabha passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Bill. Passed by Lok Sabha last week, the Bill partially amends a Presidential Order of 1954 in order to amend the state’s Reservation Act. Highlights: It aims to extend the reservation in appointments and promotions for state government posts to socially and educationally backward classes. The bill […]

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Supreme Court judges from 31 to 34.

November 26, 2019

Context: Cabinet approves increasing strength of Supreme Court judges from 31 to 34. At present, the sanctioned strength of the apex court is 31. Need: 59,331 cases are pending in the top court. Due to paucity of judges, the required number of Constitution Benches to decide important cases involving questions of law are not being formed. […]

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Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019

November 26, 2019

Context: The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which seeks to amend the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, has been passed by the Rajya Sabha. Key highlights:  Compensation for road accident victims: The central government will develop a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims during golden hour. The central government may also make a scheme for providing interim relief to claimants seeking compensation […]

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Commission to Examine Sub Categorization of other Backward Classes

November 26, 2019

Context: Cabinet approves Extension of term of the commission constituted under Article 340 of the constitution to examine the issue of Sub-categorization within other Backward Classes in the Central List. Background: Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees equality before the law. That means un-equals cannot be treated equally. Measures are required to be taken for the upliftment of un-equals […]

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Kerala Internet Rights

November 26, 2019

Why in news? The Kerala government has officially cleared the K-Fon project to provide free high speed Internet connection to over 20 lakh BPL families in the state. What are the key provisions? The government accorded administrative sanction for the Rs. 1548 crore project to be completed by December 2020. The project envisages a State-wide […]

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New zealand Zero-carbon Act

November 26, 2019

Why in news? New Zealand’s Parliament recently passed The Zero-Carbon Act, which will commit New Zealand to zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner. What is the Act on? The Act comes as part of the country’s attempts to meet its Paris climate accord commitments. The Act is not a separate legislation but is an […]

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Bolivian Crises

November 26, 2019

Why in news? The Bolivian senator Jeanine Anez has declared herself the country’s interim president after the resignation of Bolivian President Evo Morales. Who is Mr. Morales? Mr. Morales is Bolivia’s first indigenous President. He came to power in 2006, riding South America’s so-called “pink tide”. He rose to the top office through left-wing unionism. […]

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UN resolution on torture

November 26, 2019

Context: India joined ranks with Russia and 42 other nations to abstain from voting on a General Assembly resolution aimed at examining options to end trade in goods used for capital punishment and torture. The resolution was introduced by Romania. India’s arguments: Incorporating capital punishment into the scope of this resolution “raises concerns that it may be an attempt to […]

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Maratha Reservation Issue

November 26, 2019

Context: The Bombay High Court has upheld the constitutional validity of reservation for the Maratha community in education and government jobs in Maharashtra, but directed that it be slashed from the present 16 per cent to 12 per cent and 13 per cent respectively. Background: The Marathas who are almost one-third of Maharashtra’s population are not a homogeneous community. […]

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Indo-Pacific regional command

November 26, 2019

For Mains: Significance and potential of the region, need for international cooperation to main peace and order in the region. Context: The term Indo-Pacific has been gaining traction in Indian policy circles for some time now, it achieved operational clarity after the Indian vision was presented by Prime Minister in his keynote address at the Shangri-La Dialogue in June 2018. What […]

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Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana

November 26, 2019

For Mains: Significance of the programme and similar policies for the aid of old aged. Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana: The Scheme aims at providing Senior Citizens, belonging to BPL category and suffering from any of the age-related disability/infirmity Low vision, Hearing impairment, Loss of teeth and Locomotor disability, with such assisted-living devices which can restore near normalcy in their […]

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DNA Technology Regulation Bill

November 26, 2019

Context: The Union Cabinet cleared the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill once again, paving the way for its reintroduction in Parliament. Issues with the Bill: Written consent is required from everyone for their DNA samples to be collected, processed and included in the database except from those who have committed crimes with punishment of 7+ years […]

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Article 370

November 26, 2019

Context: Article 370 only temporary provision, not permanent, Said Union Home Minister Amit Shah recently. He said this during a debate on extension of President’s rule in J&K. What is Article 370? Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is a ‘temporary provision’ which grants special autonomous status to Jammu & Kashmir. Under Part XXI of the Constitution of India, which deals with […]

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Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana

November 26, 2019

Context: Houses Sanctioned Under PMAY(U) now Stands at 83.62 Lakhs. Uttar Pradesh tops list for Sanctioned Houses at 13 Lakhs. About PMAY- Urban: The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) Programme launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), in Mission mode envisions provision of Housing for All by 2022, when the Nation completes 75 years of its Independence. The Mission seeks […]

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Van Dhan Yojana

November 26, 2019

Context: Training Workshop for implementing teams of Van Dhan Yojana Organized. About Van Dhan Vikas Kendras initiative: The initiative aims to promote MFPs-centric livelihood development of tribal gatherers and artisans. It mainstreams the tribal community by promoting primary level value addition to MFP at grassroots level. Significance: Through this initiative, the share of tribals in the value chain of […]

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Joint Comprehensive plan of Action

November 26, 2019

Context: Amid escalating tensions with the United States, Iran has said that it would surpass the limit on the uranium supply permitted under the 2015 nuclear agreement, a potentially combustible new phase in the country’s confrontation with Washington. Iran’s response: Iranian leaders have sought to justify these steps as a response to the Trump administration’s abandonment of […]

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Atal Tinkering labs

November 25, 2019

Context: 8878 schools have been selected for establishing Atal Tinkering Lab (ATLs) to promote research and innovation in schools. What are ATLs? With a vision to ‘Cultivate one Million children in India as Neoteric Innovators’, Atal Innovation Mission is establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India. Objective: The objective of this scheme is to […]

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Jal Skakti Abhiyan

November 25, 2019

Context: The Centre is set to initiate the Jal Shakti Abhiyan to ramp up rainwater harvesting and conservation efforts in 255 water-stressed districts from July 1, in line with the government’s promise to focus on water. Also READ : What is Shangari la dialogue Key features: The campaign would be coordinated by 255 central IAS officers of Joint or […]

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Methane on Mars

November 25, 2019

Context: NASA’s Curiosity rover recently discovered high amounts of methane in the air on Mars, leading to excitement whether this was an indication of life on the Red Planet, or beneath its surface. However, later it was confirmed that the methane had fallen back to usual levels. What caused this variation? High amounts of methane were a transient […]

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Space Activities bill

November 25, 2019

Context: The government is likely to introduce the Space Activities Bill which will allow commercial use of space. Features of Space activities bill: It is a proposed Bill to promote and regulate the space activities of India. The new Bill encourages the participation of non-governmental/private sector agencies in space activities in India under the guidance and authorisation of the government through the Department of Space. […]

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DNA Technology Regulation Bill 

November 25, 2019

Context: Cabinet has cleared the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill once again, paving the way for its reintroduction in Parliament. The Bill had been passed by Lok Sabha in January this year, but could not get the approval of Rajya Sabha. As a result, it lapsed once the tenure of the previous Lok Sabha expired […]

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NITI Aayog’s Health Index

November 25, 2019

Context: NITI Aayog has released its second edition of comprehensive Health Index report titled, “Healthy States, Progressive India”. What you need to know about the report? The report has been developed by NITI Aayog, with technical assistance from the World Bank, and in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). The report ranks states […]

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National register of citizens

November 25, 2019

Context: Over one lakh people who were part of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) published in July last year but were found ineligible thereafter — they have been named in the Additional Draft Exclusion List published recently. Why they are out of Assam NRC additional draft exclusion list? These over one lakh people were found […]

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Motion of Thanks

November 25, 2019

What is “Motion of Thanks” and what it contains? The President makes an address to a joint sitting of Parliament at the start of the Budget session, which is prepared by the government and lists its achievements. It is essentially a statement of the legislative and policy achievements of the government during the preceding year and gives a […]

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Jal hi jeevan hai

November 25, 2019

Context: The farmers of northern districts of Haryana have shown a keen interest in crop diversification scheme called ‘Jal Hi Jeevan Hai’ of the Haryana government which promotes to diversify paddy area into maize, arhar dal (pigeon pea) and soybean. About the scheme: The scheme is for replacement of Paddy by Maize and other crops in 7 dark zone blocks. […]

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National Policy on domestic Workers

November 25, 2019

Context: Draft National Policy on Domestic Workers Under Consideration. There is a need for the policy due to the following reasons: Employer-dominated, domestic work industry is characterised by low, stagnant wage rates. Wages are particularly low for Bengali and Adivasi workers. Irregular payment of wages by employer. Extraction of more work than agreed upon at the start […]

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Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana:

November 25, 2019

Context: 7.23 Crore Connections released under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. About Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana aims to provide LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections to poor households. Who is eligible? Under the scheme, an adult woman member of a below poverty line family identified through the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) is given a deposit-free LPG […]

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National Policy on Biofuels

November 25, 2019

Context: The National Policy on Biofuels-2018 approved by the Government envisages an indicative target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of bio-diesel in diesel by 2030. National Policy on biofuels- salient features: Categorization: The Policy categorises biofuels as “Basic Biofuels” viz. First Generation (1G) bioethanol & biodiesel and “Advanced Biofuels” – Second Generation (2G) […]

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World Population Prospects 2019 report

November 25, 2019

Context: As per the report, India is projected to become the most populous country by 2027 surpassing China, and host 1.64 billion people by 2050; the world as a whole could be home to 8.5 billion people in just over a decade from now, and the number could go up to 9.7 billion by mid-century. New challenges […]

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Removal of Judges

November 25, 2019

Context: Months after an in-house panel found an Allahabad High Court judge, Justice S.N. Shukla, guilty of misconduct, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate a motion for his removal. Removal of Judges: Article 124(4) and the Judges Inquiry Act 1968 determine the procedure of removal of the […]

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Cryptocurrency

November 25, 2019

Context: There is a new cryptocurrency called Libra, announced by Facebook . While this signals Facebook’s plans to expand into the digital currency market, it has also raised privacy concerns. How cryptocurrency works? It is a virtual currency, which users buy and store in any of several available digital wallets, and use it for transactions on a decentralised network […]

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Superconductivity

November 25, 2019

Context: IISc researchers have reported superconductivity at room temperature. Their finding, now under review, will be a breakthrough if verified. Background: Superconductivity is a phenomenon that, so far, has been possible only at extremely low temperatures, in the range of 100°C below zero. The search for a material that exhibits superconductivity at room temperature, or at least […]

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Rashtriya Gokul Mission:

November 25, 2019

Context: Funds have been mobilized under Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM) for setting up of 21 Gokul Grams as Integrated Cattle Development Centres. About Rashtriya Gokul Mission: To conserve and develop indigenous bovine breeds, government has launched ‘Rashtriya Gokul Mission’ under the National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development (NPBBD). The Mission is being implemented with the objectives to: a) […]

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African Union

November 24, 2019

Context: India has for the first time extended $15 Million financial support to Niger as a support for organising African Union (AU) summit scheduled to be held in Niger. This will be the 1st time that Niger will be hosting an AU summit. About AU: The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of 55 countries of the continent of […]

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Financial Stability and development council

November 24, 2019

Context: FSDC meeting held recently was chaired by the Union Finance Minister. About FSDC: The Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was constituted in December, 2010. The FSDC was set up to strengthen and institutionalise the mechanism for maintaining financial stability, enhancing inter-regulatory coordination and promoting financial sector development. An apex-level FSDC is not a statutory body. Composition: The […]

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Squandering the gender dividend

November 24, 2019

Context: The 61st round of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) recorded 48.5% rural women above the age of 15 as being employed either as their major activity or as their subsidiary activity but this number dropped to 23.7% in the recently released report of the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS). If labour force survey data are to be believed, rural India is […]

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Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2019.

November 24, 2019

Context: The Union Cabinet has approved the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2019. Benefits: The proposed Bill will protect the rights of married Muslim women and prevent divorce by the practice of instantaneous and irrevocable ‘talaq-e-biddat’ by their husbands. It provides the rights of subsistence allowance, custody of minor children to victims of triple talaq i.e. talaq-e-biddat. Key provisions […]

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Shanghai Cooperation organisation

November 24, 2019

Context: SCO Summit 2019 is being held in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan. About SCO: What is it? The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, also known as the Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organisation which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai. Founding members: China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The cooperation was renamed to Shanghai Cooperation Organisation after […]

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The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019

November 24, 2019

Context: In a major move aimed at making Aadhaar people friendly, the Union Cabinet has approved “The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019” to replace the earlier ordinance. Impact: The amendments would enable UIDAI to have a more robust mechanism to serve the public interest and restrain the misuse of Aadhaar. Subsequent to this amendment, no […]

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Tenure and salaries of CIC and ICs under the Right to Information Rules, 2019

November 24, 2019

The Right to Information (Amendment) Act, 2019 amended the Right to Information Act, 2005.  The RTI Act, 2005 specified the tenure, terms of service and salaries of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners (ICs) at the central and state levels, in the parent law.  The RTI (Amendment) Act, 2019 removed these provisions and […]

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All States can now constitute Foreigners Tribunals

November 24, 2019

Context: The MHA has amended the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964, Changes proposed as per the amendment: It has empowered district magistrates in all States and Union Territories to set up tribunals to decide whether a person staying illegally in India is a foreigner or not. The amended Foreigners (Tribunal) Order, 2019 also empowers individuals to approach the Tribunals. The amended […]

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Three Language formula

November 24, 2019

Why is it in the news now? A 50-year-old controversy got a new lease of life recently when a paragraph in the Draft New Education Policy 2019 referred to the mandatory teaching of Hindi in States where Hindi is not spoken. This was a reiteration of the Central government’s three-language formula, but it set off a storm […]

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Hong kong Protest

November 24, 2019

Context: Huge protests in Hong Kong. Reasons behind: The protesters were marching against proposed changes in the law that would allow suspects accused of crimes such as murder and rape to be extradited to mainland China to face trial. Once the law is changed, Hong Kong will also hand over to China individuals accused of crimes […]

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Bharat Stage

November 24, 2019

Context: International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) has released India’s first Type Approval Certificate (TAC) for Bharat Stage – VI (BS – VI) norms for the two wheeler segment. Last year, ICAT issued the approval for BS –VI norms to M/s Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles for the Heavy Commercial Vehicle segment which was also the first in its segment in India. […]

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Leader of opposition

November 24, 2019

Why in News? Congress, with 52 MPs, has declined to stake claim for the position of Leader of Opposition in Parliament. Background: Any party that has 55 members can get the post as recognised as such by the speaker/chairman. Who is the Leader of Opposition? The LOP is leader of the largest party that has not less than one-tenth […]

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Shanta Kumar Committee

November 24, 2019

Context: Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan lays down the future roadmap for Food Corporation of India (FCI). He stated that primacy will be given to ensuring that the functioning of FCI is streamlined and fast paced as per recommendations of the Shanta Kumar Committee. Also Read : Bangladesh […]

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What is Strategic arms reduction theory?

November 24, 2019

Context: Russia has warned that it was prepared to drop New START treaty with the U.S. and warned of “global catastrophe” if Washington keeps dismantling a global arms control regime. It alleged that Washington showed no genuine interest in conducting talks on extending the New START treaty, which caps the number of nuclear warheads well below Cold […]

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Cabinet Committees

November 24, 2019

Context: The Union government has released the composition of eight Cabinet Committees, including two new ones — one on Investment, the other on Employment and Skill Development. What are these Cabinet Committees for? Government of India Transaction of Business Rules, 1961 emerging out of Article 77(3) of the Constitution states: “The President shall make rules for the more convenient […]

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PM-KISAN

November 24, 2019

Context: The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved that the ambit of the Pradhan Mantri KisanSamman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) would be comprehensively extended. The revised Scheme is expected to cover around 2 crore more farmers, increasing the coverage of PM-KISAN to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries. With this decision, all land holding eligible […]

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Examining the rise of Non-Performing Assets in India

November 24, 2019

The issue of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) in the Indian banking sector has become the subject of much discussion and scrutiny. The Standing Committee on Finance recently released a report on the banking sector in India, where it observed that banks’ capacity to lend has been severely affected because of mounting NPAs. The Estimates Committee of Lok […]

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Global Talent Competitive Index

November 23, 2019

Context: Global Talent Competitive Index (GTCI) for 2019 has been released. Background: GTCI, launched in 2013, is an annual benchmarking report that measures the ability of countries to compete for talent. It is released by INSEAD business school in partnership with Tata Communications and Adecco Group. The report measures levels of Global Talent Competitiveness by looking at 68 variables […]

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InSight Lander

November 23, 2019

Context: NASA’s Mars Lander InSight has recorded its first ‘Marsquake.’ It has recorded a quake of 2 or 2.5 magnitude which is hard to predict on Earth’s surface. About InSight Mission: InSight is part of NASA’s Discovery Program, managed by the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. It will be the first mission to peer deep […]

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Priority Watch List

November 23, 2019

Context: The United States has again placed India on its ‘Priority Watch List’. India has been on the priority watch list reportedly for over 25 years, for “lack of sufficient measurable improvements to its IP framework that have negatively affected US right holders”. The office of the US Trade Representative identified 11 countries, including India, in […]

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Global Food Policy Report-2019.

November 23, 2019

Context: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has recently released Global Food Policy Report-2019. The report reviews the major food policy issues, developments, and decisions of 2018, and considers challenges and opportunities for 2019. This year’s Report highlights the urgency of rural revitalization to address a growing crisis in rural areas. Key observations: Rural population account for 45.3% of the […]

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Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)

November 23, 2019

Why in News? Five years after its launch, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) scheme has almost achieved a total balance of ₹1-lakh crore. Key facts: According to the latest data, the total balance in these basic bank accounts stood at ₹99,752 crore with 35.50 crore beneficiaries. Public sector banks have the lion’s share in total balance at ₹79,177 crore, […]

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BCIM

November 23, 2019

Why in News? India’s decision to skip the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) may have led to the exclusion of the Bangladesh- China- India- Myanmar (BCIM) Economic corridor from the list of projects covered by the China-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) umbrella.   Details of the issue? Citing “sovereignty” concerns, India, for the second time, has not officially participated in the […]

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National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)

November 23, 2019

Context: MoEFCC has constituted a committee to implement the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). Composition: The committee will be chaired by the Secretary, Union Environment Ministry and has among its members the Joint Secretary (Thermal), Ministry of Power; Director-General, The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) etc. Terms of reference: The committee would be headquartered in New Delhi and […]

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World Wildlife Fund

November 23, 2019

Context: Six mammal, bird and fish species are facing the spectre of extinction in Russia according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF). These include the Saiga antelope, the gyrfalcon, the Persian leopard, the spoon-billed sandpiper, the Sakhalin sturgeon and the kaluga, also a type of sturgeon. About WWF: It is an international non-governmental organization Founded in 1961 Headquarter — Gland (Switzerland). […]

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BIMSTEC

November 23, 2019

Context: By inviting leaders from the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries, Kyrgyz Republic and Mauritius at his swearing-in ceremony on May 30, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a carefully calibrated diplomatic move that signals a major outreach to India’s neighbourhood from the Bay of Bengal to Central Asia, as […]

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World Heritage site

November 23, 2019

Context: The Orchha town of Madhya Pradesh has been included in tentative list of the World Heritage Sites of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). About Orchha Town: It is Situated on the banks of the river Betwa, in Niwari district of Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. Significance: The town is celebrated for its rich and ancient architecture […]

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Coral reef Bleaching

November 23, 2019

Context: Researchers have found an alarming pattern of bleaching in the reefs in Mandapam, Keezhakkarai and Palk Bay in Gulf of Mannar regions. Key findings: Sea surface temperature ranged from 28.7°C to 31°C in the August 2018-February 2019 period and there was no bleaching seen then. However, when the temperatures rose to between 32°C and […]

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Chagos Archipelago Issue

November 23, 2019

Why in News? The United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) has passed a non-binding resolution asking United Kingdom (UK) to return Chagos Archipelago in Indian Ocean to Mauritius. What has the International Court of Justice said on this? The UK should end its control of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean as rapidly as possible. The islands are […]

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Ultima Thule

November 23, 2019

Context: NASA has found evidence of a unique mixture of water ice, methanol, and organic molecules on Ultima Thule’s surface. This mixture is very different from most icy objects explored previously by spacecraft till date.   About Ultima Thule: Located in the Kuiper belt in the outermost regions of the Solar system. Measures approximately 30 km in […]

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United Nations under the definition of state

November 23, 2019

Context: The Delhi High Court has ruled that the United Nations is not a State under Article 12 of the Constitution of India and is not amenable to its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution. Background: A plea was filed by a former UNO employee who was found guilty of misconduct. The petitioner was convicted by a US Federal […]

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Masala Bonds

November 23, 2019

Context: Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board issued Masala Bonds to raise funds from the overseas market. What are Masala Bonds? Masala Bonds are rupee-denominated bonds i.e the funds would be raised from overseas market in Indian rupees. Eligibility: Any corporate, body corporate and Indian bank is eligible to issue Rupee denominated bonds overseas. Limitations: RBI mandates that the money […]

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7th Economic Census

November 23, 2019

Context: The 7th Economic Census -2019 is being conducted by MoSPI to provide disaggregated information on various operational and structural aspects of all establishments in the country. Implementing agency: MoSPI has partnered with Common Service Centres, CSC e-Governance Services India Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle under the MEITY as the implementing agency. About Economic Censuses: Launched in 1976 as a plan scheme. Coverage: All […]

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Aditya

November 23, 2019

Context: The Indian Space Research Organization is planning to launch Aditya- L1 mission to study the sun early in 2020. About Aditya- L1 mission: What is it? It is India’s first solar mission. Objectives: It will study the sun’s outer most layers, the corona and the chromospheres and collect data about coronal mass ejection, which will also […]

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Naming of cyclones

November 23, 2019

Context: The newest cyclone to emerge out of the Bay of Bengal has been named Fani. Before that, there were cyclones Hudhud in 2014, Ockhi in 2017 and Titli and Gaja in 2018. How are these cyclones named? Each Tropical Cyclone basin in the world has its own rotating list of names. For cyclones in […]

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Sovereign Internet Bill

November 23, 2019

Context: Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a “sovereign internet” bill. Key features: The measures include creating technology to monitor internet routing and to steer Russian internet traffic away from foreign servers, ostensibly to prevent a foreign country from shutting it down. The bill created a system that gives the authorities the capacity to block access to […]

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Mission Shakti

November 23, 2019

Why in News? Stating that defence and offensive space technologies are being developed with various aims of spying, gaining control, deactivating service and destroying, French Envoy in India Alexandre Ziegler has supported India’s Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test as a response to these growing threats. What is it? Mission Shakti is a joint programme of the Defence Research and Development […]

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LG of Puducherry

November 23, 2019

Context: The Madras High Court has ruled that the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) of Puducherry could not interfere with the day-to-day administration of the Union Territory when an elected government was in place. The court said incessant interference from the L-G would amount to running a “parallel government.” Key observations made by the court: The Central government as well as the Administrator [the […]

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Electoral bonds

November 23, 2019

What is the Electoral Bonds Scheme? The Finance Bill, 2017 introduced “electoral bonds” — interest-free bearer bonds (like Promissory Notes) that can be purchased from specified branches of the State Bank of India in a designated 10-day window in every quarter of the financial year. The scheme, which was notified on January 2, 2018, allows individuals […]

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E-cigarettes

November 23, 2019

Context: The Commerce Ministry has asked the Health Ministry to frame a law banning manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in the country as in the absence of a domestic legislation, it would not be possible to put a blanket ban on its imports. What are e-cigarettes? An electronic cigarette (or e-cig) is a battery-powered vaporizer that mimics tobacco smoking. […]

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Official Secrets Act

November 23, 2019

Recently ,Supreme Court has rejected the Centre’s twin arguments and ruled that classified documents accessed by the media on the Rafale fighter jet deal can be admitted as evidence and agreed to review its own order that the government had interpreted as a clean chit. The court upheld the right of The Hindu newspaper to […]

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Arms Trade Treaty

November 23, 2019

Context: US President Donald Trump has rejected the United Nations’ 2013 Arms Trade Treaty aimed at regulating the global arms trade. Trump described the UN arms trade treaty as misguided and an intrusion on US sovereignty. By pulling out of the ATT, the US joins India, which has not signed the treaty. Why is India against this treaty? […]

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BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE (BRI)

November 23, 2019

Context: Recently, China held its 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF) to showcase its trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) without India’s presence for the second consecutive time, while 37 heads of the state and government, including from Pakistan, attended the three-day grand event. India has been boycotting the BRI to protest over the USD […]

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SAGAR Programme

November 23, 2019

SAGAR Programme (Security and Growth for All in the Region) SAGAR is a term coined by PM Modi in 2015 during his Mauritius visit with a focus on blue economy. It is a maritime initiative which gives priority to Indian Ocean region for ensuring peace, stability and prosperity of India in Indian Ocean region. The […]

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Project Mausam

November 23, 2019

Mausam Project ‘Mausam’ is a Ministry of Culture project to be implemented by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi as the nodal coordinating agency with support of Archeological Survey of India and National Museum as associate bodies. Project Launch The unique idea of this project to showcase a Transnational Mixed Route (including Natural and Cultural Heritage) on the […]

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QUAD and QUAD Plus

November 23, 2019

What is QUAD and why are they coming together? The coming together of India, the US, Japan and Australia is being seen as building a strategic partnership to deal with China’s rise and its implications. As all these countries have noted in different ways, China’s rise has presented a serious challenge to a rules-based international […]

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Indo-Pacific division

November 23, 2019

India has set up an Indo-Pacific division in the Ministry of External Affairs. The new division is intended to give a coherent architecture to the policy, which was articulated by the prime minister at the Shangri-La Dialogue in 2018. Highlights of PM Narendra Modi’s address at Shangri-La By projecting an equivalence in ties with the US, Russia, and […]

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What is the Shangri-La Dialogue?

November 23, 2019

What is the Shangri-La Dialogue? The IISS Asia Security Summit was launched in 2002 by British think tank the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Singaporean government. This annual dialogue brings together defence ministers and military chiefs from 28 Asia-Pacific countries to talk about security in the region. It gets its name from the […]

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Lateral entry in India

November 23, 2019

What is lateral entry? The lateral entry mode, which pertains to the appointment of specialists from private sector in government organisations, is an attempt by the government to bring in fresh talent into the bureaucracy. Almost a year after it invited applications to induct outside professionals into government departments, the Centre has appointed nine non-governmental […]

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VVPAT

November 23, 2019

Recently A PIL has been moved in the Delhi High Court seeking directions to the Election Commission to inspect the paper slips of the VVPAT electronic voting machines (EVMs) of all constituencies in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The petition, by a person claiming to be a social worker, has sought inspection of the voter-verified […]

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Water quality in India

November 19, 2019

Why in news? A recent report of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution highlight the concern with tap water quality in major Indian cities. What is the current state of water quality? Going by the matrix of tests carried out by the Bureau of Indian Standards for the Ministry, Delhi has abysmal […]

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Plague in China

November 19, 2019

China reported a third case of bubonic plague on Sunday after two other plague cases were revealed last week, but the disease remains rare despite its fearsome reputation and authorities say the cases appear unrelated. How does the infection occur? Two patients from Inner Mongolia were quarantined in Beijing suffering from pneumonic plague, authorities said […]

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Aging Population issue in India

November 18, 2019

Aging Population issue in India Ageing in India is exponentially increasing due to the impressive gains that society has made in terms of increased life expectancy. With the rise in elderly population, the demand for holistic care tends to grow. By 2025, the geriatric population is expected to be 840 million in developing countries . […]

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Citizenship Amendment Bill

November 18, 2019

The government intends to introduce The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament’s Winter Session that commences on Monday and is scheduled to continue until December 13. What is this Bill, and why is it contentious? What is The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill? The Bill seeks to amend The Citizenship Act, 1955 to make Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, […]

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CJI and RTI

November 14, 2019

What is the recent ruling of supreme court in RTI Case? The Supreme Court ruled that the office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) is a public authority under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, and including Justices N V Ramana, D Y Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta, […]

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Employment Growth in India?

November 1, 2019

Ever since the results of the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017-18 became public — they showed that unemployment in India was at a 45-year high — there has been vigorous public debate about the true state of unemployment in the country. What has fueled this debate — and allowed different people to arrive at differing conclusions […]

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What is Edge computing?

November 1, 2019

What is cloud computing? Cloud computing — by which remote servers hosted on the Internet store and process data, rather than local servers or personal computers — is ready to move to the next level. Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet, the parent company of Google — the technology giants that provide cloud computing infrastructure to major corporates and governments […]

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Modi-Xi meet in Mahabalipuram for ‘Informal Summit.

October 14, 2019

What are informal summmits?What is their importance? Informal Summits act as supplementary exchanges to annual Summits and other formal exchanges such as the G20 Summit, EU-India Summit and the BRICS Summit among others, and allow for “direct, free and candid exchange of views” between countries, something that may not be possible to do through formal […]

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What is IIP and why does it matter?

October 14, 2019

Why is it in News? According to the data for the “Quick Estimates of Index of Industrial Production” released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) on Friday, India’s industrial sector production contracted by 1.1 per cent in August when compared to the production in the same month in 2018. As far as such year-on-year […]

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Why Lok Sabha is still 543

October 14, 2019

Why the issue is in news? Last week, former Union Minister and Congress leader Jitin Prasada said the number of Lok Sabha seats should be rationalised on the basis of population. The composition of the Lower House has remained more or less the same for four decades. How is the composition determined, and what are […]

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What is PMC Bank fraud and how it started

October 14, 2019

What was RBI’s orders w.r.t PMC Bank fraud ? The RBI also put sanctions on the withdrawal of money from the bank to just Rs 1,000 per customer for the next six months, sending the small account holders into tizzy. The limit was raised to Rs. 10,000 but angry customers have continued to protest. Why […]

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Bangladesh v/s India growth rate

October 2, 2019

The latest economic outlook update released by the Asian Development Bank has shown how Bangladesh, and not India, is the standout economy in terms of growth momentum in South Asiia As charts 1 and 2 show, Bangladesh is experiencing high and consistently rising economic growth rate while maintaining a stable level of inflation For instance, […]

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National Population Register

September 27, 2019

What is the NPR(National Population Register)? The NPR is a list of “usual residents of the country”. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, a “usual resident of the country” is one who has been residing in a local area for at least the last six months, or intends to stay in a particular location […]

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Quantum Supremacy

September 26, 2019

What is quantum supremacy? It means only that researchers have been able to use a quantum computer to perform a single calculation that no conventional computer, even the biggest supercomputer, can perform in a reasonable amount of time. The case of Google: This calculation involved checking whether the output of an algorithm for generating random numbers […]

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Bank Merger in India- Indepth analysis

September 26, 2019

Recently, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the government’s decision to merge 10 state-owned banks to create four large entities or lenders. Under the plan, Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India will be merged with Punjab National Bank; Canara Bank with Syndicate Bank; Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank with Mumbai-based Union Bank of India; and […]

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What is Houthi Movement ?

September 21, 2019

What is Houthi Movement? The Houthis officially called Ansar Allah, is a Zaidi tribal political movement that emerged from and is based around Sa’dah in northern Yemen under the leadership of Hussein Badreddin Al-Houthi. They developed in the 1990s and have been fighting the central government on and off since 2004. seeking an end to […]

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Failed Talbian USA peace talks?

September 20, 2019

What is the result of Failed talks between USA and Iran? How has taliban responded to the failed talks? When the U.S.-Taliban talks collapsed last week, the insurgent group threatened to step up attacks in Afghanistan. It made good on its pledge on Tuesday using two suicide bombers who killed at least 48 people by targeting a […]

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What is Corporate Social Responsibility

September 20, 2019

What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable — to itself, its stakeholders, and the public. By practicing corporate social responsibility, also called corporate citizenship, companies can be conscious of the kind of impact they are having on all aspects of society […]

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Amazon Forest Fires

September 11, 2019

The record number of fires ravaging the Amazon has drawn international outrage because of the rainforest’s importance to the global environment and prompted Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to dispatch the military to assist in firefighting. Here is what you need to know about the disaster. WHY DOES THE AMAZON MATTER? The Amazon – 60% of […]

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NPT and NSG

September 8, 2019

NPT(nuclear non proliferation treaty ) was signed in 1968 to prevent spread of nuclear materials,technology and weapons and to develop co-operation among the nations . This treaty was signed by a total of 191 countries except for India, South Sudan,Israel and Pakistan.This treaty recognised two groups of countries namely the NWS(nuclear weapon States) comprising US, UK ,China,France and Russia […]

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India’s Three stage Nuclear Power Programme

September 8, 2019

India’s Three-Stage Nuclear Power Programme India’s three-stage nuclear power programme was formulated by Homi Bhabha in the 1950s to secure the country’s long term energy independence, through the use of uranium and thorium reserves found in the monazite sands of coastal regions of South India. The ultimate focus of the programme is on enabling the thorium reserves of India to be utilized in […]

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Causes for the slowdown in the Indian Economy

September 4, 2019

Much has been written and said about the ongoing economic slowdown in the Indian Economy. What was being indirectly said about several economic indicators flashing warning signals for the last year or so, what has triggered the present criticism is the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) figures for the last quarter which came in at 5.7% […]

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NRC issue explained in detail

September 4, 2019

What is the issue? The final updated list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was released on August 31, 2018. Fear and disquiet have gripped nearly around two million residents of Assam after their names failed to show up in the list. What is the tragedy? The Bengali-origin Assamese whose names appear on the […]

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Chief of Defence Staff

August 17, 2019

Practice so far: India has had a feeble equivalent known as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC); but this is a toothless office, given the manner in which it is structured. The senior-most among the three Service Chiefs is appointed to head the CoSC, an office that lapses with the incumbent’s retirement.   Why change it […]

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Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir

August 14, 2019

What is the provision of delimitation in Jammu and kashmir in Jammu and Kashmir reorganisation Act 2019  The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, provides for increasing the number of assembly seats in the newly formed Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir from 107 to 114. Delimitation is the process of fixing limits or boundaries […]

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Consumer Protection Bill, 2019

August 14, 2019

Consumer Protection Bill, 2019 The Consumer Protection Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan on July 8, 2019. The Bill replaces the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Who is a Consumer? A consumer is defined as a person who buys any good or […]

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Recently Passed bills in 2019

August 14, 2019

This was the first session of the Parliament after the Lok Sabha elections, the Parliament passed not only landmark bills like repealing of Article 370, geographical reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir, Triple Talaq Bill, new Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill, but also created the record for maximum Bills passed in the last 67 years. Here’s the […]

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Slowdown in the economy

August 12, 2019

Is Slowdown phenomenon confined to India? INDIA is not alone in suffering an economic slowdown. From Japan to Thailand, the economic scene is not rosy and the governments of many neighbouring countries in the East are trying to revive growth through stimulus packages. The biggest casualty is the manufacturing sector which has been facing a […]

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The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019

August 12, 2019

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019 The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Mr. Virendra Kumar on January 8, 2019. The Bill amends the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.  The Act seeks to […]

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Hong Kong China Conflict

August 12, 2019

Is Hong Kong an independent nation? Hong Kong is semi-autonomous – with it’s own money, passports, immigration channels and legal system. But it isn’t quite independent either. In fact, Hong Kong was never an independent country. Britain controlled the region as a British colony until 1997, when a 99-year lease expired. China agreed to govern […]

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Simla Agreement

August 12, 2019

Q. What was the Simla agreement? The Simla Agreement was signed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Pakistani President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on 2 July 1972, following a full-blown war between India and Pakistan in 1971. As ‘East Pakistan’ gained independence to become Bangladesh, India was left to deal with approximately 90,000 Pakistani soldiers captured […]

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Unlawful Activities prevention Act amendment

August 9, 2019

Background: The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 aims at the effective prevention of unlawful activities across India and abroad. Its main objective was to provide powers to central agencies and states to deal with terrorist activities. Recently Rajya Sabha has cleared the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 or anti-terror law. The Bill amends the Unlawful Activities […]

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National Medical Commission Bill:

August 9, 2019

  Background: The Medical Council of India was first established in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933. This Act was repealed and replaced with a new Act in 1956. Under the 1956 Act, the objectives of MCI include: Maintenance of standards in medical education through curriculum guidelines, inspections and permissions to start colleges, courses or increasing number […]

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Article 370 and its relationship with Afghanistan

August 7, 2019

Background:Article 370 and its relationship with Afghanistan  India’s move to end the special status for Jammu and Kashmir indicates that the government is bracing for serious geo-strategic shifts that wiall unfold in South Asia over the next few months. Though the domestic reasons for ending the special status was presented through a detailed analysis of the negative […]

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Gilgit Baltistan Region Issue

August 7, 2019

The Gilgit Baltistan was a region of princely state of India ruled by Maharaja Hari Singh. Before independence; a rebellion occurred and rebels established an independent rule for a short time. After that; keeping view of the Muslim predominance in the region; it has been merged with Pakistan but still the region is neither recognized […]

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Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019: Key Amendments

August 3, 2019

Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019: Key Amendments 1. Road Safety The Bill proposes to increase penalties for traffic violations to act as a future deterrent. It proposes stricter provisions for offences such as drunken driving, juvenile driving, driving without licence, over-speeding, dangerous driving and overloading. It also proposes stricter provisions for driving without helmets. The […]

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Amendments to Forest Act and Tribal Revolt

August 3, 2019

Recently DISTRICTS with sizeable tribal populations saw several protests and demonstrations on Monday. The protests were organised by the Bhumi Adhikar Andolan. There were two issues that the demonstrators were decrying. One, the proposed amendments to the Indian Forest Act (IFA), 1927; the concerned amendments to the IFA have been sent to states for consultation. […]

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Global Innovation Index and India’s ranking

August 2, 2019

Introduction: The Government of India has launched the Global Innovation Index (GII) in New Delhi. This is the first time that the GII is being launched in an emerging economy. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and […]

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Federal Reserve Cut and its impact on Indian Economy

August 2, 2019

What is the Global Trend w.r.t easing of interest Rates? Central banks globally are moving towards monetary easing. The European Central Bank and Bank of Japan are slated to meet this week. In recent months, central banks of China, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines have opted for accommodating measures with South Korea and Indonesia being the latest. […]

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Blockchain Technology Uses

July 28, 2019

Blockchain Technology Uses Blockchain is the digital, distributed, and decentralized ledger underlying most virtual currencies that’s responsible for logging all transactions without the need for a financial intermediary, such as a bank. In other words, it’s a new means of transmitting funds and/or logging information. You’re probably wondering what this potentially game-changing technology can actually […]

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Blockchain Technology Explained in Easiest way

July 28, 2019

Block Chain Technology Explained in Easiest Way Blockchain explained in easiest way- Let’s imagine you are a singer. You finished recording a song and posted it online or sent it to a friend. Basically what you did was creating duplicates of the same file. One held by you, the other by your friend and another […]

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What is the Indo-Pacific Strategy?

July 12, 2019

The US Indo-pacific strategy is the US new strategy since last five years across the Indian and Pacific Ocean with the objective of maintaining peace and stability in the region, ensuring freedom of navigation and protection of US and her allies in the region. Its undeclared objective is also to balance the rising and asserting […]

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Huawei company Issue and its likely impact on India?

June 26, 2019

What is Huawei company? Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is a Chinese multinational technology company that provides telecommunications equipment and sells consumer electronics, including smartphones, headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. The company was founded in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei. Initially focused on manufacturing phone switches, Huawei has expanded its business to include building telecommunications networks, Aproviding operational and consulting services and equipment to enterprises inside […]

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Kaleshwaram project

June 25, 2019

What is Kaleshwaram Project? The total length of Kaleshwaram project is approximately 1,832 kms, of which 1,531 kms is gravity canals and 203 kms comprise water tunnels. There are 20 water lifts and 19 pump houses in the project. The massive project is divided into seven links and 28 packages and involved digging of 20 […]

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Section 124 A

April 4, 2019

The recent episodes of sedition in India: Section 124 A The Delhi Police filed a charge sheet against 10 people, including former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar in a sedition case for allegedly raising “anti-national slogans”during an event on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus in February 2016. This fits a disturbing pattern. There have been many […]

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Agriculture census 2015-16

April 2, 2019

Agriculture census 2015-2016 The first comprehensive Agriculture Census was carried out with Agriculture year 1970-71 as the reference. This was one of the biggest operations in Agricultural Statistics ever launched in India in which over one lakh village level functionaries involved in the collection of data on various characteristics of 71.0 million operational holdings in […]

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Mahadayi river Dispute

March 30, 2019

What is the Mahadayi river Dispute all about? The dispute over Mahadayi river Dispute has resurfaced over the past few weeks and tensions have been rife between Goa and Karnataka. The dispute over Mahadayi river began in the 80s and grew stronger in the subsequent decades. The trigger was Karnataka’s move to design a number of […]

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What is Generalised System of preferences?

March 27, 2019

What is Generalized System of Preferences? Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is a preferential tariff system extended by developed countries to developing countries (also known as preference receiving countries or beneficiary countries). It is a preferential arrangement in the sense that it allows concessional low/zero tariff imports from developing countries. Developed countries including the US, […]

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Masood Azhar and China

March 13, 2019

Who is Masood Azhar? Azhar was released by the A B Vajpayee government in December 1999, along with Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar and Omar Sheikh, in exchange for release of the passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines flight IC-814. Go through the following  Copy linkIndia’s Equation with China, Nepal & Pakistan Copy linkINTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS Copy linkDefence […]

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Uyghurs Conflict of China

March 13, 2019

Who are UYGHURS? Uyghurs are predominately Turkic-speaking Sunni Muslims who live primarily in the autonomous region of Xinjiang. Islam came to the region in the 10th century. Prior to Islam, the Uyghurs embraced Buddhism, Shamanism, and Manicheism. Uyghurs embraced Islam in 934 during the Karahanid Kingdom. Kashgar, the capital of the Kingdom, quickly became one […]

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BN Srikrishna Committee recommendations

February 6, 2019

The ministry of electronics and information technology (MEITY) has released a white paper on data protection framework, prepared by a committee of experts headed by justice BN Srikrishna. It has sought public feedback on the paper by December 31, 2017. The ministry had formed the committee in July to “study various issues relating to data […]

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Sashakt

February 6, 2019

What is Project Sashakt? Project Sashakt was proposed by a panel led by PNB chairman Sunil Mehta. Bad loans of up to ₹ 50 crore will be managed at the bank level, with a deadline of 90 days. For bad loans of ₹ 50-500 crore, banks will enter an inter-creditor agreement, authorizing the lead bank […]

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Compoundable and Non-Compoundable offence in India

February 1, 2019

Compoundable or non compoundable In our society, there are certain criminal offences which are not very serious in nature. In these cases, the Indian Criminal Law allows a compromise between the parties as the object of the criminal law is to punish the criminal attitude of the accused or wrongdoer rather than punishing him only […]

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Cognizable and Non Cognizable offences

February 1, 2019

Offences can be classified as cognizable and non-cognizable offences. Cognizable offences are those in which the police can arrest without any warrant. These are more serious in nature. Non-cognizable offences on the other hand are those for which a police officer has no authority to arrest, unless with a warrant. Difference between Cognizable and Non […]

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Contract Farming in India Issues

January 31, 2019

The government has been making efforts to integrate farmers with agro-industries to ensure that they get better prices for their produce. This is why contract farming has come to be seen as a panacea. Contract farming refers to an agreement between farmers and marketing firms for the production and supply of agricultural products under forward […]

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Aadhaar is mandatory and not mandatory

January 22, 2019

However, the top court upheld section 139AA of Income Tax Act, which says quoting of Aadhaar mandatory for making an application for allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN) and income tax return filing. At the same time, the top court struck down the Section 57 of Aadhaar Act, as a result, private companies cannot ask […]

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AADHAAR Verdict

January 22, 2019

The 5-judge bench of the Supreme Court in a crucial verdict on Wednesday watered down several sections of the Aadhaar Act, in what seems to be a positive development for petitioners in the case. While the constitutional validity of Aadhaar was upheld, the top court has eliminated some clauses, which required information sharing with third […]

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UDAY Kotak Committee recommendations

January 21, 2019

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) panel on corporate governance led by Uday Kotak proposed sweeping changes. The recommendations are listed below: a) Panel proposed more powers for independent directors, limiting chairmanship to non-executive directors, and called for a greater focus on transparency and disclosures to improve corporate governance. b) The panel recommended […]

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Corporate Governance Rules.

January 21, 2019

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) panel on corporate governance led by Uday Kotak proposed sweeping changes. The recommendations are listed below: a) Panel proposed more powers for independent directors, limiting chairmanship to non-executive directors, and called for a greater focus on transparency and disclosures to improve corporate governance. b) The panel recommended […]

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Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) and India’s Membership

January 19, 2019

Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment, and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons. Why NSG? NSG was formed with the objective of averting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and preventing acts of nuclear terrorism. Nations in the NSG […]

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Is SCO the right organisation for India?

January 19, 2019

Read the article to find the answers on the following. Has India taken right decision to join anti-west group? Will SCO help India to address its challenge of terrorism? How will India cater to the challenge of China in SCO? India has taken a calculated risk by joining the six-nation Eurasian security and economic grouping, […]

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National Sports Development Bill (73)

January 17, 2019

Why the bill? The National Sports Development draft bill was floated as a unique law through which sports associations could be freed from the clutches of politicians and reforms of clean governance and transparency could be implemented in these bodies. Sadly, the bill never made it past the cabinet in 2011 and even now remains […]

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PMGDISHA(73)

January 17, 2019

Bachground As per the 71st NSSO Survey on Education 2014, only 6% of rural households have a computer. This highlights that more than 15 crore rural households (@ 94% of 16.85 crore households) do not have computers and a significant number of these households are likely to be digitally illiterate. The PMGDISHA being initiated under […]

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Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan (72)

January 17, 2019

Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan, intends to shore up the prices that farmers get for their produce. The move follows increasing farmer unrest across the country as prices of many key agricultural commodities have fallen below their MSP (minimum support price). The three different components of the scheme, it is said, will cover gaps in the […]

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10% reservation for Economically weaker

January 16, 2019

Introduction  In the 124th Constitutional Amendment recently passed by both Houses of Parliament, providing for 10% reservation to economically weaker sections, the newly inserted Clause 6 in Article 16 enables the state to make such a provision. Because of this, the government is confident that the Supreme Court is unlikely to find such reservation unconstitutional […]

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