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FDI Confidence Index 2018



  • G.S. Paper 2

Why in news?

  • India has slipped by three notches to 11th position in the FDI Confidence Index 2018 of global consultancy firm A T Kearney.

A.T. Kearney: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index:

  • The Foreign Direct Investment Confidence (FDI) Index prepared by A.T. Kearney is an annual survey.
  • It tracks the impact of likely political, economic, and regulatory changes on the foreign direct investment intentions and preferences of CEOs, CFOs, and other top executives of Global 1000 companies.
  • The report includes detailed commentary on the markets and the impact a variety of global trade issues have on their FDI attractiveness.
  • It also gives a ranking of the top 25 countries.

FDI confidence index 2018:

  • India has slipped by three notches to 11th position in the FDI Confidence Index 2018 of global consultancy firm A T Kearney.
  • India has fell out of the top 10 for the first time since 2015.
  • China (5), India (11), and Singapore (12) all rank lower this year, while Australia rises to 8th and New Zealand jumps to the 16th spot in only its second year on the Index.
  • Japan and South Korea hold steady at 6th and 18th, respectively.
  • India was ranked 8th in 2017, while it was at 9th rank in the previous year.
  • According to the report, this confidence may be a result of the governments Make in India initiative, which aims to boost investment in India’s manufacturing sector as well as its pursuit of closer ties with the US.
  • Reforms that have had a positive impact on India’s attractiveness include:
    • The elimination of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board
    • A government agency responsible for reviewing all potential foreign investment
    • The liberalisation of overseas investment thresholds for the retail, aviation, and biomedical industries

Bhupathy’s Shieldtail


  • G.S. Paper 1

Why in news?

  • A New species of snake has been found in Western Ghats.

Bhupathy’s shieldtail:

  • Bhupathy’s shieldtail is currently found only in the Anaikatty Hills of Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district.
  • Just 40 cm long and iridescent brown, Bhupathy’s shieldtail is the latest addition to the snake fauna of the Western Ghats.
  • The reptile belongs to a family of snakes found only in peninsular India and Sri Lanka.
  • They are non-venomous, burrowing and mostly earthworm-eating.
  • They are called shieldtails after the large, flat tips of their tails, which make them appear almost sliced off.
  • The new species has more than 200 scales which is its most characteristic distinguishing feature.
  • Threats to the new species include road traffic at the Anaikatty-Coimbatore State Highway passes through its habitat and soil is being extracted for brick manufacturing.
  • The discovery takes the number of known species of shieldtails in India to 41.
  • The country is home to more than 300 snake species.
  • New species of snakes are being discovered worldwide too, and Central and South America are considered the regions with the highest snake diversity: 886 of the approximately 3500 snake species in the world are seen there.

Indus Dolphins


  • G.S. Paper 1

Why in news?

  • Punjab government along World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-India are conducting first organised census of Indus Dolphins.

Indus Dolphins:

  • Indus river dolphins are one of only four river dolphin species and subspecies in the world that spend all of their lives in freshwater.
  • They are believed to have originated in the ancient Tethys Sea.
  • When the sea dried up approximately 50 million years ago, the dolphins were forced to adapt to its only remaining habitat i.e. rivers.
  • Only 1,816 exist today in the lower parts of the Indus River in Pakistan and India.
  • Numbers declined dramatically after the construction of irrigation systems.
  • Most dolphins are confined to a 750 mile stretch of the river and divided into isolated populations by six barrages.
  • They have adapted to life in the muddy river and are functionally blind.
  • They rely on echolocation to navigate, communicate and hunt prey including prawns, catfish and carp.
  • It listed by the IUCN as endangered on its Red List of Threatened Species. Indus Dolphin was also found in Sutlej decades back, but river pollution has caused its extinction in river.

Dolphin census:

  • The first organised census will be conducted over period of five days in 185 km stretch between Talwara and Harike Barrage in Beas River in Punjab.
  • It is where riverine fresh water Indus Dolphins are confined.
  • It will be conducted two joint teams of Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation, Punjab and WWF-India.

Its main objective is to establish accurate population of dolphins in order to plan conservation of species.

Chalukyan Sculpture Of Siva


  • G.S. Paper 1

Why in news?

  • A Chalukyan sculpture of Siva has been found in Andhra Pradesh recently.

Chalukyan sculpture of Siva:

  • A rare sculpture of Lord Siva and Goddess Parvati dating back to the 7th century was discovered at a Chalukyan temple in Satyavolu village of Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The red sandstone sculpture portrays Lord Siva as the therapeutic physician (Rudra Bhaishajana) as described in Rigveda.
  • In the sculpture he holds a bowl in his left hand, which contains medicine from herbs to revive the ailing horse lying at his feet.
  • Lord Siva is portrayed as a physician, who discovered medicine for certain chronic ailments.
  • He is the last member of the divine trinity and is considered as the destroyer of the world.

Culture under Chalukyas:

Society and Religion:

  • The people of South India in general were religious.
  • They followed the traditional Hindu ways of life in the society, with a liberal attitude.
  • The Brahimns occupied a highly respectable position.
  • They acted as ministers and advisers to the king as well as priests.
  • Even though casteism within its social and economic implications were universally recognised, yet the spirit of catholicity and the feeling of mutual understanding was prevailing in the society.
  • Chinese traveller, Hiuen Tsang visited India during the reign of Pulakesin II.
  • He described the social life and manner of the people.
  • People were simple, honest and faithful. They always regarded the morality and truthfulness in public life.
  • The Aihole inscription states that the general attitude of the society was unorthodox towards all communities.
  • The Chalukya rulers patronised all the religions and did not impose restrictions on social and religious practices.
  • This policy of religious toleration helped towards the spread of Buddhism and Jainism.
  • The land grants were given to Buddhist Monks, Jaina Arahatas and the Brahmins.
  • Brahnianism reached its zenith under the Chalukyas.
  • They performed religious sacrifices such as the Asvamedha, the Vajapeya etc.
  • The sacrificial form of worship was prevailing and the puranic deities rose into prominence.
  • The sacrifical form of worship were sanctioned by Pulakesin I, Kirtivarman, Mangalesha and Pulakesin II.
  • They performed vedic sacrifices themselves and honourd learned Brahmans.

Art and Architecture:

  • The Chalukys were great patron of art and architecture.
  • The Chalukyan structural architecture is represented by the old brick temples at Tel, and more fully by several shrines at Aihole, Pattakadal and Badami.
  • Aihole represents the best of Chalukyan architecture.
  • There are several temples at Aihol which speak of the Chalukyan love for art and architecture.
  • Among those may be mentioned the famous Ladkhan temple, the Durga temple and Huchchimaltigudi temple.
  • The Ladkhan temple has a rare characteristics of Chalukyan art.
  • It is very low and flat.
  • The walls consist of stone slabs, set between heavy square pilasters with a bracket capital.
  • The windows are made of stone slabs, and the pillars are decorated with figures of river goddesses such as Ganga, Jamuna and Gomati etc.
  • The famous Virupaksha temple, dedicated to Siva as Lokeshvara by the queen of Vikramaditya II, is a beautiful specimen of Chalukyan architecture.
  • The sculptures of this temple include representations from stories of Ramayana and of lord Siva and the Nagas.
  • The temple is built of very large, closely jointed blocks of stone and without mortar, as noted Dravidian style.
  • The Vaishnava cave tempel at Badami is the earliest cave temple of Southern India.
  • Elegant sculptural works and paintings were done under the Chalukyas.
  • The Brahmnical caves at Ellora date from the early Chalukyan period.
  • The rock-cut shrines of Ajanta and Ellora are supposed to have been executed in the time of the early Western Chalukyas.
  • The Prasasti of Pulakesin II written by Ravi Kirti gives a decorative description of temple architecture of Chalukyan period.

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