HINDU NOTES-January 9 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-January 9 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Bank test, Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, hindu notes, IAS EXAM, MAINS 2018, PIB notes, Prelims UPSC, Read Hindu, The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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SC modifies order, says playing of national anthem in cinema halls is not mandatory

NewsNational anthem in theatre

The Supreme Court modified its November 30, 2016 interim order and made it optional for cinema halls to play the 52-second national anthem before every show.

Beyond News

A Bench, clarified that it is not mandatory to play the anthem before screenings in cinemas.
It left the choice of whether to play the anthem or not to the discretion of individual cinema hall owners.

However, if the anthem is played, patrons in the hall are bound to show respect by standing up.
The court clarified that the exception granted to disabled persons from standing up during the anthem “shall remain in force on all occasions”.

At PIO Parliamentarian Conference, PM urges leaders of Indian origin to come forward to join hands in changing India

News

As part of its intensified outreach to the Indian diaspora, the Government of India launched a conference of legislators and political leaders of Indian origin from all over the world.

Beyond News

The “First PIO [Person of Indian Origin] Parliamentarian Conference” was inaugurated in New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who reminded the participants that the event is aimed at reconnecting them with their ancestral land and spirit.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said 124 parliamentarians and 17 Mayors of Indian origin have come to attend the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

Mr. Modi specially mentioned the presence of former Guyanese President Bharat Jagdeo in the celebration and noted that from Mauritius to Guyana there are several Indian origin individuals who have become leaders of their countries.

Prime Minister also said that, India was experiencing aspirational and societal changes. An ‘irreversible change’ was sweeping the country and leaders of Indian origin should come forward to join hands.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Chemical ban has helped closing up of ozone layer hole !

Chemical ban

News

With the declining levels of ozone-destroying chlorine, scientists have for the first time observed less ozone depletion.

Importance of Ozone

Stratospheric ozone protects life on the planet by absorbing potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation that can cause skin cancer and cataracts, suppress immune systems and damage plant life.

Beyond News

The findings showed that an international ban on chlorine-containing manmade chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons(CFCs) has resulted in about 20 per cent less ozone depletion during the Antarctic winter from 2005 to 2016.

Specifically, chlorine levels declined by an average about 0.8 per cent annually.

The change in ozone levels above Antarctica from the beginning to the end of southern winter- early July to mid- September – was computed daily from the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) aboard the Aura satellite every year from 2005 to 2016.

The researchers said that,Antarctic ozone hole should continue to recover gradually as CFCs leave the atmosphere, but complete recovery will take decades.

India unveils Pratyush, its fastest supercomputer yet.

Indian fastest computer

News

India’s supercomputing prowess moved up several notches after it unveiledPratyush,an array of computers that can deliver a peak power of 6.8 petaflops.

Beyond News

One petaflop is a million billion floating point operations per second and is a reflection of the computing capacity of a system.

According to a statement by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM),Pratyushis the fourth fastest supercomputer in the world dedicated to weather and climate research, and follows machines in Japan, USA and the United Kingdom.

It will also move an Indian supercomputer from the 300s to the 30s in the Top500 list, a respected international tracker of the world’s fastest supercomputers.

The government had sanctioned Rs. 400 crore last year to put in place a 10-petaflop machine.

Uses

A key function of the machine’s computing power would be monsoon forecasting using a dynamical model.

This requires simulating the weather for a given month say March and letting a custom-built model calculate how the actual weather will play out over June, July, August and September.

With the new system, it would be possible to map regions in India at a resolution of 3 km and the globe at 12 km.

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HINDU NOTES-January 8 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-January 8 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, hindu notes, IAS EXAM

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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Safe havens to terrorists in Pakistn not acceptable to US: CIA

News

CIA chief Mike Pompeo has said that Pakistan continues to provide safe havens to terrorists which is not acceptable to America.

Beyond News

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director said that,U.S. President Donald Trump has asked Pakistan to “cease” being a safe haven for terrorists that threaten the U.S.

The U.S. has suspended about $2 billion in security aid to Pakistan for failing to clamp down on the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani terror network and dismantle their safe havens.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Railways to deploy drones to monitor projects

News

Drones would now monitor railway projects, aid crowd management and oversee maintenance works across its zones, the West Central Railways was the first zone to procure such drone cameras.
The move assumes significance in the backdrop of the Elphinstone station road bridge tragedy in Mumbai, in which 23 people had died in a stampede on September 29 last year.

Why this news Important?

The West Central Railways, headquartered at Jabalpur (MP), is the first zonal railway to procure the drone cameras and it has already conducted a trial run of the cameras last week in all of its three divisions.

What is a Drone?

A drone is essentially a flying robot which can be remotely handled through software-controlled flight plans embedded in its system, working in conjunction with GPS.

Uses

The cameras (UAV/NETRA) would be used for various activities, especially project monitoring and maintenance of the tracks and other railway infrastructure, the national transporter said in a statement.

Directions have been given to the zonal railways to procure such cameras. This is in line with the railways’ desire to use technology to enhance safety and efficiency in train operations.

Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones would be deployed to monitor relief-and-rescue operations, projects, progress of important works, the condition of the tracks etc., the statement said.

These would also be used to assess the preparedness of the non-interlocking (NI) works, for crowd management during fairs, to identify scrap and also for an aerial survey of the station yards, it added.

The cameras would be instrumental in providing real-time inputs as regards the safety and maintenance of the tracks and other railway infrastructure.

Boost to gravitational wave study

News

David Reitze, executive director of Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) said that ,India’s role in studying gravitational waves touted as one of the most important discoveries of the recent past will increase once the proposed gravitational wave observatory is set up in the country.

Beyond News

The observatory is expected to start functioning by 2025.

Gravitational waves are ‘ripples’ in the fabric of space-time, caused by some of the most violent and energetic processes in the universe such as merger of black holes or neutron stars.
Already, several physicists from Bengaluru-based International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS) are an active part of the LIGO project.

At present, the LIGO detectors are sensitive to about 70 to 80 megaparsec (280 million to 300 million light years) for binary neutron stars and for binary black holes, the sensitivity is about 2 gigaparsec (approximately 3 billion light years).
With improved sensitivity, these detectors will be able to fetch information from farther distances in space.

Fatal crossings: tigers in 26 reserves under threat

News

On New Year’s eve, a fast-moving vehicle on Maharashtra’s National Highway 6 killed Bajirao, one of Bor Tiger Reserve’s charismatic, dominant male tigers.

Beyond News

The same day, a team of scientists published the findings from their latest research, roads with high traffic are sounding the death knell for the tiger in this part of the country.
Unplanned expansion of national highways without mitigation measures (such as underpasses created for wildlife) could greatly increase the probability of tiger extinction in Central India’s protected areas, home to one of the largest tiger populations.

According to the National Highways Authority of India, the country’s road network, at approximately 33 lakh km, is the second largest in the world.
Many of these roads including national and State highways cut through at least 26 tiger reserves, says a draft guidance document of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), framed to reduce the impact of roads and railway lines on wildlife.

Leopards, snakes, deer, desert fox, golden jackals, civets and critically endangered amphibians are among the wildlife that perish on roads in States as far flung as Assam, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

After effects

For tigers, like many other species, traversing large areas to move across habitats involves crossing of roads.
This is the only way they can ensure genetic diversity, which is vital for species survival.
When scientists from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) and other organisations extracted genetic material from the scat of 116 tigers to study genetic diversity across 11 protected areas, they found that human settlements and traffic intensity — which restrict tiger movement between populations , decreased genetic exchange the most.

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HINDU NOTES-January 6 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-January 6 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Bank test, Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, IAS EXAM, Prelims UPSC, Read Hindu, Toppers Strategy, UPSC exam, UPSC toppers

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Editorials are covered separately. HINDU NOTES are available free date wise| CLICK HERE

India dismisses Sikh group’s threat

Sikh Federation UK

News

  • India has dismissed a warning from a U.K. Sikh group, that it would encourage diaspora gurdwaras to ban Indian officials from visiting them.

Beyond News

  • Terming the statement a ‘knee jerk reaction’, officials said it reflected the group’s fears of the strengthening relation between Indian authorities and Sikh diaspora globally.
  • Deputy High Commissioner said to London Dinesh Patnaik after the group Sikh Federation (U.K.) accused Indian authorities of interfering in Sikh institutions and affairs and proposed a “worldwide ban” on Indian government officials from visiting gurdwaras in the diaspora.

Latest Problem

  • The latest tactic by the Indian authorities of targeting Sikhs from the diaspora when they visit the Sikh homeland as demonstrated by the case of British citizen Jagtar Singh Johal has broken the camel’s back.
  • The group has been running a campaign over the arrest of Mr. Johal, who was detained in Jalandhar last year, and is accused of involvement in “targeted killings” in Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Khanna.
  • The group has accused Indian authorities of torture and has been lobbying Members of Parliament to put pressure on the British government and Indian authorities.
  • Patnaik said the High Commission was confident that the organisation’s position did not reflect that of the vast majority of Sikhs in Britain who were positive about the strengthening links between the community and Indian authorities.

U.S. move against Pakistan ‘welcome first step’: India

News

  • New Delhi and Washington have been in close touch over the decision, and Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar met with U.S. Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster , hours after the U.S. administration announced that it would suspend all its security assistance to Pakistan unless it acts against terror groups targeting Afghanistan, as a part of its “South Asia strategy.

Beyond News

  • India had issued statements welcoming the U.S.’s South Asia strategy announced by President Donald Trump in August, and its new National Security Strategy issued in December, both of which called on Pakistan to take action against terror safe havens that target U.S. troops in Afghanistan, or face consequences.

The MEA’s decision not to issue any statement on Friday, however, was attributed to several reasons.

  • Firstly, the U.S. announcement did not come as a surprise, as it came three months after the Trump administration notified the U.S. Congress that it would not disburse the 2016 tranche of its Foreign Military Funding (FMF) of $255 million.
  • Secondly, while officials hailed the move, it doesn’t at present include any specific words for groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad that target India. As a result, it is understood India would rather not speak about what is essentially a bilateral action between U.S. and Pakistan, even as it strengthens its own counter-terrorism cooperation with the US. Last month’s India-U.S. counter terrorism designations dialogue was one such new effort.
  • Finally, experts say there is some scepticism about whether the U.S. action will effect the desired reaction from Pakistan, if it relates only to the military funding of about $255 million in (FMF) and possible $900 more in Coalition Support Funding (CSF), without further action.

Tamil Nadu leads the nation in higher education enrolment

Tamil nadu education standard

News

  • Tamil Nadu has emerged as the leader in the country in terms of Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education.

Beyond News

  • The All India Survey on Higher Education report (2106-2017), released by Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar , saw the State lead with a GER of 46.9%.
  • Among Union Territories, Chandigarh recorded 56.1%.
  • Tamil Nadu has also done very well in terms of male and female GER figures, as also the GER figures for the Scheduled Castes.
  • GER for higher education is calculated with reference to the age group 18-23.
  • It is the total enrolment in higher education, irrespective of age, expressed as a percentage to the eligible official population (18-23 years) in a given school year.

Bring SC, ST residential schools under CCTV surveillance: OHRC

News

  • Amid reports of recurring sexual assaults on minor girls in government-run residential schools for children belonging to tribal and weaker sections, the Odisha Human Rights Commission has directed the State government to bring all such school premises under the surveillance of closed-circuit television cameras.

Beyond News

  • The commission recommends that the premises of residential schools be fitted with CCTV cameras.
  • The school and hostel premises must be well lit and proper hygiene maintained.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Channels with Pakistan open to counter terrorism

News:

  • The Ministry of External Affairs told the Parliamentary standing committee on External Affairs that,the government is in regular contact with Pakistan, but any meaningful dialogue would depend on an end to terrorism and cross-border violence.

Beyond News:

  • The report added that,at the same time, it has been made clear to Pakistan that a meaningful structured Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue would be possible only in an environment free from terror and violence.

Challenges

  • The challenges to better ties between India and Pakistan, includes the rise in firing at the LoC and International Border, infiltration, and support to terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen.

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HINDU NOTES-January 5 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-January 5 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Bank test, Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, hindu notes, IAS EXAM, PIB notes, Press Information Bureau(PIB), The Hindu Notes, UPSC exam

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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Defence Ministry approves projects worth 2420 crore

Defense ministry

News:

The Defence Ministry gave final approval for the procurement of simulated training solutions for the Navy’s P-8I long range maritime patrol aircraft and electronic warfare systems for the Army at a combined cost of 2419.32 crore.

Beyond News

  • Defence Ministry said in a statement that,the P-8I training solution, along with 10 year comprehensive maintenance service, will be brought from Boeing for 1949.32 crore.
    This training solution accurately simulates P-8I aircraft and mission systems
  • This will help Indian Navy train and realistically rehearse for sophisticated missions involving P-8I aircraft, at a fraction of the cost of live aircraft training, the statement said.
  • The deal was cleared in the past by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC).

Another Proposal

  • The second proposal was for the procurement of Low Intensity Conflict Electronic Warfare System (LICEWS) for the Army.
  • These will be procured from Bharat Electronics Limited for 470 crore.
  • This system will equip the Army with upgraded communications infrastructure that will help the forces to effectively deal with the advanced communications systems being used by terrorist groups, the statement added.

Lok Sabha passes bill to hike salaries of judges

News

The Lok Sabha passed a bill to hike the salaries of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts.

Beyond News

The Bill proposes to hike the salary of the Chief Justice of India to 2.80 lakh a month, and that of judges of the Supreme Court and Chief Justices of High Courts to 2.5 lakh a month.
Judges of High Courts will draw a salary of 2.25 lakh a month once this Bill becomes law.

The salary hike, in line with the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission for officers of all-India services, will come into force with effect from January 1, 2016.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

NASA to launch two missions to explore nearest space

News

NASA has announced that it would launch two missions to explore the little-understood area of 96 km above Earth’s surface.

Beyond News

  • US space agency said that the Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission will be launched in January 2018, and the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) will be launched later this year.
  • GOLD and ICON will team up to explore the ionosphere, a boundary area between Earth and the space where particles have been cooked into a sea of electrically-charged electrons and ions by the Sun’s radiation, reports Xinhua news agency.
  • These layers of near-Earth space are increasingly becoming a part of human domain as it is home to radio signals used to guide airplanes, ships and Global Positioning System satellites.
  • NASA said that the two missions were complementary. ICON will be in low-Earth orbit, at 560 km above Earth, like a close-up camera while GOLD will be in a geostationary orbit over the Western Hemisphere, about 35,398 km above the planet’s surface.

It will help in full-disk view of the ionosphere and the upper atmosphere beneath it every half hour.

Gujarat-based cardiologist uses robotic technology to conduct angioplasty

News

In a move that can change the norms of cardiology, Gujarat-based interventional cardiologist Dr. Tejas Patel has developed robotic technology for coronary intervention, a first in Asia.
With the help of a robot, Dr. Patel has started robotic-assisted stenting on heart patients in his Apex Heart Institute in Ahmedabad.

Why this News Important

This is the first and the only Vascular Robotic system outside the United States.

Beyond News

  • The USFDA-approved robotic technology for coronary angioplasty or stenting provides accuracy of sub-1 millimetre, as against maximum possible 5-10 millimetres in case of humans.
  • The robotic system comprises of three parts namely a cath lab-integrated robotic arm, a cockpit — from where the cardiologists will command the robot through joystick — and a replaceable-cassette that carries the clinical materials for each individual case requirements.
  • Costing about US $1.5 million, the robotic system has in-built artificial intelligence which helps cardiologists take sound clinical judgements

In India, an estimated 50 million people are suffering from the heart diseases, while only 500,000 angioplasty surgeries were conducted in 2016, suggesting a huge scope for widening of the treatment.

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[IASTODAY MASTER 2018] UPSC MAINS DAILY WRITING WITH ANSWER REVIEW-JANUARY 5 2018 QUESTIONS

[IASTODAY MASTER 2018] UPSC MAINS DAILY WRITING WITH ANSWER REVIEW-JANUARY 5 2018 QUESTIONS

Answer review, Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Editorial analysis, IAS EXAM, MAINS 2018, Master 2018, UPSC answer writing

IASTODAY MASTER 2018-MASTERING UPSC ANSWER WRITING

DAILY MAINS ANSWER WRITING SERIES WITH EXPERT REVIEW –MASTERing UPSC 2018

JANUARY 5 2018– Questions for Mains Answer Writing

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Nb: We analyse all leading 8 newspapers in India for this mains answer writings questions & those already covered in previous dates wont be asked again to write, instead will be provided in compilation.You wont get these wide coverage anywhere else.
 

General Studies -01

Syllabus area: Significant events & issues in modern indian history until preset.

Q1: Make a brief note on Battle of koregaon 1818.  (answer in 150 words) 

Source: The Indian Express

Reference: EDITORIAL MODULE-January 5 (Page 1)


General Studies -02

Syllabus area: Parliament and state legislature- Powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

Q2: Critically examine whether politics is a trade or employment with suitable examples in the context of legal profession. (Answer in 250 words)

Source: The Hindu.

Reference:EDITORIAL MODULE-January 5 (Page 3)


General Studies -03

Syllabus area: Infrastructure:Energy

Q3:  In addition to decarbonizing the electricity generation,the industry also needs to rethink how electricity is efficiently transported and distributed.Discuss  (Answer in 150 words) 

Source:The Financial Express.

Reference: EDITORIAL MODULE- January 5(Page 7)


General Studies -04

Syllabus area: Ethical dilemmas/concerns.

Q4: It is argued that UIDAI is planning for a legal action against person involved in data breach. Analyse the ethical issues associated.  (Answer in 150 Words)

Source: The Tribune.

Reference: EDITORIAL MODULE- January 5(Page 8)


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HINDU NOTES-January 4 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-January 4 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, hindu notes, MAINS 2018, Master 2018, Press Information Bureau(PIB), Read Hindu, The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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Former ministers can’t overstay in official bungalows-Supreme Court 

News:

  • SC held that Former ministers have no business overstaying in official bungalows.

Beyond News:

  •  A minister who has demitted office cannot cling on to public largesse, amicus curiaeGopal Subramanium submitted in the Supreme Court .
  • The apex court is examining a provision in a Uttar Pradesh law that allows ex-ministers to stay on in official bungalows.
  • Uttar Pradesh-based NGO Lok Prahari has sought action against the authorities for acting in contempt of a Supreme Court verdict in August 2016, directing them to ensure that the former chief ministers vacate the bungalows.

Article 14

  • Appearing before a Bench of Justices asked whether Article 14 (fundamental right to equality) of the Constitution allows ex-ministers to retain their official bungalows indefinitely.
  • In August 2016, the court held that former chief ministers should hand over possession of the bungalows occupied by them.
  • Except former Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Prime Ministers in the “evening of their lives,” no dignitary, even former Chief Ministers, can be provided government bungalows for their lifetime unless backed by a specific statutory provision, the Supreme Court had held.

The court had observed that the public bungalows were maintained at a great cost to the exchequer and not meant to be “frittered away.” Allowing former chief ministers and their families to stay on indefinitely in public properties was a “largesse.”

Dalits stage protests in Belagavi against violence in Bhima-Koregaon

News:

  • Several Dalit organisations staged protests in Belagavi  in Karnataka , against the violence in Maharashtra after the observation of the Bhima-Koregaon battle bicentenary.

Why its important?

It makes koregaon event of 1818 significant.

Beyond News:

  • They were shouting slogans against the Maharashtra government for failing to control violence.
  •  They claimed that Brahminical forces had tried to wipe away memories of the victory of the Mahar regiment against the Peshwa forces in 1818 in Bhima-Koregaon.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

 

It’s dust particles, not alien spacecraft, that cause dimming of Tabby’s star

News

  • A press release from Louisiana State University says that the mysterious dimming of Tabby’s star is caused by dust particles and not (as some believed) by alien spacecraft orbiting it.

Tabby’s star

  • Tabby’s star or Boyajian’s star is the “most mysterious star in the universe” as it kept dimming and brightening irregularly, following no pattern.
  • Officially called KIC 8462852, the star is 1,000 light years away from the Earth and 1,000 degrees hotter than the Sun.

Finding:

  • The recent report compiled by 133 scientists, shows that the dimming is caused by ordinary dust particles, the majority of them at a size less than one micrometre.
  • The new data shows that different colors of light are being blocked at different intensities.

Cookstoves in India more polluting than thought: study

News

A study has found that traditional cookstoves, widely used in the rural parts of India, may be producing much higher levels of particulate emissions than previously estimated, causing a detrimental impact on the country’s environment and health of residents.

Beyond News

The research, published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, was the c ulmination of field studies conducted in India.
In December 2015, the researchers spent 20 days running a series of tests in Raipur, a city in central India where more than three-quarters of the families use cookstoves to prepare their meals.
The scientists burned a wide variety of biofuels (fuel wood, agricultural residue, and dung) acquired from different parts of India, cooked different meals in a number of varying ventilation situations and recorded the resulting emission levels using high- tech particle measurement devices.
The scientists say that the newly developed low-cost pollution sensor can allow to eventually determine the regions of hot spots and locations that would have high concentrations of emissions.

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HINDU NOTES-January 3 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-January 3 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, hindu notes, IAS EXAM, The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Editorials are covered separately. HINDU NOTES are available free date wise| CLICK HERE

Rajya Sabha passes Bankruptcy Code Bill

News

  • The Rajya Sabha passed the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which bars unscrupulous persons from misusing the provisions of the code.
  • The Bill, which replaces an ordinance promulgated last November, was cleared by the Lok Sabha last week.

Bankruptcy Code Bill

  • The Bill prohibits certain persons from submitting a resolution plan in case of defaults.  These include:
  • (i) wilful defaulters,
  • (ii) promoters or management of the company if it has an outstanding non-performing debt for over a year,
  • (iii) disqualified directors, among others. 
  • Further, it bars the sale of property of a defaulter to such persons during liquidation.

CCEA approves over ₹6,800-cr Zojila Tunnel project

News

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the ₹6,808-crore Zojila Tunnel project in Jammu and Kashmir that will provide year-round connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh when completed.

Beyond News

  • Currently, Leh-Ladakh is cut off from the rest of India for almost six months due to heavy snowfall and threat of avalanches.
  • The project aims to construct a 14.15-km long two-lane bidirectional single tube tunnel with a parallel 14.2-km long egress or parallel escape tunnel, excluding approaches between Baltal and Minamarg in the state, an official release said.
  • The government added that the project will be an instrument for the development of the economically backward districts in J&K.
  • The project will be implemented by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways through National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited.

Never acknowledged existence of Arunachal Pradesh: China

Upper Siang -arunachal pradeshNews:

  • China said it had “never acknowledged” the existence of Arunachal Pradesh as it kept mum over a media report that its troops intruded into the Indian side of the border in the frontier State.

Beyond News

  • Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang’s response came after a media report said that Chinese troops intruded into the Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh for about 200m close to a village in Upper Siang district.
  • China claims Arunachal Pradesh is part of South Tibet.
  • The India-China border dispute covered 3,488 km along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
  • According to the report, the Chinese troops who reportedly crossed over with the construction machinery in December 2017 were stopped by Indian soldiers. The Chinese troops reportedly left the construction equipment behind.
  • Asked whether there is another standoff between India and China similar to the one in Dokalam area, Mr. Geng said the “standoff which happened last year has been resolved properly”.
  • The standoff ended on August 28 following mutual agreement under which China stopped the road building and India withdrew its troops.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

NASA-inspired technique boosts wheat production

News

  • Inspired by NASA’s experiments to grow wheat in space, Australian scientists have developed the world’s first ‘speed breeding’ technique that can boost the production of the crop by up to three times.

Beyond News

  • The NASA experiments involved using continuous light on wheat which triggered early reproduction in the plants.
  • Experiments showed that the quality and yield of the plants grown under controlled climate and extended daylight conditions was as good, or sometimes better, than those grown in regular glasshouses.
  • Researchers said that,there has been a lot of interest globally in this technique due to the fact that the world has to produce 60-80 per cent more food by 2050 to feed its nine billion people
  • The speed breeding technique has largely been used for research purposes but is now being adopted by industry.

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HINDU NOTES-January 2 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-January 2 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, General Studies, hindu notes, IAS EXAM, MAINS 2018, Prelims UPSC, Press Information Bureau(PIB), The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Editorials are covered separately. HINDU NOTES are available free date wise| CLICK HERE

China develops underwater surveillance networks in Indian Ocean, SCS

News: 

  • China has developed a new underwater surveillance network to help its submarines get a stronger lock on targets while protecting the nation’s interests along the maritime Silk Road, which included the Indian Ocean.

Beyond News: 

  • The system, which has already been launched, works by gathering information about the underwater environment, particularly water temperature and salinity, which the navy can then use to more accurately track target vessels as well as improve navigation and positioning.
  • The project, led by the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), is part of an unprecedented military expansion fuelled by Beijing’s desire to challenge the US in the world’s oceans.
  • In recent years, China has stepped up naval expeditions to the Indian Ocean to fight the pirates in Gulf of Aden.
  • These expeditions included large naval ships accompanied by submarines. China is silent about the reasons to deploy submarines for anti-piracy operations.
  • China is also seeking to establish logistic bases in the Indian Ocean, much to the chagrin of India.

U.S. has drastically cut aid to Pakistan

News:

  • S. President Donald Trump’s New Year tweet is indicative that his administration is not satisfied by Pakistan’s response on terror.

Beyond News:

  • The U.S. has also made disbursement of Pentagon’s Coalition Support Funds (CSF) conditional.
  • CSF pertains to reimbursement to Pakistan for its logistical and operational support for U.S.-led military operations.
  • The defence budget for 2018 reduced the CSF allocation to $700 million and tied half of it to action against the Haqqani Network.
  • A recent congressional move to include Lashkar-e-Taiba also in the same category of certification requirement was dropped after the Pentagon resisted it.

India, Pakistan exchange list of nuclear installations

News:

  • India and Pakistan exchanged, through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, the list of nuclear installations and facilities under a three-decade old bilateral pact.

Beyond News:

  • According to an External Affairs Ministry release, the two sides exchanged the list under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations between India and Pakistan.
  • The agreement, which was signed on December 31, 1988, and entered into force on January 27, 1991, provides that the two countries inform each other of nuclear installations and facilities to be covered under the pact on the first of January of every calendar year.
  • This is the twenty seventh consecutive exchange of such a list between the two countries, the first one having taken place on January 1, 1992.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Nagaland declared as ‘disturbed area’ for 6 more months

News:

  • The entire Nagaland has been declared as “disturbed area” for six more months, till June- end, under the controversial AFSPA, which empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior notice.

Beyond News:

  • In a gazette notification, the Union Home Ministry said it is of the opinion that the area comprising the whole of Nagaland is in such a “disturbed and dangerous condition” that use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary.
  • The notification said that,now in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (No. 28 of 1958), the central government declares that whole of the said State to be a ‘disturbed area’ for a period of six months with effect from December 30, 2017 for the purpose of that Act.

Reason:

  • A home ministry official said the decision to continue the declaration of Nagaland as “disturbed area” has been taken as killings, loot and extortion have been going in various parts of the state which necessitated the action for the convenience of the security forces operating there.

Parliamentary panel bats for setting up cybercrime nodal agency

INDIAN CYBER LAW

News:

  • A parliamentary panel asserted that the IT Ministry should set up a cybercrime nodal agency or helpline that would assist and guide victims in dealing with such incidents.

Beyond News:

  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, in its report, noted that there is no separate mechanism for dealing with cases of cybercrime in India.
  • The Electronics and IT Ministry (MeitY) had noted that the Home Affairs Ministry is setting up a centralised portal for cybercrime against women and children.
  • For cyber security incidents like phishing, hacking, scanning, spoofing and malware attacks, CERT-In can be approached.
  • Setting-up such an agency could also help in dissemination of information to the victims about the appropriate agency to approach and also guide them on the next course of action.

NASA’s flying telescope to study Saturn’s moon

NASA flying monitor

News:

  • NASA has said its flying observatory Sofia ( Stratospheric Observatory for Infra-red Astronomy) is preparing for its 2018 campaign, which will include, among others, observations of celestial magnetic fields, star-forming regions, comets and Saturn’s giant moon Titan.

Beyond News:

  • This will be the fourth year of full operations for Sofia, with observations planned between February 2018 and January 2019.
  • Sofia is a Boeing 747SP jetliner modified to carry a 100-inch diameter telescope. It is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Centre, DLR.
  • Scientists believe that the observatory’s investigations will help them understand how magnetic fields affect the rate at which interstellar clouds condense to form new stars.
  • One programme using the observatory’s newest instrument, the High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera-Plus, called HAWC+, will help astronomers better understand how energetic, active black holes contribute to the most luminous, distant galaxies.
  • Researchers also plan to utilize Sofia’s mobility to study the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan by studying its shadow as it passes in front of a star during an eclipse-like event called an occultation.

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HINDU NOTES-January 1 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-January 1 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

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Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

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Cold wave sweeps across north India

cold wave

News:

  • A piercing cold wave swept across the hilly States in north India even as a blanket of fog covered the plains, hampering the movement of air, rail and road traffic.

Beyond News:

  • The mercury continued its downward spiral in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Leh in the Ladakh region braved the coldest night so far this year at minus 15.2 degrees Celsius.

Cold wave:

  • cold wave(known in some regions as a cold snap) is a weather phenomenon that is distinguished by a cooling of the air.
  • Specifically, as used by the U.S. National Weather Service, a cold wave is a rapid fall in temperature within a 24-hour period requiring substantially increased protection to agriculture, industry, commerce, and social activities.
  • The precise criterion for a cold wave is determined by the rate at which the temperature falls, and the minimum to which it falls. This minimum temperature is dependent on the geographical region and time of year.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

‘16 children go missing every day’

News:

  • Every day, an average of 16 children are reported missing in the Capital, according to Delhi Police data.

Beyond News:

  • This number is despite efforts made by the police through its various programmes like ‘Operation Smile’, ‘Operation Milap’, and ‘Operation Muskaan’ aimed at reuniting missing children with their families.
  • The success rate of such programmes is in question as of the missing kids who were eventually found this year, 66% returned on their own.
  • The Delhi police have reunited 2,658 children who were reported missing from other States and were staying in Delhi, working as rag pickers, beggars, or in factories.
  • All traced children are also produced in counselling centres to assess the reason behind them going missing. In some cases parents are also counselled.
  • The police said that they have special units in every district and have anti-human trafficking unit (AHTU) under the crime branch.

Reasons:

  • During several investigations of such missing cases, the police found that the main reasons for children running away were academic pressure, elopement, job opportunities, or because they were scolded by parents.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Incidents of Maoist violence reduce in 2017, govt. data show

Maoism increasing

News:

  • For the first time in more than a decade, in 2017 the incidents in left-wing extremism (LWE) affected States remained below the 1,000 mark.

Findings from the Data:

  • According to Home Ministry data, 851 incidents were reported till December 15 in 2017, compared to 1016 incidents during the corresponding period last year. The total number of incidents in 2016 was 1048.
  • The violent incidents in the 10 LWE-affected States have always been above the 1,000 mark, with 2,258 the maximum number of incidents reported in 2009.
  • The Border Security Force (BSF) deployed for anti-Maoist operations apart from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) established base at four new locations in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
  • A senior Home Ministry official said the top Maoist leadership was ageing and many suffered from ailments.

The recruitments were also at an all-time low as security forces had penetrated many territories in the past decade.

Nanogenerators go wireless

News

  • Scientists from Clemson University, U.S. have developed a new tribolelectric nanogenerator that can generate over 2,000 volts just by tapping on it and also wirelessly transfer the energy produced to a nearby battery.

Beyond News

  • The scientists say that this is the first time wireless transmission of electrical energy has been achieved. It is also the first time a triboelectric nanogenrator has been directly 3D printed from biodegradable materials.
  • The nanogenerator harvests mechanical energy and converts into electrical energy and transferred wirelessly over a distance of three metres to a storage device like capacitor or battery.

Application of the Generator

  • We can install the nanogenerator at airports, sidewalks and place the battery on the nearby walls to store the energy. Because there are no wires involved, there is no need of power outlets and can be installed easily.
  • These generators have a wide range of applications. They can be used to light up our homes, control doors and even set burglar alarms. The scientists are now working on developing fingerprint sensitive generators for home-security applications.

NASA’s 2018 to do list includes mission to ‘touch’ Sun

News: 

  • NASA is turning 60 in 2018 and the agency is looking forward to launching a slew of important missions in the coming year, including one to “touch” the Sun.

Beyond News:

  • NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is scheduled for launch in 2018 to explore the Sun’s outer atmosphere.
  • The spacecraft will fly through the Sun’s atmosphere as close as 6.2 million kilometres , well within the orbit of Mercury and closer than any spacecraft has gone before.
  • The primary science goals for the mission are to trace how energy and heat move through the solar corona and to explore what accelerates the solar wind as well as solar energetic particles.

 Other Missions:

  • The US space agency’s first asteroid sample return mission, OSIRIS-REx, is scheduled to arrive at the near-Earth asteroid Bennu in August 2018, and will return a sample for study in 2023.
  • Launching no later than June 2018, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will search for planets outside our solar system by monitoring 200,000 bright, nearby stars.
  • To continue the long—term record of how Earth’s ice sheets, sea level, and underground water reserves are changing, NASA will also launch the next generation of two missions — ICESat-2 and GRACE Follow-On — in 2018.

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HINDU NOTES-December 30 2017 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-December 30 2017 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

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India yet to find reason for darkening Siang

Chineese pollutionsNews: 

  • The Union government has conveyed its views and concerns to the Chinese authorities, including at the highest levels of the government, on the unusual darkening of the Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh.

Possible Reasons:

  • The reason for change in water of River Siang may possibly be because of any landslide/earthquake /any other activity in upstream region of Tuting site across the international border with China for which information is not available.
  • Reports from Arunachal Pradesh and Assam blamed tunnel construction by China in Tibet.

Beyond News: 

  • The change in colour came to light in November, and China holds an earthquake in Tibet responsible for it.
  • Official reports of the colour of water in the Siang changing emerged from the Arunachal Pradesh office of the Central Water Commission (CWC) on November 10, attributing it to excess silt.
  • Another report from the Arunachal Pradesh Water Supply Department showed that iron levels were beyond permissible limits and samples from the river beyond Pasighat and Jonai showed higher aluminium and iron levels.
  • Government has conveyed its views and concerns to the Chinese authorities, including at the highest levels of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, and has urged them to ensure that the interests of downstream States are not harmed by any activities in upstream areas.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

China s ban on waste import a global warning: Greenpeace. 

News

  • Environmental organisation Greenpeace said that,China’s ban on importing 24 types of waste that comes into force on January 1, will serve as a wake-up call to countries that export waste to seek more sustainable methods.

Beyond News

  • The measure, announced in July, prohibits the entry into China of 24 types of waste grouped into four categories: domestic plastics, unsorted paper, various types of mine slag and textile waste.
  • For Greenpeace, this prohibition will send warnings around the world and will promote the search for methods to generate less waste and to treat them adequately in the country of origin just as within China.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

ISRO to launch 31 satellites in one go aboard PSLV on Jan. 10

News

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said it would launch 31 satellites, including India’s Cartosat-2 series earth observation space craft, in a single mission on January 10.

Beyond News

  • The mission will be the first ‘Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle’ (PSLV) mission after the unsuccessful launch of the navigation satellite IRNSS-1H in August this year.
  • The mission’s main payload would be India’s Cartosat-2 series earth observation satellite.
  • PSLV-C40 will be used for the launch from the spaceport in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota, about 100 kilometres from Chennai.
  • The mission would be a combination of 28 nano satellites from abroad, including Finland and the U.S., one micro and one nano satellite from India along with one Cartosat satellite.

Sun-like star found eating its own ‘‘offspring’’

Sun eating planetsNews:

  • Researchers have found evidence to show that a Sun- like star 550 light years from Earth is slowly consuming its “offspring” – crushing one or more planets in its orbit into vast clouds of gas and dust.

Findings of the Study

  • The discovery that the star, RZ Piscium – located in the constellation Pisces .
  • The researchers found the star’s temperature to be about 5,330 degrees Celsius – only slightly cooler than our Sun’s.
  • The study also showed that the star could be relatively young.
  • This discovery really gives us a rare and beautiful glimpse into what happens to many newly formed planets that don’t survive the early dynamical chaos of young solar systems
  • The discovery may shed light on a brief but volatile period in the history of many solar systems, including our own.
  • In the case of RZ Piscium, the material near the Sun-like star is being slowly pulled apart to create a small circle of debris about the same distance from the star as the planet Mercury’s orbit is from our sun.
  • In the study, the researchers determined the gravitational strength near RZ Piscium’s surface and the observation helped shed light on the star’s radius and brightness, both of which suggest a young star in the midst of a freewheeling solar system with unstable planets.

Hyderabad welcomes ‘Robocop’ prototype

Robocop Hyderabad

News:

  • Hyderabad may soon get its first ‘robocop’, with the launch of a prototype in the city .

Beyond News:

  • It can take complaints, record audio and video clips, identify suspects, detect metals, and monitor temperature.
  • The policing robot has been made by H-BOTS, a Hyderabad-based artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning start-up.
  • The robot is expected to be familiar with basic policing work, regulation of traffic, and details of the Indian Penal Code.
  • On subjects it is not familiar with, the robot will reply to queries by sourcing information from Wikipedia or Google, it has an AI unit inside.
  • Its makers say it can be showcased as an advance in policing technology and eventually be introduced to carry out basic police work such as registering cases.
  • In its present form, the smart police robot can assist people at malls, streets, airports and railway stations.

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