HINDU NOTES-February 12 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-February 12 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

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Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

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China differs with Nepal on Mount Everest’s height: report

Mount Everest

News:

China continues to differ with Nepal over the height of Mount Everest and sticks to its own calculation of the world’s highest peak which is four meters less than the Kathmandu’s measurement.

Beyond News:

  • China’s response came after reports said that Beijing had agreed to accept Nepal’s measurement of the mountain, which is almost four meters taller.
  • China has not changed its measurement of the height of Mount Qomolangma, the Chinese name of the Mt Everest, which stands at 8844.43 meters, state-run Global Times reported.
  • China recognises Mount Qomolangma as the world’s tallest, measuring 8,844.43 meters above sea level, the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geo-information (NASG) told the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

The peak of Mt Everest played a significant role in the settlement of boundary between Nepal and China, which earlier claimed the whole mountain as part of its territory after it took control of Tibet.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

SC refuses interim stay on Kambala buffalo race in Karnataka

Kambala race supreme court

News:

  • The Supreme Court refused to grant Karnataka’s buffalo race, Kambala, an interim stay.
    A bench however, fixed March 12 for a final hearing on the plea by animal rights body People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in the matter.

Beyond News:

  • To pave the way for the festival, the State cabinet had on January 28 last year decided to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, (Central Act 59 of 1960), enacted to prevent infliction of unnecessary cruelty and suffering on animals.
  • PETA has opposed the upcoming Kambala festival on grounds of cruelty to animals. Calling for banning the sport, it said the agitators have taken a leaf out of the pro-jallikattu protesters’ book.
  • Earlier, another animal rights’ body, Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), had approached the apex court challenging the bill to legalise traditional buffalo races in Karnataka.

Buffalo race

Bullock cart races are held in parts of north Karnataka and in the coastal districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada.
The Kambala race, held between November and March, involves a pair of buffaloes tied to a plough and anchored by one person.
They are made to run in parallel muddy tracks in a competition in which the fastest team wins.
It is believed to be held to propitiate the Gods for a good harvest, besides being a recreational sport for farmers.

Tribal areas to soon get bike ambulances

News:

Buoyed by the response to the free bike ambulance service in Mumbai, the State government is planning to expand the fleet and run similar services in tribal-dominated regions.

Beyond News:

The bike ambulance service, which was started in Mumbai in August last year to provide swift medical assistance to patients, has so far received around 1,500 calls from different parts of the metropolis.
It is difficult for a four-wheeler ambulance to go to hilly regions or reach the areas with narrow roads.
But bike ambulances can reach such places easily. Therefore, [this service will be operated] in inaccessible places in Jawhar, Mokhada, Nandurbar and Melghat regions.
The emergencyfirst responder service is available through the ‘108’ helpline. Paramedics ride the bikes to provide treatment to patients during the golden hour. The 10-bike fleet is operated by integrated services company BVG India.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

India’s forest, tree cover up by 1% in 2 years: Centre

News:

India’s tree and forest cover has registered an increase of 1% or 8,021 sq. km in two years since 2015, according to the latest assessment by the government.

Beyond News:

  • The India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017 was released by Environment Minister .
  • According to the report, the total forest cover is 7,08,273 sq. km, which is 21.54% of the total geographical area of the country.
  • Forest and tree cover combined is 8,02,088 sq. km or 24.39% of the total geographical area.
  • The Environment Ministry said in the latest assessment that very dense forest in India has also increased by 1.36% as compared to 2015. ISFR is released every two years.

In terms of percentage of forest cover with respect to the total geographical area, Lakshadweep with (90.33%) has the highest forest cover, followed by Mizoram (86.27%) and Andaman and Nicobar Island (81.73%).

  • The top five States where maximum forest cover has increased are Andhra Pradesh (2,141 sq. km), Karnataka (1,101 sq. km), Kerala (1,043 sq. km), Odisha (885 sq. km) and Telangana (565 sq. km).
  • The survey, which has for the first time assessed water bodies, said that these bodies inside forest cover have increased by 2,647 sq. km during last decade.
  • As per the latest Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, India is placed 8th in the list of top ten nations reporting the greatest annual net gain in forest area.

Cyberspace shouldn’t help trigger terror: PM

News:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi cautioned the world against the misuse of cyberspace to ensure it did not become a source of radicalisation, asserting that technology should be harnessed as a tool for development, not destruction.

Beyond News:

  • The comments by Mr. Modi at the World Government Summit in his plenary address comes at a time when the world community is engaged in efforts to address the misuse of cyberspace by terrorists and hackers.
  • He emphasised the role technology was playing in India’s development.
  • The Prime Minister told the audience that India is aspiring to assume leadership position in Artificial Intelligence, Nano, cybersecurity and cloud computing.
  • India is the ‘Guest Country’ at the sixth edition of the World Government Summit, which is being attended by more than 4,000 participants from 140 countries.

Three new eel species found in Bay of Bengal

News:

Scientists have discovered three new species of eel along the northern Bay of Bengal coast in the past few months.

Beyond News:

  • Dark brown with white dots on the dorsal side, Gymnothorax pseudotile was discovered at the Digha coast of the Bay of Bengal.
    The other two species, Gymnothorax visakhaensis (uniformly brown) and Enchelycore propinqua (reddish brown body mottled with irregular creamy white spots), were discovered from the Visakhapatnam coast of the Bay of Bengal.
  • While Gymnothorax pseudotile is about 1 feet to 1.5 feet long, Gymnothorax visakhaensis is about a foot long. Enchelycore propinqua is the smallest of them measuring less than a foot.
  • Eels are found mostly at the bottom of rivers and seas. Across the world about 1,000 species of eels have been identified. In India, the number is around 125.
  • For species belonging to the family Muraenidae, referred commonly as Moray eels, there are records of about 200 species of which more than 30 species are found in India.

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

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

Bank test, Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, hindu notes, IAS EXAM, MAINS 2018, Prelims Quiz, Prelims UPSC, Press Information Bureau(PIB), Read Hindu, The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

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Stone tools offer insights into history of human evolution.

Stone age prescriptions

News

  • Based on the study of over 7,200 stone artefacts collected from the archaeological site at Attirampakkam in the Kortallayar river basin about 60 km from Chennai, researchers suggest that hominins in India may have developed a Middle Palaeolithic culture phase around 3,85,000 years ago and continuing up to around 1,72,000 years ago.

Beyond News

  • According to earlier evidence, the Middle Palaeolithic culture in India was dated to around 1,25,000 years ago.
  • The Middle Palaeolithic is an important cultural phase, associated as it is globally with both modern humans and Neanderthals or other archaic hominins, with complex histories of interaction, cultural transitions and change and dispersals.
  • Based on stone tool and fossil studies, the Middle Palaeolithic culture (called the Middle Stone Age in Africa) is associated with modern humans in Africa, while it is associated with both modern humans and Neanderthals in Israel. But in Europe, the Middle Palaeolithic culture is associated only with Neanderthals.
  • In 2011, Prof. Shanti Pappu from the Sharma Centre for Heritage Education in Chennai and her team reported the discovery of 1.5-million-year-old stone artefacts belonging to the Lower Palaeolithic (Acheulian) culture from Attirampakkam.
  • The objects were buried in sediments at the lowest levels in the excavation. In the top three metres of the soil, the same site has yielded artefacts that reflect a distinct Middle Palaeolithic culture.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Indian aid for Palestine diplomatic institute

News

  • Sources said that, prime Minister Narendra Modi will fly from Amman in Jordan on February 10 to arrive in Palestine where he is expected to lay the foundation stone of a new diplomatic training institute.

Beyond News

  • Modi’s visit will be the first by an Indian Prime Minister to Palestine and comes weeks after India voted in favour of Palestine’s rights over Jerusalem in the United Nations General Assembly.
  • Sources also said that,the Government of India has already sanctioned US$4.5 million for the Indo-Palestine Diplomatic Institute which will be a unique institute in the region and it is one of the several events that are likely to feature in the PM’s visit to Ramallah.
  • Visit is aimed at de-hyphenating India’s policy towards Israel and Palestine that was reflected in Mr. Modi’s 2017 visit to Tel Aviv when he skipped Palestine.
  • A new agreement on IT-training was sealed during President Mahmoud Abbas’s visit to Delhi on May 16, 2017 when both sides signed five agreements.
  • Continuing India’s commitment, New Delhi also pledged $1.25 million humanitarian assistance to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) in 2016.
  • India’s support to UNRWA is in contrast to U.S. policy to the organisation as President Donald Trump has announced slashing of American funds to UNRWA.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

INS Karanj boosts Navy’s firepower

INS Karanj details

News

  • The Navy’s third state-of-the-art Scorpene class submarine, INS Karanj, was launched by Reena Lanba, wife of Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba.

Beyond News

  • The new submarine is named after the earlier Kalvari class INS Karanj, which was decommissioned in 2003.
  • Six Scorpene class submarines are being built under Project 75 by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDSL), Mumbai, under a $3.75 billion technology transfer signed in October 2005 with the Naval Group of France.
  • The Scorpene class is the Navy’s first modern conventional submarine series in almost two decades, since INS Sindhushastrawas procured from Russia in July 2000.
  • Wednesday’s launch follows the launch of the first two Scorpene submarines – INS Kalavari and INS Khanderi.
  • According to Navy officials, INS Kalvari, the first to be launched, was commissioned in December 2017 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. INS Khanderi, which was launched in January 2017, is currently undergoing deep dive trails and is expected to be commissioned later this year.
  • INS Kalvari, manned by a team of eight officers and 35 sailors, carries sea-skimming SM39 Exocet missiles and the heavyweight wire-guided Surface and Underwater Target (SUT) torpedoes. For self-defence, it has mobile anti-torpedo decoys.

‘Bhu Seva’ project to be rolled out by October

News

  • Land administration is going to be hassle-free with the rolling out of the ‘Bhu Seva’ project by October-end.

Beyond News

  • It is being successfully piloted in the Jaggaiahpet mandal and the Vuyyuru municipality in Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Each land will be assigned a unique ‘Bhudhaar’ number, which will be the single point of reference for all transactions.
  • Deputy Chief Minister (revenue) said that, this system will be a repository of 2.84 crore agricultural land parcels and 50 lakh urban and 85 lakh rural properties.
  • A land would be geo-tagged and an 11-digit temporary Bhudhaar number starting with 99 would be given.
  • An 11-digit permanent number starting with 28 (A.P.’s census code) would be assigned after the physical attributes and records available with the Revenue, Registration and Stamps, Survey, Municipal Administration, Panchayat Raj and Forest departments were cross-checked.
  • The survey and mapping of lands were being done using high-resolution satellite imagery and Differentiated Global Positioning System (DGPS) and Electronic Total Stations (ETS) wherever possible.
  • Farmers could get mutations done online automatically, which saves time and money, and all the electronic records would be aligned with the information contained in the field measurement books.

Rs. 370 cr. allotted for building border infra

News

  • An official said that,laying emphasis on building infrastructure along the Indo-Pak and Sino-India borders, the government has sanctioned nearly Rs. 370 crore to the BSF and the ITBP for construction of bunkers and special climate-controlled huts in forward areas.

Beyond News

  • A total of Rs. 369.84 crore has been sanctioned by the Home Ministry for construction of infrastructure for Border Security Force (BSF) and Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
  • The amount will be spent for construction of bunkers, fortifying border outposts of the BSF along the Indo-Pak border, construction of climate-controlled huts, procurement of snow scooter for the ITBP besides other necessary works of the two forces.
  • The BSF guards the 2,526.86-km-long Indo-Pak border, including 237.2 km of the Line of Control, and 4096.7 km of the Indo-Bangladesh border.
  • The Indo-Pakistan border has been witnessing massive ceasefire violation from across the border since the beginning of 2017.
  • ITBP guards the 3,488-km-long Sino-India border that runs through Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

The force is specially trained to operate in high altitude mountainous terrain along the border.

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HINDU NOTES-January 29 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-January 29 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, IAS EXAM, Prelims Quiz, Press Information Bureau(PIB), Read Hindu, The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

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10,000-year-old crayon found in Britain

paleolithic crayons discovered

News:

  • Archaeologists have discovered in Britain one of the earliest examples of crayon possibly used by our ancestors 10,000 years ago for applying colour to their animal skins or for artwork.

Beyond News

  • The ochre crayon was discovered near an ancient lake, now blanketed in peat, near Scarborough in North Yorkshire.
  • An ochre pebble was found at another site on the opposite side of the lake.
  • Ochre is an important mineral pigment used by prehistoric hunter-gatherers across the globe.
  • The findings, suggest people collected ochre and processed it in different ways during the Mesolithic period.

The latest discoveries helped further our understanding of Mesolithic life.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Plea to exclude SC/ST creamy layer from quota

News:

  • The Supreme Court will hear a petition to exclude the affluent members, or the creamy layer, of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes from the benefits of reservation.

Beyond News:

  • A Bench will hear the petition which argues that the rich among the SCs/STs are “snatching away” the benefits, while the deserving and impoverished continue to “bite the dust.
  • This is the first time a petition has been filed urging the Supreme Court to introduce the creamy layer concept for the SCs/STs.
  • In 1992, a nine-judge Bench of the court in the Indra Sawhney case, or the Mandal case as it was popularly known, upheld the caste-based reservation for the OBCs as valid.
  • The petition argues that no class or caste remained homogeneously backward across time. Only the backward portion of castes included in the list of SCs/STs alone are constitutionally entitled to the benefits of reservation.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

 Sensors in Andamans to monitor earthquakes

News

  • The Indian Tsunami Early Warning System (ITEWS) of the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) is in the process of setting up an elaborate system of sensors on the Andaman & Nicobar Islands for real-time monitoring of earthquakes.

Beyond News:

  • Strong Motion Sensors with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) have been installed at 28 locations on the islands.
  • Three more ‘cabins’ housing the sensors deep in the forests are awaiting permission from the environment and forest departments.
  • The plan was to have such sensors at 35 locations. These would be put inside six-by-six metre structures.
  • They would be interconnected and would have a satellite-linked facility to enable scientists here to monitor minute land mass movements and seismic data in real-time and be in a position to get a better estimate of the impact and act quickly.
  • Eight of the sensor stations had been linked via satellite, while the remaining were recording data, which could be accessible once they were interconnected.
  • This was likely to happen in a couple of months. Four more sensor stations were in the pipeline.

Tsunamigenic quakes

  • The ITEWS comprises a real-time network of seismic stations, tsunami buoys and tide gauges to detect tsunamigenic earthquakes and to monitor tsunamis.
  • The real-time data is collated at INCOIS in collaboration with the Indian Meteorology Department, the National Institute of Ocean Technology, the Survey of India and international sources.
  • It detects globally occurring earthquakes of 5 magnitude and above within 5-10 minutes of the event.

Cambodia backs anti-terror efforts

India-combodia

News

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Cambodian counterpart, Samdech Hun Sen, held talks to boost ties in key areas of defence, security and counter-terrorism.

Beyond News

  • The two leaders called for concerted global efforts to eliminate terrorism, including blocking sources of terror financing and dismantling terrorist bases.
  • After the talks, the two countries inked four pacts, including the one to improve cooperation in the prevention and investigation of crimes and legal assistance in criminal matters and another on a line of credit from India to finance Cambodia’s Stung Sva Hab water resources development project for $36.92 million.

Defense programmes

  • Expressing satisfaction at the current state of bilateral defence ties, including ship visits and training programmes, the two leaders agreed to further enhance ties, including through exchanges of senior-level defence personnel and capacity-building projects.
  • Both sides expressed a keen interest in enhancing cooperation in maritime domain, including preservation of marine and coastal environment, anti-piracy cooperation, security of sea lanes of communication to maintain peace and ensure safety and security of navigation in the Indo-Pacific Region, and supported complete freedom of navigation and overflight and pacific resolution of maritime issues based on international law.
  • Reaffirming their resolve to fight terrorism, the two leaders affirmed that those responsible for committing, abetting, organising and supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable and be punished.

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HINDU NOTES-December 27 2017 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-December 27 2017 [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 Quiz, Press Information Bureau(PIB), Quiz explanations, Read Hindu, The Hindu Notes, UPSC exam, UPSC toppers

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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

India’s 1st pod taxi on the way, to follow U.S. safety norms

New Pod Taxicol

News

  • India’s first pod taxi project has moved a step closer to reality after a high-level panel recommended inviting fresh bids for the same conforming to the strictest safety standards on the lines of those prescribed by an American body.

Personal Rapid Transit

  • PRT is an advanced public transport using automated electric pod cars to provide a taxi-like demand responsive feeder and shuttle services for small groups of travellers and is a green mode of uninterrupted journey.

Beyond News

  • The projected ₹4,000-crore pod taxi scheme also known as Personal Rapid Transit (PRT)  is a dream project of Road Transport and Highways Minister , and the NHAI has been mandated to execute it on Delhi-Gurgaon pilot corridor (12.3 km) from Delhi-Haryana border to Rajiv Chowk in Gurgaon on a PPP (public-private partnership) basis.
  • The ambitious project has been plagued by delays as government think-tank Niti Aayog raised some red flags, asking the highways ministry to direct initial bidders to prepare a 1-km pilot stretch as all the technologies were unproven.

Subsequent delays were caused due to formation of the high- powered committee to lay down safety and other specifications.

Dalits hold rally, demand their rights

News

  • Chairman of the All India Confederation of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Organisations, Udit Raj, addressed a rally at Ramlila Maidan , demanding reservation in promotion and private sector.

Beyond News

  • The rally was also attended by leaders and members of the Dalit, SC/ST and tribal communities from across the country.
  • Chairman had moved a private member Bill in Parliament for reservation to Dalits in private sector, but there were no serious developments made by the government.

 He also said that as long as there is discrimination and prejudices against the underprivileged communities, his demand for reservation will be steadfast.

Major demands

  • Among the major demands made by the leader are reservation in promotion and jobs in private sector for Dalits, tribals and backward classes, ending of contract system and outsourcing, reservation in higher judiciary and Armed forces, increase in educational scholarships for the backward community students and law for implementation of Special Component Plan (SCP) and Tribal Sub Plan (TSP).

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Now, a big bubble theory

galaxy supernova

News

  • Scientists have said that the solar system could have formed in the bubbles produced by a giant, long-dead star, which was 40 to 50 times the size of the sun.

Beyond News

  • The prevailing theory is that the solar system formed billions of years ago near a supernova.
  • But the new scenario begins with a giant type of star called a Wolf-Rayet star.

They burn the hottest of all stars, producing tonnes of elements which are flung off the surface in an intense stellar wind.

As the Wolf-Rayet star sheds its mass, the stellar wind ploughs through the material around it, forming a bubble structure with a dense shell.

  • Meteorites left over from the early solar system suggests there was a lot of aluminium-26. In addition, studies increasingly suggest the solar system had less of the isotope iron-60.
  • This brings scientists up short, because supernovae produce both isotopes.

This brought the scientists to Wolf-Rayet stars, which release lots of aluminium-26, but no iron-60.

As for the fate of the giant Wolf-Rayet star, the researchers believe that its life ended long ago, likely in a supernova explosion or a direct collapse to a black hole.

‘India to become fifth largest economy in 2018’

News

  • India is set to overtake the United Kingdom and France to become the world’s fifth largest economy next year, a report said Tuesday.

Beyond News

  • Currently ranked seventh, India will move up to fifth place in 2018 and vault to third spot by 2032, the Centre for Economics and Business Research, a London-based consultancy, said in its annual rankings.

Growth slumped to 5.7% for the three months ending June but recovered slightly to 6.3% for the quarter ending September.

 India’s economy has still caught up with that of France and the U.K. and in 2018 will have overtaken them both to become the world’s fifth largest economy in dollar terms.

New system uses Twitter, AI to predict floods

News

  • Scientists are combining Twitter, citizen science and cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to develop an early-warning system for flood-prone communities.

Beyond News

  • Researchers have shown how AI can be used to extract data from Twitter and crowd-sourced information from mobile phone apps to build hyper-resolution monitoring of urban flooding.
  • MyCoast is a system used by a number of environmental agencies to collect ‘citizen science’ data about various coastal hazards or incidents.
  • The system contains over 6,000 flood photographs, all of which were collected through the mobile app.
  • The information extracted by AI tools was validated against precipitation data and road closure reports to examine the quality of the data.

Flood-related tweets were shown to correlate to precipitation levels, while the crowd-sourced data matched strongly with the road closure reports.

Taken together, these tools can be used to monitor the water penetration of urban flooding over a city.

This can be then used to improve forecasting models and early warning systems to help residents and authorities prepare for an upcoming flood.

First-ever hybrid bird species from the Amazon discovered

new bird species discovery

News

  • Scientists have discovered the first-known hybrid bird species to be found in the Amazon rainforest – a golden-crowned manakin with yellow feathers.

Beyond News

  • Through a series of genetic and other tests, researchers found that the golden-crowned manakin – first discovered in Brazil in 1957 but not seen again until 2002 – is in fact a hybrid species.
  • A hybrid species forms when two parental species mate to produce a hybrid population.In this case, the two parents are the snow-capped manakin, named for its bright snowy-white crown feathers, and the opal-crowned manakin, named for its brilliant iridescent crown feathers.

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HINDU NOTES-December 25 2017 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-December 25 2017 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Bank test, Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, General Studies, hindu notes, IAS EXAM, MAINS 2018, PIB notes, Prelims Quiz, Prelims UPSC, Press Information Bureau(PIB), UPSC exam, UPSC toppers

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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

India cautious over Maldives curbs on envoy

News:

  • New Delhi appears to be weighing diplomatic options after Male reportedly placed restrictions on the movement of the Indian Ambassador to the Maldives.

Beyond News

  • According to reports, the Maldives’ Local Government Authority has mandated that foreign diplomats in Male obtain government approval before meeting any Maldivian official.
  • The government suspended three members of a local body allegedly for meeting Indian Ambassador Akhilesh Mishra without permission.
  • Ibrahim H. Shihab, International Spokesperson at the President’s office, said the Indian envoy was a friend of the Maldives.

‘India, EU air pact will spur tourism’

News:

  • The European Union’s Mobility and Transport Commissioner has invited India to explore a deeper engagement in civil aviation through a comprehensive aviation agreement, and also suggested the need for a global agreement on railways.

Beyond News:

  • That will have a direct positive impact on tourism .
  • Topics like safety, security, improving capacities of airports were all part of discussion.
  • Road safety has become a very important global issue. It has been elevated at the UN level as well.
  • Vision Zero is a multi-national road safety project that aims to achieve zero fatalities or serious injuries involving road traffic.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

IACS develops hydrogel to remove toxic dyes and metal ions

News

  • Scientists from Indian Association for Cultivation of Sciences (IACS), Kolkata, have developed a new gel that can remove toxic organic dyes and metal ions from waste water.

Beyond News

  • They found the hydrogel began absorbing various commonly used dyes within 15 minutes.
  • The dyes tested were malachite green, congo red, brilliant blue and rhodomine B.
  • In the case of metals, the hydrogel was able to considerably remove commonly found ones such as cobalt and nickel from industrial effluents in about six hours.

Basic amino acids like leucine and phenylalanine were used to make the gel; the gel is biodegradable. It was stable at room temperature and remained as a gel for several months.

 Significance:

  • The current methods used for treating wastewater adsorption using activated carbon, chemical precipitation or electrochemical techniques are largely ineffective due to incomplete removal or high energy requirements.
  • In comparison, the new hydrogel-based material is able to remove the hazardous waste effectively as it has high water permeability, large surface area for adsorption and is also simple to use.
  • The hydrogel can absorb the wastes for up to 60 hours before reaching a saturation point. The gel was able to remove 78-92% of the dyes and more than 80% metals ions.

The researchers say that the production of the gel can be scaled up to the desired volume for use in water treatment at industries.

Mars absorbed water like sponge

Mars discovery

News:

  • Scientists suggest that,the Martian surface may have reacted with and absorbed the water that once flowed on the Red Planet, making it uninhabitable.

Beyond News

  • Today’s Martian surface is barren, frozen and uninhabitable, a trail of evidence points to a once warmer, wetter planet, where water flowed freely. The conundrum of what happened to this water is long standing and unsolved.
  • The results revealed that the basalt rocks on Mars can hold approximately 25 per cent more water than those on Earth, and as a result drew the water from the Martian surface into its interior.

IS, Al Qaeda competing for Indian recruits

threats from IS social media

News

  • Islamic State and Al Qaeda have been engaged in a fierce competition to promote their propaganda in India, an analysis of messages posted on social media platforms suggest.

Beyond News

  • In the past few months, both IS and Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) have been posting several provocative messages.
  • A senior officer in the security establishment said they were monitoring the content but were particularly concerned with the Al Qaraar media of the Islamic State that has been posting ‘Kashmir’ centric messages.
  • Intelligence officials strongly suspect that AQIS is being backed by the Pakistan establishment to carry out attacks in India on its pretext.

Terrormonitor.org, a non-profit watchdog that tracks the online activities of terror groups said AQIS had re-branded its media approach since it was challenged by the IS.

Diagnosing early-stage cervical cancer using artificial intelligence

News

  • An artificial intelligence-based algorithm developed by a team of researchers from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata and Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur makes this possible.

Beyond News

  • The algorithm developed by the team not only differentiates normal and precancerous tissue but also makes it possible to tell different stages of progression of the disease within a few minutes and with accuracy exceeding 95%.
  • This becomes possible as the refractive index of the tissue is different in the case of healthy and precancerous cells, and this keeps varying as the disease progresses.

How it Works

  • The microstructure of normal tissue is uniform but as disease progresses the tissue microstructure becomes complex and different.
  • The change in scattered light as disease progresses is marked by a change in tissue refractive index.
  • The team has quantified the changes in tissue refractive index using a statistical biomarker multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis (MFDFA). The statistical biomarker has two parameters (Hurst exponent and width of singularity spectrum) that help in quantifying the spectroscopy dataset.

While MFDFA provides quantification of light scattered from the tissues, artificial intelligence-based algorithms such as hidden Markov model (HMM) and support vector machine (SVM) help in discriminating the data and classifying healthy and different grades of cancer tissues.

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HINDU NOTES-December 23 2017 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-December 23 2017 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

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Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

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Stalking cases up but convictions still 0

News

  • Recent data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is an indication, women from Tamil Nadu no longer shy away from lodging a complaint if they are stalked.
  • stalking crime rates

Beyond News

  • This is evident from the fact that in terms of number of stalking cases registered, the State rose up by three positions in 2016 compared to 2015.
  • In 2015, with 11 cases, Tamil Nadu was in the 21st position among 36 states and Union Territories. The State moved up to the 18th position in 2016 after registering 28 cases.
  • Crime like stalking was treated under IPC sections for eve teasing or outraging the modesty of women.
  • Now section 354 D of the IPC states that any man who follows a woman and contacts, or attempts to contact, the woman to foster a personal interaction repeatedly, despite a clear indication of disinterest by the woman, can be charged for stalking, with a jail term of no less than one year.

Solutions

  • Awareness has improved among women , so many are coming forward to lodge complaints.
  • Besides, stalking is being treated as a crime only recently, hence it will take some time to see the conviction rate increase.
  • Many women face the problem of online stalking and remain silent fearing retaliation. There is a need for a better support system for women.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Bill in Lok Sabha to protect slums

News

  • A Bill to provide three-year extension to a law that protects slums and some unauthorised constructions in the National Capital Region from punitive action till a framework for orderly arrangements are in place, was introduced in the Lok Sabha .

Beyond News

  • Housing and Urban Affairs Minister introduced the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
  • The Bill, which was approved by the Cabinet last week, provides for extending the provisions of the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act, 2011 for three years from January 1, 2018.
  • According to the Bill’s Statement of Objects and Reasons, it aims to extend the validity of the Act to continue the protection to certain forms of unauthorised developments in the National Capital Territory of Delhi from punitive action for a “limited period”, till December 31, 2020.

Proud of India, says Palestinian envoy

News

  • Ambassador of Palestine said that,Palestinians are proud of India and India’s support to the cause of peace in West Asia.

Beyond News

  • India voted in favour of a negotiated solution to the issue of Jerusalem and against U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of the holy city as the capital of Israel.
  • Ambassador’s comments came even as the government was praised by the Communist Party of India for voting against the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
  • Israeli Ambassador Daniel Carmon reiterated his country’s claim to Jerusalem in the backdrop of the developments at the United Nations General Assembly.
  • Officials said India’s reaction to Mr. Trump’s statement had indicated that India would vote for the UN resolution.
  • The resolution moved by the Arab countries received 128 votes for and 9 against, with 35 countries abstaining.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Rare winged visitor to Wayanad sanctuary

Rare winged visitor in wayanad

News

  • Hitherto known as the habitat of the critically endangered White-rumped vultures and Red-headed vultures, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary also be home to the endangered species of Cinereous vulture.

Beyond News

  • Biologist of the sanctuary, spotted the Cinereous vulture, also known as Black vulture or Eurasian Black vulture, while engaged in fieldwork inside the Naikatty forest of the Tholpetty forest range under the sanctuary a few days ago.
  • This is a key find as the species has never been reported from and a proper reconnaissance is needed to locate the habitat.
  • Further studies have to be conducted to find the reason for the migration of the bird to the region.
  • They are planning to intensify monitoring of carcass of wild animals to ensure the presence of the ‘rare guest.
  • The Forest and Wildlife Department has launched a comprehensive project to conserve the existing vulture population in the sanctuary, a major habitat of different species of vultures in South India.
  • The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has earmarked ₹50 lakh for the project and they are planning to launch a series of awareness programmes to sensitize the public to the significance of conserving the remaining vulture population in the country.

Anti-smog guns to reduce pollution?

delhi-anti-smog-gun

News

  • To deal with haze during winters, the Delhi government is mulling the use of anti-smog guns to bring down pollution levels in the Capital.
  • It tested out an anti-smog ‘gun’ at Anand Vihar one of the most polluted spots in Delhi.

Anti-smog guns

  • Anti-smog gun is a device that sprays atomised water into the atmosphere to reduce air pollution.

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HINDU NOTES-December 22 2017 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-December 22 2017 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

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Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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Support for terror outfits must be forced to stop: India at UN

News:

  • India has told the UN Security Council that,supporters of terror organisations like Taliban, Haqqani network and Lashkar-e- Taiba must be forced to stop and all safe havens must end.

Beyond News:

  • India also expressed concern over the collapse of security situation in Afghanistan.
  • Terrorists continue to attack the most vulnerable, including the sick in hospitals, children in schools, devotees in mosques and even mourners at funerals. Terrorist groups have gained territory.

Deputy Permanent Representative of India said that,the support for terrorist organisations like the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Daesh, Al Qaeda and its designated affiliates such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e- Mohammed from outside Afghanistan, must be forced to stop.

Black money: India-Swiss data sharing from Jan. 1

News:

  • In a move aimed at combating black money stashed abroad, India signed an agreement with Switzerland that would allow automatic sharing of tax-related information from January 1 next year.

Beyond News:

  • With the completion of the parliamentary procedure in Switzerland and signing of mutual agreement, India and Switzerland are set for automatic exchange of information for the period beginning from January 1, 2018.

A joint declaration for the implementation of Automatic Exchange of Information was signed last month between the two sides, and it provided that both countries would start collecting data in accordance with the global standards in 2018 and exchange it from 2019 onwards.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Science Congress put off indefinitely

News:

  • For the first time in its 105-year history, the Indian Science Congress (ISC) the largest congregation of Indian scientists  has been indefinitely postponed barely two weeks before it was to commence.

Beyond News:

  • This is due to “security problems” at the Osmania University, Hyderabad, where the event was to be organised between January 3 and January 7 next year.
  • The ISC is traditionally the first public function the Prime Minister addresses in the calendar year.

The choice of venue of a science congress is usually decided a year in advance and preparations are a massive logistical exercise that involves coordinating the visit of several Nobel Laureates, heads of Indian science academies and thousands of students.

Severe pollution leads to warnings for NCR States

Delhi Pollution RevisecolNews:

  • Delhi woke up to severe pollution with the concentration of particulate matter reaching toxic levels.

Beyond News:

  • A foggy morning also led to several train delays and cancellations, with reports of at least 15 trains being cancelled, 30 delayed and 11 rescheduled in several parts of northern India.

The Met department said that visibility fell to 400 metres in the morning in the Capital but there were no delays due to weather at the airport.

  • The air quality index for Delhi, Ghaziabad and Noida were in the ‘severe’ category with values of 469, 500 and 500 respectively at 4 p.m., according to the Central Pollution Control Board.
  • Taking action based on the air quality , the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority issued warnings to the NCR State governments to prepare for emergency measures.

In letters to the Chief Secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan governments, EPCA Chairperson  said the level of both PM2.5 and PM10 were in the ‘severe+’ zone.

 

 

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HINDU NOTES-December 08 2017 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-December 08 2017 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

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Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

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UNESCO names Kumbh Mela Intangible Cultural Heritage

KumbaMela UNESCONews

  • After ‘yoga’ and ‘Nouroz’, Kumbh Mela/ KumbhMela, the largest congregation of pilgrims on the planet, has been listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation).

Beyond News

  • The Kumbh Mela is held in Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain and Nashik.
  • The inscription of ‘Kumbh Mela’ in the list was undertaken following recommendation by an expert body which examines nominations submitted by member countries of the UNESCO.
  • The Intergovernment Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO has inscribed ‘Kumbh Mela’ on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its 12th session held at Jeju, South Korea from 4-9 December 2017.
  • This inscription is the third in two years following the inscriptions of ‘Yoga’ and ‘Norouz’ on 1st December 2016.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Wassenaar Arrangement decides to make India its member

News:

  • In a significant development, elite export control regime Wassenaar Arrangement(WA) decided to admit India as its new member, which is expected to raise New Delhi’s stature in the field of non-proliferation besides helping it acquire critical technologies.

What is WA?

  • The Wassenaar Arrangementon Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, commonly known as the Wassenaar Arrangement, is a multilateral export control regime (MECR) with 42 participating states including many former Comecon (Warsaw Pact) countries.

Beyond News:

  • The decision was taken at the two-day plenary meeting of the grouping in Vienna.
  • India will become the Arrangement’s 42nd participating state as soon as the necessary procedural arrangements for joining the WA are completed.

Significance:

  • India’s entry into the export control regime would enhance its credentials in the field of non-proliferation despite not being a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  • The WA membership is also expected to build up a strong case for India’s entry into the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
  • The Wassenaar Arrangement plays a significant role in promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies.

India to achieve ‘electricity for all’ by early 2020s: IEA

Electricity for all in indiaNews:

  • Half a billion people have gained access to electricity in India since 2000, almost doubling the country’s electrification rate, according to the World Energy Access report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Important Findings in Report:

  • This “remarkable” growth puts India on course to achieving access to electricity for all in the early 2020s
  • The number of people without access to electricity fell to 1.1 billion in 2016 from 1.7 billion in 2000.
  • It is on track to decline to 674 million by 2030, with India reaching universal access well before then. Since 2012, more than 100 million people per year have gained electricity access, an acceleration from the rate of 62 million people per year seen between 2000 and 2012.
  • Half a billion people have gained access to electricity in India since 2000, almost doubling the country’s electrification rate.

Beyond News

The report also added that India is expected to reach universal electricity access in the early-2020s. Progress has also been made on clean cooking, although 830 million people in India still lack access.

Ministers not under RTI: HC

News

  • The Delhi High Court has set aside the Central Information Commission order declaring Ministers as “public authorities” and answerable under the Right to Information law.

Beyond News

  • The judge said that,there was no occasion for the CIC to enter upon the question as to whether a minister is a ‘public authority’ under Section 2(h) of the Act. Further, directions issued by the CIC are also wholly outside the scope of the matter before the CIC.
  • The High Court’s order came on the Centre’s appeal against the CIC order.

The case emanates from an application filed by a Maharashtra resident who wanted to know how to get an appointment with the Union Law Minister.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

A.P. registers 11.37% growth rate in first half of current fiscal

News

  • Andhra Pradesh has registered a growth rate of 11.37% during the first half of the current fiscal compared to the national growth rate of 5.8%.

Why this News Important?

  • The State has registered highest growth rate in the agriculture and allied sectors with 25.60% as against the national growth rate of 2%.

Beyond News

  • Industry and services sectors also registered highest growth rate of 7.43% and 8.38% respectively. These growth rates are higher than the national growth rates of 3.6% and 7.9% respectively.
  • All the three sectors have shown a fall in growth during Q2 compared to Q1.
  • The agriculture and allied sectors’ growth rate slipped to 24.05% in Q2 from 27.6% in Q1. Similarly, the industry sector has shown a growth rate of 6.80% in Q2 as against 8.05% in Q1.
  • The services sector registered a growth rate of only 8.38% in Q2 as against 8.67% in Q1.
  • A growth rate of 9.98% had been registered in the industry sector during the first half of 2016-17, while it is 7.43% during the first half of the current fiscal. The services sector too registered a fall from 9.57% in 2016-17 to 8.38% in 2017-18.
  • The growth in these sectors is high compared to the national growth. Also, there is a fall in the national growth in the agriculture and allied sectors and services sector.

NGT raps Punjab, Haryana over their action plan on pollution

News

  • The National Green Tribunal slammed Punjab and Haryana governments for filing generalised action plans to combat air pollution and directed them to refer to its previous judgements on the issue.

Beyond News

  • A bench headed by NGT Chairperson, also summoned the environment secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan asking them to give a “workable solution” for combating the problem of pollution.

The tribunal took exception that Punjab and Haryana were following the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority’s (EPCA’s) comprehensive action plan and not applying their own mind.

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prelims quiz 2018- JULY 15 current affairs

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DAILY PRELIMS QUIZ 2018- Current affairs

Q.1 consider the following statement about net neutrality is/are correct

  1. this term first time coined by tim wu
  2. it is means all content equally without any privilege.

A. 1 only

B. 2 only

C. both

D. none

Answer: Option C


Q.2  consider the following statement about east African community

  1. this include both north and south sudan
  2. it is one of the custom union

A. 1 only

B. 2 only

C. both

D. none

Answer: Option B


Q.3 consider the following statement about raisina dialogue is/are correct

  1. it is indias flagship conference for geopolitics
  2. it is held by ministry of home affairs

A. 1 only

B. 2 only

C. both

D. none

Answer: Option A


Q.4 consider the following statement about pravasi bhartiya divas

  1. it is celebrated in the memory of gandhi return to india in 1915
  2. it was launched in 2003
  3. pravasi bhartiya award was also given

A. 1 2 only

B. 2 3 only

C. 1 3 only

D. all of the above

Answer: Option D


Q.5 consider the following statement about trans pacific partnership is/are correct

  1. this is initiative by U.S.
  2. japan and china both are member of this initiative

A. 1 only

B. 2 only

C. both

D. none

Answer: Option A


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1 C
2 B
3 A
4 D
5 A

 

prelims quiz 2018- JULY 14 current affairs

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DAILY PRELIMS QUIZ 2018- Current affairs

Q.1 which of the following country have longest border with india

A. Pakistan

B. Bangladesh

C. china

D. Myanmar

Answer: Option B


Q.2 chumbi valley situated in which of the following region of india  

A. north india

B. north east india

C. north west india

D. south india

Answer: Option B


Q.3 to fight inflation RBI can take following step

  1. increase in bank rate

  2. more supply of goods

  3. tight money policy

 

A. 1 & 2 only

B. 2 3 only

 

C. 1 3 only

 

D. all of the above

Answer: Option D


Q.4 what is being used in manufacturing of solar cell

A. silicon

B. aluminum

C. iron

D. none

Answer: Option A


Q.5 jhum cultivation have effect on

  1. soil weathering

  2. flooding

  3. less carbon sink

A. 1 2 only

B. 2 3 only

C. 1 3 only

D. all of the above

Answer: Option D

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1 B
2 B
3 D
4 A
5 D