HINDU NOTES-January 22 and 23 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-January 22 and 23 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily hindu notes, MAINS 2018, Prelims UPSC, Read Hindu, The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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WEF 2018: Modi meets Swiss President Alain Berset

News:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 22, 2018, met Swiss President Alain Berset and discussed ways to deepen bilateral ties on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual summit.

Beyond News

  • Mr. Berset said the discussions marked the meeting of the biggest and the oldest democracies in the world.
  • Two leaders had productive discussions on steps to further deepen our bilateral cooperation built upon our shared values of democracy and diversity.
  • Sources said the two leaders are also believed to have discussed the progress on automatic exchange of tax information.
    A legislation in this regard was passed by the Swiss Parliament, following which banks and financial institutions have begun collecting data for the first exchange that is to begin from next year.

Negotiations on EFTA (European Free Trade Association) trade pact and the bilateral investment protection agreement were also discussed, among various business and trade matters, they added.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Sensor-based technology to testify genuineness of organic crops

News

  • Information technology application can now help ensure genuineness of organic crops.

Beyond News

  • Already, various foreign countries have started adopting this technology that involves use of sensors in the soil, where the crop is grown, to record various parameters, including the nature of inputs provided.
  • The data from the sensors would be incorporated in the form of a bar code on the package containing the organic food.
  • Consumers could read the bar code using the relevant app in their mobile phones to confirm that what they are eating is genuinely organic.
  • In addition to this, they would also know the source of their produce such as the place of cultivation and the farmers’ groups that have grown the crop.
  • This technology is set to be tried on a pilot basis in Karnataka for the first time.

It may be tried on paddy and corn, to begin with.
Project would need a minimum of 1,000 acres so that the financial burden would not be huge on farmers.

NGO on a mission to rejuvenate Tamirabharani

rejuvenate thamirabharani

News

In an effort to rejuvenate the Tamirabharani river that plays a critical role in the livelihood, culture and the economy of south Tamil Nadu, the Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI) has begun an extensive outreach programme involving the communities living along the river.

Beyond News

The NGO will adopt 37 villages from Papanasam to Cheranmadevi and will conduct weekend programmes for people from all walks of life.

The activities planned include garbage removing, wall painting, planting of saplings and their maintenance, conducting a river festival once in every six months.

The Tamirabharani, which is the only perennial river that originates and ends in Tamil Nadu, is also the site of an ancient civilisation that excelled in education partly because of the surplus from agriculture.

Police struggle to keep pace with cyber thieves

News

The city police of Chennai have filed more than 1,000 cases of credit card fraud and over 2,000 cases of debit card fraud in the last two years.

Beyond News

Even though complaints have been pouring in on a daily basis, not even a single arrest has been made in the past year.

However, the stakeholders have somehow managed to recover 25% of the money lost in the last two years.

A status report released by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) recently stated that over 3.58 crore was recovered and returned to the victims by initiating quick action on the complaints.

Phishing, a common form of online fraud, is typically carried out by e-mail or instant messaging, and often directs users to enter details at a website, although phone contact has also been used at times.

According to police, after getting the details, the scammers make payments to mobile phone and online payment service providers, which are quite difficult to trace or retrieve.

Now, an app to report roadkill in wildlife habitats

tiger road kill

News

A mobile-based application, ‘Roadkills’, launched on January 21 by the Wildlife Conservation Trust, will help citizens report such wildlife deaths by uploading geotagged photographs to a public forum.

Beyond News

The data generated can be used to identify crucial road or rail stretches that urgently require mitigation measures.

With the resulting geotagged photographs, users can also include what taxon the animal belongs to (bird, mammal, reptile or amphibian), the species’ name (if known) and the area where the roadkill was seen.

The information generated from the application can help identify crucial sections of roads or railway lines where animal deaths are high to pinpoint regions that require urgent mitigation measures.

The data can also help determine what species are more at risk on specific road or rail stretches and plan the ideal mitigation measures suited for the location – from underpasses or overpasses for large mammals to canopy bridges for arboreal ones, such as monkeys.

Pollution in Yamuna hits water supply

News

Delhi Jal Board said that,water supply in almost all parts of the Capital will be affected as increase in pollution levels in the Yamuna led to water treatment plants working under capacity.

Beyond News

Due to rise in pollution level in the Yamuna and reduced supply of raw water in the carrier lined channel [CLC] by Haryana, production of drinking water has been curtailed at all water treatment plants.

Ammonia level

The level of ammonia in raw water had increased to 1.6 parts per million (ppm), while the DJB can only treat water with an ammonia level of 0.9 ppm or lower.

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HINDU NOTES-January 20 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-January 20 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, Daily quiz, Editorial analysis, Editorials, Press Information Bureau(PIB), The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

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Rockets recovered from open well are from Tipu era: Experts

Ancient india rockets discovered

News

  • A large number of unfired rockets, found in an open well at a farmhouse in Nagara village, Hosanagar taluk, have now been confirmed by experts to belong to the Tipu Sultan era.

Beyond News

  • Assistant Director of the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage, confirmed that 102 unused rockets were found in varying sizes in April 2017, during the de-silting of an open well on land belonging to Nagaraja Rao, a farmer from Nagara village.
  • They concluded that these items were unused war rockets belonging to the 18th century. As Nagara was an important administrative centre of the Mysore state, and Tipu had established a mint and an armoury here, they concluded that the rockets belonged to the Tipu Sultan period.
  • After the fourth Anglo-Mysore War, there was the chance that Tipu’s army, stationed in Nagara, could have dumped the rockets in the well to prevent them from getting into the hands of the East India Company.
  • Both Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan had used rockets in the wars they fought against the East India Company. While wooden or paper casing was used for rockets back then, iron casing was used for the first time by the Mysore army.

Features of Rockets

  • The distinctive feature of the rockets is that they are filled with black powder (a mixture of sulphur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate) and encased in iron. They are seven to 10 inches long and 1 to 3 inches in diameter.
  • The rockets were corroded owing to continuous exposure to water.
  • Using iron tubes to store the propellant gave the rockets higher thrust and longer range.
  • In addition, using soft iron increased the capacity to inflict greater damage on the enemy.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

India admitted to Australia Group

News

  • India joined the Australia Group saying that the membership will be mutually beneficial.

Beyond News

  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated that India’s entry into the group which aims to prevent proliferation of biological and chemical weapons, will ensure a more secure world.
  • The Australia Group decided to admit India as its 43rd participant.
  • Its entry would be mutually beneficial and further contribute to international security and non-proliferation objectives.
  • Australia Group said that, India’s membership will help to counter the “spread of materials, equipment and technologies that could contribute to the development or acquisition of chemical/biological weapons.
  • Diplomats said the entry is a show of support from the international community for India’s non-proliferation records.
  • India joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 2016 and the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) last year.
  • It is understood that the membership will also boost India’s membership bid for the Nuclear Suppliers Group which is being opposed by China.

Centre launches initiative to make 100 websites accessible to persons with disabilities

News

  • In an initiative to empower Persons with Disabilities, 100 websites of various State Governments/UTs under Accessible India Campaign were launched by the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment on the occasion of ‘National Conference on Improving Accessibility’.

Aim

  • The aim of the conference was to sensitize and bring awareness among different stakeholders including the officials of state government on accessibility in the context of recently enacted Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2016.
  • The aim of the campaign is to make a barrier free environment for persons with disabilities all over the country for safe, dignified life of Persons with Disabilities.

Beyond News

  • The Ministry has so far organised around 5800 camps for distribution of assistive device to Divyangjans.
  • Accessible Website Design Principles include providing appropriate alternative text, Caption video, transcripts for audio, making all documents (e.g., PDFs) to be accessible and make sure content is structured, clearly written and easy to read.

The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) initiated a ‘Website Accessibility Project’ for State Government/Union Territories under Accessible India Campaign through ERNET India, an autonomous scientific society under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), to make total 917 websites accessible and providing funds for the same.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

The sun powers irrigation pump sets here

Solar project india

News

  • The State government’s ambitious project ‘Surya Raitha’, which helps farmers to generate electricity to run their irrigation pump (IP) sets, was inaugurated at Harobele in Kanakapura taluk of Ramanagaram district in Karnataka.

Beyond News

  • Surya Raitha, a first-of-its-kind project in the country, is being implemented on a pilot basis in the district.
  • It also ensures earnings to farmers by selling excess energy generated through solar panels to Bangalore Electricity Supply Company, he said.
  • The government is committed to making Karnataka open defecation-free and supplying safe and pure drinking water in rural areas, Mr. Patil said.
  • Minister for Energy said the State government was tapping renewable solar energy sources to increase the level of consumption of green energy in Karnataka.
  • The department has set up the world’s largest solar park at Pavagada in Tumakuru district.
  • Surya Raitha was implemented at a cost of ₹24 crore at Harobele. Currently, 310 IP sets are getting electricity under the scheme.

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HINDU NOTES-January 19 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-January 19 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, hindu notes, IAS EXAM, The Hindu Notes, UPSC exam

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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Modi to visit Palestine in February

News:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to travel to the Palestinian capital of Ramallah on February 10, a diplomatic source has confirmed.

Beyond News:

  • The visit to the Palestinian territory is likely to be part of Prime Minister Modi’s outreach to the Arab world, during which he will hold a meeting with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
  • This will be the first time that an Indian Prime Minister will visit the Palestinian capital of Ramallah.
  • The visit was confirmed even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on the last leg of his trip to India.
  • The official said that the trip indicates that India remains on track with its traditional stance on Palestine. Palestine had praised India’s recent vote in the UN against the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
  • The issue of Indian support to the two-state solution was also discussed during the meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Mr. Netanyahu.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Agni-5 ballistic missile tested successfully

AGNI 5 launched by india

News:

  • India successfully tested Agni-V, validating the long range surface-to-surface ballistic missile’s reliability.

Beyond News:

  • The Defence Ministry said in a statement that,this was the fifth test of the missile and the third consecutive one from a canister on a road mobile launcher. All the five missions have been successful.
  • The flight performance of the missile was tracked and monitored by radars, range stations and tracking systems all through the mission.

Agni-V:

  • Agni-V, with a range of over 5,000 km, is India’s longest range ballistic missile and can reach most parts of China, making it the mainstay of India’s triad to deliver nuclear weapons.
  • The user associate test-flight of the missile has further boosted indigenous missile capabilities and deterrence strength of the country.
  • Agni-V is the most advanced missile in the Agni series with new technologies incorporated in it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine.
  • The missile is so programmed that after reaching the peak of its trajectory, it will turn towards the Earth to continue its journey towards the intended target with an increased speed due to the attraction of the Earth’s gravitational pull, he said.
  • Official added that,its path is precisely directed by the advanced on-board computer and inertial navigation system.

India to set up $350 mn fund for solar projects to meet renewable energy target

Solar project india

News:

  • India will set up a $350 million fund to finance solar projects, as the country steps up efforts to achieve its ambitious target of adding 175 gigawatts (GW) in renewable energy by 2022.

Beyond News:

  • India will need at least $125 billion to fund a plan to increase the share of renewable power supply in the country’s grid by 2022, underlining the immense financing challenge ahead.
  • The country, which receives twice as much sunshine as European nations, wants to make solar central to its renewable expansion.
  • Installed renewable power capacity is currently about 60 GW, and India plans to complete the bidding process by the end of 2019/20 to add a further 115 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2022.
  • It expects renewable energy to make up 40% of installed power capacity by 2030, compared with 18.2% at the end of 2017.
  • Power ministry said in a statement that, India’s Yes Bank Ltd. has committed to financing solar projects worth $5 billion, while state-run NTPC Ltd. will contribute $1 million to an ISA fund.

Disaster warning system for Odisha by March

News

  • The Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS), a project that aims at establishing a fool-proof communication system to disseminate disaster warning up to the community level, is expected to be commissioned by this March.

Beyond News

  • The EWDS had missed several deadlines before being fast-tracked recently.
  • The EWDS is a first-of-its-kind automatic public address system in the country.
  • Managing Director of the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) said that,it will help the State to warn a vast population residing along its coast from the State headquarters through loud sirens from towers installed at 122 locations in the event of occurrence of natural disasters like a tsunami or cyclone.
  • The EWDS for last mile connectivity is being implemented under a World Bank project.

Static thermal imaging cameras to track elephant movement

News

  • The Forest Department will install permanent thermal imaging cameras at four places along forest boundaries in Coimbatore to track movement of wild elephants and to develop an early warning system.

Beyond News

  • The thermal imaging captured by the cameras will be sent to the control room of the Forest Department. This will help alert staff and residents in the locality about the animal movement.
  • At present, the department is using two hand-held thermal imaging cameras that are used for anti-depredation works at night.

Importance of Thermal imaging camera

  • Thermal imaging camera capture the heat in the body of the animal. The hand-held cameras are very helpful in tracking presence of wild elephants at night, early morning and late evening when visibility is poor.
  • The four places selected for developing the warning system had witnessed frequent movement of elephants.
  • Installation of thermal imaging camera is expected to boost up the alert system at Madukkarai.
  • After the installation of thermal imaging cameras, the Department has plans to create an early warning network where information on the movement of wild elephants animals can be shared to Forest staff and people in the conflict zone.

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HINDU NOTES-January 18 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-January 18 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

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World’s biggest flooded cave found in Mexico, explorers say

Ancient maya civilizationNews:

  • A group of divers has connected two underwater caverns in eastern Mexico to reveal what is believed to be the biggest flooded cave on the planet, a discovery that could help shed new light on the ancient Maya civilization.

Beyond News

  • The Gran Acuifero Maya (GAM), a project dedicated to the study and preservation of the subterranean waters of the Yucatan peninsula, said the 347-km cave was identified after months of exploring a maze of underwater channels.
  • Near the beach resort of Tulum, the group found that the cave system known as Sac Actun, once measured at 263 km, communicated with the 83-km Dos Ojos system. For that reason, Sac Actun now absorbs Dos Ojos.
  • GAM director and underwater archaeologist said that,the “amazing” find would help to understand the development of the rich culture of the region, which was dominated by the Maya civilization before the Spanish conquest.
  • He also said that,it allows them to appreciate much more clearly how the rituals, the pilgrimage sites and ultimately the great pre-Hispanic settlements that we know emerged.
  • The Yucatan peninsula is studded with monumental relics of the Maya people, whose cities drew upon an extensive network of sinkholes linked to subterranean waters known as cenotes.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Geo-tagging to help keep PMAY in order

News

  • Geo-tagging of site location and periodic monitoring with photographs of work progress has reduced the leeway for malpractices in the implementation of the housing schemes under the Pradhan Manthri Awaz Yojana (PMAY).

Beyond News

  • The State-level monitoring team in Kerala has now recommended to the city Corporation to stop the release of funds to nine beneficiaries, after discrepancies were found in their geo-tagged data.
  • The geo-tagging system involves marking the geographical coordinates of the site location as well as photographing of the progress of a given work.
  • It has now been enabled for the PMAY scheme, under which funds are provided to build a house for those who already own land.
  • The local body has completed geo-tagging of close to 800 houses, out of the 3,100 such beneficiaries in the first phase of the scheme in the Corporation.
  • As per this scheme, the construction work should start afresh on the land that they own. Existing structures have to be demolished before the work begins.
  • According to project officials, in geo-tagged photographs, it was noticed that some of them had just demolished a room of their old house and constructed a new one, while in another case, just the roof was redone.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

‘Direct tax collections jump 18.7% this fiscal’

News

  • The tax department said that,direct tax collections during the first nine-and-a-half months of the current fiscal have risen by 18.7% to ₹6.89 lakh crore.

Beyond News

  • The collections till January 15, 2018, represent over 70% of the ₹9.8 lakh crore revenue target from direct taxes, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in a statement.
  • Gross collections (before adjusting for refunds) have increased by 13.5% to ₹ 8.11 lakh crore during April 2017 to January 15, 2018.
  • Refunds amounting to ₹1.22 lakh crore have been issued during this period.
  • CBDT said that, the growth rate of total gross collections has improved from 10% in Q1, to 10.3% in Q2, to 12.6% in Q3 and to 13.5% as on January 15, 2018.

West Bengal rivers are not fit even for bathing, says report

Ganga pollution analysisNews

  • A dip in the Ganges is, generally speaking, synonymous with the idea of purification. But that shall no longer be so in Bengal, where the river is so polluted that it is now officially unfit for bathing.

Findings in the Report

  • According to the latest State of Environment Report, published by the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB), in 17 major rivers of the State, including the Ganges, the levels of coliform bacteria (found mainly in human faeces) are much higher than the permissible limit of MPN (most probable number) per 100 ml.
  • The permissible limit as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) guideline is 500.
  • The report states that several stretches of the Ganges, known as Bhagirathi and Hooghly in the region (two tributaries of the Ganges), have a total coliform count (TCC) much higher than the permissible level of 500.
  • According to the WBPCB, compared with 2014, all the four main rivers of north Bengal recorded a significant increase in TCC, while the ones in south Bengal had TCC levels much higher than the permissible limit.

Reason

  • One of the reasons for such high TCC was the disposal of “untreated sewage.

Terrorism erodes economy: Sushma Swaraj

News

  • Hitting out at the sponsors of international terrorism, India urged for greater consensus among countries for devising a global strategy.

Beyond News

  • Speaking at the plenary session of the 3rd Raisina Dialogue, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that, terrorism is a major disruptor of the global economy and has delivered a jolt to the process of globalisation.
  • The 3rd annual Raisina Dialogue was launched by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu where he described terrorism as a major threat to the democracies in the twenty-first century.
  • Continuing with the theme of ensuring safety for democracies, Ms Swaraj remarked that security and socio-economic developments, have pushed globalisation into a retreat.
  • The Minister said that while international terrorism by Islamic State, which grew out of ungoverned territories, is dangerous, more dangerous.
  • Ms Swaraj also pointed out that another emerging disruptor is the concern over maritime movement.

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HINDU NOTES-January 17 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-January 17 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

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Megalithic era sarcophagus unearthed at Viyur

Harappan discovery in kerala

News

  • A rare sarcophagus (stone coffin), said to be 2,000-year old from the Iron Age–Megalithic era, was discovered from a rock-cut cave at Viyur village of Kollam, near Koyilandy, in Kozhikode district in Kerala.

Beyond News

  • The coffin containing bone fragments was found during an excavation. So far, such a rare finding has been discovered only from two sites in Kerala.
  • The bone fragments could be of either a man or a woman. They will be sent for carbon dating using accelerator mass spectrometry at the Beta Analytical Laboratory in California.
  • Excavation at the site commenced after a hemispherical rock-cut chamber was discovered in a compound while flattening land using an earthmover.
  • Different types of pottery, mostly four-legged jars and iron implements, were found in the cave.
  • Sarcophagi was found in many archaeological sites in South India earlier. Some are adorned with a sculpture or inscription. But two types are usually found with bovine features or with legs.
  • It can be confirmed that a rich Megalithic culture existed in the region following the discoveries of pre-Iron age civilisation earlier.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

SC condemns conduct of caste panchayats

News

  • Supreme Court said that,any collective attack by a khap panchayat on an adult for choosing to marry the person of their choice is absolutely illegal and condemned.

Beyond News

  • Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, heading a three-judge Bench, observed that an adult man and woman are free to marry. No society, no khap panchayat, no parent can impose their will on them.
  • The apex court said it would not tolerate any manner of collective and regressive conduct by khap panchayat or such group of persons.
  • The Centre said it supports the dignity of women and agreed with the court that the judiciary should fill the legislative vacuum left by a lack of law against honour killing.
  • Amicus curiae and senior advocate referred to a recommendation by the Law Commission for a special penal law recognising honour killing as a crime.

460 Indians deported by the U.S in 2017

News

  • Tougher implementation of immigration laws in the U.S in the first year of Donald Trump presidency has resulted in 30 percent increase in arrests, compared to the previous year, but deportations have come down.

Beyond News

  • While the overall number of undocumented people deported from the U.S in 2017 decreased from 2016, the number of Indians increased 460 were deported last year compared to 353 in 2016.
  • In 2015, 311 undocumented Indians were deported from the U.S, according to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
  • A report released by the administration linked its case for changing the immigration policy to national security and the ability of the immigrants to assimilate.
  • An official speaking on background said that, 402 of the 549 people convicted of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. since September 11, 2001 were foreign-born.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

‘Water scarcity may hit thermal power’

Water scarcity on thermal plants

News

  • India’s thermal power plants, about 90% of which rely on fresh water for cooling, risk facing serious outages because of shortage of water, according to a new report by the World Resources Institute (WRI).

Findings in the Report

  • About 40% of the country’s thermal power plants are facing great stress in terms of water availability, according to the report, defines water stress as the ratio of total water withdrawal over available supply.
  • Between 2013 and 2016, 14 of India’s 20 largest thermal utility companies experienced one or more shutdowns due to water shortages and calculated that this cost the power producers more than ₹91 billion ($1.4 billion) in potential revenue from the sale of power.
  • According to the report, not only does high water stress result in equipment shutting down, it also results in a lower level of efficiency when it is running.
  • When power plants rely on water sourced from scarce regions, they put electricity generation at risk and leave less water for cities, farms and families. Without urgent action, water will become a choke point for India’s power sector.
  • WRI said that,freshwater-cooled thermal power plants that are located in high water-stress areas have a 21% lower average capacity factor, compared to the ones in low and medium water-stress areas.
  • The WRI’s report predicts that this problem is set to worsen as India’s thermal power sector expands and demand for water from other sectors increases.
  • It says that by 2030, 70% of India’s thermal power plants are likely to experience increased competition for water from agriculture, industry and municipalities.

Chinese ‘rainbow dinosaur’ had iridescent feathers like hummingbirds

colorful rhinoceros bird

News

  • Scientists announced the discovery of a crow-sized, bird-like dinosaur with colorful feathers from northeastern China that lived 161 million years ago during the Jurassic Period.

Beyond News

  • They named it Caihong, the Mandarin word for rainbow.
  • Microscopic structures in the exquisitely preserved, nearly complete fossil unearthed in Hebei Province indicated that it boasted iridescent feathers, particularly on its head, neck and chest, with colors that shimmered and shifted in the light, like those of hummingbirds.
  • The discovery “suggests a more colorful Jurassic World than we previously imagined.

Features of Caihong

  • Using powerful microscopes, the scientists detected within the feathers the remnants of organelles called melanosomes responsible for pigmentation. Their shape determines the color.
  • Caihong’s feathers had pancake-shaped melanosomes similar to those of hummingbirds with iridescent feathers.
  • Much of its body had dark feathers, but ribbon-like iridescent feathers covered its head and neck. While it possessed many bird-like characteristics, the researchers doubted it could actually get airborne.
  • Caihong was a two-legged predator with a Velociraptor-like skull and sharp teeth, probably hunting small mammals and lizards. Caihong had fuzzy feathers and pennaceous ones, those that look like writing quills.

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HINDU NOTES-January 16 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-January 16 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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

Aadhaar authentication through face recognition

News:

  • The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) said it will enable Aadhaar authentication using face recognition from July 1 onwards.

Beyond News:

  • This feature will be used only in “fusion mode”, along with one more existing mode of authentication such as fingerprint, iris or one-time password (OTP).
  • The decision has been taken ,so that people facing difficulty in other biometric authentication (fingerprint and Iris) could easily authenticate, UIDAI said in a statement, adding that some people are not able to biometrically authenticate due to their worn out fingerprints, old age or hard working conditions.
  • The face authentication provides additional option for all residents to have inclusive authentication.
  • UIDAI will release necessary details for implementation for AUAs by March 1, 2018. It will also provide software development kits that will have the ability to capture face image, check liveness, and create digitally signed and encrypted authentication input.

Poland eyes India mining sector

News:

  • Marek Magierowski, Polish Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that,Polish companies may be interested in getting into commercial mining in India provided the conditions are right.

Beyond News:

  • Among Poland’s area of expertise was deep mining in copper and coal. 
  • Its other areas of interest include energy, food processing, defense and innovation.
  • He also said they are not really promoting business here, but they want to boost trade relations with India which is a priority country for them.
  • BCCI president said India and Poland had jointly etched out a roadmap for strengthening co-operation in areas like thick-seam underground coal mining, exploitation of gassy seams , developing clean coal technologies and transfer of technology in deep coal mining from Poland to India.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

First joint estimation of tigers in Sunderbans begins [Deck] The region hosts 75% of all big cats in the world

News:

  • The first joint estimation of tigers in the Sunderbans, spread across India and Bangladesh, began on Monday, with a training workshop.

Beyond News

  • Eminent tiger biologist Qamar Qureshi said the Sunderbans houses the fifth largest tiger population in the world.

Beat the heat with the world’s smallest wearable device !

News

  • Scientists have developed the world’s smallest wearable device – a wafer-thin, feather-light sensor – that can fit on a fingernail and precisely measure a person’s exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun.

Beyond News

  • Researchers said that,the broader goal is to provide a technology platform that can save lives and reduce skin cancers by allowing individuals, on a personalised level, to modulate their exposure to the sun.
  • The device, as light as a raindrop, is powered by the sun and contains the world’s most sophisticated and accurate UV dosimeter.
  • The device called UV Sense was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
  • It is also an optimal location to measure exposure to the sun.

Drones to monitor beaches in Chennai

News

  • The Chennai City Police are making elaborate security arrangements in view of the huge crowd expected to throng the Marina Beach on the day of ‘Kaanum Pongal’ on Tuesday.

Beyond News

  • Drones would be used for monitoring the crowd and tags would be tied around the hands of children to prevent them from getting lost.
  • Drones are being used for the first time to keep a watch on pickpockets and chain snatchers.
  • Barricades have been erected on the Marina and the Elliots beaches to avoid visitors from entering the sea. Lifeguards will also be posted to save people from drowning.
  • Temporary watchtowers with public address systems have erected.

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HINDU NOTES-January 13 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-January 13 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, Editorials, IAS EXAM, IAS toppers, MAINS 2018, PIB notes, Prelims UPSC, Press Information Bureau(PIB), The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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Four SC judges air differences with CJI Misra

SC judges conflict analyses

News

  • In an unprecedented act, four senior judges of the Supreme Court held a press conference and publicly accused Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra of selectively assigning cases to judges of his choice without any rational basis.

Beyond News

  • Transcending judicial protocol that sitting judges should not interact with the media, Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph the senior-most judges after the CJI  accused Justice Misra of assigning cases of “far-reaching consequences to the nation” to junior hand-picked judges against the time-tested convention, practice and tradition of the court.
  • In a letter addressed to the CJI and circulated at the press meet, the four said certain Supreme Court judges arrogated to themselves the “authority to deal with and pronounce upon” cases which ought to be heard by other appropriate Benches.

Justice Chelameswar, speaking for the four, said they had collectively tried to persuade the Chief Justice to take remedial measures but their efforts had failed.

The judges said that with the independence of the judiciary and the future of democracy at stake, they had “no other choice but communicate to the nation to please take care of this institution.”

  • Justice Chelameswar recounted that the trigger for the press conference was a meeting they held with the Chief Justice regarding the assignment of a petition, seeking an independent probe into the mysterious death of CBI judge B.H. Loya, to a particular Bench.
  • Without naming any, Justice Chelameswar said that several other important cases like this had been assigned to preferred Benches over the past months.
  • Also said that,the convention of the court demands that important cases of public interest or sensitive matters should be first heard by the CJI. If the CJI is not willing for some reason to hear the case, it should be assigned to the next senior-most judge in the Supreme Court.

India makes push for U.K. immigration reform

News

  • Commerce and Industry Minister and Minister of State for Home Affairs, both on visits to the U.K., have pressed the need for Britain to review immigration policies relating to India, including on student visas and the extension of a visa system introduced for Chinese visitors to the U.K.

Beyond News

  • The meetings came as India and Britain agreed to the terms of a memorandum of understanding on the swift return of Indian illegal immigrants from the U.K. an issue that has been repeatedly raised by the British government and cited as an obstacle to immigration reform on the British side.
  • Among the key asks raised by the Ministers is for the introduction of a two-year visa system for business travellers.
  • Prabhu said he raised issues both around the ease of getting visas and the costs which could prove prohibitive for the services sector.
  • Both Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the progress of talks on these issues.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Search in Bharathapuzha unearths 6 pieces of PSP

News

  • Six pieces of perforated steel planking (PSP) were recovered from the Bharathapuzha under the Kuttippuram bridge during a combined search conducted by the police and other security agencies.

Beyond News

  • The search was carried out under the leadership of Intelligence DIG, in the wake of the recovery of a cache of ammunition from the river. Five anti-personnel mines had been found abandoned near the bridge last week.

For Army use only!

  • Both the land mines and the cache of bullets recovered from the site were used by the Army.
  • The PSP pieces recovered were rusted heavily. The PSP is used to prevent Army vehicles getting stuck in marshy land.

The search was conducted with the help of an earth mover and using deep search metal detectors (DSMD). Bomb squads joined the search.

Waterbird census in district from today

News

  • Waterbird census, the annual event of counting birds in wetland areas conducted as part of the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC), will be held on January 13 and 14 in Kochi(Kerala).

Waterbird

  • Waterbirds are birds that are ecologically dependent on wetlands.

Beyond News

  • Annually in January, hundreds of volunteers move across the wetland bird habitats in Asia to count waterbirds including the migratory ones.
  • Data generated from AWC is used to identify and monitor wetlands of international and national importance.
  • AWC covers the region of Asia from Afghanistan eastwards to Japan, southeast Asia and Australasia.
  • The event runs parallel to other international census procedures of waterbirds in Africa, Europe, Middle East, and the neotropical regions.
  • The annual waterbird census began in Kerala in 1987.
  • The Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad and the Social Forestry Wing of the Forest Department are also supporting the event.

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

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

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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Netanyahu’s visit to give a leg-up to India-Israel ties

News

Israeli Prime Minsiter Benjamin Netanyahu will visit India between 14-19 January, 2018, the Ministry of External Affairs announced.

Beyond News

nethanyahu visit
The visit is a reciprocating gesture from Israel to the first Prime Minister-level visit from India undertaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2017.

The visit marks the high point of the 25th anniversary of normal diplomatic ties between the two countries.

China breaks India’s internet monopoly in Nepal

News

China became Nepal’s second internet service provider, breaking India’s monopoly in providing internet access to the Himalayan Kingdom.

Beyond News

The Hong Kong and Beijing based China Telecom Global (CTG) a company formed in 2012 has teamed up with Nepal Telecom to provide alternate cyber-connectivity to Nepal.

So far, Nepal had been linked to the global internet network through Indian telecom operators, using optical fiber connections in Biratnagar, Bhairahawa and Birgunj, among others.

But a new terrestrial fiber cable launched in 2016 by CTG will now connect Nepal and China through the Jilong (Rasuwagadhi) border gateway.

Media reports in Nepal say that the new fiber link extends to China’s Hong Kong Data Center one of Asia’s largest global data centers.

 

Coming soon: orange passports sans parents’ names

News

Orange will be the colour of jackets of new general passports, announced the Ministry of External Affairs indicating a facelift for the blue booklet, essential for the Indian travellers.

Beyond News

  • The announcement came even as the ministry responding to a single mother’s application for her child’s passport, conducted extensive consultations and did away with the usual last page of the document, which contained names of parents, and home address of the applicant.
  • However, the passports that are currently in circulation would remain valid till the printed date of expiry in the booklet.
  • The announcement on the new look passport came along with the decision of the MEA to do away with the back page of the passport that has been subjected to criticism from single parents as it required names of both parents.

After consulting the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regarding compatibility of passport booklets minus the last page, with Machine Readable Travel Documents, the MEA concluded that, the last page of the passport and other travel documents issued under the Passports Act, 1967 and Passport Rules, 1980 would no longer be printed.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

ISRO’s 42nd PSLV successfully puts 31 satellites in orbit

News

The 42nd Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), PSLV-C40, was launched successfully by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from the First Launch Pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota and it placed 31 satellites across two orbits.

Beyond News

The PSLV, launched at 9.29 a.m., had as its primary payload the country’s fourth satellite in the remote sensing Cartosat-2 series, weighing 710 kg. The 30 other co-passenger smaller satellites, together weigh 613 kg. Of them, 28 are from other countries.

The Cartosat-2, whose imagery will be used to develop various land and geographical information system applications, was placed in a circular polar sun synchronous orbit 505 km from the Earth.

It is the two other Indian satellites in the payload that have generated much excitement. Both are called technology demonstrators, indicating significant strides in miniaturisation.

The other one, a nanosatellite, named Indian Nano Satellite (INS) – 1C, is the third in its series; its predecessors were part of the PSLV-C37 launch of February 2017.

Of the 28 foreign satellites, launched as part of deals made by ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation Limited, three were microsatellites and 25 nanosatellites.

There were 19 satellites from the United States and five from South Korea. The United Kingdom, France, Canada and Finland had a satellite each.

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HINDU NOTES-January 11 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-January 11 2018 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, hindu notes, The Hindu Notes, UPSC exam

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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U.S. places India at Level 2 in its new travel advisory for citizens

News

The United States on Wednesday issued a new travel advisory for countries including India, which its officials said is “user friendly” as it is based on ready-to-understand level of advice ranging from one to four.

Beyond News

  • India has been ranked Level 2 (exercise increased caution) while Pakistan has been places in Level 3 (reconsider travel).
  • Level 1 advises travellers to exercise normal precaution, while Level 4, which has countries like Afghanistan, recommends “Do Not Travel“.

Impact of Terrorism.

  • Placing India on Level 2, the State Department identified “crime and terrorism” for Americans to exercise increased caution.
  • However, it asks Americans not to travel to Jammu and Kashmir, except for eastern Ladakh and Leh and not to venture within 10 miles of the India-Pakistan border due to the “potential for armed conflict“.
  • Ranking Pakistan on Level 3, the State Department asked Americans to reconsider travel to this country due to terrorism.
  • Americans are also advised not to travel to Pak-Occupied Kashmir due to terrorism and the potential for armed conflict.

Ban on use of national flag made of plastic

News

The Central government urged everyone not to use a national flag made of plastic and asked the states and Union Territories to ensure strict compliance of the Flag Code in view of the Republic Day celebrations ahead.

Beyond News

  • An advisory from the Union Home Ministry said that the “national flag represents the hopes and aspirations of the people of the country and hence should occupy a position of honour”, but since plastic flags are not biodegradable like paper flags, ensuring appropriate disposal of a national flag made of plastic is a practical problem.

Section 2 of The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971

  • As per Section 2 of The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, whoever in any public place or any other place within public view burns, mutilates, defiles, destroys, tramples upon or otherwise shows disrespect to or brings into contempt (whether by words, either spoken or written, or by acts) the Indian National Flag or any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

The advisory said that on important national, cultural and sports events, flags made of paper only are to be used by the public, and after the event such flags are to be disposed of in private, consistent with the dignity of the flag.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Mullaperiyar dam: SC asks Centre, TN, Kerala to set up panels to prepare disaster management plans

MULLAPERIYARNews

Despite assurances from the Union government that the 122-year-old Mullaperiyar dam is “safe,” the Supreme Court directed it to set up a special committee to exclusively prepare disaster management plans.

Beyond News

  • A three-judge Bench also directed Tamil Nadu, which owns the dam, and Kerala, where it is situated, to set up similar committees.
  • It said the three committees would work in harmony.
  • The Bench said the step was taken to allay the fears of thousands of people who live downstream or in the vicinity of the dam.

It clarified in the order that the special committees have nothing to do with the lifespan or safety of the dam.

Their brief is restricted to disaster management plans to prevent a calamity or contain the loss of life and damage to property in case a tragedy hits the dam.

The Bench noted that a committee had been formed to cover the aspects of safety and lifespan of the dam as ordered by a Constitution Bench of the court in May 2014.

Gujarat to count elusive tigers

tiger periyarNews

Gujarat, which houses a rich population of lions, will now see an exercise to find out if tigers also inhabit the State.

Beyond News

  • The last time a tiger was spotted in Gujarat was way back in 1985.
    Now, over three decades later, a census has been planned next month to ascertain the presence of the striped animal in the forest of Dang district.
  • The State forest department earlier sent a proposal to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for the census after some media reports suggested the presence of tigers in Dang.

The proposal was approved by the NTCA, a statutory body under the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

  • Till the early 1980s, there were tigers in Gujarat, mainly inhabiting the forests of Dang, Narmada and Sabarkantha districts.
  • “The last tiger died in a road accident in Dang in 1985. No tiger was seen in the State after that.
  • The forest department sent a team in July last year to survey the area to ascertain the presence of tigers, but the report was negative.

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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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