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

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

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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

News:

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

Beyond News:

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

Article 14

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

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

Dalits stage protests in Belagavi against violence in Bhima-Koregaon

News:

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

Why its important?

It makes koregaon event of 1818 significant.

Beyond News:

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

 

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

News

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

Tabby’s star

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

Finding:

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

Cookstoves in India more polluting than thought: study

News

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

Beyond News

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

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

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

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Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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Rajya Sabha passes Bankruptcy Code Bill

News

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

Bankruptcy Code Bill

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

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

News

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

Beyond News

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

Never acknowledged existence of Arunachal Pradesh: China

Upper Siang -arunachal pradeshNews:

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

Beyond News

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

NASA-inspired technique boosts wheat production

News

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

Beyond News

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

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

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

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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China develops underwater surveillance networks in Indian Ocean, SCS

News: 

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

Beyond News: 

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

U.S. has drastically cut aid to Pakistan

News:

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

Beyond News:

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

India, Pakistan exchange list of nuclear installations

News:

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

Beyond News:

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Nagaland declared as ‘disturbed area’ for 6 more months

News:

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

Beyond News:

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

Reason:

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

Parliamentary panel bats for setting up cybercrime nodal agency

INDIAN CYBER LAW

News:

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

Beyond News:

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

NASA’s flying telescope to study Saturn’s moon

NASA flying monitor

News:

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

Beyond News:

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

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

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

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

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Cold wave sweeps across north India

cold wave

News:

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

Beyond News:

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

Cold wave:

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

‘16 children go missing every day’

News:

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

Beyond News:

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

Reasons:

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

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

Maoism increasing

News:

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

Findings from the Data:

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

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

Nanogenerators go wireless

News

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

Beyond News

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

Application of the Generator

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

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

News: 

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

Beyond News:

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

 Other Missions:

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

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

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

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

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India yet to find reason for darkening Siang

Chineese pollutionsNews: 

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

Possible Reasons:

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

Beyond News: 

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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

News

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

Beyond News

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

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

News

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

Beyond News

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

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

Sun eating planetsNews:

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

Findings of the Study

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

Hyderabad welcomes ‘Robocop’ prototype

Robocop Hyderabad

News:

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

Beyond News:

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

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HINDU NOTES-December 28 2017 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-December 28 2017 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

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Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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Parliament passes law to protect unauthorised colonies, slums in Delhi

Protect slumsNews

  • Parliament passed a bill to protect slums and unauthorised colonies in the national capital region from punitive action till a framework for orderly arrangements are in place.

Beyond News

  • The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, passed by Lok Sabha on Wednesday, gives immunity to slums and some unauthorised constructions till December 31, 2020.

 The immunity under the existing Bill ends on December 31.

Israel takes India’s vote in its stride

News: 

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to India in a fortnight will focus on taking cooperation on “double Ts” – Technology (including agriculture and water conservation) and (counter) Terrorism to the “next level”.

Beyond News: 

  • Israel’s unhappiness with India’s vote at the United Nations last week had been put behind by both countries in a “diplomatic” manner.
  • Netanyahu’s visit comes close on the heels of India’s decision to vote for a resolution that criticised the United States for its shift on the status of Jerusalem and urged Israel to keep its commitments on talks for a two-state solution.
  • Officials didn’t deny that the Israeli government had lodged a protest with India about its vote, but indicated that India’s stand had to be seen in the larger context of its growing alignment with Israel on other issues, and in particular Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July 2017 as the first Indian Prime Minister there.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Bamboo not a tree: Parliament passes Bill amending Forest Act

Bamboo Not a treeNews

  • The Parliament passed a Bill to exclude bamboo from the definition of tree under the Indian Forest Act, claiming it would improve the earnings of tribals and dwellers living around forests.

Beyond News

  • The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, which was adopted by the Lok Sabha, was passed by a voice vote in the Rajya Sabha.
  • Replying to a short debate, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister said the Bill to amend the 1927 Indian Forest Act would benefit the tribals, forest dweller and farmers as their income would increase.

The Bill permits felling and transit of bamboo grown in non-forest areas. However, bamboo grown on forest lands would continue to be classified as a tree and would be guided by the existing legal restrictions.

India to pip China as top LPG importer

News

  • India is set to surpass China as the biggest importer of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) this month as a drive to replace wood and animal dung fires for cooking boosts consumption.

Beyond News

  • Shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon shows LPG shipments to India will reach 2.4 million tonnes in December, pushing it ahead of top importer China, on 2.3 million tonnes, for the first time.
  • China, India and Japan together make up about 45% of global LPG purchases.
  • India’s biggest supplier by a large margin is the Middle East, which has so far enjoyed a virtual supply monopoly.

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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

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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 26 2017 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-December 26 2017 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

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Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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Parliament panel questions Centre on ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy

News:

  • Proceedings of the Consultative Committee of the Parliament on External Affairs said that several members of Parliament from the Congress, NCP, the Left parties pointed out that India’s ties with several South Asian neighbours faced challenges, with particular mentions of Maldives and Nepal.

Beyond News:

  • Seeking an explanation from the government on the situation in the Maldives, a senior member of Parliament supposedly asked that,why is India unable to address concerns of an island nation whose size is equal to that of [the Delhi neighbourhood of] Maharani Bagh?”
  • The question created ripples in the meeting of the Consultative Committee which examined ties with Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar and Afghanistan.
  • India’s commitment to Maldives is “serious” and relations were “close, cordial and multi-dimensional.
  • India’s ties with Maldives has turned cold since the first week of December when Male signed a Free Trade Agreement with China after rushing it through parliament.
  • The Committee also raised the issue of visas for Pakistani civil society activists who wish to travel to India.

The meeting also discussed recent developments over the Doklam crisis with China and the ongoing negotiations over the Kulbhushan Jadhav issue with Pakistan.

Japanese support behind new line

News:

  • The government of Japan on Monday congratulated the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and the Central government on the inauguration of the Botanical Garden-Kalkaji Mandir section of the Magenta Line.

Beyond News:

  • The government of Japan is supporting the construction of about 116 km-long section out of a total of 159 km of Delhi Metro Phase III, through the financing by Japan’s Official Development Assistance loan, amounting to JPY (Japanese Yen) 276.8 billion.
  • Japanese expertise and technology is also being made available to the Delhi Metro, in areas such as civil works, propulsion systems, signalling and telecom, track and project management.

The Japanese principles of railway safety management and project management are being implemented in Delhi Metro.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Gene editing technology used to prevent hearing loss in mice

Stem cell test in ratsNews:

  • In a first, scientists have used a gene editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9 to prevent progressive deafness in mice, an advance that may help cure genetic hearing impairments in humans.

Beyond News:

  • A single treatment involving injection of a genome editing cocktail prevented progressive hearing loss in young animals that would have otherwise gone deaf.
  • Since the study was performed in mice, the implications for treating humans are still unclear.
  • Nearly half of all cases of deafness have a genetic root, but treatment options are limited. That is because, until recently, researchers did not have the technology to directly treat the underlying problem: the genetic mutations that sabotage hearing.

In humans, such a change could make a major difference in hearing-loss patients’ quality of life. Scientists still have a long way to go before trying this approach in humans. If applicable, the treatment could be best during childhood as hair cell loss in the inner ear is progressive and irreversible.

 Mumbai gets country’s first AC suburban train

Mumbai AC train

News:

  • In a Christmas gift to Mumbaikars, the country’s first air-conditioned (AC) suburban train commenced its services today, thus realising the long-awaited dream of lakhs of commuters.

Beyond News:

  • Western Railway (WR) will replace 12 existing non-AC services to AC locals.
  • Eight fast services will be between Churchgate and Virar, a slow local from Mahalaxmi to Borivali, and three fast services between Churchgate and Borivali will run with AC coaches.

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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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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 21 2017 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-December 21 2017 [UPSC IAS Current affairs]

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  •  ‘2017 may be among top 3 hottest years’

    Hottest sun impacts

    News:

    • The year 2017 will likely be among the three warmest years on global record, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

    Beyond News: 

    • Researchers said that the first 11 months of 2017 were the third warmest on record, behind 2016 and 2015, with much-warmer-than-average conditions engulfing much of the world’s land and ocean surfaces.
    • Arctic and Antarctic sea ice coverage remain at near record lows.
    • 2017 may also be the warmest year without an El Nino — a climate phenomenon that causes global temperatures to shoot up.
    • Data from NASA and the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) shows that the past meteorological year (December 2016 to November 2017) is the second warmest on record.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

No plan to take away J&K’s special status, says Centre

News: 

  • The government informed Parliament that there was no proposal as of now for abolition of Articles 35A and 370 which give special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Beyond News: 

  • Abrogation of Article 370, gives autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir.
  • In case of Section 35A, a writ petition was filed in the Supreme Court by an NGO seeking its abrogation.
  • The PIL said the Jammu and Kashmir government, under the guise of Articles 35A and 370, was discriminating against non-residents who are debarred from buying properties, getting a government job or voting in the local elections.
  • Article 35A was added to the Constitution by a presidential order in 1954 and it empowers the State legislature to define the State’s “permanent residents” and their special rights and privileges.

 ‘Poverty, major threat to children’s well-being’

News

  • About 17% of the girls were avoiding school during their menstrual cycle, and 26% of girls stopped going to schools due to lack of toilets, water and other amenities, according to a survey done by Young Lives, an NGO, and Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS).

Findings of the Survey

  • Children of the marginalised sections in the State continue to lag behind when it comes to education facilities, toilets in schools and nutrition.
  • Giving the details of the survey at a one-day workshop on ‘Poverty and Well-being of Children in Andhra Pradesh’, CESS chairman said that one third of the children in India were living in families with very low income, and that researches showed that poverty was a great threat to children’s well-being.
  • The survey said that close to 40% of the children were suffering from malnutrition (25% stunting and 23% thinness) and one third of adults (parents) were suffering from chronic energy deficiencies, the chairman said.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Floating solar cells to produce fuel from water

News: 

  • Scientists have developed floating solar cells that can harness the Sun’s energy to produce hydrogen fuel from water.

Beyond News: 

  • Hydrogen is a clean fuel that is currently used to propel rockets in NASA’s space programme and is widely expected to play an important role in a sustainable energy future.
  • Water electrolysis using electricity from solar photovoltaic (PV) offers a promising route to produce hydrogen without any associated CO2 emissions.
  • The floating device can be thought of as a “solar fuels rig” that bears some resemblance to deep-sea oil rigs, except that it would produce hydrogen fuel from sunlight and water instead of extracting petroleum from beneath the sea floor, researchers said.
  • The new device relies instead on a novel electrode configuration that allows the gases to be separated and collected using the buoyancy of bubbles in water.
  • Based on the concept of buoyancy-induced separation, the simple electrolyzer architecture produces H2 with purity as high as 99 per cent.

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