Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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Give info to ECI on each donor, each electoral bond in sealed covers: SC orders political parties


  • Refusing the government’s advice to steer clear of the electoral bonds scheme of political funding, the Supreme Court passed interim directions, directing political parties to provide full information on each and every political donor and contributions made through electoral bonds in sealed cover to the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Beyond News

  • The court ordered the political parties to start providing forthwith the Election Commission of India (ECI) with details of each donor, every electoral bond through which contribution was received and the amount received on each bond till date.
  • The parties have been given time to provide all the details before May 30. The information is to be provided to the ECI in sealed covers. The poll body would keep them secure.

The court’s directions comes a day after the government claimed that voters do not need to know where funds come to political parties from.

Night squads in Aluva to check groundwater exploitation


  • A section of councillors in the Aluva municipality in Kerala is planning to form night squads with the help of residents’ associations to check illegal groundwater tapping, which they believe is continuing at least in a limited scale despite the stop memo issued by the municipality.

Beyond News

  • The municipality had issued a stop memo earlier this month against drawing water from 21 wells by tankers after widespread complaints that indiscriminate tapping of water was causing groundwater depletion, leading to acute water shortage in such areas.
  • At one point, the parties concerned were drawing up to 150 litres to 200 litres of water daily, which was predominantly sold to commercial establishments like malls and hotels, badly hampering the flow in the river and leading to drop in water level in the nearby wells.
  • Groundwater Department officials had asked the persons concerned to produce ownership documents of wells and deposit fee for the yield test, which they failed to comply with.
  • The yield test has to be undertaken in a scientific way to determine whether the drawing of water was leading to groundwater depletion.

Narendra Modi to get Russia’s highest civilian award


  • Russia announced that President Vladimir Putin will confer its highest civilian award, the “Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First,” on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his work on bilateral ties.

Beyond News

  • The order was presented to the Prime Minister of India for his distinguished contribution to the development of a privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India and friendly ties between the Russian and Indian peoples.
  • The Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First is awarded to prominent government and public figures, prominent representatives of science, culture, art and various sectors of the economy for “exceptional services that contribute to the prosperity, greatness and glory of Russia,”.
  • It was first awarded by former Russian Tsar ‘Peter the Great’ in 1698 and subsequently discontinued. In 1998, former President Boris Yeltsin reinstated the honour by a presidential decree.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

A genetic method to empower conservation


  • New genetic method developed by scientists, hopes to make studying as well as conserving wild species quicker, easier and cost-effective by deriving information from animal sources containing extremely low-quality DNA including faeces and cooked meat.

Beyond News

  • Their method, described in the study, relies on identifying multiple, short portions of DNA segments in a single experiment (a ‘multiplex PCR’), followed by ‘next-generation sequencing’, in which multiple fragments of DNA can be decoded simultaneously, and several times, in an automated process.
  • The team tested their method on Caribbean queen conches and tigers, two extremely different species that had strong conservation needs, to show how this approach could be used generally.
  • The team obtained DNA from the faeces, hair and saliva of 75 wild and captive tigers to identify individuals and close relatives, and RNA from 279 queen conch samples. They then decoded between 60 to 100 single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs, one of the most common types of change seen in genetic material, in these samples.
  • The team was also able to identify the geographic regions these individuals belonged to. Apart from using this for animal monitoring, it could also potentially be used to obtain intelligence on wildlife 
  • Testing several hundred samples simultaneously and decoding up to 1000 SNPs per sample would cost as low as $5 (less than ₹350). The biggest advantage is that this would take just five days while older methods take at least a month.

Over 150 social media posts found violating poll code in a month


  • In nearly a month after the model code of conduct came into force, election officials monitoring social media platforms have identified more than 150 posts violating it in Karnataka.

Beyond News

  • The violations include advertisements paid for by candidates and those that have been reported to the police for being offensive and not in public interest.
  • Besides, after being brought to the notice of social media platforms, some of the posts have been taken down. A social media team is monitoring various platforms and users in the State, and has identified about one crore users.
  • Some of the advertisements that have popped up are in violation of the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) guidelines. Sources in the commission said these advertisements have come out without the MCMC certification, which is a must for all advertisements during the poll code period, which will end on May 27.



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