Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 22-03-2021


Useful compilation of Civil Services oriented - Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 22-03-2021


  • [message]
  1. World Economy - Bill Gates on super rich taxes - Microsoft Co-founder Bill Gates has said he is in favour of raising some taxes but some tax proposals by the US government have gone too far. He said, "You can tax income up to 50% but...above that you have to worry that people waste a lot of time getting around the taxes." There is a series of proposed wealth taxes at the state and national level. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed this month the Ultra Millionaire Tax Act, which would apply a 2% annual levy on households and trusts valued at between $50 million and $1 billion. All net worth over $1 billion would be taxed at 3%, costing the 100 richest Americans about $78 billion. Gates is the third-wealthiest person in the world with a $138 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He’s previously called for raising levies on the rich to tackle soaring inequality. He has also expressed doubts about introducing a universal basic income, an idea that has gained some support during the pandemic.
  2. Governance and Institutions - Brand new DFI - The Union Cabinet cleared a Bill to set up a government-owned development finance institution (DFI) with initial paid-up capital of Rs.20,000 crore. By setting it up, Government can leverage around Rs.3 trillion from the markets in a few years to provide long-term funds to infrastructure projects as well as for development needs. The government will give Rs.5,000 crore as grant to the institution, as tax-saving bonds. The amount will provide for the hedging cost if the DFI borrows from multilateral or bilateral institutions and it will subsidise the guarantee fee. The DFI will be fully government-owned initially and the promoter’s stake will be brought down to 26 per cent in a few years. At all times, the government will continue to hold 26 per cent in the entity. The government will provide a 10-year tax exemption to funds invested in the DFI to attract long-term players such as insurance and pension funds. This DFI is part of the government's push to infrastructure building in India, as mentioned in recent Budgets. The National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) is a grand plan of Rs.111 lakh crores, with participation of Centre, States and Private firms.
  3. Environment and Ecology - Playing around with the Great Nicobar Island - More than 150 sq. km. of land is being made available for Phase I of a NITI Aayog-piloted ‘holistic’ and ‘sustainable’ vision for Great Nicobar Island, the southernmost in the Andaman and Nicobar group. This amounts to nearly 18% of the 910 sq. km. island, and will cover nearly a quarter of its coastline. The plan envisages the use of about 244 sq. km. — a major portion being pristine forest and coastal systems. Projects to be executed in Phase I include a 22 sq. km. airport complex, a transshipment port (TSP) at South Bay at an estimated cost of ₹12,000 crore, a parallel-to-the-coast mass rapid transport system and a free trade zone and warehousing complex on the south western coast. In mid-2020 the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation (ANIIDCO) was designated as the nodal agency for the process. In January, 2021, the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) denotified the entire Galathea Bay Wildlife Sanctuary to allow for the port there. Nicobar megapode is the globally endangered bird unique to the Nicobars. Experts have raised serious doubts about potential threat to the Shompen community, as the proposed project areas are important foraging grounds for this hunter-gatherer nomadic community. But NITI is pushing ahead regardless!
  4. Science and Technology - New Space India Limited - The NewSpace India Limited, a subsidiary company under the Department of Space will own and operate capital intensive space assets of ISRO as part of the space reforms process initiated in June 2020. NewSpace India Limited is in advance stage of discussion with the Department of Space (DOS) to take ownership of two new communication satellites for commercial purposes. Transponders on these satellites will be leased to private companies with DTH and Broadband services. NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) is a Public Sector Enterprise (PSE) of Government of India and commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It was established in 2019 under the administrative control of Department of Space (DoS) and the Company Act 2013. The main objective of NSIL is to scale up industry participation in Indian space programmes.
  5. Healthcare and Medicine - Medicine Price Control - The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has fixed the price of 81 medicines, including off-patent anti-diabetic drugs, helping to pass on the benefits of patent expiry to patients. NPPA has fixed the retail price of ‘insulin human injection, 200IU/ml’ and ‘70% isophane insulin human suspension + 30% insulin human injection 200IU/ml’ produced by Wockhardt Ltd at ₹106.65 per ml each (excluding GST) and Prasugrel Hydrochloride 10 mg + Aspirin 75 mg capsule by Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd at ₹20.16 per  capsule (excluding GST). The decision was taken because the five-year price exemption given to these medicines on account of indigenous R&D got over recently. Revision in existing ceiling prices of scheduled formulations based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) was also approved by the Authority. The revised prices will be effective from April, 2021. It also decided to retain the revised ceiling price of Heparin injection up to September this year. Last year, the NPPA had hiked the price of the essential blood thinner on account of rising raw material costs from China. The ceiling price was fixed till March 31, 2021.
  6. Constitution and Law - The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021 - The Lok Sabha passed The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021 that seeks to put seven castes under one nomenclature of “Devendrakula Vellalars” with some exceptions for some of the castes in certain districts of Tamil Nadu. The castes include Devendrakulathan, Kadaiyan, Kalladi, Kudumban, Pallan, Pannadi and Vathiriyan. The State government had earlier accepted a recommendation of a committee to reclassify the seven sub sects under the generic name ‘Devendrakula Velalar’ and forwarded it to the Centre. The change in nomenclature was a long pending demand of the community and did not involve either the deletion or addition of any community in its ambit. The reason why a whole new addition was not made to the Scheduled Castes list was to ensure that old caste certificates issued to these communities under the old name not be rejected.
  7. Defence and Military - INAS 310 Diamond Jubilee - Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 310, The Cobras, a maritime reconnaissance squadron of the Indian Navy based at Goa is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee on 21 March 2021. Commissioned at Hyéres, France on 21 Mar 61, the squadron holds the distinction of being the most decorated unit of the Indian Navy. INAS 310 continues to carry out daily surveillance operations over the coastline. The squadron operated the carrier borne Alize aircraft until 1991 and subsequently migrated to the shore based Dornier-228 aircraft. In the last one year, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the aircraft of the squadron have delivered critical medical supplies, COVID test kits and transported medical teams and samples, clocking close to 1000 sorties.
  8. Healthcare and Medicine - Global Hunger Index - India's Agriculture Minister has questioned the methodology and data accuracy of the Global Hunger Index (GHI) report, which placed India at 94th among 107 countries in 2020. The Minister said the government had written to the NGO, Welthungerhilfe, which compiles the report, expressing concerns about their methodology, data accuracy and sample size. India’s ranking had improved from 102 in 2019 to 94 in 2020. But still, India was ranked below countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar. According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4, the percentage of wasted, stunted and malnourished children in 2015-16 stood at 21, 38.4 and 35.7, respectively. Compared to NFHS-4 data, the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS) of 2017-18 showed an improvement of 4%, 3.7% and 2.3% in wasted, stunted and malnourished children respectively. The first-ever CNNS was commissioned by the government in 2016 and was conducted from 2016-18, led by the Union Health Ministry, in collaboration with the UNICEF. The findings were published in 2019. CNNS includes only nutrition data, whereas NFHS encompasses overall health indicators.
  9. Arts, Culture and Literature - Gayatri Mantra under scanner - The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has funded a clinical trial at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Rishikesh, to determine if the chanting of the Gayatri Mantra, a religious hymn, and performing the Yoga practice of pranayama, can aid the quality of recovery as well as cure COVID-19 quicker in a subset of patients. The latest study, however, will not test the affect of the intervention on severely ill patients. It will evaluate whether there are differences in the groups on the time taken to test negative, and the length of hospital stay. They will also be evaluated on whether they have reduced fatigue and anxiety disorder. The Gāyatrī Mantra is also known as the Sāvitri Mantra. It is a highly revered mantra from the Rig Veda, dedicated to Savitr also known as Vedmata. Maharshi Vishvamitra had created the Gayatri mantra. The mantra is an important part of the upanayana ceremony for young males in Hinduism, and has long been recited by dvija men as part of their daily rituals.
  10. Governance and Institutions - Balance sheet of Political Parties - According to a report released by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), BJP tops in declared assets. Over 54% of the assets declared by seven national parties for 2018-2019 belonged to the Bharatiya Janata Party, while the Congress accounted for 58% of all liabilities reported by the parties. The ADR’s analysis of the balance sheets of the national parties at that time — the BJP, the Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India- Marxist and the All-India Trinamool Congress — showed assets of ₹5,349.25 crore. Forty-one regional parties declared assets of ₹2,023.71 crore that year. Of the national parties, the BJP declared assets of ₹2,904.18 crore or 54.29% of the total assets of the national parties.
  • [message]
  • [message]
    • 1. ECONOMY (Prelims, GS Paper 3, Essay paper)
India witnesses its first negative-yield bond quote
  1. CCI's NDS-OM sees first negative: A negative yield was quoted for the first time ever on India’s sovereign bond trading platform on 09-March, 2021. That led to speculation about its motive. The 6.17% bond maturing in 2021 was offered at a negative yield of around 1.5%, as per traders who saw the quote on the Clearing Corporation of India’s Negotiated Dealing System -- Order Matching, or NDS-OM platform. (the fact wasn't disclsed by authorities)
  2. India versus the World: There’s a total $13.30 trillion of negative-yielding assets in the world today, but not in India. Here, the benchmark 10-year note (G-Sec) trades at above 6%. Banks and FIs (financial institutions) typically have internal risk management systems that prevent occurrences like negative yields caused by manual errors. So this may be a manually overriden quote.
  3. Internal clarification: The Clearing Corporation later clarified (only to traders) that a bank placed a wrong price quote, which led to a negative yield as the paper was nearing maturity. The point of concern for traders was that if negative rates begin to show up in the Clearcorp Repo Order Matching System, or CROMS platform, it could make it costlier to short Indian bonds.
  4. Shorting Indian bonds: The strategy - where traders bet against an asset and borrow it to cover their bets - has been increasingly used in India after a record government borrowing plan caused a glut of paper. State Bank of India, which is India's largest bank and among the biggest holders of these notes, had recently exhorted the Reserve Bank of India to make short-selling costlier. Currently, traders who wish to short Indian bonds need to use the CROMS platform to borrow the paper from banks against a short-tenor loan paying them as low as 0.01% at times of high demand. If the rate dips into negative territory, it would become costlier for traders to borrow bonds, effectively imposing a penalty on short-sellers.
  5. Knowledge centre: (a) Negative bond yields - A negative bond yield is when an investor receives less money at the bond's maturity than the original purchase price for the bond. A negative bond yield is an unusual situation in which issuers of debt are paid to borrow. (b) Indian government G-Sec - A Government Security (G-Sec) is a tradeable instrument issued by the Central Government or the State Governments. It acknowledges the Government’s debt obligation. Such securities are short term (usually called treasury bills, with original maturities of less than one year) or long term (usually called Government bonds or dated securities with original maturity of one year or more). In India, the Central Government issues both, treasury bills and bonds or dated securities while the State Governments issue only bonds or dated securities, which are called the State Development Loans (SDLs). G-Secs carry practically no risk of default and, hence, are called risk-free gilt-edged instruments. 


Rising bond yields and investors in India
  1. Investors watching yields: The year 2020 was good for Indian stock investors, who saw their wealth rise sharply. That was due to easy monetary policy globally. But soon, the link between US bond yields and markets in India started appearing. Indian markets started seeing volatility in 2021.
  2. Why US bond yields started rising in 2021: The US saw an economic recovery and a potential return of inflation, leading to a surge in bond yields. These yields had sunk in mid-2020 as the Federal Reserve loosened monetary policy to support the US economy (due to covid-19 pandemic). Now in 2021, the US Fed is expected to "normalise its stance" as inflation rises (so it will raise the benchmark interest ratE). Also, the prices of commodities have moved up sharply over the past few months, and this may lead to much higher inflation. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note has moved from 0.91% at the start of calendar year 2021 to 1.72% on 19 March 2021.
  3. Why shares are affected: Higher bond yields do two things - (1) Government bond yields are taken as the ‘risk-free rate’ that is used to discount cash flows of companies. Future cash flows are less valuable than present cash flows and the discount rate allows them to be compared with present cash flows. The higher the risk-free rate, the higher is the discounting factor and hence the lower is the valuation of the stock (so investors will be spooked), and (2) Higher yields mean higher borrowing costs (in the present) for companies, reducing the earnings available for shareholders as dividends.
  4. Indian markets impacted: Capital flows from one country to another, and interest rate increases in large economies both affect other large economies. The US is a source of flow into equity markets of the world, including India, and a rise in rates in the US makes keeping money in domestic bonds lucrative for US investors. So they won't invest as much as earlier, in Indian paper.
  5. The good and the bad: Companies with a lot of debt are at risk from rising interest rates. If bond yields in the US also eventually push up yields in India, this can affect the returns of such companies by increasing their borrowing costs. Rising US yields can also cause a depreciation of the rupee and this weakens the position of companies with borrowings in US dollars. Conversely, sectors such as pharma and tech with earnings in dollars can benefit from rupee depreciation.
  6. Peep into the future: Many expect monetary policy from the world’s central banks to remain accommodative and hence bond yields to remain broadly low. There may be no reason to act in haste. Investors may want to have some of their portfolio in dollar-linked assets such as US stocks to partially hedge their risk. This can be done through mutual funds investing in the US or directly buying US stocks and bonds through RBI’s Liberalised Remittance Scheme.


  • [message]
    • 2. ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY (Prelims, GS Paper 3, Essay paper
World Water Day 2021
  1. A good beginning: The resolution to observe World Water Day was first adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 22, 1992, after which March 22 was declared as World Water Day and is celebrated around the world since 1993.
  2. The objective: World Water Day is observed annually across the globe on March 22 with the purpose of highlighting the importance of water and raising awareness about the water crisis that the world faces. According to the United Nations (UN) website, the main focus of the day is to “support the achievement of sustainable development goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.”
  3. Theme of World Water Day 2021: The theme of World Water Day 2021 is “Valuing Water” and has been chosen to highlight the value of water in our daily lives. “The value of water is about much more than its price – water has enormous and complex value for our households, food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment. If we overlook any of these values, we risk mismanaging this finite, irreplaceable resource,” the UN website says.
  4. World Water Day celebrations: Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, World Water Day 2021 was celebrated virtually in which the United Nations Water Development report will be released with the purpose of recommending policy directions to various countries on how to deal with the water crisis. The UN website also urges people to participate in online conversations about the importance of water by using social media. #Water2me and #WorldWaterDay can be used for engaging in digital discussions.
  5. World Water Day in India: PM Narendra Modi launched the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain’ campaign during a video conference in which a memorandum of agreement (MOA) will be signed between the Jal Shakti ministry and the government of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for starting the Ken-Betwa Link project. The Ken-Betwa Link is the first river-linking project in India which is aimed at carrying water from surplus areas to those that are water-scarce by interlinking rivers.
  6. Knowledge centre: (a) Inter-linking of rivers project - The interlinking of river (ILR) project is a grand project that aims to connect Indian rivers through reservoirs and canals. This project will connect 60 rivers of India, including river Ganga. If all goes well, there will be a reduction in the dependence of farmers on uncertain monsoon rains and the overall irrigation water for cultivated land will rise in quantum. This project is divided into three parts: North Himalayan river link constituents, Southern Peninsular Component and the Interstate interlinking of rivers. This project is being managed under the National Water Development Authority of India (NWDA), Ministry of Water Resources. (b) Jal Jeevan Abhiyan - Jal Jeevan Mission will provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India. The programme will implement source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, such as recharge and reuse through grey water management, water conservation, rain water harvesting. It will be based on a community approach to water and will include extensive Information, Education and communication as a key component of the mission. 


Toxic compound arsenic in Indian human habitations
  1. Introduction: There are 6,061 arsenic-affected and 4,592 flouride-affected human habitations in India, as per government information. The Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said that of the 6,061 arsenic-affected habitations, more than half or 3,115 are in West Bengal, followed by 2,291 in Assam, 385 in Bihar and 222 in Uttar Pradesh. Of the 4,592 flouride-affected habitations, 2,820 are in Rajasthan, followed by 844 in Bihar and 276 in West Bengal.
  2. Role of JJM: The Minister said that since August 2019, the Centre, in partnership with the states, is implementing the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) to provide potable tap water supply to every rural household in the country by 2024. Under JJM, while planning water supply schemes to provide tap water supply to rural households, priority is given to quality-affected habitations which, inter alia, include habitations affected with arsenic and fluoride contamination. Accordingly, states are prioritising water supply schemes to provide potable drinking water to such habitations.
  3. Lab testing: The Jal Shakti ministry said about 2,000 laboratories across the country have been opened up to the general public for testing their water samples at a nominal rate. The source coordinates of all water samples are captured and the water quality testing reports are generated online and sent to the citizens, along with a copy to the public health engineer concerned for immediate corrective action, if any, and also to the central database for continuous monitoring and remedial action.
  4. Guidelines: The ministry launched a framework and guidelines for testing, monitoring and surveillance of drinking water quality as well as a Water Quality Information Management System (WQIMS), an online portal that provides detailed information of laboratories for the purpose. The guidelines specify the work to be done in terms of surveillance and monitoring at the state, district, block or tehsil and village levels. The basic water quality parameters prescribed under the guidelines are pH value, total dissolved solids, turbidity, chloride, total alkalinity, total hardness, sulphate, iron, total arsenic, fluoride, nitrate, total coliform bacteria, e.coil or thermo-tolerant coliform bacteria.
  5. Knowledge centre: (a) Arsenic in water - Arsenic is a natural component of the earth’s crust and is widely distributed throughout the environment in the air, water and land. It is highly toxic in its inorganic form. People are exposed to elevated levels of inorganic arsenic through drinking contaminated water, using contaminated water in food preparation and irrigation of food crops, industrial processes, eating contaminated food and smoking tobacco. The greatest threat to public health from arsenic originates from contaminated groundwater. Inorganic arsenic is naturally present at high levels in the groundwater of a number of countries, including Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, China, India, Mexico, and the United States of America. Drinking-water, crops irrigated with contaminated water and food prepared with contaminated water are the sources of exposure. (b) Arsenic poisoning - Arsenic poisoning is a medical condition that occurs due to elevated levels of arsenic in the body. If arsenic poisoning occurs over a brief period of time, symptoms may include vomiting, abdominal pain, encephalopathy, and watery diarrhea that contains blood. 

  • [message]
    • 3. FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Prelims, GS Paper 3, Essay paper)

Pakistan Army Chief’s desire for peace with India
  1. A big change: In remarks that signal Pakistan’s powerful military establishment’s desire to seek rapprochement with India, its Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa exhorted the two countries to “bury the past and move forward” to unlock the potential of South and Central Asia. He was addressing a session of the Islamabad Security Dialogue.
  2. Nuclear powers: Gen. Bajwa asserted that the two “nuclear-armed neighbors” remained hostage to disputes and should widen their horizon to “unlock” the potential of South and Central Asia. He said that the onus for a meaningful dialogue rested on India. India will have to create a conducive environment, particularly in Kashmir, for any effort to improve ties.
  3. Kashmir issue: As per Bajwa, the Kashmir issue was at the heart of this. He said that peaceful resolution of that issue alone will end susceptibility to derailment and politically motivated bellicosity.
  4. On national security: Gen Bajwa said: “It was not solely the function of the armed forces and required a national effort to safeguard a nation. The leading drivers of change in the world are demography, economy and technology. However, one issue that remains central to this concept is economic security and cooperation.” “India will be benefitted economically by having peace with Pakistan as it will enable New Delhi to directly access the resource-rich Central Asia region through Pakistani territory”. He was alluding to opportunities in oil and gas.
  5. Cold cuts: The engagement between India and Pakistan remains stalled due to Islamabad’s failure to act against the perpetrators of anti-India terror attacks in Pulwama, Uri and Pathankot. Bilateral ties dived further after India scrapped the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two union territories. India has repeatedly conveyed to Pakistan’s top leadership that “talks and terror” cannot go together and has asked Islamabad to take demonstrable steps against terror groups responsible for launching various attacks on India.


India begins fresh stint at UNSC
  1. A fresh start at UNSC: India started its eighth term as one of the 10 non-permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC), the global high table, on Friday, hoping to boost its credentials for a permanent seat with its global role in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. India assumes the role against the backdrop of a world ravaged by the covid-19 pandemic—normal processes of international relations have been strained by frictions.
  2. Indian approach: With its consensus building and cooperative approach, New Delhi is hoping to play a “positive global role" and in turn, bolster its long-time candidature for a permanent seat in a revamped UNSC. India’s previous stints at the UNSC were marked by its strong voice against colonialism, apartheid and terrorism and by its leadership of the developing world. In 2021-22 New Delhi is hoping its credentials as a provider of global public goods backed by a strong economy, a billion plus people and a reliable regional power status will be noticed, further bolstering its claims to a permanent seat.
  3. Claim for permanent seat: The strategy in the run-up to January 2021 has been to highlight these qualifications. “As a pluralistic and open society with a market economy, it is systemically in sync with the rest of the world," foreign minister S. Jaishankar said in October 2020. “Even during the pandemic, it ramped up its pharmaceutical production—especially of hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol—to respond to growing global demands. In fact, we supplied medicines to 150 countries, more than half on a grant basis," he said.
  4. Jaishankar's exhortation: "Today, we have not just a sizeable industry in this respect but a growing record of exports as well. The lesson from that is of an India with greater capabilities not just helping itself but being a force of good in international relations. And that is why the outlook of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) is important for the world. This is not about protectionism; it is about building greater strengths at home to play more effectively abroad," he said.
  5. Knowledge centre - (a) UNSC - The UN Security Council is a key organ of the United Nations, and has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 Members, and each Member has one vote. Under the Charter of the United Nations, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions. The SC takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement. In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security. (b) Permanent seat - The Council is composed of 15 Members: Five permanent members: China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly (with end of term year): Estonia (2021), India (2022), Ireland (2022), Kenya (2022), Mexico (2022), Niger (2021), Norway (2022), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (2021), Tunisia (2021), and Viet Nam (2021). More than 50 United Nations Member States have never been Members of the Security Council. According to Oppenheim's International Law : United Nations, "Permanent membership in the Security Council was granted to five states based on their importance in the aftermath of World War II." Sometimes referred to as the P5, the permanent members of the Security Council have a unique role that has evolved over time.

  • [message]
    • 4. GOVERNMENT SCHEMES (Prelims, GS Paper 2, Essay paper)

Delhi government scheme to empower women
  1. Introduction: The Delhi government announced in March 2021 that it will launch a new scheme to empower women and give them a larger role in the economy through establishment of 500 anganwadi hubs in various parts of the city. Under the "Saheli Samanvay Kendra", 500 anganwadi hubs will be set up for incubating individual start-ups and to promote self-help groups, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said while presenting budget for the financial year 2021-22.
  2. Funds: Sisodia has set aside Rs 4,750 crore for the Department of Social Welfare, women and Child Development and welfare of SC/ST/OBC. "Special arrangements will be made in the hubs for required training be imparted to open micro-economic units and for holding meetings of self-help groups," he said.
  3. Why do it: The decision to formulate such a scheme was taken on the basis of a survey which was conducted by the government to understand the impact of COVID-19 crisis and the subsequent lockdown on the livelihood of people in Delhi. The survey showed that before the pandemic, unemployment among women was 26 per cent in February last year and it rose to 40 per cent in February 2021.
  4. Huge drop in female employment: "This reveals that among the women of Delhi, who are available for employment, 40 per cent are unable to find any work. Forty-five per cent of these women have completed class 12 and 60 per cent of these women are less than 30 years of age," he said. Highlighting other women-centric schemes launched by the government earlier, he said 33 self-help units will be set up to make women more aware of such initiatives so that they can avail the benefits.


NRC fallout - Biometric details locked, no Aadhaar
  1. Assam NRC: Lakhs of people who were part of the Assam NRC project, are unable to get a legal Aadhar card issued. Why? Their biometrics are "locked" in the NRC process. Those who already have Aadhaar are able to avail of the benefits of welfare schemes. But Aadhaar coverage is low in Assam compared with the rest of India, as it was not emphasised on when the NRC update work was going on.
  2. Who are these people: These are the people who had made claims and objection about the National Register of Citizens (NRC). They can’t now apply for new Aadhaar enrolment. The Assam government had written to the Centre, seeking help to unlock the frozen biometric details. But, there is no headway. (a) An official in the NRC authority in the state said a Supreme Court intervention could be required now, as it is monitoring the NRC process. (b) The top court had in 2019 directed that a security regime similar to that provided for Aadhaar be enacted to protect the NRC data, and ordered that the final list of inclusions and exclusions to the register should be given to the state and central governments only after that.
  3. The numbers: Around 3.30 crore people had applied for inclusion in the NRC, but the names of nearly 40 lakh of them were excluded in the draft NRC published on July 30, 2018. Of them, around 36.28 lakh people had claimed for inclusion on the list and about 2 lakh had registered their objections. They were called for subsequent hearings where provisions were made to obtain their biometric details.
  4. RTI response: In a response to a query filed under the Right to Information Act by a person whose data are locked said as per the Ministry of Electronic and IT, the “Aadhaar enrolment packets” which have been generated during the NRC biometric enrolment had been kept on hold based on the standard operating procedure guidelines issues by the Registrar General of India (RGI). The home and political department of the Assam government is the registrar for the biometric enrolment exercise of NRC claimants, it informed the applicant. The Assam government has taken up the matter with the RGI, the reply said. Till a clarification is received from the RGI and the matter is communicated to the Uidai, which manages the Aadhaar data, by the home and political department of Assam, Aadhaar number cannot be issued, it said. (a) Present NRC co-ordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma has written to the state government to unlock the same, for Aadhaar does not confer citizenship and this provision has resulted in immense hardship to the people. (b) The Asom Sankhyalaghu Sangram Parishad has pointed out that for want of Aadhaar, people were unable to carry out public transactions. They can’t open bank accounts, while it had also affected issuance of land sale permissions and ration cards, the organisation has said. People are unable to get the funds sanctioned under the Prime Minister Awash Yojana and students are unable to avail of scholarships.
  5. Ball in SC's court: The correction now has to come from the Supreme Court, which is monitoring the process and the RGI will have to move the Supreme Court for orders in this regard. The official said the RGI can publish the NRC only after it gets the data. Data can be made available after the creation of the Aadhaar security regime. It will take at least eight to nine months after sanction from the RGI to create the regime. It will require funds too, to create the regime. 
  • [message]
    • 5. POLITY AND CONSTITUTION (Prelims, GS Paper 2, GS Paper 3)
Emergency provisions in India
  • Introduction: A state of emergency in India refers to a period of governance that can be proclaimed by the President of India during certain crisis situations. Under the advice of the Cabinet of Ministers, the President can overrule many provisions of the Constitution, which guarantees Fundamental Rights to the citizens of India.
  • Constitutional structure: The emergency provisions are contained in Part XVIII of the Constitution of India, from Article 352 to 360. These provisions enable the Central government to meet any abnormal situation effectively. The rationale behind the incorporation is to safeguard the sovereignty, unity, integrity and security of the country, the democratic political system and the Constitution.
Three types: The Constitution stipulates three types of emergencies - National Emergency, Constitutional Emergency and Financial Emergency
  • National Emergency - It can be declared on the basis of war, external aggression or armed rebellion. The Constitution employs the expression ‘proclamation of emergency’ to denote an emergency of this type.
  1. Grounds of declaration - Under Article 352, the president can declare a national emergency when the security of India or a part of it is threatened by war or external aggression or armed rebellion. The President can declare a national emergency even before the actual occurrence of war or armed rebellion or external aggression When a national emergency is declared on the grounds of ‘war’ or ‘external aggression’, it is known as ‘External Emergency’. On the other hand, when it is declared on the grounds of ‘armed rebellion’, it is known as ‘Internal Emergency’. This term ‘armed rebellion’ is inserted from the 44th amendment. Before this term it was known as internal disturbance. Example: If India and Pakistan openly accept that they will use armed forces against each other is simply war. If there is no formal declaration that there will be armed forces used against a country is external aggression. And if because of these two grounds an emergency is proclaimed as an external emergency.
  2. Facts - The 38th Amendment Act of 1975 made the declaration of National Emergency immune to judicial review. But, this provision was subsequently deleted by the 44th Amendment Act of 1978. In Minerva Mills case (1980), the Supreme Court held that National Emergency can be challenged in the court on the ground of malafide or that the declaration was based on wholly extraneous and irrelevant facts.
  3. Parliamentary approval and duration - The proclamation of emergency must be approved by both the houses of parliament within one month from the date of its issue. If the proclamation of emergency is issued at a time when the Lok Sabha has been dissolved or the dissolution takes place during the period of one month without approving the proclamation, then the proclamation survives until 30 days from the first sitting of Lok Sabha after its reconstitution, provided the Rajya Sabha has in the meantime approved it. If approved by both the houses, the Emergency continues for 6 months and can be extended to an indefinite period with an approval of the Parliament for every six months. Every resolution approving the proclamation of emergency or its continuance must be passed by either House of Parliament by a special majority.
  4. Revocation of proclamation - A proclamation of Emergency may be revoked by the President at any time by a subsequent proclamation. Such proclamation does not require parliamentary approval. The emergency must be revoked if the Lok Sabha passes a resolution by a simple majority disapproving its continuation.
  5. Declarations made so far: This type of emergency has been proclaimed three times so far- in 1962, 1971 and 1975. The first proclamation of National Emergency was issued in October 1962 on account of Chinese aggression in the NEFA and was in force till January 1968. The second proclamation of National Emergency was made in December 1971 in the wake of the attack by Pakistan. Even when the emergency was in operation, the third proclamation of National Emergency was made in June 1975. Both the second and the third proclamations were revoked in March 1977.
  • President’s Rule: Article 355 imposes a duty on the centre to ensure that the government of every state is carried on in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. It is this duty in the performance of which the centre takes over the government of a state under Article 356 in case of failure of constitutional machinery in a state. This is popularly known as ‘President’s Rule’.
  1. Grounds of imposition: the president’s ruler can be proclaimed under Article 356 on two grounds: Article 356 empowers the President to issue a proclamation if he is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of a state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. Article 365 says that whenever a state fails to comply with or to give effect to any direction from the centre, it will be lawful for the President to hold that a situation has arisen in which the government of the state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.
  2. Parliamentary approval and duration: A proclamation imposing president’s rule must be approved by both the houses of parliament within two months from the date of its issue. But if the proclamation of President’s rule is issued at a time when the Lok Sabha has been dissolved or the dissolution of the Lok Sabha takes place during the period of two months without approving the proclamation, then the proclamation survives until 30 days from the first sitting of the Lok Sabha after its reconstitution, provided that the Rajya Sabha approves it in the meantime
  3. Consequences of President’s rule: The President acquires the following extraordinary powers when the President’s rule is imposed in a state: He can take up the functions of the state government and powers vested in the governor or any other executive authority in the state. He can declare that the powers of the state legislature are to be exercised by the parliament. He can take all other necessary steps including the suspension of the constitutional provisions relating to any body or authority in the state. Scope of judicial review: The 38th Amendment act of 1975 made the satisfaction of the President in invoking Article 356 final and conclusive which would not be challenged in any court on any ground. But, this provision was subsequently deleted by the 44th Amendment Act of 1978 implying that the satisfaction of the President is not beyond judicial review.
  • Financial Emergency:
  1. Grounds of declaration: Article 360 empowers the president to proclaim a Financial Emergency if he is satisfied that a situation has arisen due to which the financial stability or credit of India or any part of its territory is threatened.
  2. Parliamentary approval and duration: A proclamation declaring financial emergency must be approved by both the Houses of Parliament within two months from the date of its issue. But if the proclamation of Financial Emergency is issued at a time when the Lok Sabha has been dissolved or the dissolution of the Lok Sabha takes place during the period of two months without approving the proclamation, then the proclamation survives until 30 days from the first sitting of the Lok Sabha after its reconstitution, provided the Rajya Sabha has in the meantime approved it. Once approved by both the houses of Parliament, the Financial Emergency continues indefinitely till it is revoked.
  3. Effects of Financial Emergency: Extension of the executive authority of the Union over the financial matters of the States. Reduction of salaries and allowances of all or any class of persons serving in the State. Reservation of all money bills or other financial bills for the consideration of the President after they are passed by the legislature of the State. Direction from the President for the reduction of salaries and allowances of all or any class of persons serving the Union; and the judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts.
  • Criticism of the emergency provision: Some members of the Constituent Assembly criticised the incorporation of emergency provisions in the constitution on the following grounds:
  1. The federal character of the constitution will be destroyed and the union will become all-powerful
  2. The powers of the State- both the Union and the Units- will entirely be concentrated in the hands of the union executive.
  3. The president will become a dictator
  4. The financial autonomy of the state will be nullified
  5. Fundamental rights will become meaningless and, as a result, the democratic foundation of the constitution will be destroyed.’
  6. While defending the emergency provisions in the Constituent Assembly, Dr Ambedkar accepted the possibility of their misuse. He observed, ‘I do not altogether deny that there is a possibility of the Articles being abused or employed for political purposes.’
  • [message]
    • 6. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (Prelims, Various GS Papers)
Regrowing entire body - Autotomy
  • Growing things back: If a man loses a limb it is a life-changing tragedy. For a salamander, it is an inconvenience, for the limb will soon grow back. Distantly related animals from gastropods and arthropods to lizards and amphibians all possess the ability to regenerate lost body parts. Some can ditch their extremities when they become infected or injured, a process known as autotomy.
  • Autotomy: Also called Self-amputation, this is the ability of certain animals to release part of the body that has been grasped by an external agent.
  • Who grows the whole thing: These regenerative powers have interested man since long. Some hope that unravelling the biological mechanisms underlying them might one day have medical applications in humans. But the most drastic example of regeneration found so far reports two species of sea slug that are capable of jettisoning their bodies below the neck, and then building new ones from scratch.
  • Elysia marginata: While studying a species called Elysia marginata that had, until now, been mostly overlooked by science, scientists were astonished when five of their captive slugs spontaneously discarded their bodies and then started growing them back. (One slug performed the trick twice.) In every case, the creatures dumped their hearts, kidneys, intestines and reproductive organs along with their bodies. (a) Those bodies kept moving for several days before their hearts stopped beating and their tissues began to decay. The heads, meanwhile, busied themselves crawling around and capturing algae in their mouths. (b) Digestion being difficult without a stomach, the slug heads instead collected the photosynthesising organs (known as chloroplasts) from these algae, and incorporated them into their remaining tissues. (c) This sort of behaviour has been seen before, albeit only with intact slugs. It is, presumably, the photosynthesised nutrients created by those chloroplasts that allow the slugs to regenerate their missing bodies.
  • Next generation: To probe further, scientists caught more slugs, waited for them to breed and then began monitoring their descendants. Regeneration, it seems, is a power that declines with age. Researchers saw both old slugs and young ones autotomise. Those between 226 and 336 days old found the process least troubling. In these animals, wound closure finished within a day, hearts reappeared in a week, and a new body grew within 20 days. In slugs between 480 and 520 days old regeneration did not happen at all, and the heads died about ten days after disconnecting. (Why older animals continue to shed their bodies despite its being fatal remains a mystery.)
  • Why nature gave this power: Was it to evade predators? Researchers tried pinching them to simulate an attack by a predator. This did not work. Follow-up experiments with a related species, Elysia atroviridis, suggested that the regeneration might instead be a defence mechanism against parasites. Of the 146 slugs collected by the researchers, 82 were found to be infected with a copepod parasite (a type of crustacean). None of the parasite-free slugs shed their bodies, but three of the infected ones did. A further 13 discarded bits of their bodies, and in every case the parasites were ejected along with the body parts. So autotomy in sacoglossans helps the animals clear parasitic infections, as an alternative to activating a costly immune response that might fail. It is a drastic strategy—but one that seems to work. 

Spy agencies and A.I.
  • Cold War days: In the cold war America’s National Security Agency (NSA) and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) explored early AI to help transcribe and translate the enormous volumes of Soviet phone-intercepts they began hoovering up in the 1960s and 1970s. The technology was immature. European intelligence officers say their service did not use automatic transcription or translation in Afghanistan in the 2000s, relying on native speakers instead. The trends that have made AI attractive for business in recent years—more data, better algorithms, and more processing power to make it all hum—are giving spy agencies big ideas, too.
  • New ways of doing things: On February 24, 2021, the GCHQ informed how AI might change its work. “Machine-assisted fact-checking” could help spot faked images, check disinformation against trusted sources and identify social-media bots that spread it. AI might block cyber-attacks by “analysing patterns of activity on networks and devices”, and fight organised crime by spotting suspicious chains of financial transactions.
  • Other examples: The Nuclear Threat Initiative, an American NGO, showed that applying machine learning to publicly available trade data could spot previously unknown companies and organisations suspected of involvement in the illicit trade in materials for nuclear weapons. But spy agencies are not restricted to publicly available data. Aided by their ability to snoop on private information, such modest applications could pave the way to an AI-fuelled juggernaut.
  • Google's ex-boss: “AI will revolutionise the practice of intelligence,” said a report published on March 1st by America’s National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, a high-powered study group co-chaired by Eric Schmidt, a former executive chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. It says that by 2030 America’s 17 or so spy agencies ought to have built a "federated architecture of continually learning analytic engines" capable of crunching everything from human intelligence to satellite imagery in order to to foresee looming threats.
  • Privacy concerns: Yet what is possible in public health is not always so easy in national security. Western intelligence agencies must contend with laws governing how private data may be gathered and used. American spies say that they will respect “human dignity, rights, and freedoms”. These differences may need to be ironed out. One suggestion was that the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance—America, Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand—create a shared cloud server on which to store data.
  • Ethical issues: The constraints facing AI in intelligence are as much practical as ethical. Machine learning is good at spotting patterns—such as distinctive patterns of mobile-phone use—but poor at predicting individual behaviour. That is especially true when data are scarce, as in counter-terrorism. Predictive-policing models can crunch data from thousands of burglaries each year. Terrorist attacks are much rarer, and therefore harder to learn from. 
  • [message]
    • 7. SOCIAL ISSUES (Prelims, GS Paper 2)
Stop TB Partnership Board
  1. Introduction: Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, has been appointed Chairman of the Stop TB Partnership Board. He will serve a three year term, commencing July 2021, as the Chair of the Board of Stop TB Partnership.
  2. Points to note: The Stop TB Partnership Board was established in 2001 and is mandated to eliminate Tuberculosis as a public health problem. The organization was conceived following the meeting of the First Session of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Tuberculosis Epidemic held in London in March 1998. In its inaugural year itself, the Stop TB Partnership through the Amsterdam Declaration gave a call for collaborative action from ministerial delegations from 20 countries that bear the highest burden of TB. In 2019, it launched the updated Global Plan to End TB 2018-2022.
  3. Kochon Prize: The Kochon Prize is awarded annually by Stop TB Partnership to individuals and/or organizations that have made a significant contribution to combating TB. The Kochon Prize, which is endowed by the Kochon Foundation, a non-profit foundation registered in the Republic of Korea, consists of a USD 65,000 award. Its secretariat is based at Geneva, Switzerland.
  4. High TB Burden countries: In 2019, the 30 high TB burden countries accounted for 87% of new TB cases. Eight countries account for two thirds of the total, with India leading the count, followed by Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and South Africa (Global Tuberculosis Report: WHO)
  5. Scenario in India: With an estimated 2.64 million TB patients, India has the largest burden of TB globally in terms of absolute numbers. Recently, the “Step Up for TB 2020” report by the Stop TB Partnership and Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has highlighted India’s conservative approach regarding the new medicines for Drug Resistant TB, putting lives of patients including children in danger.
  6. Steps taken: India has committed to eliminating TB in the country by 2025, five years ahead of the global deadline of 2030. It has the National Strategy Plan for TB Elimination 2017-2025. The requirements for moving towards TB elimination in India have been arranged in four strategic areas of Detect, Treat, Prevent & Build. There is also across all four areas, an overarching theme of the Private Sector. Another overarching theme is that of Key Populations. TB Harega Desh Jeetega Campaign, Nikshay Poshan Yojana, etc.
  7. Global efforts: End TB Strategy of WHO - World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed on 24th March to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB.
  8. Knowledge centre: (a) Tuberculosis - It is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs.It is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. Symptoms include cough with sputum and blood at times, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. It is a treatable and curable disease. It is treated with a standard 6 month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information, supervision and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer. (b) Multidrug-resistant TB - MDR-TB is a form of TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to isoniazid and rifampicin, the 2 most powerful, first-line anti-TB drugs. MDR-TB is treatable and curable by using second-line drugs. (c) Extensively drug resistant TB - XDR TB is a rare type of MDR TB that is resistant to isoniazid and rifampin, plus any fluoroquinolone and at least one of three injectable second-line drugs (i.e., amikacin, kanamycin, or capreomycin).


  • [message]
    • 8. MISCELLANEOUS (Prelims, GS Paper 1, GS Paper 2)

Pepsu Muzara Movement
  1. Introduction: The date “March 19” evoked several painful memories at Kishangarh village of Mansa district. In the year 1949, in the Kishangarh village, four farmers were killed on the same date during the “Pepsu Muzara movement”. This movement and those farmers were remembered at several sites of ongoing farmer’s protest.
  2. Muzara Movement: This was started with the objective of taking ownership rights of land after tilling it for years together. This movement started in 1930s under British rule when the Jagridars were seeking the share in crop of farmers across the villages of Punjab under the Patiala Riyasat. The share used to be passed on to the Maharaja of Patiala and then to Britshers. Thus, the farmers were working like slaves of Jagirdars, Maharaja and British. So, the farmers started this movement in which they refused to give the food grains to their masters. After India’s Independence some 784 villages of the Patiala Riyasat were named as PEPSU province. Following this, in the month of October 1948, the Patiala Maharaja had passed orders to give one third land of villages to Jagirdars. However, farmers did not accept this. Later on March 19, 1949 these farmers confronted the security forces of Maharaja at Kishangarh in which four farmers, one cop and one patwari were killed.
  3. History: The "Muzara" word is used for the “landless farmers” who used to work on someone’s land. The movement finds its origin in late 19th century, when “princely state of Patiala” was suffering the oppression by ‘Maharaja of Patiala’. The local landlords called the biswedars enjoyed their rights on land but the tenants felt that those landlords had no legitimate right to land. The found an outlet in movements like the Akali and Praja Mandal movements during 1920s. During 1930s, liberal atmosphere was created through which the congress party attained its hold in several provinces. After that, Punjab became the nerve centre of Muzara movement. By 1948, small armed groups of 30 to 40 people used to protect muzaras against onslaught of landlords.  After the Congress ministry was established in 1951, an Agrarian Reforms Enquiry Committee was set up in order to recommend the measures to tackle the issue. In the year 1952, PEPSU Tenancy (Temporary Provision) Act was formulated to protect the tenants. This act provided for peasants to become the owners if they paid compensation twelve times of the land revenue.
  4. PEPSU Province: PEPSU stands for “Patiala and East Punjab States Union”. It was a state of India, which united the eight princely states in the year between 1948 and 1956. The capital and principal city of PEPSU was Patiala. Shimla, Kasauli, Kandaghat and Chail were also a part of PEPSU.

‘Catch the Rain’ campaign 2021
  1. Introduction: The PM launched the “Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain campaign” in the virtual mode. The campaign is being launched on the occasion of World Water Day on March 22, 2021. The campaign will be implemented under the theme– ‘Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls’.
  2. Key points: On the occasion, the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh & Uttar Pradesh signed a Memorandum of Agreement to implement the “Ken Betwa Link Project” in the presence of Prime Minister. This will be the first project of “National Perspective Plan” for interlinking of the rivers.
  3. Jal Shakti Abhiyan: This will be implemented across the rural and urban areas till November 30, 2021. The campaign will be a Jan Andolan in order to undertake water conservation at the grass-root level with people’s participation. It seeks to nudge all stakeholders so as to create “rainwater harvesting structures” which are suitable to the climatic conditions in order to store the rainwater properly. As the part of campaign, the Gram Sabhas will also take “Jal Shapath” for water conservation.
  4. Ken Betwa Link Project: This interlinking project involves the transfer of water from Ken River to the Betwa River by constructing the “Daudhan Dam” and a canal to link the two rivers. This project seeks to provide the annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh hectare. It will also provide the drinking water supply to around 62 lakh people. With the completion of project, 103 Megawatt of hydropower energy would also be generated. It will be useful for the water starved region of Bundelkhand. It will be benefiting the districts of Panna, Chhatarpur, Tikamgarh, Damoh, Datia, Sagar, Shivpuri, Vidisha and Raisen in Madhya Pradesh while the districts of Mahoba, Banda, Jhansi and Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh. The project will also way to more such interlinking of river projects which in turn will ensure that scarcity of water does not comes in between the development of country.
  5. Concerns on ILR: The interlinking of rivers is not an unmixed blessing, with experts warning of submergence of large areas, displacement of millions, a decrease in river flows for 24 of the 29 rivers (as much as 73 per cent), a reduction in freshwater deliveries to wetlands and estuaries, waterways getting exposed to new contaminants, invasive species, and disease-causing agents and the already vulnerable deltas of the Indian subcontinent further compromised due to reduced silt deposited by rivers in their deltas by as much as 87 per cent. A comprehensive article can be read here - https://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/interlinking-of-rivers-a-dangerous-idea-119080801731_1.html


India - France third joint space mission
  1. Introduction: India and France are working on the “Third Joint Satellite Mission” at the time when the bilateral space collaboration between both the country is entering into multiple domains even in the human spaceflight programme.
  2. Key points: Many French companies are interested to tap into the opportunities provided by the recent reforms in the space sector by the government. France is also the largest partner of India in Space. ISRO highlighted that, ISRO and French space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) have worked on the two joint missions namely the ‘Megha-Tropiques’ which was launched in the year 2011 and the ‘SARAL-Altika’ which was launched in the year 2013.
  3. ISRO-CNES: The ISRO and CNES have completed the feasibility study in order to realise earth observation satellite mission with the help of thermal infrared imager called “Thermal infraRed Imaging Satellite for High resolution Natural resource Assessment (TRISHNA)”. Now both the agencies are working to finalise an implementing arrangement for the joint development.
  4. ARGOS: It is a satellite-based system which is involved in the collecting, processing and disseminating the environmental data from a fixed and a mobile platform worldwide. It also helps in the data collection by the satellite. This makes the Argos more useful in geographically locating the data source from any location on the Earth using the Doppler effect. It was established in the year 1978.
  5. OCEANSAT-3: The ISRO spacecraft Oceansat-3 is being developed in order to provide the service continuity for the operational users of Ocean Colour Monitor data from Oceansat 2. It also seeks to enhance the application potential in other areas. It is a global mission which has been configured to cover the global oceans and to provide a continuity of ocean colour data. 


Radar surveys of Himalayan Glaciers
  1. Introduction: India has planned to conduct the airborne radar surveys in order to estimate the thickness of Himalayan glaciers. Under the plan, the pilot study will be conducted in the Lahaul – Spiti basin of the Himachal Pradesh. This proposal was initiated by the “National Centre for Polar & Ocean Research (NCPOR)” under the Ministry of Earth Sciences”.
  2. Key points: After the pilot project, similar studies will also be conducted in the Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra sub-basins. This development is significant because of the importance of glaciers in the river systems of India and 500 million lives which the river sustains downstream in Indo-Gangetic plains. They are also significant from with respect to the energy security standpoint. The development is also strategically imperative.
  3. Why do it: This has come in India because India is one of the most vulnerable country for extreme weather events. It has been ranked at the 20th position on Climate Risk Index (CRI). India also witnessed a human tragedy after several people lost their lives in February 2021 glacier bursts near the Raini village in Uttarakhand.
  4. National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR): It was known as “National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR)’”. It is an Indian research and development institution which is located in the Vasco da Gama in Goa. The centre is an autonomous Institution under the Department of Ocean Development (DOD) of Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. The centre is responsible to administer the Indian Antarctic Programme. 


9.1 Today's best editorials to read
  • We offer you 7 excellent editorials from across 10 newspapers we have scanned. 

  • [message]
    • SECTION 3 - MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions)

Solve the online quiz given, right now. Check scores, and relative performance!



01-01-2020,1,04-08-2021,1,05-08-2021,1,06-08-2021,1,28-06-2021,1,Abrahamic religions,6,Afganistan,1,Afghanistan,35,Afghanitan,1,Afghansitan,1,Africa,2,Agri tech,2,Agriculture,150,Ancient and Medieval History,51,Ancient History,4,Ancient sciences,1,April 2020,25,April 2021,22,Architecture and Literature of India,11,Armed forces,1,Art Culture and Literature,1,Art Culture Entertainment,2,Art Culture Languages,3,Art Culture Literature,10,Art Literature Entertainment,1,Artforms and Artists,1,Article 370,1,Arts,11,Athletes and Sportspersons,2,August 2020,24,August 2021,239,August-2021,3,Authorities and Commissions,4,Aviation,3,Awards and Honours,26,Awards and HonoursHuman Rights,1,Banking,1,Banking credit finance,13,Banking-credit-finance,19,Basic of Comprehension,2,Best Editorials,4,Biodiversity,46,Biotechnology,47,Biotechology,1,Centre State relations,19,CentreState relations,1,China,81,Citizenship and immigration,24,Civils Tapasya - English,92,Climage Change,3,Climate and weather,44,Climate change,60,Climate Chantge,1,Colonialism and imperialism,3,Commission and Authorities,1,Commissions and Authorities,27,Constitution and Law,467,Constitution and laws,1,Constitutional and statutory roles,19,Constitutional issues,128,Constitutonal Issues,1,Cooperative,1,Cooperative Federalism,10,Coronavirus variants,7,Corporates,3,Corporates Infrastructure,1,Corporations,1,Corruption and transparency,16,Costitutional issues,1,Covid,104,Covid Pandemic,1,COVID VIRUS NEW STRAIN DEC 2020,1,Crimes against women,15,Crops,10,Cryptocurrencies,2,Cryptocurrency,7,Crytocurrency,1,Currencies,5,Daily Current Affairs,453,Daily MCQ,32,Daily MCQ Practice,573,Daily MCQ Practice - 01-01-2022,1,Daily MCQ Practice - 17-03-2020,1,DCA-CS,286,December 2020,26,Decision Making,2,Defence and Militar,2,Defence and Military,281,Defence forces,9,Demography and Prosperity,36,Demonetisation,2,Destitution and poverty,7,Discoveries and Inventions,8,Discovery and Inventions,1,Disoveries and Inventions,1,Eastern religions,2,Economic & Social Development,2,Economic Bodies,1,Economic treaties,5,Ecosystems,3,Education,119,Education and employment,5,Educational institutions,3,Elections,37,Elections in India,16,Energy,134,Energy laws,3,English Comprehension,3,Entertainment Games and Sport,1,Entertainment Games and Sports,33,Entertainment Games and Sports – Athletes and sportspersons,1,Entrepreneurship and startups,1,Entrepreneurships and startups,1,Enviroment and Ecology,2,Environment and Ecology,228,Environment destruction,1,Environment Ecology and Climage Change,1,Environment Ecology and Climate Change,458,Environment Ecology Climate Change,5,Environment protection,12,Environmental protection,1,Essay paper,643,Ethics and Values,26,EU,27,Europe,1,Europeans in India and important personalities,6,Evolution,4,Facts and Charts,4,Facts and numbers,1,Features of Indian economy,31,February 2020,25,February 2021,23,Federalism,2,Flora and fauna,6,Foreign affairs,507,Foreign exchange,9,Formal and informal economy,13,Fossil fuels,14,Fundamentals of the Indian Economy,10,Games SportsEntertainment,1,GDP GNP PPP etc,12,GDP-GNP PPP etc,1,GDP-GNP-PPP etc,20,Gender inequality,9,Geography,10,Geography and Geology,2,Global trade,22,Global treaties,2,Global warming,146,Goverment decisions,4,Governance and Institution,2,Governance and Institutions,773,Governance and Schemes,221,Governane and Institutions,1,Government decisions,226,Government Finances,2,Government Politics,1,Government schemes,358,GS I,93,GS II,66,GS III,38,GS IV,23,GST,8,Habitat destruction,5,Headlines,22,Health and medicine,1,Health and medicine,56,Healtha and Medicine,1,Healthcare,1,Healthcare and Medicine,98,Higher education,12,Hindu individual editorials,54,Hinduism,9,History,216,Honours and Awards,1,Human rights,249,IMF-WB-WTO-WHO-UNSC etc,2,Immigration,6,Immigration and citizenship,1,Important Concepts,68,Important Concepts.UPSC Mains GS III,3,Important Dates,1,Important Days,35,Important exam concepts,11,Inda,1,India,29,India Agriculture and related issues,1,India Economy,1,India's Constitution,14,India's independence struggle,19,India's international relations,4,India’s international relations,7,Indian Agriculture and related issues,9,Indian and world media,5,Indian Economy,1248,Indian Economy – Banking credit finance,1,Indian Economy – Corporates,1,Indian Economy.GDP-GNP-PPP etc,1,Indian Geography,1,Indian history,33,Indian judiciary,119,Indian Politcs,1,Indian Politics,637,Indian Politics – Post-independence India,1,Indian Polity,1,Indian Polity and Governance,2,Indian Society,1,Indias,1,Indias international affairs,1,Indias international relations,30,Indices and Statistics,98,Indices and Statstics,1,Industries and services,32,Industry and services,1,Inequalities,2,Inequality,103,Inflation,33,Infra projects and financing,6,Infrastructure,252,Infrastruture,1,Institutions,1,Institutions and bodies,267,Institutions and bodies Panchayati Raj,1,Institutionsandbodies,1,Instiutions and Bodies,1,Intelligence and security,1,International Institutions,10,international relations,2,Internet,11,Inventions and discoveries,10,Irrigation Agriculture Crops,1,Issues on Environmental Ecology,3,IT and Computers,23,Italy,1,January 2020,26,January 2021,25,July 2020,5,July 2021,207,June,1,June 2020,45,June 2021,369,June-2021,1,Juridprudence,2,Jurisprudence,91,Jurisprudence Governance and Institutions,1,Land reforms and productivity,15,Latest Current Affairs,1136,Law and order,45,Legislature,1,Logical Reasoning,9,Major events in World History,16,March 2020,24,March 2021,23,Markets,182,Maths Theory Booklet,14,May 2020,24,May 2021,25,Meetings and Summits,27,Mercantilism,1,Military and defence alliances,5,Military technology,8,Miscellaneous,454,Modern History,15,Modern historym,1,Modern technologies,42,Monetary and financial policies,20,monsoon and climate change,1,Myanmar,1,Nanotechnology,2,Nationalism and protectionism,17,Natural disasters,13,New Laws and amendments,57,News media,3,November 2020,22,Nuclear technology,11,Nuclear techology,1,Nuclear weapons,10,October 2020,24,Oil economies,1,Organisations and treaties,1,Organizations and treaties,2,Pakistan,2,Panchayati Raj,1,Pandemic,137,Parks reserves sanctuaries,1,Parliament and Assemblies,18,People and Persoalities,1,People and Persoanalities,2,People and Personalites,1,People and Personalities,189,Personalities,46,Persons and achievements,1,Pillars of science,1,Planning and management,1,Political bodies,2,Political parties and leaders,26,Political philosophies,23,Political treaties,3,Polity,485,Pollution,62,Post independence India,21,Post-Governance in India,17,post-Independence India,46,Post-independent India,1,Poverty,46,Poverty and hunger,1,Prelims,2054,Prelims CSAT,30,Prelims GS I,7,Prelims Paper I,189,Primary and middle education,10,Private bodies,1,Products and innovations,7,Professional sports,1,Protectionism and Nationalism,26,Racism,1,Rainfall,1,Rainfall and Monsoon,5,RBI,73,Reformers,3,Regional conflicts,1,Regional Conflicts,79,Regional Economy,16,Regional leaders,43,Regional leaders.UPSC Mains GS II,1,Regional Politics,149,Regional Politics – Regional leaders,1,Regionalism and nationalism,1,Regulator bodies,1,Regulatory bodies,63,Religion,44,Religion – Hinduism,1,Renewable energy,4,Reports,102,Reports and Rankings,119,Reservations and affirmative,1,Reservations and affirmative action,42,Revolutionaries,1,Rights and duties,12,Roads and Railways,5,Russia,3,schemes,1,Science and Techmology,1,Science and Technlogy,1,Science and Technology,819,Science and Tehcnology,1,Sciene and Technology,1,Scientists and thinkers,1,Separatism and insurgencies,2,September 2020,26,September 2021,444,SociaI Issues,1,Social Issue,2,Social issues,1308,Social media,3,South Asia,10,Space technology,70,Startups and entrepreneurship,1,Statistics,7,Study material,280,Super powers,7,Super-powers,24,TAP 2020-21 Sessions,3,Taxation,39,Taxation and revenues,23,Technology and environmental issues in India,16,Telecom,3,Terroris,1,Terrorism,103,Terrorist organisations and leaders,1,Terrorist acts,10,Terrorist acts and leaders,1,Terrorist organisations and leaders,14,Terrorist organizations and leaders,1,The Hindu editorials analysis,58,Tournaments,1,Tournaments and competitions,5,Trade barriers,3,Trade blocs,2,Treaties and Alliances,1,Treaties and Protocols,43,Trivia and Miscalleneous,1,Trivia and miscellaneous,43,UK,1,UN,114,Union budget,20,United Nations,6,UPSC Mains GS I,584,UPSC Mains GS II,3969,UPSC Mains GS III,3071,UPSC Mains GS IV,191,US,63,USA,3,Warfare,20,World and Indian Geography,24,World Economy,404,World figures,39,World Geography,23,World History,21,World Poilitics,1,World Politics,612,World Politics.UPSC Mains GS II,1,WTO,1,WTO and regional pacts,4,अंतर्राष्ट्रीय संस्थाएं,10,गणित सिद्धान्त पुस्तिका,13,तार्किक कौशल,10,निर्णय क्षमता,2,नैतिकता और मौलिकता,24,प्रौद्योगिकी पर्यावरण मुद्दे,15,बोधगम्यता के मूल तत्व,2,भारत का प्राचीन एवं मध्यकालीन इतिहास,47,भारत का स्वतंत्रता संघर्ष,19,भारत में कला वास्तुकला एवं साहित्य,11,भारत में शासन,18,भारतीय कृषि एवं संबंधित मुद्दें,10,भारतीय संविधान,14,महत्वपूर्ण हस्तियां,6,यूपीएससी मुख्य परीक्षा,91,यूपीएससी मुख्य परीक्षा जीएस,117,यूरोपीय,6,विश्व इतिहास की मुख्य घटनाएं,16,विश्व एवं भारतीय भूगोल,24,स्टडी मटेरियल,266,स्वतंत्रता-पश्चात् भारत,15,
PT's IAS Academy: Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 22-03-2021
Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 22-03-2021
Useful compilation of Civil Services oriented - Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 22-03-2021
PT's IAS Academy
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow TO READ FULL BODHI... Please share to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy