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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Preparation

01. 06. 2018 Related Information


About PACOM
1. U.S. Pacific Command renamed • United States Indo-Pacific Command
U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) is a unified
• The United States renamed its combatant command of the United
strategically important Pacific States Armed Forces responsible for
Command (PACOM) as the U.S. Indo- the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Pacific Command (INDOPACOM). • It is the oldest and largest of the
• It has been renamed to Indo-Pacific unified combatant commands.
instead of Asia-Pacific. Topic: GS-II: Effect of policies and politics of
Convergence between India and USA developed and developing countries on
• S. Indo-Pacific Command is critical for India's interests, Indian diaspora.
“a region open to investment and Source: The Hindu
free, fair and reciprocal trade”. 2. Government launches India’s first
• The US shares India’s concerns about ever guidelines for Adventure
China’s “One Belt, One Road” policy Tourism
for the region. • The Government is for the first time
Waiver for India from anti-Russian issuing guidelines for Adventure
sanctions Tourism in India.
• India is currently caught in the • The guidelines on Safety and Quality
crossfire of anti-Russian sanctions Norms for Adventure Tourism in India
mandated by the U.S Congress and have been formulated along with the
the US has called for a waiver for Adventure Tour Operators Association
India. of India (ATOAI).
• In an effort to make adventure sports
• This is because India has significant
safer, the set of guidelines list out the
defence cooperation with Russia.
basic minimum standards required for
Implications of the Renaming of PACOM
adventure tourism activities in India.
• The renaming reflects the existing • Adventure tourism has grown rapidly
geographic coverage of the command over the past few years playing a vital
and the acknowledgement of the role in the economic growth of India
increasing connectedness between as well as attracting a large number of
the two oceans i.e. the Pacific Ocean travellers from across the globe to the
and the Indian ocean. country.
• Renaming the combatant command is • The sole aim of this initiative is to help
strategically significant as it reflects a adventure tour operators understand
recognition within the U.S. and execute safety guidelines in a
government that East Asia and the better manner.
Indian Ocean Region are gradually • These guidelines cover land, air and
becoming a single competitive space. water-based activities which include
• It's also a way of reaffirming to New mountaineering, trekking, bungee
Delhi and to the rest of the world that jumping, paragliding, kayaking, scuba
India is an indispensable pole of the diving, snorkelling, river rafting and
future Asian order. many other sports.
The flip side • The Ministry of Tourism along with
• Such a step can have organizational ATOAI and all the tourism
implications, and affect the policy stakeholders are committed for India
debate outside government as well. to be looked at as one of the best
• Moreover, the US and India have adventure tourism destinations, with
different ideas of what constitutes the a strong safety management system
Indo-Pacific. in place.

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What is adventure tourism? • It is a consortium of state cricket


• Adventure travel is a type of niche associations and the state
tourism, involving exploration or associations select their
travel with a certain degree of risk representatives who in turn elect the
(real or perceived), and which may BCCI officials.
require special skills and physical • Today, the BCCI has 30 full-time
exertion. members.
Topic: GS-II: Polity and Governance • It organizes – among others – the
Source: PIB Indian Premier League.
3. BCCI and UN Environment sign
Topic: Important for State PCS and CSE
agreement to promote Green
Prelims
Cricket in India
• The Board of Control for Cricket in GS-III: Environment
India (BCCI) has signed Letter of Source: Hindu Business Line
Intent (LoI) with UN Environment to 4. Gaj Yatra launched in Garo Hills of
promote green’ cricket in India. Meghalaya
• The partnership aims to spread
• Ministry of Environment, Forest and
greater awareness about key
Climate Change (MoEFCC) rolled out
environmental challenges India is
‘Gaj Yatra’, an awareness campaign to
facing and highlight alternate and
protect elephants from Tura in Garo
more sustainable solutions.
Hills of Meghalaya.
• Through this LoI, BCCI will endeavour
to reduce its environmental impact by • It was organised by the Wildlife Trust
greening its operations and engaging of India in collaboration with the State
cricketers and fans in green Forest Department.
initiatives. • It was launched to the acknowledged
• It will also focus on phasing out good gesture of villagers from Garo
single-use plastic across stadiums in Hills who had set aside part of their
the country. community-owned land to create
Green Cricket Initiatives village reserve forests for human-
• The film with messages from captains elephant harmony.
of various franchises will be aired in Gaj Yatra
stadiums highlighting hazards of • Gaj Yatra is an 18-month-long
plastic pollution during the course of national campaign aimed to protect
Indian Premier League (IPL). elephants in 12 elephant range states.
• At the four matches played at Holkar
• The elephant is India’s national
Stadium in Madhya Pradesh, a Green
heritage animal.
Protocol based on the concept of 3Rs
– to reduce, reuse and recycle was • It was launched in August 2017 by
implemented. Environment and Forest Minister
• M Chinnaswamy stadium in Harsh Vardhan on the occasion of
Bengaluru, Karnataka replaced plastic World Elephant Day 2017.
cups and bottles with environment- • It aims to involve people from all
friendly alternatives. walks of life in the conservation of
About the BCCI elephants.
• The Board of Control for Cricket in • Win-Win: The aim this project is to
India (BCCI) is the national governing rehabilitate people affected by man-
body for cricket in India. elephant conflict in corridor areas
• The board was formed in December while ensuring uninterrupted
1928 as a society, registered under movement of elephants between key
the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration habitats.
Act.

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About the Wildlife Trust of India • The exercise comes at the time of
• The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is an increased friction between China and
Indian nature conservation US along with nations bordering
organisation to conserve wildlife and resource-rich South China Sea (SCS)
its habitat and to work for the welfare as China is militarising reclaimed
of individual wild animals. islands in it to further strengthen its
• WTI was formed in November 1998 in claim.
response to the rapidly deteriorating • Indian Navy participation in this year’s
condition of wildlife in India. exercises will include indigenous
• WTI is a registered charity in India. stealth frigate INS Sahyadri, fleet
Topic: Important for State PCS and CSE tanker INS Shakti, anti-submarine
Prelims corvette INS Kamorta.
Source: The Hindu About Malabar Exercise
5. Mission Raftaar • Malabar Exercise was started as Indo-
• The Indian Railways conducted a one- US bilateral naval war drill in 1992.
day workshop 'Mission Raftaar' in
• Since then it is held annually.
which officials discussed ways to
increase the average speed of freight • Japan had formally joined the exercise
and passenger trains. as the permanent participant in 2015,
• Issues such as punctuality, rolling making it trilateral exercise.
stock, removing bottlenecks in terms • The primary aim of this multilateral
of traffic, elimination of unmanned exercise is to increase interoperability
level crossings were discussed at the amongst navies of three countries and
workshop. develop the common understanding
What is Mission Raftaar? of procedures for Maritime Security
• 'Mission Raftaar' aims at doubling the Operations and deepen defence
average speed of freight trains and relations between them.
increasing the average speed of • In 2007, the exercise also saw the
coaching trains by 25 kmph over a participation of Australia and
five-year period. Singapore.
• Increasing the average speed of trains Topic: Important for State PCS and CSE
is considered essential for reducing Prelims
travel time for passengers, transit Source: The Hindu
time for cargo, operational cost, and
improving revenues and the railway's 2. Facebook, NCW partner to launch
market share. digital literacy mission for women
in India
Topic: Important for State PCS and CSE
Prelims • Facebook has announced a
Source: Zee News partnership with National Commission
for Women, under which it has
launched a Digital Literacy Program.
02.06.2018
• This programme will run in
1. Malabar Exercise 2018 to be held collaboration with the Cyber Peace
off the coast of Guam in the Foundation and attempts to conduct
Philippine Sea training across local languages to
ensure the safe use of the internet.
• Trilateral Naval Exercise Malabar 2018
between India, Japan and the United • Facebook’s digital literacy program for
States will be held off the coast of women will begin with a one-year long
Guam in the Philippine Sea from June pilot phase, that aims to train 60,000
6-15, 2018. women in universities through
• It will be the 22nd edition of the naval interactive sessions.
exercise.

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Why is digital literacy important for such as in case of highly degraded


women? samples. The Mitochondrial Unit can
• In today’s internet age, opportunities also be used to better explore family
for women are immense. relationships.
• NCW has seen an increasing number Special forensic kits for rape cases:
of complaints related to cybercrimes, • Underscoring the importance of the
that have been registered over the forensics in nabbing the culprits in
past three years. sexual assault cases, special forensic
Topic: GS-I: Role of women and women's kits for rape would be distributed to all
organization, the police stations and hospitals by
Source: Indian Express the month of July.
3. India’s First Advanced Forensic • These inviolable kits will be used for
Lab in Chandigarh dedicated to providing uncontaminated evidence.
women related cases • These kits would contain a complete
• Minister for Women and Child list of evidence/samples to be
Development laid the foundation collected along with the equipment
of Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA required to collect the evidence.
Forensic Laboratory in the campus Related Information
of Central Forensic Science Lab, Central Forensic Science Labs
Chandigarh. • The Central Forensic Science
• Forensic analysis plays a critical role Laboratory (CFSL) is a wing of the
in criminal investigation and the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, which
Advanced Lab will contribute to fulfils the forensic requirements in the
addressing the gap in forensic DNA country.
analysis of pending sexual assault • These labs are responsible for
cases in the country. conducting forensic analysis of all
• The lab is being set up as a model cases in the country including sexual
forensic lab and would be replicated assault, criminal paternity and
in other parts of the country. homicide.
• 5 more advanced forensic labs would Topic: GS-I: Role of women and women's
come up in Mumbai, Chennai, organization,
Guwahati, Pune and Bhopal.
Source: PIB
• This Project is a joint effort of Ministry
4. Online Analytical Tool to monitor
of Home Affairs and WCD Ministry and
foreign contributions under FCRA
it will play a vital role in justice
delivery system. • Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath
Singh launched an Online Analytical
Four Units in the Lab
Tool to facilitate closer monitoring of
In Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic
the flow and utilisation of foreign
Laboratory, four units are to be established
contributions received by various
to address cases related to women:
organisations registered or permitted
• Sexual Assault and Homicide Unit under the Foreign Contribution
• Paternity Unit: Paternity Unit is (Regulation) Act, 2010.
essential to solving cases related to
• It is a web-based tool and it will
criminal paternity, gender selection &
enable decision-makers in various
child swapping in hospitals.
Departments of Government to
• Human Identification Unit: Human scrutinise source of foreign funds and
Identification Unit is important in their actual use in India.
cases of missing person or children.
• It gives them capacity to take data-
• Mitochondrial Unit: Mitochondrial Unit driven and evidence-based decisions
will conduct mitochondrial DNA regarding the compliance of the
analysis in cases where regular provisions of the FCRA, 2010.
Nuclear DNA analysis is not possible

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• It has analytical features to • On April 1 it also banned the import of


conduct big data mining and data many nonorganic vegetables from
exploration. other states.
• Its dashboard will be integrated with • The transition has not been always
the bank accounts of the FCRA- easy
registered entities through the Public o Some farmers have complained
Financial Management System for that their crop yields have
updation of transactional data on a decreased
real-time basis. o Farmers also claim that they
• It will help the stakeholders haven't gotten enough support
in Government to better regulate from the government.
acceptance and utilisation of foreign o Some farmers say their income
contributions. has decreased or have quit
Related Information farming altogether.
Public Financial Management System • Note: Sikkim banned disposable
(PFMS) plastic plates in 2016. Roadside snack
• It is an end-to-end solution for stalls use plates fashioned from leaves.
processing payments, tracking, • To encourage farmers to make the
monitoring, accounting, reconciliation switch to organic, Sikkim tapered off
and reporting. its supply of chemical pesticides and
• It is implemented by Controller fertilizers - making their use a
General of Accounts and administered criminal offence in 2014 - launched
by the Department of Expenditure. education programs, and installed
• It provides a unified platform to thousands of composting pits.
scheme managers for tracking Advantages accrued to Sikkim
releases and monitoring their last mile • The country's move to all-organic also
utilisation. has been a boon to its tourist industry,
• It also provides the single platform for with a growing market for eco-tours
efficient management of funds by and farm vacations.
tracking them and real-time reporting • The Lonely Planet travel guide named
of expenditure and receipts through it the world's top destination in 2014,
treasury and bank interface. and the number of foreign visitors has
• It is also used for Direct Benefit more than doubled since 2011
Transfer (DBT) payments under Topic: GS-III: Environment
MGNREGA and other notified schemes Source: NDTV
of the Centre. 6. Ruthenium: Fourth single element
Topic: GS-II: Pressure groups and to show ferromagnetism
formal/informal associations and their role in • Scientists have discovered that the
the Polity. chemical element ruthenium (Ru) is the
Source: PIB fourth element to have unique magnetic
5. Sikkim: 1st state to outlaw properties at room temperature.
pesticides and chemical fertilizers • The discovery could be used to
• Fifteen years ago, the Sikkim improve sensors, devices in the
launched a radical experiment: Its computer memory and logic industry,
leaders decided to phase out or other devices using magnetic
pesticides on every farm in the state. materials.
• In the years since the shift to organic • Until now, only three elements on the
(Sikkim has declared the first organic periodic table have been found to be
state in 2016), Sikkim has outlawed ferromagnetic at room temperature -
pesticides and chemical fertilizers, iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), and nickel (Ni).
aided farmers in certifying about Topic: Important for State PCS and CSE
190,000 acres of farmland as organic Prelims
Source: Economic Times

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04.06.2018 • The first missile of the Agni series


(Agni-I) was developed under the
1. Exhibition cum sale event ‘the Integrated Guided Missile
Pankha’ (Hand-Fans) Development Program and tested in
• Union Tribal Affairs Minister launched 1989.
an exhibition cum sale event, Related Information
‘the PANKHA’ (Hand-fans), through Name (Type) Range
TRIFED and Tribes India. Agni-I (MRBM) 700 – 900 km
• This initiative is aimed at providing Agni-II (MRBM) 2,000 – 3,000 km
marketing support to tribal artisans so Agni-III (IRBM) 3,500 – 5,000 km
as to help to revive the same. Agni-IV (IRBM) 3,000 – 4,000 km
• TRIFED is advised to market this craft Agni-V (ICBM) 5,000 – 8,000 km
through various Tribes India Outlets Topic: GS-III Science and Technology
located across the country. Source: The Hindu
• e-commerce giants like Amazon, 3. India and Singapore
Flipkart, Snapdeal, GeM, etc. are also • India and Singapore have agreed to
invited to market hand fans along with upgrade their Comprehensive
other tribal handloom and handicraft. Economic Cooperation Agreement
Topic: GS-II Welfare schemes for vulnerable (CECA).
sections of the population by the Centre and • Recently the second review of CECA
States and the performance of these was concluded.
schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and • The review includes
bodies. o expanded tariff concessions for an
Source: PIB additional 30 products
2. India successfully test-fires nuclear o improved rules to provide more
capable long range Ballistic missile flexibility for Singapore exports to
Agni-5 qualify for preferential tariffs
under the agreement.
• India successfully test-fired its
• It will boost bilateral trade in the field
indigenously developed nuclear
of training of public service officials,
capable Long Range Ballistic Missile
cybersecurity, narcotics control and
‘Agni-5’ from the Abdul Kalam
defence cooperation.
Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast.
• Another key benefit from the
• Agni-V is a solid
upgraded CECA includes
fuelled intercontinental ballistic
o a mutual recognition agreement
missile (ICBM) developed by
on nursing to facilitate a better
Defence Research and Development
understanding in regulating
Organisation (DRDO) of India, strike
training and practice of nursing.
range of 5,000 kilometres.
• Along with it, India and Singapore
• It can carry a nuclear warhead of signed eight more agreements which
more than one tonne. are as follows
• It is the longest missile in India’s o Implementation agreement
arsenal capable of reaching most signed between the Indian Navy
parts of China. and Republic of Singapore Navy
• With a smaller payload, the range can concerning mutual coordination,
go up much higher. logistics and services support
• The missile features many new o for naval ships, submarines
indigenously-developed technologies and naval aircraft (including
like RINS, MINS which improves the Shipborne Aviation Assets)
accuracy of the missile. visits.
• Agni-5 is expected to be inducted into o Extension of MoU between CERT-
the Strategic Forces Command very IN and SINGCERT for
soon. cybersecurity.

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o NCB of India and CNB of o Frequent infections.


Singapore signed a MoU on o Delayed growth
cooperation to combat illicit o Vision problems.
trafficking in narcotic drugs, Topic: GS-II Issues relating to development
psychotropic substances and their and management of Social Sector/Services
precursors. relating to Health
o MoU on cooperation in the field of GS-III Science and technology
Personnel Management and Source: The Hindu
public administration.
5. Exhibition firms
o The NITI Aayog and Singapore
• Companies engaged in organizing
Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) also
exhibitions in India are seeking
signed a MoU on cooperation in industry status to further contribute
the field of planning. to the growth of the economy.
Topic: GS- II Bilateral, regional and global
• Top officials of the Indian Exhibition
groupings and agreements involving India Industry Association (IEIA) would
and/or affecting India's interests meet Union Minister with a
Source: The Economic Times representation to press their case.
4. Sickle cell anaemia (SCA) • While the developed world had been
• Tribal children in Srikakulam, according to high priority to exhibition
Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East sector, India had so far neglected it.
and West Godavari district are found • An industry status will lead to a
to be sick with SCA. plethora of educational platforms
• The tribals are prone to it due to o for professional management,
various factors including malnutrition training and development at the
and consanguineous marriages. root level, safety,
• Tribal Welfare department has taken o and sustainability initiatives,
up the study under thalassemia, thereby attracting more talented
anaemia and sickle cell anaemia people to the domain.
(TAS) programme. • The exhibition sector, which is
Recent information: growing at a rate of 8.8% for past five
Sickle cell anaemia: years is set to grow at a rate of
• SCA is a condition in which there 12.13% in the next five years.
aren't enough healthy red blood cells Topic: GS-III Indian Economy and issues
to carry adequate oxygen throughout relating to planning, mobilization of
your body. resources, growth, development and
• It is genetically inherited disease. employment.
• In sickle cell anaemia, the red blood Source: The Hindu
cells become rigid and sticky and are 6. Air India stake sale
shaped like sickles or crescent moons. • Center has decided to retain the
• These irregularly shaped cells can get significant minority stake in debt-
stuck in small blood vessels, which laden Air India after its privatization.
can slow or block blood flow and • It is seen as a primary reason behind
oxygen to parts of the body. the muted response to the proposed
• There's no cure for most people with disinvestment in the national carrier.
sickle cell anaemia. • Niti Aayog, the government’s policy
• But treatments can relieve pain and think tank, had recommended that
help prevent problems associated the government completely exit Air
with the disease. India.
• Its symptoms include: • However, the alternate mechanism, a
o Anemia i.e. shortage of RBCs. panel of ministers set up to supervise
o Periodic episodes of pain. the carrier’s sale, ruled in favour of
o Painful swelling of hands and feet. initially retaining a 24% in the airline

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• And exiting completely at a later stage Blue Flag


—may be after three years. • The Blue Flag is a certification by the
• The asset monetisation of the carrier Foundation for Environmental Education
will go on as usual despite the bidding (FEE) that a beach, marina or
process not going as expected. sustainable boating tourism operator
• The government has put the condition meets its stringent standards.
that it should be run only by Indian • The Blue Flag is a trademark owned by
investors. FEE which is a not-for-profit, non-
• The balance sheet of Air India also governmental organisation consisting of
contains unusual assets that include 65 organisations in 60-member
countries in Europe, Africa, Oceania,
o collected artwork, sculptures, and
Asia, North America and South America.
paintings, apart from land plots in
major cities in India, such as New • The Environment Ministry embarked
Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, and on the Blue Flag project in December
in London and Tokyo 2017.
o several prime slots for takeoff and Blue Flag standards
landing at major international • To achieve the Blue Flag standards, a
airports in several countries. beach must be plastic-free and
• The loss-making airline has been in equipped with a waste management
talks with potential investors, system.
including lenders such as the State • Clean water should be available for
Bank of India, to divest its non-core tourists, apart from international
assets to pare its crushing debt load. amenities.
Topic: GS-III Effects of liberalization on the • The beach should have facilities for
economy, changes in industrial policy and studying the environmental impact
their effects on industrial growth. around the area.
GS-III Infrastructure: Airports. • The standards were established by
Source: The Economic Times the Copenhagen-based Foundation
for Environmental Education (FEE)
05.06.2018 in 1985.
Topic- GS-3- Environment
1. Blue Flag Certification Programme- Source- The Hindu
Odisha beach is Asia’s first to get 2. Govt launched 'Krishi Kalyan
‘Blue Flag’ tag Abhiyaan' to help farmers in
• The Chandrabhaga beach on the Aspirational Districts to raise
Konark coast of Odisha became their income
first in Asia to get the Blue Flag
• The Agriculture Ministry in line with
certification.
the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s
• It awarded the honour on World vision of doubling farmers’ income by
Environment Day on June 5. 2022 has launched the “Krishi Kalyan
• Twelve more beaches in the country Abhiyaan” from 1st June to 31st July
are being developed by the Society for 2018.
Integrated Coastal Management
• Under the scheme, farmers in select
(SICOM), an Environment Ministry’s
villages will be given assistance and
body working for the management of
advice on ways to improve farming
coastal areas, in accordance with the
techniques and raise their income.
Blue Flag standards.
• The scheme aims to help farmers in
• Among them are the Chiwla and
25 villages with more than 1,000
Bhogave beaches in Maharashtra and
population each in 111 Aspirational
one beach each from Puducherry,
Districts identified in consultation with
Goa, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and
Ministry of Rural Development as per
the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
directions of NITI Ayog.
Related Information

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• Farm science centres called Krishi protection of aquatic species of


Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) will coordinate river Ganga
and implement the programme. • A new grassroots-level volunteer
• As many as 111 officers have also workforce is out to protect the
been made in-charge of one district biodiversity of river Ganga called
each for overall coordination and field Ganga Praharis.
level monitoring. • A group of trained volunteers are
• These officers have been selected reaching to each and every house in
from areas along river Ganga to educate
subordinate/attached/autonomous them about the importance of
organizations/PSUs etc of Ministry of protecting river’s biodiversity.
Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.
• They are spread over Ganga basin
Topic- GS-3- Agriculture
states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh,
Source- AIR Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.
3. The government launched
• Ganga Praharis of the five main stem
‘JANAUSHADHI SUVIDHA’ – Oxo-
Ganga basin states will be linked
biodegradable Sanitary Napkin
through mobile applications such
• Union Minister of State for Chemicals
as Bhuvan Ganga app, my gov app
& Fertilizers launched the
and Swachhta app thereby creating
‘JANAUSHADHI SUVIDHA’, the Oxo-
a broad network among them.
biodegradable Sanitary Napkin, under
the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya • Roped-in by Wildlife Institute of India
Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP). (WII), Dehradun as part of the
• The affordable sanitary napkins will “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga
now become available at over 3600 Rejuvenation” project being
Janaushadhi Kendras functional in 33 sponsored by National Mission for
States/UTs across India. Clean Ganga (NMCG) under the aegis
of the Namami Gange programme.
• This unique product would ensure
Affordability, Hygiene as well as Ease • These Ganga Praharis are well trained
of use and disposal for them. in the ecological monitoring of Ganga
• Unhygienic aids cause fungal aqua life, plantation techniques,
infections, Reproductive Tract awareness creation and community
Infection, Urinary Tract Infection, mobilization.
Cervical cancer and also make women • Ganga Praharis are playing a crucial
vulnerable to infertility. role in reporting and rescuing of
• Jan Aushadhi Suvidha comes with a aquatic wildlife in distress, reporting
special additive, which makes it of illegal activities like poaching etc.
biodegradable when it comes in Topic- GS-3- Environment
contact with oxygen after being Source-PIB
discarded.
5. Centre to start measuring ‘green
• This would ensure ‘Swachhta,
GDP’ of States
Swasthya and Suvidha’ for the
underprivileged Women of India and • India’s environmental diversity and
go a long way in the achievement of riches are universally recognised but
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s have never been quantified.
vision of Affordable and Quality • Starting this year, the government
Healthcare for All. will begin a five-year exercise to
Topic- GS-2- Health Schemes compute district-level data of the
Source-PIB country’s environmental wealth.
4. Ganga Praharis to Boost Bio- • The numbers will eventually be used
Diversity conservation to educate, to calculate every State’s ‘green’
motivate and ensure the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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• The metric will help with a range of 06.06.2018


policy decisions, such as
compensation to be paid during land 1. India among the top five
acquisition, calculation of funds countries in e-waste generation
required for climate mitigation, and so • According to the recent study of
on. ASSOCHAM-NEC, India continues to
• A pilot project is set to begin this be generating highest e-waste vis-à-
September in 54 districts. vis China, USA, Japan and Germany.
• The land will be demarcated into • In India, Maharashtra contributes the
“grids” with about 15-20 grids per largest e-waste of 19.8%, followed by
district. Tamil Nadu (13%) and Uttar Pradesh
• These will capture the diversity in the (10.1%) respectively.
State’s geography, farmland, wildlife, • E-waste generated in India is about 2
and emissions pattern, and will be million TPA (tonnes per annum), the
used to compute a value, she added. quantity that is recycled is about
Other Information 4,38,085 TPA.
• The government has also launched a • The sad part is that a mere 5% of
‘green skilling’ programme under India's total e-waste gets
which youth, particularly school recycled due to poor
dropouts, would be trained in a range infrastructure, legislation and
of ‘green jobs’— as operators of framework which lead to a waste
scientific instruments used to of diminishing natural resources,
measure environmental quality, as irreparable damage of
field staff in nature parks, and as environment and health of the
tourist guides. people working in the industry.
Green GDP • Over 95% of e-waste generated is
• Green GDP is a term used generally managed by the unorganised sector
for expressing GDP after adjusting for and scrap dealers in this market,
environmental damage. dismantle the disposed of products
Topic-GS-3- Economic Development instead of recycling it.
Source- The Hindu Related Information
6. Navy sends ship to Socotra island E-waste
in Yemen to rescue 38 stranded • E-waste includes all forms of waste
Indians products containing as a
• Around 38 Indians are stranded in and manufacturing component that runs
around Socotra island in on either battery or power supply.
Yemen after a cyclone “Mekunu” hit • E-waste typically includes discarded
the area and the Indian Navy has computer monitors, motherboards,
launched an operation to rescue Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT), Printed
them. Circuit Board (PCB), mobile phones
• The Navy has already deployed its and chargers, compact discs etc.
ship INS Sunayna as part of • High and prolonged exposure to these
the 'operation Nistar' to evacuate chemicals/ pollutants emitted during
the Indians. unsafe e-waste recycling leads to
• INS Sunayna, which was deployed in damage to nervous systems, blood
Western Arabian Sea, is now heading systems, kidneys and brain
towards Socotra for the humanitarian development etc.
and disaster relief (HADR) operation. • Computer equipment accounts for
Topic- GS-3-Defence almost 70% of e-waste material
Source- Times of India followed by telecommunication
equipment (12%), electrical
equipment (8%) and medical
equipment (7%).

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Associated Chambers of Commerce and • The SoE in Figures is an annual


Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) compendium of environmental statistics
• The Associated Chambers of put together by Down To Earth
Commerce and Industry of India magazine, which Centre for Science and
(ASSOCHAM) is one of the apex trade Environment (CSE) helps publish.
associations of India. • The country is far behind in achieving
• The goal of this organisation is to any of the Sustainable Development
promote both domestic and Goals (SDGs) and ranked at 116 out
international trade and reduce trade of 157.
barriers while fostering the conducive • Six out of Ten Indians continue to be
environment for the growth of trade poor, surviving on less than the US
and industry of India. $3.20 per day.
• ASSOCHAM was established in 1920 What does the SoE in Figures say about
by promoter chambers, representing key environmental parameters?
all regions of India. • The state of our air: India scored 5.75
Topic- GS-3- Environment out of 100 in air quality.
Source- Times of India • India’s disappointing performance
2. S-400 missile deal with Russia and the gravity of the situation is
• India has made it clear that it will go further highlighted when compared
ahead with the Rs 39,000-crore deal with countries such as Switzerland
with Russia for the S-400 Triumf air and Japan which have scored over 90.
defence missile systems for the The state of our water
IAF despite US sanctions on Russia. • The Ministry of Drinking Water and
• Top American lawmakers and experts Sanitation launched the “Har Ghar Jal
have warned that imposition of Yojana” to provide piped water supply
sanctions on India under CAATSA if it to every household by 2030 to meet the
bought the S-400 air defence missile Sustainable Development Goals.
system from Russia could be • However, in 18 Indian states and UTs,
disastrous for Indo-US ties. over 82 Percent rural households,
Related Information which is the national average, remain
Countering America's Adversaries without a tapped connection.
Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) • The dependency on groundwater has
• The Countering America's Adversaries increased between 2004 and 2013.
Through Sanctions Act, CAATSA is a The state of our sanitation
United States federal law that • Under the Swachh Bharat scheme,
imposed sanctions on Iran, North 72.1 million individual household
Korea, and Russia. toilets in rural India have been
Topic- GS-3- Defence constructed; however, little has been
Source- Indian Express done to popularise their use.
3. State of India’s Environment The state of our energy
(SoE) in Figures, 2018 • After missing its targets for two
• India, which was ranked 141 out of consecutive years, the Centre, it
total 180 countries on the Global appears, is fast losing interest in
Environmental Performance Index meeting its ambitious target of
(EPI) rankings in 2016, has slipped installing 175 gigawatts (GW)
further to the 177th position this year. renewable energy by 2022.
• Failure to improve its air quality, • Centre’s Ujjwala Yojana has covered
protect biodiversity and cut all states, but LPG distribution has
greenhouse gas emissions has been taken place significantly in only 15
cited as the reason for placing the states. And even here, a substantial
country at the bottom, according to portion of rural population relies on
the State of India's Environment unhealthy firewood for cooking.
(SoE) 2018 in Figures.

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The state of our forests Ratna Award for their individual


• While India's total forest cover has performances.
registered a 0.2 Percent increase • These awards were instituted
between 2015 and 2017, there are by Prime Point Foundation in 2010
some serious concerns over the based on the suggestion given by late
growth pattern. President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to
• The bulk of the increase has taken celebrate achievers.
place in the open forest category, Topic- GS-2-Indian Polity
which includes commercial Source- Business Standards
plantations–which is worrying. 5. Geo-Intelligence Asia - 2018
• Overall, there has been a 146 Percent • The Eleventh edition of
increase in forestland diversion for GeoIntelligence Asia 2018 organised
non-forest activities in the past one by GeoSpatial Media and
year with maximum diversions Communication with Directorate
recorded in Madhya Pradesh, General of Information System as
Telangana and Odisha. Knowledge Partners and Military
• Increasing number of forest fires in Survey as Co-organisers.
the country–which have gone up by • The theme of Seminar was
125 Percent within just two years ‘GeoSpatial: A Force Multiplier for
(2015-2017). Defence and Industrial Security’.
The SoE on environmental crimes • The seminar brought together
• Since the National Green Tribunal the military, security officials
(NGT) was set up in 2010, the number including BSF and Police Forces,
of environment-related police cases Government and industry together
seem to be gradually decreasing. to examine the latest technology
• However, the number of court cases solutions and on the critical role of
has drastically gone up. geospatial technology in military and
Related Information security applications.
Environmental Performance Index (EPI) Topic- GS-3- Defence
• EPI ranking is a bi-annual report Source-PIB
produced by researchers at Yale and 6. Taj Declaration to Beat Plastic
Columbia Universities in collaboration Pollution adopted in Agra
with the World Economic Forum. • A ‘Taj Declaration to Beat Plastic
Topic- GS-3- Environment Pollution’ was adopted as part of
Source- Down to Earth which efforts would be made to make
4. Parliamentary Standing the 500-metre area around the 17th-
Committee on Finance to get century monument litter-free.
Sansad Ratna Award Topic- GS-3- Environment
• The Parliamentary Standing Source- The Hindu
Committee on Finance will be
awarded the Sansad Ratna Award 07.06.2018
2018 for its outstanding performance.
• Veerappa Moily, Chairman of the 1. India moves up to 137th rank on
Parliamentary Standing Committee on 2018 Global Peace Index
Finance will receive the award. • India has moved up four places to the
• There are 24 Departmentally 137th rank among 163 countries on
Related Standing Committees in the 2018 Global Peace Index.
Parliament. Sixteen are known as • India has improved by four positions
Lok Sabha Committees and eight as in the overall ranking from 141st to
Rajya Sabha Committees. 137th.
• In addition, seven MPs (six from Lok • It is due to a reduction in the level of
Sabha and one from Rajya Sabha) will violent crime driven by increased law
also be honoured with the Sansad enforcement, according to a report.

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• The report is published by the in the World Bank’s ease of doing


Sydney-based Institute of Economics business index.
and Peace (IEP). Topic- GS-3- Indian Economy
• Iceland remains the most peaceful Source- Livemint
country in the world, a position it has 3. Scheme to provide fortified rice to
held since 2008. be rolled out in 115 most
• Syria remains the least peaceful backward districts
country in the world, a position it has • The government will provide fortified
held for the past five years. rice (enriched with essential vitamins
• India was also among the countries and minerals) to all the poor under
with the biggest decreases in the National Food Security Act (NFSA)
number of deaths, along with Sri across the country.
Lanka, Chad, Colombia, and Uganda. • To begin with, the scheme is likely to
Topic- GS-3-Economic Development cover the 115 ‘aspirational’ districts
Source- Indian Express across the country.
2. RBI to set up public credit registry • Food minister Ram Vilas Paswan said
to curb bad loans the proposal is being prepared with
• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said the support of Niti Aayog under the
it would set up a public credit National Nutrition Mission.
registry—an information repository • The government has taken up the
that collates all loan information of task of improving socio-economic and
individuals and corporate borrowers. health conditions in the 115 most
• A credit repository will help banks backwards or aspirational districts.
distinguish between a bad and a good • Providing fortified rice is being seen as
borrower and accordingly offer a move in that direction considering
attractive interest rates to good that majority of these districts are
borrowers and higher interest rates to primarily rice consuming ones.
bad borrowers. Fortification of rice
• The move is based on the • Fortification is the practice of
recommendations of a committee it deliberately increasing the content of
set up last year, headed by M. an essential micronutrient, i.e.
Deosthalee. vitamins and minerals (including trace
• The committee has also elements) in a food.
recommended that registry should • It is done to improve the nutritional
also capture data such as external quality of the food supply and provide
commercial borrowings, market a public health benefit with minimal
borrowings, and all contingent risk to health.
liabilities to provide a holistic picture • Rice can be fortified by adding a
of the borrower’s indebtedness. micronutrient powder to the rice that
• The public credit repository will adheres to the grains or spraying of the
address information asymmetry, surface of ordinary rice grains in several
improve access to credit and layers with a vitamin and mineral mix to
strengthen the credit culture among form a protective coating.
consumers. • These micronutrients are such as iron,
• It can also go a long way in addressing folic acid and other B-complex
the bad loans problem facing the vitamins, vitamin A and zinc.
banking system, as corporate • Rice can also be extruded and shaped
borrowers will be unable to lend from into partially precooked grain-like
multiple banks without disclosing their structures resembling rice grains,
existing debt. which can then be blended with
• Setting up the public credit registry natural polished rice.
will also help improve India’s rankings Topic- GS-2- Welfare Programmes
Source- WHO + Times of India

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4. IBSA summits • Currently, there are 10-member


• External Affairs Minister Sushma states and 2 observer states are part
Swaraj attended meetings of BRICS of it.
and IBSA in South Africa. • The Association of Southeast Asian
• During the visit, Swaraj participated Nations (ASEAN) is a regional
in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, intergovernmental organisation
China and South Africa) Foreign comprising ten Southeast Asian
Ministers’ meeting on June 4 which is states which promote
expected to lay the foundation for the intergovernmental cooperation and
annual summit of the grouping in facilitates economic, political, military,
Johannesburg next month. educational and cultural integration
• She also chaired a meeting of Foreign amongst its members and Asian states.
Ministers of IBSA (India, Brazil, South • Its headquarter is in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Africa), another bloc working to • India is not a member of it.
deepen coordination among the three • The 10-member states of ASEAN are
countries on major global issues. Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos,
Related Information Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines,
IBSA Trust Fund agreement Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
• India, Brazil and South Africa signed • The ASEAN Way- the doctrine that
the IBSA Trust Fund Agreement that the member countries will largely
seeks to fight poverty in developing business when it comes to internal
countries. matters of member countries.
• The agreement was signed at the 8th • ASEAN Plus Three: Was created to
IBSA trilateral Ministerial Commission improve existing ties with China,
Meeting in Durban on 21st October Japan and South Korea.
2017. • ASEAN Plus Six: includes China,
• Each country contributes USD Japan, South Korea, New Zealand,
1 million annually to this fund which is Australia and India.
managed by the UN Development East Asia Summit
Programme's (UNDP) Special Unit for • The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a
South-South Cooperation. forum held annually by leaders of,
Topic- GS-2- Bilateral, regional and global initially, 16 countries in the East
groupings and agreements involving India Asian, Southeast Asian and South
and/or affecting India’s interests Asian regions.
Source- Hindustan Times • Membership expanded to 18 countries
5. India to take part in 2nd including the United States and Russia
quadrilateral meet on ASEAN
at the Sixth EAS in 2011.
sidelines
• EAS meetings are held after annual
• The meeting will take place in
ASEAN leaders' meetings.
Singapore on the sidelines of the
Topic- GS-2- Important International
Senior Officials’ meeting (SOM) on
institutions
ASEAN.
• The ASEAN SOM is the opening event Source- Indian Express
for a string of meetings within the
ASEAN, ASEAN Plus 3, East Asia Summit 08. 06. 2018
and the ASEAN Regional Forum that are
taking place from June 5-7. 1. India not yet ready to sign the
Related Information Hague treaty
ASEAN • The government is not yet ready to
• Established in 1967 in Bangkok via sign the Hague treaty on the inter-
Bangkok Declaration. country abduction of children by
parents fleeing a bad marriage.

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• There has been immense pressure • In 2017, Tunisia and Jamaica acceded
from the U.S. on the government to to the convention.
sign the treaty though the Topic- GS-2-International Conventions
government has long held the view Source- The Hindu
that the decision could lead to 2. Fuego volcano’s eruption
harassment of women escaping • Volcan de Fuego, which means
marital discord or domestic violence. "Volcano of Fire is an active
Background stratovolcano in Guatemala.
• A committee constituted by the • Volcan de Fuego exploded on June 3
Centre to examine legal issues in its most devastating eruption in
involved in international parental more than four decades, showering
abduction submitted its report in April ash on a wide area and sending rapid
2018, opposing a central provision of pyroclastic flows through nearby
the Hague Convention. towns.
• It also recommended setting up of a • Satellite pictures showed a lava- and
Child Removal Disputes Resolution ash-ravaged landscape in southern
Authority to act as a nodal body to Guatemala after Fuego volcano's
decide on the custody of the child as calamitous eruption, which has killed
well as a model law to deal with such at least 99 people.
disputes. Topic- GS-1-Physical Geography
• However, the government is Source- DD news
contemplating assigning the National
3. Three Indian cities among top 10
Commission for Protection of Children
for GDP risk from terrorism
the responsibility to adjudicate on
• Three Indian cities, including Delhi,
such cases along with a judicial
Mumbai and Bengaluru are ranked
expert.
among the top 10 cities globally for
Related Information GDP risk from terrorism threats.
Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of
• Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore
International Child Abduction stood at fifth, sixth and seventh in this
• It is a multilateral treaty developed by aspect, in the latest edition of Lloyd's
the Hague Conference on Private India's City Risk Index (CRI).
International Law (HCCH) that • The study further noted that threats
provides an expeditious method to
from conflict and terrorism account
return a child internationally abducted
for more than half (58 per cent) of the
by a parent from one member country risk to India's economic output
to another.
annually amounting to USD 9 billion.
• The Convention has concluded 25
• Lloyd's City Risk Index (CRI) has
October 1980 and entered into force measured GDP risk from 22 separate
between the signatories on 1
threats in 279 cities across the world.
December 1983.
• The findings for India reflect the
• The Convention was drafted to ensure
geopolitical tension in the region.
the prompt return of children who
• Lloyd's CRI included 10 major cities in
have been abducted from their
India, Ahmedabad, Bangalore,
country of habitual residence or
Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kanpur,
wrongfully retained in a contracting
Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune and Surat.
state not their country of habitual
Topic- GS-3-Economic Development
residence.
Source- Economic Times
• The Convention applies only to
children under the age of 16. 4. India shows impressive gains in
reduction of Maternal Mortality
• Currently, there are 98 states are
with 22% reduction since 2013
party to the convention.
• India registered a significant decline
in Maternal Mortality Ratio.

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• According to the just-released SRS regardless of the site or duration of


bulletin (2016), India has shown pregnancy.
impressive gains in reduction of Child mortality rate
Maternal Mortality with 22% reduction • The number of deaths of children less
in since 2013. than 5 years old per 1,000 live births.
• Maternal Mortality Ratio of India has Neonatal mortality
declined from 167 in 2011-2013 to • It is defined as death within the first
130 in 2014-2016. four weeks of life.
• The decline has been most significant Topic-GS-2- Issues relating to development
in the EAG (Empowered Action Group) and management of Social Sector/Services
States and Assam from 246 to 188. relating to Health, Education, Human
Among the Southern States, the Resources.
decline has been from 93 to 77 and in Source- Indian Express
the Other States from 115 to 93. 5. World Bank approved Rs. 6,000
• The latest SRS figures reveal that we crores for Atal Bhujal Yojana
have gone beyond the MDG target of • The World Bank has approved Atal
Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of 139 Bhujal Yojana (ABHY), a Rs.6000 crore
by 2015 and have reached 130. Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of
• Amongst the States, Uttar Pradesh Water Resources, River Development
with 30% decline has topped the chart and Ganga Rejuvenation.
in the reduction of Maternal Deaths. • The scheme is to be implemented
• Three states have already met the over a period of five years from 2018-
SDG target for MMR of 70 per 19 to 2022-23, with World Bank
100,000. These are Kerala, assistance.
Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, while Other Information
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY)
within striking distance. • Atal Bhujal Yojana has been
Initiatives by Government formulated by the Ministry to address
• Mission Indradhanush and the criticality of groundwater
Intensified Mission Indradhanush resources in a major part of the
• Janani Suraksha Yojana- a country.
conditional cash transfer scheme to • The scheme will also cover two major
motivate pregnant women for types of groundwater systems found
institutional deliveries. It is under in India - alluvial and hard rock
National Rural Health Mission. aquifers.
• Janani Shishu Suraksha • The scheme aims to improve
Karyakaram (JSSK)- entitles all groundwater management in priority
pregnant women delivering in public areas in the country through
health institutions to free delivery, community participation.
including C-sections. • It will be launched in Gujarat,
• Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Maharashtra, Haryana, Karnataka,
Matritva Abhiyan- pregnant women Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya
can walk into private establishments Pradesh, covering 78 districts, 193
on the 9th of the month. blocks and more than 8,300-gram
Related Information panchayats.
Infant mortality rate • The duration of the ABY will be five
• The number of deaths of children less years.
than 1 year old per 1,000 live births. Background
Maternal mortality ratio • The scheme was announced as
• The number of maternal deaths per National Groundwater Management
100,000 live births due to causes Improvement Scheme (NGMIS) in
related to pregnancy or within 42 days budget 2016-17.
of termination of pregnancy,

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• The scheme is renamed as Atal Bhujal • It provides all of the information the
Yojana. organism requires to function.
Topic- GS-3- Environment Conservation • In living organisms, the genome is
Source-PIB stored in long molecules of DNA called
6. C18-Mica-4 can remove the chromosomes.
majority of pollutants from urban • Small sections of DNA, called genes,
wastewater code for the RNA and protein
• Spanish scientists have identified molecules required by the organism.
absorbent materials that can help • In eukaryotes, each cell's genome is
soak up pollutants found in urban contained within a membrane-bound
wastewater in less than 24 hours. structure called the nucleus.
• The results show that the material • Prokaryotes, which contain no inner
C18-Mica-4 is capable of eliminating membranes, store their genome in a
the majority of pollutants that were region of the cytoplasm called the
evaluated in urban waste water, as nucleoid.
well as surface water and potable • The full range of RNA molecules
water. expressed by a genome is known as
Topic- GS-3- Science and Technology its transcriptome, and the full
Source- AIR assortment of proteins produced by
the genome is called its proteome.
09.06.2018 Genomics
• Genomics is the study of the full
1. Scientists unveiled the genome of genetic complement of an organism
India’s national bird (the genome).
• After a two-year long effort, a team of • It employs recombinant DNA, DNA
researchers from IISER-Bhopal has sequencing methods, and
been able to sequence the genome of bioinformatics to sequence,
India’s national bird, the peacock. assembles, and analyse the structure
• Knowledge of the genome can provide and function of genomes.
insight into the genetic reasons that Topic- GS-3- Science and Technology
enable peacocks to have ornate Source- Down to Earth
feathers and fly despite their weight. 2. Scientists developed early
• When these genes were compared flowering transgenic mustard
with those of closely related birds like • Researchers at Delhi-based TERI
chicken and turkey, the researchers School of Advanced Studies have
found that up to 99 genes in peacock developed an early flowering
are strikingly different. transgenic variety of mustard.
• Researchers figured out the role of a
• Peacocks live for 25 years, much
regulatory gene, called MIR172
longer than other closely related birds
belonging to the micro RNA family,
such as the chicken, which lives for 7-
that is present in functionally varied
8 years and the turkey, which lives for
forms in Indian mustard and is
about 10 years.
responsible for a number of traits
• It is possible that the immunity- including the timing of flowering.
related genes unique to peacock help
• In plants, this microRNA enacts by
them ward off diseases much better
negatively regulating the expression
than other birds and consequently
of some protein-coding genes
have a longer life.
involved in flowering time.
Related Information • By increasing the expression of this
Genome microRNA, the researchers have
• A genome is the complete set of developed an early flowering
genetic information in an organism. transgenic plant of Indian mustard
cultivar Brassica junceacv.

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• By manipulating flowering time, one • PSLV has emerged as a versatile


can develop a plant variety with launch vehicle to carry out Sun-
shorter life cycle and thus help have Synchronous Polar Orbit (SSPO),
better yields through reduced Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO)
exposure to the harsh climatic and low inclination Low Earth Orbit
conditions in the fields. (LEO) missions.
Why is it important for India? • Important Mission-
• Indian mustard is a major oilseed crop (a) Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 through
in the country and due to changing PSLV-XL C11 and
climate the number of cold days (b) Mars Orbiter Spacecraft
required for full plant cycle has (Mangalyaan) in 2013 through PSLV-
shrunk. XL C25
• Scientists have been working on • Variants- There are currently three
improving crop varieties by modifying operational versions of the PSLV.
plant genes to make them more (a) The standard (PSLV)
adaptable changing climate. (b) The core-alone (PSLV-CA) without
• Early flowering and maturing varieties the six strap-on booster motors
can help cope with climate change, (c) The (PSLV-XL) version, which
without compromising on yields. carries more solid fuel in its strap-on
motors than the standard version.
Topic- GS-3- Biotechnology
Topic- GS-3-Space Technology
Source- Down to Earth
Source-PIB
3. Cabinet approves Polar Satellite
4. Cabinet approved Continuation
Launch Vehicle Mark-III
Programme for Geosynchronous
Continuation Programme – Phase
Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III
6
• The Union Cabinet approved funding for
• The Union Cabinet has approved the the for Geosynchronous Satellite Launch
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Vehicle Mark-III (GSLV Mk-III)
Continuation Programme (Phase 6) continuation programme (Phase-I).
and funding of thirty PSLV operational • The GSLV Mk-III continuation
flights under the Programme. Programme – Phase 1 is the first
• The operationalisation of PSLV has phase of operational flights that will
made the country self-reliant in the enable the launch of 4 tonne class of
launching capability of satellites for communication satellites to meet the
earth observation, disaster country’s satellite communication
management, navigation and space requirements.
sciences. • The operationalisation of GSLV Mk-III
• The PSLV Continuation programme will make the country self-reliant in
will sustain this capability and self- the launching capability of 4 tonne
reliance in the launching of similar class of communication satellites into
satellites for national requirements. Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO)
• All the operational flights would be and sustain & strengthen the space
completed during the period 2019- infrastructure and reduce the
2024. dependence on procured launches
from foreign countries.
Related Information
Related Information
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch
• It is the third generation launch Vehicle)
vehicle of India. • The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch
• It is the first Indian launch vehicle to Vehicle (GSLV) project was initiated in
be equipped with liquid stages. 1990 with the objective of acquiring
• It was successfully launched in an Indian launch capability for
October 1994. geosynchronous satellites

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• Variants- • The power plant has been asked by


(a) GSLV rockets using the Russian the Central Pollution Control Board
Cryogenic Stage (CS) are (CPCB) to comply with the
designated as the GSLV Mk I. It is environmental norms for coal-fired
capable of launching around 1500 kg. thermal power plants by December
31, 2019.
(b) Versions using the indigenous
Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) are What is DSI (Dry Sorbent Injection)?
designated the GSLV Mk II. It is • DSI is the practice of injecting a dry
capable of launching 2500 kg into the alkaline mineral into a flue gas stream
geostationary transfer orbit. to reduce acid gas emission.
(c) GSLV Mk III • DSI offers advantages in comparison
• All GSLV launches have been to traditional acid gas scrubber
conducted from the Satish Dhawan technology:
Space Centre in Sriharikota. (a) Lower capital cost,
Topic- GS-3-Space Technology (b) Wide range of favourable
Source-PIB + Wiki operation conditions,
5. IN Ships arrived Guam to (c) Much lesser time for completing
participate in Ex-Malabar 2018 installation and commissioning.
• Indian Naval Ships Sahyadri, Shakti (d) Improves the efficiency of the
and Kamorta of the Eastern Fleet electrostatic precipitator (ESP), thus
arrived at Guam on 07 June 18 to reducing the emission levels of
participate in the 22nd edition of Particulate Matter (PM) further
Exercise Malabar with US Navy from • While conventional wet limestone flue
07 to 16 June 2018. gas desulphurisation (WLFGD) takes
• Exercise Malabar started as a bilateral over two years, DSI takes only 12-14
exercise between the US Navy and months to be up and running.
the Indian Navy in 1992, has • It also reduces emissions of other
evolved over the years with the acidic gases and heavy metals like
participation of the Japanese mercury.
Maritime Self-Defense Force • Sodium sesquicarbonate (or Trona)
(JMSDF) from 2007. and sodium bicarbonate are sorbent
• It is for the first time that the exercise materials (which can collect molecules
is being conducted off Guam, a of another substance by sorption),
major US Naval Base in the Western though hydrated lime can also be
Pacific. used sometimes.
Topic- GS-3- Defence • India has surplus sodium bicarbonate
Source-PIB production. Thus, the reagent is also
not very expensive, eliminating high
operational costs as a barrier.
11.06.2018
Other Information
1. Use of DSI technology in the • Sorbent injection is not a new
thermal power plant to curb SO2 technology. It is not entirely unknown
emission to India.
• The NTPC’s Dadri Power Plant is • Sorbent injection with hydrated lime
opting for a Dry Sorbent Injection as the reagent has been in practice for
(DSI) system for controlling sulphur a long time in the cement and steel
dioxide (SO2) emissions and ensuring industries in the country to control
compliance with the 2015 SO2 emissions.
environmental norms within the
stipulated deadline.

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• The CSE, which has been at the Source- DD news


forefront of advocating implementation 3. Dhanush, India’s first indigenous
of the 2015 environmental norms, had long-range artillery gun, clears
recommended that the smaller power final test; ready for induction
generation units (less than 500MW)
• India’s first indigenous, long-range
should be adopting alternatives to the
FGD (flue gas desulphurisation) system artillery gun “Dhanush” has passed its
to achieve compliance with the final test at Pokhran, paving the way
prescribed standard. for its induction into the Army.
Topic- GS-3- Environment • Dhanush is a 155mm x 45mm calibre
Source- Down to Earth artillery gun and is also called the
2. Adoption of Qingdao declaration “desi Bofors”.
in SCO Summit 2018 • The design is based on Bofors, now
• The SCO summit in 2018, which was Haubits FH77 which India acquired in
held in the Chinese city of Qingdao, the 1980s.
concluded with the adoption of the • The gun has been developed by the
Qingdao declaration. Ordnance Factory Board (OFB),
• The declaration calls for implementing Kolkata and will be manufactured by
the three-year plan to combat the Jabalpur-based Gun Carriage
terrorism, separatism and Factory (GCF).
extremism. • The GCF (Gun Carriage Factory) got
• It also calls for the implementation of the Dhanush project in October 2011
the treaty on long-term good and the first prototype was made in
neighbourliness, friendship and co- 2014.
operation.
• It has a strike range of 38 kilometres
• A total of 22 documents have been
and 81 Percent of its components are
signed by the SCO countries,
indigenous.
including preventing radicalization of
youth and prevention of narcotics. Topic- GS-3- Defence
• The SCO Action plan for 2019 to 2020 Source- Financial Express
was also signed. 4. Delhi most vulnerable UT in
India and SCO Summit 2018 India’s first disaster risk index,
• Indian Prime Minister underlined the Maharashtra leads states
importance of security and • A national disaster risk index mapping
connectivity. hazards and vulnerabilities across
• Prime Minister Modi floated the 640 districts puts Maharashtra at
concept of SECURE: the top of the chart followed by West
'S' for security for citizens, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya
'E' for economic development, Pradesh, while Delhi is most at risk
'C' for connectivity in the region, among Union territories (UTs).
'U' for unity, • The index is currently in the form of a
'R' for respect of sovereignty and draft report prepared by the Union
integrity, and home ministry with support from the
'E for environment protection. United Nations Development
• He also called for setting up a specific Programme (UNDP).
roadmap for the 25th anniversary of
• The lower hazard ranking to states
SCO in 2026 for the organisation to
like those in the north-east and others
grow.
like Uttarakhand and Himachal
• PM highlighted India's universal
Pradesh, which are prone to
brotherhood, and neighbourhood
earthquakes or floods, seems
policy and called upon member states
to cooperate in the fields of Agriculture,
surprising but the index takes into
Water Resources and Pharma. account economic vulnerabilities and
Topic- GS-2-International Organization actions taken to mitigate risk.

21
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• The index factors in the exposure of cosmetics and hygiene products, are
population, agriculture and livestock harmful to human health and it has
and environmental risk in drawing up danger impact on the environment.
the rankings. • Use of cosmetics with parabens could
• Capacity building by Gujarat, Tamil pose-
Nadu, Assam, Tripura and Himachal • (a) A risk of breast cancer in women
Pradesh has lowered their net risk to and when these personal care
population and economic losses. products end up in water bodies with
• States like UP, MP and Rajasthan are urban and hospital waste,
considered high-risk states despite • (b) They become a threat to corals
facing lower natural hazard and
possibilities due to high vulnerability • (c) May cause hormonal disruptions in
and low capacity-building, the report dolphins and other marine animals as
notes. well.
Related Information Topic- GS-3- Science and Technology
• This national disaster risk index is also Source- Down to Earth
in line with India’s commitment to the
Sendai Framework, successor to the 12.06.2018
Hyogo Framework, where it has to
substantially bring down disaster 1. ISRO’s scientists discover an
losses in terms of lives and properties. ‘EPIC’ planet
Topic- GS-3- Disaster Management • The team from the Physical Research
Source- Times of India Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, has
5. Scientists find the new system to spotted for the first time a distant
detect paraben level in water planet six times bigger than Earth and
bodies revolving around a Sun-like star about
• The researchers came up with a 600 light years away.
method that is based on • PRL, described as the cradle of space
nanotechnology and a system known sciences in India, conducts
as ‘Lab-on-Valve’. fundamental research in a host of
• The project is aimed at identifying physical sciences including astronomy
parabens and triclosan in water and space.
bodies to help develop measures to • Both the planet and the star have
correct their harmful effects. been named EPIC.
• The research team added carbon- • With this discovery, India has joined a
coated titanium dioxide nanotubes to handful of countries which have
the ‘Lab-on-Valve’ systems for discovered planets around stars.
paraben extraction at a low • Significantly, the discovery was made
concentration. using a PRL-designed spectrograph,
• Till now, the usage of nanomaterials PARAS, to measure and confirm the
in the ‘Lab-on-Valve’ systems was not mass of the new planet.
possible because of their • EPIC 211945201b (or K2-236b) is the
characteristic of forming a cluster or name given to the planet.
lump in the liquid medium. • The host star is named EPIC
• However, the research team 211945201 or K2-236.
synthesised the nanoparticles that • Such a discovery is of importance for
can be easily dispersed and were also understanding the formation
compatible with the lab value system. mechanism of such super-Neptune or
Related Information sub-Saturn kind of planets that are
Parabens too close to the host star
• These are a group of organic Related Information
compounds used as preservatives in

22
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PARAS (PRL Advance Radial-velocity • Using the newly developed intron


Abu-sky Search) seqFISH technique, each intron is
• The spectrograph is the first of its kind labelled with a unique fluorescent
in the country which can measure the barcode, enabling it to be seen with a
mass of a planet going around a star. microscope.
• They measured the mass of the planet • Seeing introns reveals which genes
using the indigenously designed PRL are currently turned on in individual
Advance Radial-velocity Abu-sky cells, how strongly they are
Search or PARAS spectrograph expressed, and where they are
integrated with the 1.2-metre located.
telescope located at PRL’s Topic- GS-3- Science and Technology
Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Source- Science Daily
Abu, Rajasthan. 3. Govt forms a new committee to
Topic- GS-3- Science and Technology bring more transparency in
Source- The Hindu employment-related data
2. seqFISH (sequential fluorescence releases
in situ hybridization) • The Union government has formed a
• Scientists have developed a new new committee under the
technique called seqFISH, that chairmanship of former Chief
enables them to identify what goes on Statistician Prof. C.A. Anant to bring
across the genome in hundreds of more transparency in employment-
different cells at once. related data releases.
• Previously, researchers could only Related Information
image four to five genes at a time in • Labour Bureau conducts two major
cells with microscopy. surveys on employment scenario i.e.
• Scaling seqFISH up to a genomic level Annual Employment-Unemployment
now enables the imaging of over Survey (EUS) and Quarterly
10,000 genes -about half of the total Employment Survey.
number of genes in mammals -- • The Annual Employment
within single cells. Unemployment Survey was later
How does it work? replaced by Periodic Labour Force
• In order for genetic instructions to be Survey (PLFS).
turned into an actual functioning • The Periodic Labour Force Survey
protein, a process called transcription would not only have annual data on
must first occur. employment-unemployment on the
• First, a gene will be read and copied rural sector but will also have
into a precursor messenger RNA, or quarterly data on employment-
pre-mRNA, like jotting a quick, rough unemployment on urban sector based
draft. on larger sample size.
• This molecule then matures into a • On the other hand, the Quarterly
messenger RNA, or mRNA, akin to Employment survey (New Series)
editing the rough draft. is an enterprise-based survey and
it captures the employment size of
• During the "editing" process, certain
about 2.40 crore workers only as
regions called introns are cut out of
against the total workforce of about
the pre-mRNA.
47 crores.
• The team chose to focus on labelling
Topic- GS-3- Indian Economy
introns because they are produced so
early in the transcription process, Source- Economic Times
giving a picture of what a cell is doing 4. Railway Minister launched 'Rail
at the precise moment of gene Madad' App and 'Menu on Rails'
expression. App

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‘Menu on Rails’ App • Paraguay has become the first


• Passengers can now check the country in the Americas to be granted
maximum retail price (MRP) of food the malaria-free status by the World
items on IRCTC's newly-launched Health Organization since Cuba in
"Menu on Rail" application and be sure 1973.
that they are not taken for a ride. • In 2016, the WHO had identified 21
• The app will display menu to countries, including Paraguay, Belize,
passengers travelling in Mail/Express, Costa Rica, El Salvador and others,
including Humsafar Train, Rajdhani, where they could eliminate malaria by
Shatabdi, Duronto, Gatiman Express 2020 and include them in the ‘E-2020
and Tejas Express. initiative’.
• The app can be used on laptops or Related Information
computers as a website version of the E-2020 initiative
same has been made available.
• In April 2016, WHO identified 21
‘Rail Madad’
countries with the potential to achieve
• The railway minister also launched
zero indigenous cases of malaria by
'Rail Madad' application to expedite
2020.
and streamline passenger grievance
redressal. • The analysis, published on World
Malaria Day, was based on trends in
• The Rail Madad, allows passengers to
malaria case incidence between 2000
lodge complaints through mobile
and 2014; the declared malaria
application/web platform and enables
objectives of affected countries; and
them to check real-time feedback on
the informed opinions of WHO experts
the status of redressal of their
in the field.
complaints.
Topic- GS-2- E-governance • Together, these 21 countries
Source- DD News represent the “E-2020”.
5. India gave Rs 99 million to Nepal Topic- GS-2- International Affairs
for the Nepal-Bharat Maitri Source- Down to Earth
Irrigation Project
• India extended a financial aid of Rs 99 13.06.2018
million to Nepal for the construction of
2,700 shallow tube well irrigation 1. Ten new Swachh Iconic Places
systems in 12 districts of the launched under Swachh Bharat
country's southern Terai region to Mission Phase III
boost agricultural productivity. • The project envisioned by the Prime
• The assistance has been extended as Minister is being coordinated by Ministry
part of the final payment for the of Drinking Water and Sanitation with
Nepal-Bharat Maitri Irrigation the support of State governments and
Project, which was launched in local administration.
January 2017 to boost growth to the • These new sites have joined the 20
Himalayan nation's agricultural sector iconic places under Phase I & II where
through enhanced facilities. special Sanitation work is already
• Recognising the scope for improving underway.
agricultural productivity in Nepal, Swachh Iconic Places (SIP)
India has been partnering with Nepal • The Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) is
for development of Deep Tube Wells an initiative under the Swachh Bharat
(DTWs) and Shallow Tube Wells Mission.
(STWs) in various regions for several • It is a special clean-up initiative
years. focused on select iconic heritage,
Topic- GS-3- Bilateral Relations spiritual and cultural places in the
Source- Business Standards country.
6. Paraguay now malaria-free

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• The initiative is being coordinated by Note-


the Ministry of Drinking Water and Ministry of Urban Development has been
Sanitation in association with the merged with Ministry of Housing. The new
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry is named as Ministry of Housing and
Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Urban Affairs. All the schemes under Ministry
Tourism and the concerned State of Urban development have been subsumed
governments. under Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Phase-1 Topic- GS-2-Governance
• It was launched in 2016. Source-PIB
• The Phase I iconic places are: 2. Community-led strategies offer
• Ajmer Sharif Dargah, CST Mumbai, hope for east Himalayan
Golden Temple, Kamakhya Temple, biodiversity
Maikarnika Ghat, Meenakshi Temple, • The Singchung Bugun Village
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, Shree Community Reserve, won the
Jagannath Temple, The Taj Mahal and National Biodiversity Discovery Award
Tirupati Temple. on May 22, 2018, in Hyderabad for its
unique endeavour to conserve rare
Phase-2
local wildlife on the fringes of the
• It was launched in Nov 2017.
Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary.
• It includes-
• It is an NGO from the West Kameng
• Gangotri, Yamunotri, Mahakaleshwar district of India’s north-eastern state
Temple, Charminar, Convent and of Arunachal Pradesh.
Church of St. Francis of Assissi, • The award highlighted the role of civil
Kalady, Gommateswara, Baidyanath society organisations in preserving
Dham, Gaya Tirth and Somnath the unique biodiversity of the region.
temple. East Himalayan biodiversity
Phase-3 • The jungles of Northeast India host
• It includes- some of the world’s most interesting
• (a) Raghavendra Swamy Temple species such as one-horned rhino,
(Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh) (b) Hoolock Gibbon, pygmy hog, white-
Hazardwari Palace (Murshidabad, winged wood duck, golden langur,
West Bengal) (c) Brahma Sarovar river dolphins and mahseer.
Temple (Kurukshetra, Haryana) (d) • There is a staggering variety of
VidurKuti (Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh) (e) wildlife in the marshes and forests of
Mana village (Chamoli, Uttarakhand) Arunachal Pradesh, part of the
(f) Pangong Lake (Leh-Ladakh, J&K) eastern Himalayas.
(g) Nagvasuki Temple (Allahabad, • A large array of new species has been
Uttar Pradesh) (h) ImaKeithal/market found in recent years such as-
(Imphal, Manipur) (i) Sabarimala • (a) New ornamental fish –
Temple (Kerala) and (j) Kanvashram Microphis ignoratus – in a tributary
(Uttarakhand) of the Siang river etc. This was the
Swachh Bharat Mission- first discovery of a freshwater
• The Swachh Bharat Mission was pipefish in the sub-continent.
launched on 2 October 2014 at the • (b) Three species of mammals and an
birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. amphibian. The mammals include two
• The mission was divided into two mountain pikas and Himalayan
parts — urban and rural. marmot (ground squirrel).
• The Swachh Bharat Mission Urban is • (c) In 2012, a new species of frog
managed by the Ministry of Housing from the Dicroglossidae family was
and Urban Affairs, while the Swachh discovered at Mawphlang, near
Bharat Mission Gramin (Rural) is led Shillong in Meghalaya etc.
by the Ministry of Drinking Water and What are the concerns regarding
Sanitation. biodiversity in East Himalayan?

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• Native forests are crucial for farmers and protect local heritage and
conserving biodiversity. However, resources.
local studies have shown that forests Related information
have decreased in some of India’s National Biodiversity Authority (NBA)
most important biodiverse areas. • It was established by the Central
• The India State of Forest Report Government in 2003 to implement
(ISFR) 2017 showed a decrease in India’s Biological Diversity Act (2002).
forest cover in six states of Northeast • It performs facilitative, regulatory and
India, which include loss of 630 advisory functions for the
square kilometres in the eastern Government of India on issues of
Himalayas. conservation, sustainable use of
• The reasons for the decrease are said biological resources and fair and
to be- equitable sharing of benefits arising
(a) Shifting cultivation out of the use of biological resources.
(b) Rotational tree felling Topic- GS-3- Environment
(c) Diversion of forest land for Source- Down To Earth
developmental activities 3. India to host the first military
(d) Submergence of forest cover exercise of the BIMSTEC
(e) Agriculture expansion • India will host the first military
(f) Natural disasters and other exercise of the BIMSTEC group
pressures focussing on counter-terrorism in
September 2018.
Conservation strategies
• The exercise is scheduled to be held in
• The government led conservation
Pune.
efforts have failed to reach this corner
• The aim of the exercise is to promote
of India.
strategic alignment among the
• India’s biodiversity legislation has
member-states and to share best
three main objectives, conservation of
practices in the area of counter-
biodiversity, its sustainable use and
terrorism.
ensuring equitable sharing of the
Other Information
benefits from the use of the country’s
• India conducted the First ‘BIMSTEC
biological resources or related
Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’
traditional knowledge.
in October 2017 in Delhi
• To achieve this, the Biodiversity Act Related Information
has a three-tier institutional
BIMSTEC-
structure—
• The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-
• (a) The National Biodiversity Sectoral Technical and Economic
Authority (NBA), Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an
• (b) State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) international organisation involving a
in every state and group of countries in South Asia and
• (c) Biodiversity Management South-East Asia.
Committees (BMCs) at local • These 7 countries are Bangladesh,
village/urban levels. India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand,
• One effective conservation strategy is Bhutan and Nepal.
“seed saving”, or the practice of • The BIMSTEC states are among the
saving, exchanging and reusing seeds countries dependent on the Bay of
that were handed down generation to Bengal.
generation through families or • Its secretariat is located in Dhaka,
communities over centuries. Bangladesh.
• The KMSS (Krishak Mukti Sangram Topic- GS-2- Bilateral, regional and global
Samitee) is a people’s movement groupings and agreements
committed to upholding the rights of Source- The Hindu

26
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4. World's largest iceberg B-15 set • As part of the 11-month program,


to disappear after the 18-year- selected students are provided with
long journey- NASA complete free residential coaching for
• The largest iceberg ever recorded, IIT-JEE, JKCET and other premier
that broke away from Antarctica's Engineering Institutes.
Ross Ice Shelf 18 years ago, could be Topic- GS-2-Schemes
nearing the end of its voyage. Source-PIB
• When iceberg B-15 first broke away
in March 2000, it measured about 296 14.06.2018
kilometres long and 37 kilometres
wide. 1. Gujarat tops Niti Aayog's
• B-15 has since fractured into composite water management
numerous smaller bergs, and most index
have melted away. • The government has ranked Gujarat
Related Information as the top state in composite water
Iceberg management in the country followed
• An iceberg or ice mountain is a large by Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh,
piece of freshwater ice that has Karnataka and Maharashtra.
broken off a glacier or an ice shelf. • While Tripura has emerged as the
Topic- GS-1- World Geography top performer in north-east,
Source- India Today Rajasthan has emerged as the best
5. Odisha govt announced ‘universal performer in the incremental
health coverage’ scheme progress over last two years.
• Odisha govt announced that the state • Niti Aayog has ranked all states
government will launch the Biju through first of its kind index on the
Swasthya Kalyan Yojana on August composite water management
15, to provide free healthcare to all comprising of nine parameters and
families in the state. 28 indicators.
• Each and everyone visiting any • These include various aspects of
government health institution from groundwater, restoration of water
district to sub-centre level will be bodies, irrigation, farm practices,
provided with all health services free drinking water, policy and
of cost.” governance.
• Under Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, • For the purposes of analysis, the
secondary and tertiary cashless reporting states were divided into two
healthcare assistance will be provided special groups – ‘North Eastern and
up to Rs 5 lakh per family per annum. Himalayan states’ and ‘Other States’,
• The govt also announced a “drop to account for the different
back” or transport assistance of Rs hydrological conditions across these
500 to all pregnant women or infants groups.
visiting public health facilities. • This index will help build pressure on
Topic- GS-2-Schemes states who have not performed well to
Source- Indian Express improve their water management
6. Kashmir Super 50 techniques as this is directly linked to
• It a joint initiative by Indian Army, agriculture prosperity in different
Centre for Social Responsibility states.
and Leadership (CSRL) and Topic- GS-2- Governance
PETRONET LNG Limited (PLL) was Source- Economic Times
launched on 22 March 2013 to 2. Indian scientists developed an
transform the educational status of environment-friendly device
children from economically weaker “GreenDispo” to dispose of
sections in the Kashmir region. sanitary napkins

27
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• Indian scientists launched a new high- • This is when Africa is the least
tech device “GreenDispo” to ensure responsible for climate change.
that the growing popularity of sanitary Benefits of the tree
napkins does not end up becoming an • The baobabs can grow in the harshest
environmental nightmare. of conditions while adapting to their
Concerns regarding the Inappropriate environment by shedding leaves to
handling of the used pads require less water, being able to
• Inappropriate handling of the used access water during dry seasons
pads is already posing a major through tap roots and being
challenge as the pads grow harmful unaffected by bushfires owing to its
pathogens causing serious health and thick bark.
environmental hazards. • Medicinal benefits
• In addition, blocking of drainage paths • Provide fruit etc.
due to the disposed of napkins is Topic- GS-3- Biodiversity
becoming a critical issue. Source- Down to Earth
How will the new device help? 4. Solar Charkha Mission
• The device has been designed in such • The Solar Charkha Mission of the
that it will incinerate the sanitary Ministry of Micro Small & Medium
napkins completely with minimal flue Enterprises (MSME), will be
gas emission. launched by the President on June 27,
• The specially designed heaters of the 2018 in New Delhi.
device generated a temperature of • The Mission will cover 50 clusters and
more than 800 degrees Celsius, which every cluster will employ 400 to 2000
helped in complete combustion of the artisans.
used pad. • The scheme also aims at linking five
crore women across the country to
• It also had a secondary heating
chamber with a temperature of 1050 the initiative.
degrees Celsius to take care of any • The Mission will disburse subsidy of
hazardous emissions from the Rs. 550 crores to the artisans.
incinerator. • Fifteen new state-of-the-art
technology centres are being set up
• Use of ceramic holders for the device
all over the country including North-
to ensure that the heat is channelized
East, of which 10 centres will become
most effectively.
operational by March 2019.
Topic- GS-3-Science and Technology
Related Information
Source- Down to Earth • The work being done by the Ministry
3. “Baobabs”- Biggest and longest- has promoted Ease-of-Doing-
living angiosperm tree Business with the setting up of 4
• Baobabs, the “biggest and longest- portals:
living angiosperm tree” of Africa is (a) MSME Sambandh
fast dying and scientists suspect (b) MSME Samadhaan
climate change to be the cause. (c) Udyog Aadhaar and
• The baobabs are mainly present in (d) Udyam Sakhi
southern Africa, particularly in the Topic- GS-2- Government Schemes
savannah region, live anywhere Source-PIB
between 1,100 and 2,500 years. 5. Indian Railways introduce mobile
What are the concerns? app “utsonmobile” to book
• Within a matter of few years, there unreserved tickets
has been a rapid increase in the • The Railways has introduced a new
apparently natural deaths of many mobile application “utsonmobile”
mature baobabs, which are popularly which will enable booking and
known as the “upside down trees”. cancellation of unreserved tickets.

28
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• The app will also enable issue and Organized Crime and Corruption
renewal of season and platform Reporting Project (OCCRP)
tickets, check and load R-wallet • It was founded in 2006, is a
balance and help maintain user profile consortium of investigative centres,
management and booking history. media and journalists operating in
• The application is developed by Eastern Europe, the Caucasus,
Centre for Railway Information Central Asia and Central America.
System (CRIS) and it can be used by • It is a non-governmental organization
both Android and Windows (NGO).
phones. • OCCRP is the only full-time
Topic- GS-2- E-Governance investigative reporting organization
Source- Indian Express that specializes in organized crime
6. Express-OCCRP report and corruption.
• AT Least 21 Indians who were Topic- GS-2- Important International
investigated by The Indian Express in institutions
partnership with the International Source- Indian Express + Wiki
Consortium of Investigative
Journalists (ICIJ) for their ties to
offshore entities in tax havens are 15.06.2018
linked to the high-end real estate in
1. DRDO turns Pinaka rocket system
Dubai. into guided missile, developmental
• The database was accessed by The trials soon
Indian Express in partnership with the • The indigenous Pinaka rocket system
Organised Crime and Corruption of the DRDO, is being evolved into a
Reporting Project (OCCRP), an precision-guided missile, with
international investigative reporting enhanced range and accuracy to hit
platform formed by 40 non-profit its targets.
investigative centres, and journalists
Related Information
and regional organisations. The
entries were investigated by around Pinaka
50 media groups in as many • Pinaka is a multiple rocket launcher
countries. produced in India and developed by
Related Information the Defence Research and
International Consortium of Development Organisation (DRDO)
Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) for the Indian Army.
• It is an independent Washington D.C.- • The system has a maximum range of-
based international network. (a) 40 km for Mark-I
• ICIJ became a fully independent (b) 70 - 80 km for Mark-II
organisation in February 2017 which • It can fire a salvo of 12 rockets in just
includes more than 200 investigative 44 seconds.
journalists and 100 media • The system is mounted on a Tatra
organizations in over 70 countries. truck for mobility.
• They work together on "issues such as • Pinaka saw service during the Kargil
"cross-border crime, corruption, and War, where it was successful in
the accountability of power. neutralising enemy positions on the
• The ICIJ's most recent investigation is mountain tops.
the 2017 Paradise Papers, a cross- Topic- GS-3- Defence
border, global investigation that
Source- Indian Express
reveals the offshore activities of some
of the world's most powerful people 2. Maharashtra: New treatment
and companies. strategy to Eliminate Lymphatic
Filariasis

29
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Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) • The square, on the other hand, is a


• Also known as elephantiasis, is a human invention, indicating a sacred
human disease caused by parasitic piece of land or enclosure.
worms known as filarial worms. • In a ritualistic Warli painting, the
• The worms are spread by the bites of central motif would be the square with
infected mosquitoes. a depiction of ‘Palaghata’, the mother
• It is marked by severe swelling in the goddess symbolising fertility.
arms, legs, breasts, or genitals. • This central motif would be
• The skin may become thicker as well, surrounded by scenes of hunting,
and the condition may become farming, fishing, trees and animals.
painful. • Festivals and dances are also common
• India bears approximately 40 per cent scenes found in a ritual painting.
of the global LF burden. • Apart from ritual paintings, Warli
• Maharashtra is one of the states with paintings also cover day-to-day
a higher incidence of LF. activities of the village people.
Topic- GS-3- Science and Technology • Most Warli paintings also depict the
Source- Indian Express tarpa dance.
3. The pride of Sahyadri – Warli art Note- Tarpa is a trumpet-like
What is Warli art? instrument played by the village men.
• Warli is a tribal art form that was Topic- GS-1- Art and Culture
mostly created by the Adivasis of the Source- The Hindu
Western Ghats. 4. India ranked at 120th Among 122
Countries in Water Quality Index-
• It is one of the oldest art forms in
NITI Aayog
India.
• The report, titled ‘Composite Water
• It originated in Maharashtra and is still Management Index’ (CWMI), said the
practised. water crisis is only going to get worse.
• Warli painting is registered with a • By 2030, the country’s water demand
geographical indication under the is projected to be twice the available
Intellectual Property Rights Act. supply, implying severe water scarcity
History and style for hundreds of millions of people and
• This tribal art form is thought to date an eventual 6 percent loss in the
back to the 10th century A.D. country’s GDP.
• The Warli tribe, which does these • The report pointed out that with
paintings, is one of India’s largest nearly 70 per cent of water being
tribes located on the outskirts of contaminated, India is placed at
Mumbai. 120th among 122 countries in the
water quality index.
• Their culture basis itself around the
• CWMI has been developed by NITI
concept of Mother Nature; therefore,
Aayog comprising nine broad sectors
elements of nature serve as focal
with 28 indicators.
points for Warli paintings.
Topic- GS-2-Governance
• These artists used to use the clay Source- Indian Express
walls of their huts as a canvas for their 5. Raja Parba: Odisha’s festival
paintings. • A four-day festival celebrated every
Specifications of the paintings year in June, it calls for women to
• Most of these paintings use a set of come together and acknowledge the
geometric shapes – circle, triangle gift of Mother Earth or Bhudevi – as
and square. they call it.
• The circle represents the sun and the • Each day of the festival has its own
moon, while the triangle represents name and significance —
the mountains and pointed trees. (a) The first day is called Pahili Rajo

30
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(b) The second day is Mithuna Source-PIB


Sankranti, which signifies the 7. Naval Women Mountaineers
beginning of the solar month of Summit Mount Deotibba
Mithuna i.e., the rainy season • All women Naval mountaineering team
(c) The third day is Bhu Daaha or led by Lt Cdr Kokila Sajwan summited
Basi Raja Mount Deotibba a 10 Jun 2018.
(d) The fourth day is called Vasumati • Mount Deotibba provided the
Snana excellent opportunity to the team in
• The festival is natively pronounced as honing their mountaineering skills.
‘raw-jaw’, while ‘Raja’ is derived from Related Information
the world ‘Rajaswala’ which means Mt. Deo tibba
menstruating women. • It is the second highest peak (6001M)
• According to the religious belief, it is in the Pir-Panjal range in Himachal
said that during the first three days, Pradesh.
‘Bhudevi’ (Mother Earth), the wife of Topic- GS-1- Indian Geography
Lord Jagannath undergoes Source-PIB
menstruation cycle and on the fourth 16.06.2018
day, she is given a ceremonial bath.
1. The new type of photosynthesis
Topic- GS-1- Art and Culture
discovered
Source- Indian Express
• The vast majority of life on
6. Swajal Launched in 115
Earth uses visible red light in the
Aspirational Districts of India
process of photosynthesis, but the
• Union Minister for Drinking Water and
new type uses near-infrared light
Sanitation announced that Swajal
instead.
schemes in 115 aspirational districts
• It was detected in a wide range of
of the country will involve an outlay of
cyanobacteria (blue-green algae)
Rs 700 crores through flexible-funds
when they grow in near-infrared light,
under the existing NRDWP budget.
found in shaded conditions like
• Govt also earmarked Rs.1000 crores
bacterial mats in Yellowstone and in
for addressing the drinking water
beach rock in Australia.
needs of 27,544 arsenic and fluoride
• Plants and some bacteria use a process
affected habitations of the country in
called photosynthesis to create sugars
this financial year under the National from carbon dioxide and water, which
Water Quality Sub-Mission (NWQSM). they use as a power source.
• Central govt called upon the states to Photosynthesis beyond the red limit
ensure that the Sustainable • The standard, near-universal type of
Development Goal ‘safe drinking water
photosynthesis uses the green
for all’ is achieved in India by 2030.
pigment, chlorophyll-a, both to collect
Swajal Scheme
light and use its energy to make
• It is a community-owned drinking
useful biochemicals and oxygen.
water programme for sustained
• Chlorophyll-a is present in all plants,
drinking water supply.
as well as algae and photosynthetic
• These schemes will aim to provide
bacteria, and scientists long assumed
villages with piped water supply
that there was a “red limit” on
powered by solar energy.
photosynthesis.
• The scheme will train hundreds of
• Astrobiologists have used this
rural technicians for operation and
supposed limit to gauge whether
maintenance of Swajal units.
complex life could be evolving on
• The Minister also announced the
distant planets in other solar systems.
modernisation of 2000 water quality
• However, some photosynthetic
testing laboratories spread across the
bacteria known as cyanobacteria have
country.
another trick up their microscopic
Topic- GS-2- Schemes
sleeves.

31
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• Researchers found another form of Rajasthan, Delhi, the plains of


chlorophyll working in communities of Uttarakhand and Western Uttar
these creatures growing in shaded Pradesh is picking up the huge swathe
conditions in “bacterial mats” in of dust.
Yellowstone National Park and inside • Due to the suspension of dust,
rocks found on Australian beaches. visibility is low and airborne particles
• In the near-infrared light, the have crossed the danger mark in Delhi
chlorophyll-a systems of these and the surrounding region.
bacteria shut down and a different • Online air quality monitors are already
variety – chlorophyll-f – begins beeping danger as the larger particle
operating in lower energy conditions size of 10 microns (PM10) that are
“beyond the red limit”. highly impacted by dust, show an
• Until now, it was thought that increase eight to nine times over the
chlorophyll-f just harvested the light. permissible level.
Related information • With this rising plume of dust, the
• Another tinier PM2.5 particles have also
cyanobacterium, Acaryochloris, is reached the “Very Poor” level.
already known to do photosynthesis Differences between summer and winter
beyond the red limit. pollutions
• However, because it occurs in just this • Summer pollution is very different
one species, with a very specific
from winter pollution when lack of
habitat, it had been considered a 'one-
wind, low temperature and inversion
off'. trap pollution inside the city.
• Acaryochloris lives underneath a
• The study mentions that air is more
green sea-squirt that shades out most
toxic in winter than in summer as it
of the visible light leaving just the
contains a much larger contribution of
near-infrared.
combustion products in the former
• The chlorophyll-f based than in the latter.
photosynthesis reported represents
How dangerous is dust?
a third type of photosynthesis that
is widespread. • The yellow-brown dust is an odd mix
• However, it is only used in special of natural erosion of soil, sand and
infrared-rich shaded conditions; in rock mixed with pollen, microscopic
normal light conditions, the standard organisms, plant material and dander.
red form of photosynthesis is used. • Wind-blown dust from deserts,
• These insights could be useful for digging activities, and re-suspension
researchers trying to engineer crops of road dust, all add up to create the
to perform more efficient dust haze.
photosynthesis by using a wider range • Relatively bigger particles fall out of
of light. the air quickly and fairly close to
Topic- GS-3- Science and Technology where it got lifted but smaller particles
Source- Science Daily remain airborne for a longer period of
2. Heat and dust in NCR and Graded time.
Response Action Plan • Normally, in its pristine nature, dust is
• Since June 12, a large part of not considered that toxic and is seen
Northern India has been engulfed in a as a respiratory irritant.
massive haze of dust. • But what makes dust deadly is the
• Weather scientists from the India way it accumulates toxic substances
Meteorological Department (IMD) say from other combustion sources
that an aggressive, westerly wind including vehicles, industry, solid
blowing at a speed of 40-50 km over waste and biomass burning in urban
a vast expanse of Punjab, Haryana, environments.

32
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• The current situation in Delhi and the (b) Birsa Munda Central Jail (Ranchi),
NCR warrants emergency action Jharkhand
under the Graded Response Action (c) Raipur museum, Chhattisgarh
Plan (GRAP). (d) Lambasingini museum, Andhra
Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) Pradesh
• The Union Environment Ministry had (e) Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh
notified a ‘Graded Response Action (f) Kozhikode, Kerala
Plan’ against air pollution for Delhi and • In these two will be of national
the National Capital Region. importance i.e. Narmada (Gujarat)
• The plan was prepared by the and Birsa Munda Central Jail (Ranchi).
Supreme Court-mandated • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs will
Environment Pollution Control contribute Rs 130 crore, while an
Authority (EPCA). equal amount will be spent by the
• The job of ensuring implementation of respective states for the museums.
the action plan will be EPCA’s under Topic- GS-2-
the Environment (Protection) Act, Source-PIB + Indian Express
1986, which will delegate the 4. Sulabh International founder
responsibility to the concerned “Bindeshwar Pathak” honoured
departments. with Japan’s Nikkei Asia Prize
• The graded response action plan has • Noted social reformer and founder of
proposed stratified levels of action Sulabh International, Bindeshwar
according to the air pollution levels Pathak, was honoured with Japan’s
classified by air quality index, which prestigious ‘Nikkei Asia Prize for
range from moderate to poor to very Culture and Community’ for his
poor to severe to severe+ or significant work in tackling poor
emergency. hygiene and discrimination.
• The graded action plan implements if • Launched in 1996, the award honours
PM2.5 levels stay over 300 people in Asia who have made
micrograms per cubic metre and significant contributions in one of the
PM10 levels stay above 500 three areas:
micrograms per cubic metre. (a) Regional growth
• The Delhi specific comprehensive (b) Science, technology and
action plan was prepared by the innovation
Central Pollution Control Board (c) Culture and Community.
(CPCB). • Former Prime Minister Manmohan
Topic- GS-3- Environment Singh and Infosys Chairman Narayan
Source- Down to Earth Murthy are among the few Indians
3. National Tribal Museum proposed who have won the prize in the past.
to be set up at Delhi Topic-
• A National Tribal Museum along with Source- The Hindu Business Line
a National Level Tribal Research
Institute is proposed to be set up at
18.06.2018
Delhi by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs
(MoTA).
• The Museum will showcase the rich 1. SAARC fund to launch social
tribal culture and heritage using state- enterprise programme in India
and 7 other member nations
of-the-art technologies.
• The Centre will set up six museums • SAARC Development Fund (SDF) will
dedicated to tribal freedom fighters soon be launching a social enterprise
in- development programme (SEDP) to
fund 80 entities annually across the 8-
(a) Narmada, Gujarat
member states including India.

33
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• SDF is in the process of launching the SAARC Apex Bodies-


SEDP as part of its social window. • SAARC has six Apex Bodies, they are
• The programme will be implemented (1) SAARC Chamber of Commerce &
in all the SAARC member states with Industry (SCCI)
the objective of identifying and (2) South Asian Association for
building social enterprises by using a Regional Cooperation in Law
mix of grants and concessional (SAARCLAW)
returnable capital. (3) South Asian Federation of
• SDF is currently implementing 12 Accountants (SAFA)
regional projects with more than 70 (4) South Asia Foundation (SAF)
implementing and lead implementing (5) South Asia Initiative to End
agencies covering all the member Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC)
countries under the social window (6) Foundation of SAARC Writers and
funding. Literature (FOSWAL)
Related Information Topic- GS-2- Bilateral, regional and global
SAARC Development Fund (SDF) groupings and agreements involving India
• In 1996, a first funding mechanism and/or affecting India’s interests
was created in SAARC, ‘South Asian Source- Economic Times
Development Fund (SADF), merging 2. India has the trade deficit with 10
the SAARC Fund for Regional Projects Regional Comprehensive
(SFRP) and the SAARC Regional Fund. Economic Partnership (RCEP)
• A primary reason for establishing SDF members
was that the existing South Asian • India's trade deficit with seven
Development Fund (SADF) was found countries (Indonesia, Thailand, China,
to be inadequate i.e. in terms of Japan, South Korea, Australia and
required quantum of funds and its New Zealand) of RCEP has in fact
limited scope of work. increased in 2017-18 as compared to
• In 2005, SAARC Financial Experts the previous fiscal.
decided to reconstitute SADF as • However, the trade gap has dipped
SAARC Development Fund (SDF). with the remaining three nations -
• SDF was established by the Heads of Lao, Brunei, Malaysia -in 2017-18.
the eight SAARC member states in What is India’s concern?
April 2010 and its Governing Council • The strength of the domestic
comprises finance ministers of these manufacturing is weak, India would
eight countries. not be able to take advantage of such
• It is based in Thimphu, Bhutan. free trade agreements.
SAARC • Our exports to countries like
• The South Asian Association for Singapore, with which India has a
Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the trade surplus, is not increasing with
regional intergovernmental the healthy pace.
organization and geopolitical union of • India does not have a free trade
nations in South Asia. agreement with two of its biggest
• Its member states (8 countries) trading partners - the US and China -
include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, but the country has the highest
Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, positive balance of trade with the US,
Pakistan and Sri Lanka. while it has the highest deficit with
• SAARC was founded in Dhaka on 8th China.
December 1985. Relative Information
• Its secretariat is based in Kathmandu, Trade deficit
Nepal. • The difference between imports and
• Amjad Hussain B Sial is the current exports.
Secretary General of SAARC.

34
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RCEP (Regional Comprehensive • Seychelles funding its own coast


Economic Partnership)- guard facility was not an issue, India
• RCEP aims at liberalising norms for is hoping it would not be kept out of a
trade in goods and services and boost project, envisaged as a 20-year
investment among 16-member agreement, that it sees as crucial to
countries. its strategic interests- particularly
• The members comprise 10 ASEAN given China’s growing influence in the
members and their six FTA partners - area.
India, China, Japan, South Korea, • The two countries have an established
Australia and New Zealand. relationship in defence and maritime
• RCEP negotiations were formally security, through which India helps
launched in November 2012 at the patrol the waters of Seychelles and
ASEAN Summit in Cambodia. gives equipment to the island nation’s
• RCEP is viewed as an alternative to defence forces.
the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Related Information
ASEAN Assumption Island
• Established in 1967 in Bangkok via • The Assumption Island is situated
Bangkok Declaration. southwest of the Seychelles main
• Currently, there are 10-member island of Mahe and falls in the Indian
states and 2 observer states are part Ocean maritime routes.
of it. • In early 2018, Seychelles and India
signed an agreement to build and
• The Association of Southeast Asian
operate a joint military facility on a
Nations (ASEAN) is a regional
intergovernmental organisation portion of the island.
comprising ten Southeast Asian Other Projects by India
states which promotes • Port Duqm in Oman
intergovernmental cooperation and • Port Chabahar in Iran
facilitates economic, political, • Agalega Islands- in Mauritius
military, educational and cultural Topic- GS-2- Effect of policies and politics of
integration amongst its members and developed and developing countries on
Asian states. India’s interests, Indian diaspora
• Its headquarter is in Jakarta, Source- Indian Express
Indonesia. 4. Fourth Governing Council Meeting
• India is not the member of it. of NITI Aayog Concludes
• The 10-member states of ASEAN are • The fourth meeting of the Governing
Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Council of NITI Aayog was held under
Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, the chairmanship of the Prime
Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam. Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
Topic- GS-3- Indian Economy • It was attended by 23 Chief Ministers
and the Lieutenant Governor of
Source- Economic Times
Andaman & Nicobar Islands, apart
3. India seeks answers as from Union Ministers, who are ex-
Seychelles backs out of the officio members and special invitees.
military base
• The Prime Minister highlighted the
• Recently, Seychelles President Danny importance of the Governing Council
Faure said that the development of a of NITI Aayog as a platform to inspire
military base on Assumption Island by cooperative federalism, stressing the
India “will not move forward”. need for effective centre-state
• He said that their govt will put funds cooperation to advance development
for them to build a coast guard facility outcomes and achieve double-digit
on Assumption themselves. growth for India.

35
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• He called upon States to fix growth invest in water harvesting and


targets for their economies as the artificial recharge.
world looks towards India soon Topic-GS-3- Agriculture
becoming a USD 5 trillion economy. Source-PIB
Related Information
NITI (National Institution for 19.06.2018
Transforming India) Aayog
1. ‘Rani Rashmoni’ commissioned
• It is established in 2015 by the
government to replace Planning • The last of the five Fast Patrol Vessel
commission (was based on top-down (FPV) project of Indian Coast Guard
model). ‘Rani Rashmoni’ was commissioned
into the Indian Coast Guard.
• It is based on the bottom-up model.
• So far four such ships such as-
• It is the policy-making body for whole
(a) ICGS Rani Abbakka,
India.
(b) ICGS Rani Avanti Bai,
• The Ex-officio chairman of Aayog is
prime minister. (c) ICGS Rani Durgavati and
• Current Vice President of Aayog is (d) ICGS Rani Gaidinliu
Rajiv Kumar. have been commissioned and are in active
• Current CEO of NITI Aayog is Amitabh service at various locations on the eastern
Kant. seaboard.
• Permanent members of the • The FPVs are equipped with advanced
governing council- sensors and state-of-the-art
equipment and are designed to
(a) All state Chief Ministers
perform multifarious tasks such as
(b) Chief ministers of Delhi and
surveillance, interdiction, search and
Puducherry
rescue, anti-smuggling and anti-
(c) Lieutenant Governor of Andaman
poaching, operations.
and Nicobar
• The 51-metre ship is propelled by
(d) Vice chairman nominated by the
three MTU 4000 series diesel engines
Prime Minister.
of 2720 capacity each, coupled with
Topic-GS-2- Indian Polity Rolls Royce Kamewa jets.
Source-PIB • The patrol vessel is fitted with an
5. Nitin Gadkari releases Nabard advanced Global Maritime Distress
Publication on Water Productivity and Safety System (GMDSS), to carry
mapping of major Indian crops out search and rescue operations.
• The Union Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari • The FPV was indigenously built by
has released a book ‘Water Hindustan Shipyard.
productivity mapping of major Indian • The ship will be based in
crops’ published by NABARD. Visakhapatnam.
• The book ‘Water productivity mapping • the shipyard has done well overall
of major Indian crops’ is based on a weight reduction and achieving the
study of 10 important crops by a team contractual speed of 34 knots.
under the leadership of Dr Ashok
Topic- GS-3- Defence
Gulati (agricultural economist).
Source- The Hindu
• The ten important crops include rice,
2. Volcano erupts on the small
wheat, maize, pulses, oilseeds,
Galapagos isle
sugarcane, cotton, and potato etc.
• The La Cumbre volcano, located on
• The book suggests realigning
Fernandina Island in the Galapagos
cropping pattern keeping in view
archipelago off the coast of South
water scarcity of irrigation, ration
America, has exploded recently.
irrigation supplies in canal irrigation
system, improve micro-irrigation and • The eruption occurred on the north-
eastern sector of the volcano.

36
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• Ongoing seismic and volcanic activity • The WHO stressed that only a small
reflects the processes that formed the minority of people who play digital
islands. and video games would develop a
Related Information problem but said recognition of early
Galapagos islands warning signs may help prevent it.
• They lie 1,000 km from the coast of Related Information
Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. International Classification of Diseases
• According to UNESCO, “This (ICD)
archipelago and its immense marine • The International Classification of
reserve is known as the unique ‘living Diseases (ICD) is the international
museum and showcase of evolution’. "standard diagnostic tool for
epidemiology, health management
• The 19 Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO
and clinical purposes.
heritage site, with their unique
• The ICD is published by the WHO.
wildlife, inspired Charles Darwin’s
theory of evolution following his 1835 • It forms a basis for the WHO and other
experts to see and respond to trends
visit.
in health.
• Its geographical location at the
• This latest version - known as ICD-11
confluence of three ocean currents
- is completely electronic for the first
makes it one of the richest marine
time, in an effort to make it more
ecosystems in the world.
accessible to doctors and other health
Topic- GS-2- World Geography
workers around the world.
Source- Down to Earth Topic-
3. 'COP CONNECT mobile App for Source- DD News
Telangana police launched 5. 11th Common Review Mission
• 'COP CONNECT', a mobile app to (CRM) report
support the professional • Minister of State for Health and Family
communication and collaboration Welfare released the 11thCommon
needs of the entire police department Review Mission (CRM) report of the
of Telangana has been launched. National Health Mission (NHM).
• The app will connect over 60,000 • India has registered a record 22%
police force across 31 districts in the reduction in MMR since 2013, which is
state. the highest percentage decline so far
• COP CONNECTs end-to-end when compared to all the previous
encryption with the server being with reductions in MMR as per the earlier
Police Department ensures absolute rounds of SRS.
security and confidentiality of internal • Maternal Mortality Ratio in India has
Police communication. declined from 167 in 2011-2013 to
Topic- GS-2- E-Governance 130 in 2014-2016.
Source- Business Standard • The Ministry has undertaken to
4. Gaming addiction classified as strengthen Sub Health Centres as
'mental health disorder' by WHO Health and Wellness Centres (HWC-
SHC) in a phased manner so as to meet
• The WHO's International Classification
the commitment of operationalizing
of Diseases (ICD), a reference bible of
1,50,000 HWC by 2022.
recognized and diagnosable diseases,
Related Information
classified addiction to digital and
National Health Mission (NHM)
video gaming as "mental health
• The National Rural Health Mission
disorder”. (NRHM) was launched on 12th April
• The WHO's expert said an addicted 2005, to provide accessible, affordable
gamer "loses control over the gaming and accountable quality health services
and ignores other essential activities to the poorest households in the
like sleep, like eating, like taking part remotest rural regions.
in education or work."

37
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• From narrowly defined schemes, action on integrated and sustainable


the NHM was shifting the focus to water resources management
a functional health system at all worldwide.
levels, from the village to the district. Related Information
• National Health Mission (NHM) was 2018-2028 International Decade for
launched by the government of India Action, ‘Water for Sustainable
in 2013 subsuming the National Rural Development’
Health Mission and National Urban • Sustainable development and
Health Mission. integrated water resources
• NHM provides multi-sectoral flexibility management to implement SDG 6
and convergence to the States to through a lens of conflict prevention.
implement shared health goals. Note-
• Annual Common Review Mission has SDG (Sustainable Development
been one of the important monitoring Goals) 6- Clean Water and
mechanisms under NHM. Sanitation.
• Eleventh Common Review Missions • The United Nations General Assembly
(CRMs) undertaken so far have has proclaimed the decade 2018-
provided the valuable understanding 2028 as the International Decade for
of the strategies which were Action ‘Water for Sustainable
successful and those which warranted Development’.
mid-course adjustments. • It began on World Water Day 22
Topic- GS-2- Health Issues March 2018 and will end on World
Source-PIB Water Day, 22 March 2028.
6. IAF MI 17 uses Bambi Bucket to Topic- GS-3- Environment
Douse Offshore fire on the ship Source-PIB
• A Mi-17 V5 Helicopter of the Indian
Air force was requisitioned for dousing 20.06.2018
the flames on a merchant's vessel MV 1. United States pulls out of UN
SSL on the shores of Sunderbans. Human Rights Council
• The Helicopter carried out Bambi
• United States pulled out of UN Human
bucket operations from Franzergunj
Rights Council for “being biased
Harbour helipad in West Bengal.
against Israel.
• The operations by IAF Mi-17 V5
• Since January 2017, it has announced
Helicopter controlled the massive fire
its withdrawal from the Paris climate
and fully doused it within a short
accord, left the U.N. educational and
period of time.
cultural organization and pulled out of
Topic- GS-3- Defence
the Iran nuclear deal.
Source-PIB
• Other contentious moves have
7. Shri Nitin Gadkari to attend the
included slapping tariffs on steel and
conference on “International
aluminium against key trading
Decade for Action: Water for
partners, recognizing Jerusalem as
Sustainable Development 2018-
Israel’s capital and moving the U.S.
2028” in Tajikistan
Embassy there from Tel Aviv.
• Union Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari is
• Israel is the only country in the world
left for a two-day official visit to
whose rights record comes up for
Tajikistan from 20-21 June 2018.
discussion at every US council
• He will attend a high-level conference
session, under “Item 7” on the
on “International Decade for Action:
agenda.
Water for Sustainable Development
• Item 7 on “Israel and the Occupied
2018-2028” being held in Dushanbe,
Palestinian Territories” has been part
Tajikistan.
of the council’s regular business
• The conference aims to promote
almost as long as it has existed.
national, regional and international

38
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Related Information • Production cuts by OPEC have led to


UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights international oil prices hit a four-year
Council) high.
• It is a United Nations System inter- Related Information
governmental body responsible for OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum
promoting and protecting human Exporting Countries)
rights around the world. • It is an intergovernmental
• The headquarters of UNHRC is in organization of 14 nations, founded in
Geneva, Switzerland. 1960 in Baghdad by the first five
• There are 47 countries in the Human members (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi
Rights Council, elected by the U.N.’s Arabia, Venezuela).
General Assembly with a specific • It is headquartered in Vienna since
number of seats allocated for each 1965.
region of the globe. • As of May 2017, OPEC's members (14
• Members serve for three-year terms countries) are Algeria, Angola,
and can serve only two terms in a row. Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon,
New York Declaration for refugees (UN Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria,
comprehensive refugee response Qatar, Saudi Arabia (the de facto
framework) leader), United Arab Emirates, and
• In September 2016, the UN General Venezuela, while Indonesia is a
Assembly adopted a non-binding former member.
political declaration, the New York Asian Premium
Declaration for Refugees and • Asian Premium is the extra charge
Migrants, pledging to uphold the rights being collected by OPEC countries
of refugees, help them resettle and from Asian countries when selling oil.
ensure they have access to education. Topic- GS-2-Important International
• In December 2017, US announced to institutions, agencies and fora- their
withdraw from a United Nations pact structure, mandate.
to improve the handling of migrant
Source- Times of India
and refugee situations, deeming it
3. Reserve Bank eased norms for
“inconsistent” with its policies.
FPIs to invest in debt
Topic- GS-2-Important International
• The Reserve Bank has eased
institutions, agencies and fora- their
investment norms for foreign portfolio
structure, mandate.
investors (FPIs) in debt, especially
Source- The Hindu
into individual large corporates.
2. 7th OPEC International Seminar
• This move can help attract more
• Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan
overseas flows and thereby help
participated in the 7th OPEC
arrest the recent fall in the rupee on
International Seminar which was
one hand and also lift the recent fall in
organized in Vienna on June 19-20,
demand for corporate bonds.
2018.
• FPIs are allowed to invest in various
• India's engagement with OPEC is
debt market instruments such as
important as India sources about 82
government bonds, treasury bills,
Percent of crude oil, 75 Percent of
state development loans and
natural gas and 97 Percent of LPG
corporate bonds, but with certain
from OPEC member countries.
limits and restrictions.
• Recently, India expressed his concern
over high international oil prices and • The RBI increased the FPIs cap on
nudged them to move to responsible investment in government securities
pricing that balances interests of both to 30% of the outstanding stock of
producers and consumers. that security, from the 20% earlier.

39
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• FPIs were allowed to invest in State Nuclear Power Station


government bonds with a minimum Gujarat Kakrapar Nuclear power station
residual maturity of three years.
Haryana Gorakhpur Atomic Power Station
Related Information
Karnataka Kaiga Nuclear power station
FDI (Foreign Direct Investment)
Tarapur Atomic power station
• A foreign direct investment (FDI) is an Maharashtra
(first in India)
investment in the form of
a controlling ownership in a (i) Kundakulam Nuclear Power
business in one country by an Tamil Nadu Plant (ii) Kalpakkam Nuclear
entity based in another country. Power Plant
• There are two routes by which India Uttar
Narora Atomic Power Station
gets FDI. Pradesh
(1) Automatic route- By this route, Rajasthan Rawatbhata
FDI is allowed without prior approval Topic- GS-3- Energy
by Government or Reserve Bank of Source- The Hindu
India. 5. India to have own GPS-like
(2) Government route- Prior satellite navigation system
approval by the government is • India will soon have its own satellite
needed via this route. Foreign navigation system “NavIC” on the
Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) lines of-
which was the responsible agency to (a) GPS by the US
oversee this route was abolished on (b) GLONASS by Russia
May 24, 2017.
(c) European Union’s Galileo
Foreign portfolio investment (FPI)- (d) China’s BNS
• Foreign portfolio investment (FPI) • NavIC, or navigation with Indian
consists of securities and other constellation, developed by the Indian
financial assets passively held by Space Research Organisation (ISRO),
foreign investors. allows navigation in the Indian Ocean
• It does not provide the investor region using Geosynchronous Orbit
with direct ownership of financial (GSO) satellite and Geostationary
assets and is relatively liquid Orbit (GEO) satellite.
depending on the volatility of the Topic- GS-3- Space Technology
market. Source- Financial Express
• Foreign Investors portfolio is 6. Govt. to set up fifth national data
managed by financial professionals. centre
• FPI is part of a country’s capital • The Centre will set up the country’s
account and shown on its balance of biggest data centre in Bhopal.
payments (BOP). • The data centre will be set up by the
Topic- GS-3- Indian Economy National Informatics Centre (NIC),
Source- The Hindu under the Ministry of Electronics and
4. Kaiga unit sets record for Information Technology (MeitY).
continuous operation • This will be the fifth National Data
• Unit-1 of Kaiga Generating Station Centre after the ones at
(KGS-1) of NPCIL at Kaiga in Uttara Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Hyderabad and
Kannada district created a new record Pune.
for continuous operation for 766 days. • These National Data Centres host
government websites, services and
• The station has broken the earlier
applications.
record of 765 days set by unit-5 of
Rajasthan Atomic Power Station Topic- GS-3- Cyber Security
(RAPS-5) in 2014. Source- The Hindu
Related Information

40
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21.06.2018 • This cools the plant down, much as


sweating does in humans.
1. World's most powerful
• However, if there is not enough water
supercomputer “Summit” unveiled
available to the plants, they close
• US scientists have unveiled the
their pores to conserve water, causing
world's most powerful and smartest
their temperatures to rise.
scientific supercomputer “Summit”
• Plants use those same pores to take
that can complete over 200,000
up carbon dioxide from the
trillion calculations per second.
atmosphere for photosynthesis — the
• It is developed by IBM.
process they use to turn carbon
• Summit also possesses more than 10
dioxide and water into the sugar they
petabytes of memory paired with fast,
use as food.
high-bandwidth pathways for efficient
• If they continue to experience
data movement.
insufficient water availability, or
• Summit takes accelerated computing
“water stress,” they eventually starve
to the next level, with more
or overheat, and die.
computing power, more memory, an
enormous high-performance file • The data from ECOSTRESS will show
system and fast data paths to tie it all these changes in plants’
together. temperatures, providing insight into
• Summit will empower scientists to their health and water use while there
address a wide range of new is still time for water managers to
challenges, accelerate discovery, spur correct agricultural water imbalances.
innovation and above all. Topic- GS-3- Science and Technology
• Summit also possesses more than 10 Source- Indian Express
petabytes of memory paired with fast, 3. India launched its first national
high-bandwidth pathways for efficient healthcare facility registry
data movement. • The Union ministry of health and
Topic- GS-3- Science and Technology family welfare launched the National
Source- Economic Times Health Resource Repository (NHRR),
2. NASA’s new instrument the first-ever registry in the country
“ECOSTRESS” to monitor plant registry of authentic, standardised
water use from space and updated geospatial data of all
• NASA plans to install on the public and private healthcare.
International Space Station (ISS) an • The Indian Space Research
instrument that will measure the Organisation (ISRO) is the project
temperature of plants from space, technology partner for providing data
enabling researchers to determine security.
plant water use and to study how
• It will now be possible to provide
drought conditions affect plant health.
comprehensive data on all private and
• The instrument, called ECOSTRESS, or public health establishments and
ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal
other resources, including Railways,
Radiometer Experiment on Space
Employees’ State Insurance
Station, will hitch a ride to the space
station on a SpaceX cargo resupply Corporation (ESIC), defence and
mission scheduled to launch from Cape petroleum healthcare establishments.
Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. • This resource repository shall enable
How will it help? advanced research towards ongoing
• Plants draw in water from the soil, and and forthcoming healthcare
as they are heated by the Sun, the challenges arising from other
water is released through pores on the determinants of health such as
plants’ leaves through a process disease and the environment.
called transpiration.

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• The NHRR project aims to strengthen 5. World’s first Intl Centre for
evidence-based decision making and Humanitarian Forensics launched
develop a platform for citizens and in Gujarat
provider-centric services by creating a • The world's first International Centre
robust, standardised and secured IT- for Humanitarian Forensics was
enabled repository of India’s launched at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
healthcare resources.
• It is a joint venture of the Regional
• The health minister also released the
delegation of the International
National Health Profile (NHP)-2018,
Committee of the Red Cross in India,
prepared by CBHI (Central Bureau of
Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives and
Health Intelligence).
also Gujarat Forensic Science
• The National Health Profile covers University.
demographic, socio-economic, health
Topic- GS-3- Science and Technology
status and health finance indicators,
along with comprehensive information Source- AIR
on health infrastructure and human 6. Haryana government’s “7-Star
resources in health. Gram Panchayat Rainbow
Topic- GS-2- Government policies and scheme”
interventions for development in various • Haryana government has decided to
sectors and issues arising out of their design give star rankings to its panchayats
and implementation. on the basis of seven social
Source- Livemint parameters under the state’s 7-Star
Gram Panchayat Rainbow scheme.
4. Andhra Pradesh became the first
• The scheme was launched in January
State to complete automation of
2018.
Crime Records Bureau
• As many as 1,120 villages of the state
• The Andhra Pradesh police have achieved the rankings under the
have become the first in the country scheme.
to complete automation of the State • Seven parameters under the scheme
Crime Records Bureau (SCRB). are-
• i-App cloud is now helping the police (a) Sex ratio,
access the entire information of (b) Education,
crimes under various IPC sections. (c) Hygiene,
• i-App is providing comparative (d) Environment preservation,
analytics of gender violence, bodily (e) Governance and
offences and property offences in (f) social participation.
each unit, range, region and State • The villages would be rewarded Rs
using data charts. one lakh for achieving each
• The i-App cloud application can parameter.
collect, store, process and retrieve • The villages having equal or more girl
data and generate reports every population will be given Rs 50,000 as
month. the bonus with their reward money.
• The data is further integrated into the • Similarly, the villages which adopt
National Crime Records Bureau Swachhta Mission will be given
(NCRB) and Central Bureau of additional Rs 50,000 as the reward.
Investigation (CBI) data banks. • Ambala topped the star ranking with
407 stars followed by Gurugram with
Topic- GS-2-E-governance
199 stars and Karnal with 75 stars.
Source- The Hindu Topic- GS-2- Government Schemes
Source- Indian Express

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7. “I-HARIYALI” App launched by Board (SERB) of the Department of


Punjab govt Science and Technology (DST) under
• The Punjab govt has launched an app the PIRE project, administered by Indo
“I-hariyali” aimed at increasing the US Science and Technology Forum.
green cover and to provide fresh air in • The 70 cm robotic telescope joins
the stat. other larger facilities at IAO in Hanle -
• Ludhiana will distribute 2.5 lakh the Himalayan Chandra
saplings through newly-launched Telescope, the gamma-ray array
mobile app ‘ihariyali’. telescope (HAGAR), and the
• The people can book saplings of their imaging Cherenkov telescope
choice in the app. (MACE).
• There are several varieties of saplings Related Information
including fruit, medicinal, tree, Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO)
timber, ornamentals, and shrubs. • It is located near Leh in Ladakh, India
Topic- GS-3- Environment has one of the world's highest sites for
Source- Times of India optical, infrared and gamma-ray
telescopes.
• It is operated by the Indian Institute
22.06.2018
of Astrophysics, Bangalore.
1. India’s first robotic telescope Topic- GS-3- Science and Technology
“Growth” opens its eyes to the Source- Down to Earth
universe 2. Government to scrap subsidy for
private electric cars under FAME
• The telescope located at the Indian
India scheme
Astronomical Observatory (IAO) at
Hanle in Ladakh is the country’s first • The Centre plans to scrap cash
incentives currently offered to buyers
robotic telescope and the first one
of electric cars under FAME India
designed to observe dynamic or
scheme because it neither makes a
transient events in the universe.
“substantial difference in promoting
• The facility is called as Global Relay
sales nor serves the purpose of a
of Observatories Watching
clean environment”.
Transients Happen (GROWTH).
• Currently, the government offers a
• The fully robotic optical research
discount of up to Rs 1.3 lakh on an
telescope is designed to capture
electric car as part of its clean-energy
cosmic events occurring in timescales
programme, FAME (faster adoption
much shorter than light years – years,
and manufacturing of hybrid and
days and even hours.
electric vehicles).
• Universities and research institutes • The current incentives on electric
from the US, the UK, Japan, India, buses cover 60% of the cost of the
Germany, Taiwan and Israel are part vehicle. This will come down to 40%.
of the initiative. • This is being proposed to be removed
• The primary research objective of the in the new FAME Phase 2 draft policy
project is time-domain astronomy, drawn up by the heavy industries
which entails the study of explosive ministry.
transients and variable sources in the • The government feels that the
universe. addition of cab aggregators like Ola
• The Rs 3.5 crore telescope is a joint and Uber to the list of subsidy
project of the Bangalore-based Indian beneficiaries would prompt these
Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) and the companies to go for electrics.
Indian Institute of Technology • The government had said it wants the
Bombay (IITB). entire car industry in India to switch
• The project is fully funded by the to electric by year 2030.
Science and Engineering Research

43
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• FAME scheme had a budget of under equipping them with the skills
Rs 1,000 crore, the ministry has required for an edge in their career.
proposed to raise it to over Rs 9,000 • The Women Wizards Rule Tech was
crore in the second phase. announced in March at the Nasscom
Related Information Diversity and Inclusion Summit in
FAME India Scheme Chennai as a joint initiative by the
• The FAME-India (Faster Adoption Nasscom Sector Skills Council and the
and Manufacturing of (hybrid &) Data Security Council of India.
Electric vehicles in India) scheme
Topic- GS-1- Role of women and women’s
was launched in 2015 under National
organization
Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP)
with an aim to promote eco-friendly Source- Business Standard
vehicles in the country. 4. Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme
• Its objectives are to provide fiscal and • Pattiseema, the lift irrigation project,
monetary incentives for adoption and interlinks Godavari and Krishna Rivers
market creation of both hybrid and through the Polvaram right canal.
electric technologies vehicles in the • The project has one of the largest
country. pump houses in Asia with 24 pumping
• It is being administered by the Heavy units spread across an area of 7,476
Industries Ministry. square meters.
• These pumps deliver excess water
• The FAME India Scheme is aimed at
drawn from the river Godavari in
incentivizing all vehicle segments that Pattiseema into the Polavaram Project
is 2-Wheeler, 3-Wheeler Auto,
Right Main Canal for the benefit of
Passenger 4-Wheeler Vehicle, Light
farmers in the Krishna river delta.
Commercial Vehicles and Buses.
• The Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme
Phase-1 will help revive the Krishna delta to its
• The phase-1 of FAME India Scheme, past glory and infuse life back into the
which was originally for a period of 2 Krishna that has dried up completely.
years i.e. up to 31st March 2017, was Topic- GS-3- Agriculture
extended for a further period till 31st Source- The Hindu
March 2018, with slight modification. 5. June 21- the longest day of the
Topic- GS-2-Government policies and year in the Northern hemisphere
interventions for development in various • June 21 was summer solstice, the
sectors and issues arising out of their design longest day of the year as compared to
and implementation. the night — in the northern hemisphere.
• Winter solstice occurs on December
Source- Economic Times
21 or 22 when the night hours are the
3. Nasscom launches programme longest.
“Women Wizards Rule Tech” to Solstice
support women techies • On each Tropic, the sun is directly
• In an effort to increase the number overhead at noon once a year.
of women at senior levels in the • When this happens on the Tropic of
Information Technology (IT) industry, Cancer, it is summer solstice in the
Nasscom unveiled its 'Women Wizards northern hemisphere.
Rule Tech' programme for women • When on the Tropic of Capricorn, it is
techies. winter solstice.
• The initiative will aid women techies in • On the Equator, the sun is directly
core technologies like IT-Information overhead on two days.
Technology Enabled Services (ITES), • These are the spring equinox in
Business Process Management (BPM), 21st March and the autumn equinox in
product and research and 23rd
development (R&D) sectors by

44
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• Across Earth, day and night are of a girl’s risk of getting married in
equal length on these two dates. On childhood dropping by 40% from 2000
the Equator, day and night are equal to 2017.
every day. • On the other hand, water stress levels
But why are the hours of daylight not the for many countries in the region are
same every day? above 70%, indicating fast-
• The explanation lies in Earth’s tilt. approaching water scarcity.
• The planet’s axis of rotation is tilted at Related Information
an angle of 23.5°C. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
• This tilt- combined with factors such • The Sustainable Development Goals
as Earth’s spin and orbit- leads to (SDGs) is a set of 17 “Global Goals”
variations in the duration of sunlight with 169 targets covering various
on any location on different days of sectors like health, education and
the year. climate change among others.
• The tilt is also responsible for the • They replaced UN’s Millennium
different seasons. Development Goals.
Related Information • It is Spearheaded by the United
• It is at latitudes higher than 66.5° (in Nations.
either direction) that days of constant Topic- GS-2- Issues relating to poverty and
darkness or light occur. hunger
Topic- GS-1-Geography Source- The Hindu
Source- Indian Express 2. Smart City Awards
• The Union Ministry of Housing and
23.06.2018 Urban Affairs had launched the India
Smart Cities Award on 25 June 2017
1. UN’s Sustainable Development with the mission to develop 100 cities
Goals 2018 report across the country making them
citizen friendly and sustainable.
• The number of hungry people in the
• The India Smart Cities 2018 Awards
world has risen for the first time in
were announced on 20 June 2018.
more than a decade, according to the
UN’s Sustainable Development Goals • Nine awards in three categories-
2018 report. (a) Project Award,
(b) Innovative Idea Award and
• There are now approximately 38
million more undernourished people (c) City Award has been announced
in the world, rising from 777 million in under the India Smart Cities
2015 to 815 million in 2016. Awards.
• This year, the city award is being
• According to the report, conflict is now
given to Surat. It is for showing great
one of the main drivers of food
momentum in the implementation of
insecurity in 18 countries.
projects especially in the categories of
• Conflict, drought and disasters linked
urban environment, transport and
to climate change are among the key
mobility and sustainable integrated
factors causing this reversal in
development.
progress.
• The Innovative Idea award is being
• There is little country-specific data in
given to a project/idea particularly
the report, it does examine the
remarkable for its innovative, bottom-
performance of various regions in
up and transformative approach.
meeting the 17 SDGs, which were
Bhopal for their Integrated Command
adopted by UN member nations in
and Control Centre (ICCC) and
2015. The deadline to meet them is
Ahmedabad for Safe and Secure
2030.
Ahmedabad (SASA) Project were
• South Asia, which includes India, has awarded this year.
seen child marriage rates plunge, with

45
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• The Project awards are being given to birth rate increase from 23.4 births
most innovative and successful and 23.8 births in 2014 to 24.3 births
projects in several categories. and 24.5 births respectively in 2016.
Topic- GS-2- Governance • Interestingly, union territories such as
Source- Indian Express Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman &
3. Shillong 100th city to be selected Diu have seen the highest growth in
under Smart Cities Mission urban birth rate: 27.7 births and
• Shillong has been selected as the 100th 25.68 births respectively.
city to receive funding under the Projected birth rates in India and other
Centre's flagship Smart Cities Mission. states
• Till now, 99 smart cities had been • The southern states such as Andhra
selected and with this announcement, Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil
selection of 100 cities has been Nadu will continue to maintain the
completed under the Smart Cities trend of low birth rates.
Mission. • Between 2021 and 2025, these states
• Under the scheme, each city will get will see 13.7, 13.8, 12.3 and 12.5
Rs 500 crore from the Centre for births per 1,000.
implementing various projects. • Even then, the birth rate in laggard
• An equal amount, on matching basis, states will be much higher than the
will have to be contributed by the national average of 16 births.
state or urban local bodies. Life expectancy
Related Information • States such as Assam, Odisha,
Smart City Mission Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh,
• The 100 Smart Cities Mission was which were lagging behind the
launched by Prime Minister on June national average of life expectancy of
25, 2015. males and females in 2001, will not be
• The Ministry of Housing and Urban on par with the national average of
Affairs is responsible for implementing 69.8 years (male) and 72.3 years
the mission in collaboration with the (female) even during 2021-25.
state governments of the respective Infant and maternal mortality
cities. • As opposed to the national average of
• The objective is to promote cities that 34 per 1,000 live births, infant
provide core infrastructure and give a mortality rate (IMR) was 47 per 1,000
decent quality of life to its citizens, a live births in Madhya Pradesh in
clean and sustainable environment 2016—worst in the country.
and application of ‘Smart’ Solutions. • It is followed by Assam (44), Odisha
Topic- GS-2- Governance (44) and Uttar Pradesh (43).
Source- Economic Times • Goa is the only state that had a single-
4. Assam, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh digit IMR (8 per 1,000 live births) in
worst state to be born in 2016.
• While India’s birth rate has dipped • North-eastern states such as Manipur
from 21 births per 1,000 population in and Nagaland recorded one of the
2014 to 20.4 births per 1,000 lowest IMR in the country.
population in 2016, some states have • While national MMR has improved
seen a significant increase in birth from 212 to 167—a 21 Percent
rate. reduction—states are yet to keep up
• Worryingly, the laggard states such as with that pace.
Bihar, Uttar Pradesh have the highest Neo-natal mortality rate
birth rate: 26.8 births and 26.2 births • Urban India has seen about 44
per 1,000, respectively. Percent reduction from 24.9 per 1,000
• In fact, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, live births to 14.
other laggard states, have seen the

46
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• In rural India, the reduction in 25.06.2018


percentage comes down to 39 Percent
1. Suryashakti Kishan Yojana (SKY)
from 44 per 1,000 live births in 2001
to in 27 per 1,000 births in 2016. • Gujarat government announced
Suryashakti Kishan Yojana (SKY) in
Related Information
which farmers can sell surplus power to
Infant mortality rate the state-owned power companies at
• The number of deaths of children less Rs7 per unit for a period of seven years
than 1 year old per 1,000 live births. under this scheme.
Maternal mortality ratio • As per the new scheme, a farmer
• The number of maternal deaths per signing up for it will have to spend only
100,000 live births due to causes 5 % amount of the total expenditure for
related to pregnancy or within 42 days installing the solar project (including
of termination of pregnancy, solar panels and inverters).
regardless of the site or duration of • The central and state governments
pregnancy. would pay 60 % amount as a subsidy.
Neonatal mortality • While remaining 35% amount would
• It is defined as death within the first be a loan to the farmer, interest on
four weeks of life. which would be paid by the state
Topic-GS-2- Issues relating to development government.
and management of Social Sector/Services • The duration for repayment of the
relating to Health, Education, Human loan amount has been fixed for seven
Resources. years.
Source- Down to Earth • The central government has been
5. Gujarat govt announced Wind- aggressively promoting clean and
Solar Hybrid Power Policy-2018 renewable energy initiatives with an
• Gujarat Government has announced ambitious target to install 100
Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Policy-2018. gigawatts (GW) of energy capacity
• The benefits of the new policy can be from solar power by 2022.
accrued for 25 years or until its life or • SKY would be an able element in
whichever is shorter. fulfilling Prime Minister’s pledge to
• It entails the developers can set up double the income of farmers by year-
wind power unit on the land meant for 2022.
existing solar power unit, or vice Topic- GS-2- Schemes
versa. Source- Livemint
• The electricity produced from such 2. Modi govt plans ‘Pariwartan’
hybrid wind and solar units will be scheme for power sector revival
exempted from electricity duty, • The government plans to warehouse
allowing land use for dual purposes. stressed power projects totalling
• Under this policy, the Gujarat govt 25,000 MW under an asset
has announced 50 Percent concession management firm to protect the value
in cross-subsidy surcharge and of the assets and prevent their
additional surcharge while selling distress sale under the insolvency and
electricity to any third party. bankruptcy code till the demand for
• For captive power plants under hybrid power picks up.
projects, it entails total exemption • State-run Rural Electrification Corp.
from cross subsidy surcharge and Ltd (REC) has identified projects with
additional surcharge and 50 Percent a total debt of around Rs 1.8 trillion as
relief in wheeling charges and part of the scheme, which is under
distribution loss. government consideration and has
Topic- GS-3- Energy been tentatively named Power Asset
Source- AIR Revival through Warehousing and
Rehabilitation, or ‘Pariwartan’.

47
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• The ‘Pariwartan’ scheme is support the building of infrastructure


inspired by the Troubled Asset in the Asia-Pacific region.
Relief Programme, or TARP, which • The bank currently has 56 members
was introduced in the US during states.
the 2008 financial crisis. • Currently, It has 86 approved
• These stressed power projects will be members from around the world.
housed under an asset management • It is headquartered in Beijing, China.
and rehabilitation company (AMRC) • Current President of AIIB is Jin Liqun.
that will be owned by financial Topic- GS-2- Important International
institutions. institutions
• The AMRC will manage the projects Source-PIB
and may ask utilities such as NTPC Ltd 4. AIIB to invest $200 million into a
to operate and maintain them. NIIF fund of funds
Topic- GS-3- Energy • The AIIB is likely to invest USD 200
Source- Livemint million in a fund of funds set up by
3. India is the largest borrower from India to take interest in infra projects.
Asian Infrastructure Investment • They are investing USD 100 now and
Bank USD 100 million in the time to come.
• With the total project portfolios of Related Information
US$4.4 Billion, India has been the National Investment and Infrastructure
largest borrower of Asian Fund (NIIF)
Infrastructure Investment Bank • National Investment and
(AIIB) lending since the time the Bank Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) is a fund
started its operations. created by the Government of India
• Unlike most other multilateral for enhancing infrastructure financing
development banks set up by in the country.
advanced economies, AIIB is the first • This is different from the National
major multilateral development bank Investment Fund.
where principal contributors are the • The NIIF will be established as one or
borrowing members themselves. more Alternate Investment
• AIIB will consider investing in projects Funds (AIF) under the SEBI
outside Asia as long as they serve to Regulations.
benefit the Asian regions too. So far, • NIIF would have full autonomy for
AIIB has only invested in one solar project selection.
power project in Egypt, Sir Alexander • NIIF would formulate guidelines and
said. would follow due processes for
• While 75% of the capital is from Asia, selection criteria for AMCs (Asset
several non-Asian regions like Europe, Management Company’s) and Non-
North America, some East African and Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs)
Latin American countries have also / Financial Institutions (FIs).
joined the bank as members. National Investment Fund
• The third Annual Meeting of AIIB is • The Cabinet Committee on Economic
being organized by Government of Affairs (CCEA) on 27th January 2005
India, in collaboration with had approved the constitution of a
Government of Maharashtra at National Investment Fund (NIF).
Mumbai during 25-26 June 2018. • The Purpose of the fund was to
Related Information receive disinvestment proceeds of
AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment central public-sector enterprises and
Bank)- to invest the same to generate
• The Asian Infrastructure Investment earnings without depleting the
Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral corpus.
development bank that aims to

48
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• The earnings of the Fund were to be Related information


used for selected Central social IIFA (International Indian Film
welfare Schemes. This fund was kept Academy Awards)
outside the consolidated fund of India. • IIFA Awards are a set of awards
Topic- GS-3- Indian Economy presented annually by the
Source- Economic Times International Indian Film Academy to
5. First satellite “RemoveDEBRIS” to honour both artistic and technical
collect space junk set deployed excellence of professionals in
from ISS Bollywood.
• The first-ever satellite to test possible • The first awards were presented in
solutions in cleaning up space junk 2000 at The Millennium Dome in
has been deployed by the London, United Kingdom.
International Space Station (ISS) and Topic- Important for PCS Exams
would soon begin experiments in
Source- AIR
orbit.
• The Britain-built satellite, named 26.06.2018
RemoveDEBRIS mission, is one of the
world’s first attempts to tackle the 1. The Global Status Report (GSR) of
build-up of dangerous space debris REN21
orbiting the Earth. • The Global Status Report (GSR) by
• The 100-kg RemoveDebris spacecraft REN 21 shows that global investments
will attempt to capture simulated in RE were to the tune of US $280
space debris using a net and a billion in 2017, drawing heavily from
harpoon while also testing advanced developing countries.
cameras and radar systems. • China accounted for nearly 45 Percent
• The experiment is important as there of all global investments in RE, while
are thousands of pieces of space India’s US $10.9 billion amounted to
debris circulating the planet, many 4 Percent of the total.
travelling faster than a speeding • Globally, RE shares in the power
bullet, posing a risk to valuable sector continued to grow, but its share
satellites and even the International in the total final energy was a meagre
Space Station itself. 10.4 per cent.
• Once the experiments are complete, it • Aside from the power sector, highest
will unfurl a drag sail to bring itself energy consuming sectors namely
and the debris out of orbit, where it transport and heating and cooling saw
will burn up as it enters the earth’s minimal RE inclusion (10 Percent and
atmosphere. 3 Percent respectively).
• It was launched on a SpaceX Dragon • The power sector continues to be the
spacecraft from Florida in April 2018. star with shares of RE reaching 2195
Topic- GS-3- Science and Technology GW globally (not including
Source- Indian Express hydropower).
6. 19th International Indian Film • China leads this with 334 GW of
Academy Awards (IIFA) Awards installations, with the United States,
2018 Germany and India trailing with 161
• 19th IIFA Awards were presented in GW, 106 GW and 61 GW respectively.
Siam Niramit Theatre in Bangkok, • Distributed renewable energy is
Thailand. gaining ground, due to its ability to
Best Film Tumhari Sulu provide remote/rural households who
lack access to energy.
Best Actor (Male) Irfan Khan (Hindi Medium) Hydropower
Best Actor (Female) Sridevi (Mom) • Hydropower is still the largest
contributor at 16.4 per cent in power
Anirudh Roy Chaudhary
Best Director sector.
(Pink)

49
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• Last year saw the annual addition of • REN21 was launched in June 2004 as
nearly 19 GW of hydropower capacity. an outcome of the International
• China leads the globe in cumulative Conference for Renewable Energies in
installations to date and India’s 44.6 Bonn, Germany.
GW is the fifth-largest. • The REN21 Secretariat is based at UN
Solar Power Environment in Paris, France, and is a
• Wind and solar PV generation registered non-profit association
accounted for 7.5 per cent of the total under German law.
electricity demand. • The organisation has more than 60
• Solar PV capacity marched on; members and with its governance
reaching a cumulative 402 GW, again structure consists of the Bureau, the
lead primarily by China. Steering Committee and REN21
• India saw 9.1 GW worth of Members.
installations, taking its total installed Topic- GS-3-Enemy
capacity to 18.3 GW. Source- Down to Earth + Wiki
• Cumulative installations of 2. A new approach to deal with
concentrated solar thermal power stressed assets in making
(CSP) have reached 4.9 GW, with • The idea is to put in place a large ARC,
large additions from Spain. which will step in to offer a better
Wind Power value to lenders, who are caught with
an asset where it is tough to realise
• The global offshore wind market grew
value and using the Insolvency and
by 30 Percent.
Bankruptcy Code (IBC) may not be
• Pumped storage accounted for 96
the best option.
Percent of the global energy storage
• The proposed asset reconstruction
capacity, which grew to a staggering
company (ARC) may be positioned as a
total of 153 GW installed worldwide. buyer of last resort with the banks and
• India was only the fifth largest the government leaving the operations
contributor to wind installations to a professional management.
despite breaking records at home. • While the blueprint for the ARC is
• Annual additions of 52 GW took the being prepared by a committee
global installed capacity to 539 GW. headed by Punjab National Bank
Bioenergy chairman Sunil Mehta.
• Bioenergy is the largest RE • It is not as if all the assets will go to
contributors to total final energy the ARC. It will step in if it’s a viable
demand (13 Percent) due to the option and banks realise better value.
widely prevalent traditional biomass • At the same time, it will ensure that
use (8 Percent). there is value left in the asset to nurse
• In the electricity sector, generation it back to health or sell it and make
from biomass saw an 11 Percent money.
growth. Related Information
Ocean energy Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC)
• It has a total installed capacity of 529 • It is a specialized financial institution
MW, is beginning to take off with that buys the NPAs or bad assets from
capacities for tidal stream and wave banks and financial institutions so that
energy. the latter can clean up their balance
Related Information sheets.
Renewable Energy Policy Network for • The Securitization and Reconstruction
the 21st Century (REN 21) of Financial Assets and Enforcement
• It is the global renewable energy of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act,
policy multi-stakeholder network that 2002; enacted in December 2002
connects a wide range of key actors. provides the legal basis for the setting
up ARCs in India.

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• The SARFAESI Act helps the for pregnant women, mothers and
reconstruction of bad assets without children.
the intervention of courts. • It also targets to reduce the level of
• Currently, there are 24 ARCs, which stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia
are registered with the RBI. and low birth rate.
Topic- GS-3- Indian Economy • The following nutrition strategies and
Source- Economic Times interventions include under Abhiyaan-
3. ‘Women in Prisons’ report (a) Supplementary nutrition
launched by the Ministry of (b) Adolescent nutrition
Women and Child Development (c) IYCF (Infant and Young Child
• The report titled ‘Women in Prisons’ Feeding) immunisation
which aims to build an understanding (d) Maternal health etc.
of the various entitlements of women Topic- GS-2- Governance
in prisons, the various issues faced by Source-PIB
them and possible methods for 5. Sreedharan panel to lay down
resolution of the same. metro standards
• Various changes in the National Model • ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan will head a
Prison Manual 2016 have also been newly constituted high-level
suggested to bring it in line with committee to lay down indigenous
international standards and norms. technical standards for all metro rail
Topic- GS-2- Issues relating to development systems across the country.
and management of Social Sector • The multi-disciplinary committee will
Source-PIB set indigenous technical standards for
4. WCD Ministry to organise TECH- the entire ecosystem of metro
THON: Seminar on Technology functioning in India, including rolling
Partnership for POSHAN Abhiyaan stock, signalling, track and the like.
• Ministry of Women and Child Topic- GS-3- Infrastructure: Energy, Ports,
Development will organize a Seminar Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
on Technology Partnerships for Source- Indian Express
Steering POSHAN Abhiyaan called
‘TECH-THON’ for POSHAN Abhiyaan in 27.06.2018
New Delhi.
• ICDS-CAS (Common Application
1. ISA plans global solar bank to
Software) has been specially designed
finance $150 billion of power
to strengthen the Service Delivery
projects
System as well as the mechanism for
• The International Solar Alliance (ISA)
Real Time Monitoring (RTM) for
plans to approach multilateral
nutritional outcomes.
development banks (MDBs) such as
Related Information
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
POSHAN (PM’s Overarching Scheme for (AIIB) to create a special purpose
Holistic Nourishment) scheme vehicle (SPV) to specifically finance
• POSHAN Abhiyaan was launched by solar projects.
the Prime Minister in Jhunjhunu on • This SPV aimed at financing $150
8th March 2018. billion would become a World Solar
• The Executive Committee is the Apex Bank.
body under the POSHAN Abhiyaan. • ISA has inked joint declarations with
• National Council on India’s nutritional the eight multilateral development
challenges under, NITI Aayog, also banks (MDBs) which are-
has been set up under the POSHAN (a) World Bank
Abhiyaan.
(b) African Development Bank
• The scheme aims to ensure holistic
(c) Asian Development Bank
development and adequate nutrition

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(d) AIIB will begin off Hawaii in the Western


(e) New Development Bank Pacific Ocean.
(f) European Investment Bank • The two-month long biennial exercise
(g) European Bank for Reconstruction is likely to be attended by navies of 26
and Development countries including India.
(h) Green Climate Fund (GCF) for • Indian Naval Ship Sahyadri reached
enhancing cooperation in the solar the Pearl Harbour in Hawaii to
energy area. participate in the 26th edition of
• ISA has been working on a $300- RIMPAC exercise.
billion risk mitigation fund as part of a • India's participation in the exercise
strategy to create a sustainable provides a platform for increased
financing architecture for solar interoperability and development of
projects worldwide. the common understanding of
• The fund will be used to insure solar procedures for maritime security
power projects against risks such as operations.
default in payment by electricity Topic- GS-3- Defence
procurers, foreign exchange Source- UNI India
fluctuations and regime change. 3. S Ramesh appointed the chairman
Related Information of CBIC
International Solar Alliance (ISA) Central Board of Indirect taxes and
Customs (CBIC)
• The ISA is an Indian initiative, jointly
• In Budget 2018-19 central
launched by the Prime Minister of
government announced to rename
India, Shri Narendra Modi and the
President of France on 30th November CBEC (Central Board of Excise and
2015 in Paris, on the sidelines of COP- Customs) as CBIC.
21, the UN Climate Conference. • It is the nodal national agency
responsible for administering
• The alliance's primary objective is-
Customs, GST, Central Excise, Service
(a) Work for efficient exploitation of
Tax & Narcotics in India.
solar energy to reduce dependence on
fossil fuels. • The Customs & Central Excise
(b) Mobilise $1 trillion in funds for the department was established in the
year 1855 by the then British
future solar generation, storage and
Governor General of India.
technology across the world.
• Currently, the Customs and Excise
• The ISA, headquartered in India, has
department comes under the
its Secretariat located in the
Department of Revenue, Ministry of
Gwalpahari, Gurgaon, Haryana.
Finance.
• India has offered to meet ISA
• The CBIC is headed by a chairman and
Secretariat expenses for initial five
can have a maximum of six members.
years.
Topic- GS-3- Indian Economy
• ISA is an alliance of more than 121
Source- Times of India
countries, most of them being
4. World largest oil Refinery
sunshine countries, which come either
“Ratnagiri Refinery”
completely or partly between the
• The world largest oil refinery cum
Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of
petrochemical project is set to come
Capricorn.
up in Maharashtra's Ratnagiri.
Topic- GS-2- Important International
• UAE's Abu Dhabi National Oil
institutions
Company or ADNOC along with Saudi
Source- Livemint
Arabia's ARAMCO will together have a
2. World's largest multilateral naval 50% stake in the greenfield Ratnagiri
exercise “RIMPAC” refinery project.
• The world's largest multilateral naval
exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC)

52
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• While 50% stake will be shared • It is a collection of essays and lectures


between Aramco and Adnoc the rest written by Dr R.P. Dhokalia.
will be with Indian Oil, Hindustan • The thrust of the book is on the
Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum. connection between human rights and
• The project is being considered the intrinsic and core human values
significant for India's energy security. which in turn manifest in the cultural
Topic- GS-3- Energy ethos of a society.
Source- DD News Topic- Important for PCS Exams
5. UAE to hold first-ever 'World Source-PIB
Tolerance Summit' 8. Godikan village panchayat of
• The United Arab of Emirates (UAE) will Haryana passed “No Toilet, No
host a two-day "World Tolerance Bride” resolution
Summit" in November 2018. • The Godikan panchayat in Haryana
• The International Institute for has become the first panchayat in the
Tolerance, part of Mohammed Bin country to pass a resolution to marry
Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, off girls only to families that have a
announced the launch from November toilet in their house.
15-16 to coincide with the • It is aimed to ensure safety and well-
International Day of Tolerance. being of the womenfolk.
• The theme of the summit will be, • The Godikan panchayat has already
"Prospering From Pluralism: been declared an Outdoor Defecation
Embracing Diversity through Free panchayat.
Innovation and Collaboration". Topic-GS-2- Government policies and
• The platform will seek innovative interventions for development in various
solutions and forge fruitful sectors
partnerships to help promote respect Source- Business Standards
for diversity and productive pluralism.
• The summit will also explore the use 28.06.2018
of social media and digital networking
in advocating the significance of
1. India increases grants to $15
tolerance with respect to its societal
million to handle global
and economic benefits.
environment crises
Topic- Important for PCS Exams
• India announced to increase grants to
Source- Business Standards
$15 million for the next four years to
6. Odisha’s Pallavi Darua crowned as
the Global Environment Facility (GEF),
India's first 'Tribal Queen'
a mechanism to provide grants for
• Pallavi Durua, who belongs to environmental projects.
Odisha's Koraput district, was
• India has decided to increase its
crowned as the first Tribal Queen.
commitments from $12 million to $15
• The Adi Rani Kalinga Tribal Queen
million to the GEF’s new four-year
competition was held at the held at
investment cycle, known as GEF-7.
Utkal Mandap in Bhubaneshwar.
Related Information
• The prime objective of the event was
to promote tribal art and culture. GEF (Global Environment Facility)
Topic- Important for PCS Exams • The Global Environment Facility was
Source- Business Standards established in October 1991 as a $1
billion pilot program in the World Bank
7. Vice President launched of the
book “Human Rights, Values and to assist in the protection of the global
environment and to promote
Cultural Ethos”
environmentally sustainable
• Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu
development.
launched the book “Human Rights,
Values and Cultural Ethos”.

53
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• In 1992, at the Rio Earth Summit, the 2. Government proposes to set up


GEF was restructured and moved out 3000 Van Dhan Kendras
of the World Bank system to become • The Government proposes to set up
a permanent, separate institution. 3000 Van Dhan Kendras involving
• Since 1994, however, the World Bank 30,000 SHGs across the country
has served as the Trustee of the GEF under the Van Dhan Scheme of the
Trust Fund and provided Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
administrative services. Related Information
• Currently, the GEF is the largest public Van Dhan Scheme
funder of projects to improve the • The Van Dhan Scheme is an initiative
global environment. of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and
• The GEF also serves as the financial TRIFED.
mechanism for the following • It was launched on 14th April 2018
conventions: and seeks to improve tribal incomes
(a) CBD Convention on Biological through value addition of tribal
Diversity products.
(b) United Nations Framework • Under Van Dhan, 10 Self Help Groups
Convention on Climate Change of 30 Tribal gatherers is constituted.
(UNFCCC) • The establishment of "Van Dhan Vikas
(c) UN Convention to Combat Kendra" is for providing skill
Desertification (UNCCD) upgradation and capacity building
(d) Stockholm Convention on training and setting up of primary
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) processing and value addition facility.
(e) Minamata Convention on Mercury • They are then trained and provided
• At its 51st meeting in October with working capital to add value to
2016, the GEF Council initiate the products, which they collect from
discussions on the seventh the jungle.
replenishment of resources of the • Working under the leadership of
GEF Trust Fund (GEF-7). Collector these groups can then
• The replenishment meetings provide market their products not only within
an opportunity for Contributing the States but also outside the States.
Participants to review GEF • Training and technical support is
performance and evaluate progress, provided by TRIFED.
assess future funding needs, and
• Initially, the focus of the scheme will
agree on a financing framework. be in aspirational districts and
Green Climate Fund (GCF) gradually the scheme will be
• It is a fund within the framework of implemented in all tribal areas.
UNFCCC Topic- GS-2- Schemes
• It is founded to assist developing Source-PIB
countries in adaptation and mitigation 3. India gets two Giant Aldabra
practices to counter climate change.
Tortoise from Seychelles
• It was Formed in 2010. • In a goodwill gesture, Seychelles has
• World Bank is chosen as a temporary gifted a pair of giant Aldabra tortoise
trustee of the fund. to India.
• It is headquartered in Incheon, South • The creatures are a symbol of "ever-
Korea. lasting" friendship.
• It is intended to be the centrepiece of • Gifting Aldabra tortoise on loan to
efforts to raise Climate Finance of friendly countries is a part of the
$100 billion a year by 2020. Seychelles diplomacy.
Topic- GS-3- Environment • The pair will be kept at Hyderabad
Source- Financial Express Zoo, a Ministry of External Affairs.

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• The giant tortoise, endemic to the organization founded in 1989 on the


east African island nation, weighs initiative of the G7 to develop policies
around 120 and 150 kg and have the to combat money laundering.
ability to live for up to 200 years. • In 2001 its mandate expanded to
Topic- GS-3- Biodiversity include terrorism financing.
Source- NDTV • It monitors progress in implementing
4. Researchers created world’s the FATF Recommendations through
smallest computer device "peer reviews" ("mutual evaluations")
“Michigan Micro Mote” of member countries.
• Researchers at the University of • The Secretariat is located at the OECD
Michigan in the US have come out Headquarters in Paris.
with the world’s smallest “computer”- • Currently, there are 37 members are
a device measuring just 0.3 mm to a part of it. India is also a member of
side the organization.
• Unlike traditional desktops that retain
• Pakistan is not a part of the
their program and data with or organization.
without a power back-up, these new
G7
microdevices lose all prior
programming and data as soon as • The Group of 7 (G7) is a group
they are switched off. consisting of Canada, France,
• In addition to the RAM and Germany, Italy, Japan, the United
photovoltaics, the new micro- Kingdom and the United States.
computing device —"Michigan Micro • The European Union is also
Mote”—has processors and wireless represented within the G7.
transmitters and receivers. • These countries are the seven major
• As the Motes are too small to have advanced economies as reported by
conventional radio antennae, they the International Monetary Fund.
receive and transmit data with visible Topic- GS-2- Important International
light. institutions
• A base station provides light for power Source- AIR
and programming, and it receives the 6. Oxytocin formulations ban to
data. come into effect from 1st July
• The device can help in oncology (the 2018
study and treatment of tumours) • The Ministry of Health and Family
research. Welfare has restricted the
Topic- GS-3- Science and Technology manufacture of Oxytocin formulations
Source- The Hindu for domestic use to public sector only
5. FATF officially placed Pakistan on from 1st July 2018.
its greylist • It has also banned the import of
• The Financial Action Task Force Oxytocin and its formulations.
(FATF) has officially placed Pakistan • Only Karnataka Antibiotics &
on its greylist. Pharmaceuticals Ltd (KAPL), a public-
• Once placed in the “grey list”, sector company, would be
countries face the risk of the manufacturing this drug for domestic
downgrade by multilateral lenders like use from that date.
IMF, World Bank, ADB etc. and further
• India banned hormone oxytocin to
reduction in their risk-rating by
halt misuse in livestock industry
agencies.
Issues with oxytocin hormone
Related information
Financial Action Task Force • It shortens their lives and makes
them barren sooner.
• The Financial Action Task Force
(FATF) is an intergovernmental Related Information

55
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Oxytocin Hormone (d) Transaction processes and costs


• Oxytocin is a peptide hormone and associated with those and
neuropeptide. (e) The regulatory and legal
• Oxytocin is normally produced by the environment
paraventricular nucleus of the • India is thus yet to figure among the
hypothalamus (Part of the brain) and transparent markets, despite the
released by the posterior pituitary. regulatory changes and the possibility
• It was discovered by Henry Dale in of a Real Estate Investment Trust
1906. (REIT) listing.
• Often called the "love hormone", Related Information
oxytocin is released naturally in Real Estate (Regulation and
human bonding activities such as sex, Development) Act or RERA
childbirth and breastfeeding. • The Real Estate (Regulation and
• It may also have benefits as a Development) Act, 2016 is an Act of
treatment for several conditions, the Parliament of India which seeks to
including depression, anxiety, and protect home-buyers as well as help
intestinal problems. boost investments in the real estate
Topic- GS-3- Science and Technology industry.
Source-PIB • The Act establishes Real Estate
Regulatory Authority (RERA) in each
state for regulation of the real estate
29.06.2018 sector and also acts as an adjudicating
1. India moves up a spot to 35th on body for speedy dispute redressal.
real estate transparency index • However, unlike a few states such as
• India has moved up just one spot in Maharashtra and Karnataka, several
the global real estate transparency states have been slow in its
index from 36 in 2016 to 35 in 2018, implementation.
despite the implementation of the • The new law states that the
Real Estate (Regulation and Regulatory Authority should
Development) Act or RERA. endeavour to dispose of the
• It is published in a report by real complaints within 60 days from the
estate advisory firm Jones Lang date of filing.
LaSalle Inc. (JLL). • However, the Authority can take more
• The report comes out every two time and is only required to record the
years. reasons for not completing the
• The UK, Australia, the US, France and proceeding within the 60-day period.
Canada are the top five countries. • RERA must grant/reject an application
• The report said that India is one of the within 30 days of submission of all
10 countries that have registered required documents.
maximum improvement in Topic- GS-2-Important International
transparency in real estate over the institutions
last two years. Source- Livemint
• Since 2014, India has moved up by 2. Madhya Pradesh to be awarded
five spots from 40th in the global real for reducing maternal mortality
estate transparency index. • Madhya Pradesh will be awarded for
• The index measures transparency reducing maternal mortality under
based on factors such as Prime Minister's Safe Motherhood
(a) Data availability Campaign.
(b) Authenticity and accuracy • The Prime Minister’s Safe Motherhood
(c) Governance of public agencies as Campaign has been launched to ensure
quality care of over 3 crore pregnant
well as stakeholders of the realty
women of the country before delivery.
sector

56
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• Madhya Pradesh has been registered • Negotiations on the third agreement,


an unprecedented 48-digit decline in Basic Exchange and Cooperation
maternal deaths as per the report of Agreement for Geo-spatial
the Registrar General of India from Cooperation (BECA), have not yet
2014 to 2016. begun.
• The maternal mortality rate was 221 Current status
in the year 2011-13, which has now
• The two sides could, however, make
dropped down further to just 173. an announcement of the intention to
• There has been a significant decline of sign the COMCASA during the
22% in the last three years in the inaugural 2+2 meeting between their
state. Defence and Foreign Ministers.
Topic- GS-2-Government policies and • COMCASA will facilitate the use of
interventions for development in various high-end secured communication
sectors and issues arising out of their design equipment to be installed on military
and implementation. platforms being sold to India and fully
Source- AIR exploit their potential.
3. COMCASA: Why US, India can’t • The signing of COMCASA, however,
connect? becomes imperative if India is to get
• A US military negotiating team was in the armed version of the Sea
Delhi last week to respond to Indian Guardian drones from the US.
objections and formulate a mutually India’s concerns
acceptable text for the
• India is believed to be concerned
Communications Compatibility and
about intrusive American access to
Security Agreement.
Indian military communication
COMCASA (Communications systems, and about the violation of
Compatibility and Security Agreement) Indian sovereignty due to visits by US
inspectors to Indian bases to inspect
• COMCASA is meant to provide a legal the COMCASA-safeguarded
framework for the transfer of equipment.
communication security equipment • There is also a fear that a lot of
from the US to India that would Russian-origin and indigenous Indian
facilitate “interoperability” between military platforms may not be
their forces and potentially with other compatible with COMCASA.
militaries that use US-origin systems
Topic- GS-3-Bilateral, regional and global
for secured data links.
groupings and agreements involving India
• The general agreement signed by the and/or affecting India’s interests
US is called the Communication and
Source- Indian Express
Information on Security Memorandum
of Agreement (CISMOA) but the name 4. Govt approved 2 more strategic
was changed to COMCASA to reflect oil storages in Odisha and
its India-specific nature. Karnataka
• It is part of a set of three military • The government decided to set up two
agreements that the US considers more underground crude oil storages
“foundational” for a functional military in Odisha and Karnataka to increase
relationship. emergency stockpile cover by 12 days
• In August 2016, India had signed the to 22 days.
Logistics Exchange Memorandum of • The Cabinet has approved setting up
Agreement (LEMOA), which allows the of 4 million tonnes (MT) storage at
military of each country to replenish Chandikhole in Odisha and 2.5 MT
from the other’s bases. storage at Padur in Karnataka.

57
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• The storages will be added to the • A total of 18 Chinkaras or Indian


existing rock caverns to shore 5.33 gazelles have died in Rajasthan’s
MT of crude Visakhapatnam (1.33 border district of Jaisalmer in the past
MT), Mangalore (1.5 MT) and Padur fortnight bringing back into focus, the
(2.5 MT). plight of the species.
Related Information • Chinkaras are categorised under
Strategic Petroleum Reserve Schedule-1 of the Wildlife (Protection)
• The Indian Strategic Petroleum Act, 1972.
Reserve (ISPR) is an emergency fuel
Related Information
store.
• The total 5.33 MT capacity under Wildlife Protection Act 1972
Phase-1 of the Strategic Petroleum • The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is an
Reserve (SPR) programme is Act of the Parliament of India enacted
estimated to supply approximately 10 for the protection of plants and animal
days of India's crude requirement. species.
• The government's strategic reserves • It extends to the whole of India,
in India are run by the Indian except the State of Jammu and
Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd, an Kashmir which has its own wildlife act.
SPV set up by the Oil Industry
• It has six schedules which give
Development Board, under the
varying degrees of protection.
petroleum ministry.
Topic- GS-3- Energy • Schedule I and part II of Schedule II
Source- DD News provide absolute protection - offences
5. Cabinet approves a Corpus to under these are prescribed the
National Export Insurance highest penalties.
Account Trust • Species listed in Schedule III and
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Schedule IV are also protected, but
Affairs has approved the contribution the penalties are much lower.
of Grant-in-Aid (Corpus) of Rs.1,040 • Schedule V includes the animals which
crore to National Export Insurance may be hunted.
Account Trust (NEIA).
• The specified endemic plants in
• The Corpus is to be utilised for three
Schedule VI are prohibited from
years from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
cultivation and planting.
• The Corpus would strengthen NEIA to
support project exports from the Vermin Species
country that are of strategic and • Under the Wildlife Protection Act,
national importance. 1972, states can request the Centre
Topic- GS-3- Economic Development to declare some species as “vermin”
Source-PIB if their population becomes
6. Gabon’s ‘orange crocodiles’ unmanageable, thereby removing
• The West African state of Gabon is protections assured by the Act.
famous for its biodiversity. • Essentially, the species can then be
• In 2008, researchers discovered a hunted or culled.
group of strange orange crocodiles in
• The Central Government may declare
a remote region of Africa.
any wild animal other than those
• They found the 1.5-metre-long (5 ft)
specified in Sch. I and part 11 of Sch.
reptiles in an Abanda cave in Gabon,
H to be vermin for any area, so long
western Africa, where they fed only on
as such notification is in force,
bats and crickets.
such wild animal shall be deemed
Topic- GS-3-Biodiversity
to have been included in Sch. V.
Source- The Hindu
7. 18 Chinkaras die within a Topic- GS-3- Bio Diversity
fortnight in Jaisalmer Source- Down to Earth

58
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30.06.2018 temperatures increase by 2.4°C by


2100 relative to pre-industrial levels.
1. World Bank’s report ‘South Asia’s • Carbon-intensive, on the other hand,
Hotspots’ represents a future in which no
• A World Bank report has found that actions are taken to reduce emissions
rising temperatures and changing and global annual average
monsoon rainfall patterns from temperatures increase 4.3°C by 2100
climate change could cost India 2.8% relative to pre-industrial levels.
of GDP and depress the living
Topic- GS-3- Important International
standards of nearly half the country’s
institutions
population by 2050.
• The report, ‘South Asia’s Hotspots: Source- Indian Express
The Impact of Temperature and 2. ‘Disha’ for timely implementation
Precipitation Changes on Living of Central Schemes
Standards’, has been authored by • DISHA Week is being celebrated from
World Bank. June 25 to 29 to mark completion of
What does the report look at? two years of the District Development
• It looks at six countries in South Asia Coordination and Monitoring
and how projected changes in Committee.
temperature and precipitation will Related Information
affect living standards in these
District Development Coordination and
countries.
Monitoring Committee (DDCMC) or
• Using annual household consumption
Disha
as a proxy for living standards, the
report identifies “hotspots” — districts • The Union Government had
where these changes will have a constituted the District Development
notable effect on living standards. Coordination and Monitoring
What has it found? Committee (DDCMC) for effective
development coordination of almost
• For the region, it has found that India,
all the programmes of Central
Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
Government.
will be adversely affected by these
changes, while Afghanistan and Nepal • The main purpose of this committee is
will benefit as they are relatively cold. to coordinate with Central and State
• For India, it has projected that living Governments and local Panchayat for
conditions in Chhattisgarh and successful and timely implementation
Madhya Pradesh will decline by more of the Central schemes.
than 9%, followed by Rajasthan, Uttar • The first meeting was held in Aug
Pradesh and Maharashtra. 2016.
• Of the top 10 most affected hotspot • The Chairperson of the committee will
districts, 7 (Chandrapur, Bhandara, be the senior-most Member of
Gondiya, Wardha, Nagpur, Raj Parliament (Lok Sabha) elected from
Nandgaon, Durg) are in Vidarbha and the district, nominated by the Ministry
the remaining 3 in Chhattisgarh and of Rural Development.
MP. Topic- GS-3- Schemes
What is carbon-intensive?
Source- AIR + PIB
• The report looks at two scenarios:
climate-sensitive and carbon- 3. Can India manage its toxic e-
intensive. waste?
• Climate-sensitive represents a future • The matter came to light in March
“in which some collective action is 2018 when the Delhi High Court was
taken to limit greenhouse gas hearing a petition on solid waste
emissions and global annual average management.

59
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• The court in its order on May 22 • The producers have to meet targets,
directed the Union Ministry of which should be 20 Percent of the
Environment to devise a proper waste generated by their sales.
method of inventorization of e-waste” • This will increase by 10 Percent
and come up with “a strategy and annually for the next five years.
plan” for the proper management of • Both the dismantlers and recyclers
e-waste in a time-bound manner. must file reports to SPCB to certify
Growth of e-waste that they have used scientific
• India is one of the biggest producers methods in their operations.
of e-waste in the world. Gaps in the system
• The Global E-waste Monitor 2017, • In the first year of its implementation,
published by the United Nations though all companies claimed to have
University, states that India met their targets, there is no
generates about 2 million tonnes of e- mechanism to verify their claims.
waste annually. • Since there is no monitoring system,
• And ranks fifth among e-waste there is no guarantee that the waste
producing countries, after the US, collected by producers does not go to
China, Japan and Germany. unauthorised recyclers.
• However, there is no government • The process includes manual
data on e-waste generated in the dismantling, separation and
country. The Central Pollution Control shredding; unsafe removal and
Board (CPCB) had projected in 2005 collection of solder by heating; acidic
that by 2010, India would generate extraction of metals; and, burning of
0.8 million tonnes of e-waste. Since waste to remove combustible plastics
then, no projection has been made. and isolating metals.
• The 2016 law tasks the state pollution • These cause severe pollution in air,
control boards (SPCBs) to make the water and soil and severely affects the
estimates, but no SPCB has done that worker’s health.
as yet. Importing trouble
• According to the Hazardous and Other
What does the law say?
Wastes (Management and Trans-
• The law says that producers of
boundary) Rules, 2016, importing e-
electronic items should provide the
waste for disposal is banned in India.
postal address, e-mail and toll-free
• For recycling, a prior permission from
numbers of collection centres—where
the government is required and in the
consumers can drop their
last five years, the government has
equipment’s—through websites and
given no such permission, said Dave
producer user booklet to facilitate the
in the Rajya Sabha reply.
return of e-waste items.
• It is allowed only for the refurbishing
• The law details different mechanisms
of second-hand products.
to collect and recycle e-waste.
• However, the nodal agency, the
• These include deposit return schemes Central Board of Excise and Customs,
(where the producer takes a lacks the human resource and the
surcharge at the time of the sale and infrastructure to distinguish between
refunds it when the customer returns a second-hand product and e-waste.
the product) and exchange schemes. • They have to be re-exported to the
• The producers must obtain an country of origin in 1-3 years.
Extended Producer Responsibility • Over 95 per cent of e-waste recycling
(EPR) authorisation from CPCB which is done by the informal sector.
will ensure that they channelize the e- • One of the major hubs in India,
waste to the recycler/dismantler and Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh.
meet their annual collection targets. Topic- GS-3- Environment
Source- Down to Earth

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4. In a first, Madras High Court sets • Webb will orbit the sun in a spot on
up ‘Environmental Fund’ the other side of the moon.
• Madras High Court has directed the • The Webb telescope will be able to see
Tamil Nadu State Legal Services a different kind of light than the light
Authority, Chennai, to open a Hubble sees.
separate account under the name Hubble Space Telescope
“Environmental Fund” (EF). • The Hubble Space Telescope is a large
• In which amounts received from telescope in space.
various courts, in the form of costs • NASA launched Hubble in 1990.
ordered to parties, would be used to • Hubble travels around Earth at about
finance tree plantations or maintain 5 miles per second.
water bodies. • Hubble faces toward space.
Topic- GS-3- Environment • It takes pictures of planets, stars and
Source- Down to Earth galaxies.
5. NASA postpones James Webb What Makes Hubble Different from
Space Telescope launch to 2021 Telescopes on Earth?
• The NASA has delayed the launch of • The mixture of gases that surround a
its flagship highly anticipated James planet is called its atmosphere.
Webb Space Telescope • Earth's atmosphere changes and
• The JWST is scheduled to launch on blocks some of the light that comes
March 30, 2021. from space.
Related Information • Hubble flies around, or orbits, high
James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) above Earth and its atmosphere.
• The James Webb Space Telescope • So, Hubble can see space better than
(JWST) is a space telescope telescopes on Earth can.
developed in collaboration between • Hubble uses a digital camera.
NASA, the European Space Agency, • Then Hubble uses radio waves to send
and the Canadian Space Agency that the pictures through the air back to
will be the scientific successor to the Earth.
Hubble Space Telescope.
Topic- GS-3- Science and Technology
• It will be bigger than Hubble. Source- NASA
• Webb will not orbit Earth as Hubble
does.

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