AI News, BOOK REVIEW: AI will be a game changer for pharma sector: Amitabh Mishra ... artificial intelligence

Sharmita, “Everything is an argument: A thematic approach to teaching English and communication skills course”, in Unlock Their Futures: A Skills-based Approach to Teaching English,New Delhi, IN: Sterling Publishers, 2011, pp.

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Tang, Yinjie J., “Evaluating factors that influence microbial synthesis yields by linear regression with numerical and ordinal variables”, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, DOI: 10.1002/bit.22996, vol.

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Amit and Jain, Sudhir Kumar, “Analysis of buried pipelines subjected to reverse fault motion”, Soil dynamics and earthquake engineering, DOI: 10.1016/j.soildyn.2011.02.003, vol.

Ajanta, “Shear testing data of soil: a function of boundary friction in triaxial setup”, Indian Geotechnical Journal, vol.

Jagmohan, “Existence of non-negative solutions for predator-prey elliptic systems with a sign-changing nonlinearity”, Electronic Journal of Differential Equations, vol.

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and Ragavan, K., “Harmonic mitigation through sliding DFT based single phase active power filter”, in Proceedings of the Centenary Conference, Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore, IN, pp.

Yogesh, “Statistics-based model for prediction of chemical biosynthesis yield from saccharomyces cerevisiae”, in 111thgeneral meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, New Orleans, US, May 21-24, 2011. 6Kishore

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Alpana and Dalvi, Sameer V., “Controlled liquid antisolvent precipitation of ultrafine particles of curcumin in aqueous suspensions using ultrasound and stabilizers”, presented at the 64th Annual Session of Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers CHEMCON, Bangalore, IN, December 27-29, 2011. 23 Tripathy,

With too much information around and too little space and time Queen’s English gets a royal snip lyk it or nt the acronymised abbreviated world is here to stay”, India Today, vol.

Current Affairs

IFC-IOR, launched in December 2018, engages with partner nations to develop comprehensive maritime domain awareness and also share information on vessels of interest.

WHO launches AWaRe tool to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently launched a global campaign urging governments all across the world to adopt its new online tool called …AWaRe(Access, Watch and Reserve), which is aimed at guiding policy-makers and health workers of country to reducespread of antimicrobial resistance, adverse events and costs.

This AWaRe tool was developed by World Health Oraganisation’s Essential Medicines List (EML) to reduce spread of antimicrobial resistance, antibiotic-related adverse events, and also to make antibiotic use safer, cheaper and more effective for its consumer.

About: The WHO’s latest advisory, suggested adoption of AWaRe approach which classifies antibiotics into three groups – Need: As per WHO estimates, in most of the countries more than 50% of antibiotics are used inappropriately for treatment of viruses even when they only treat bacterial infections, or are wrong choice of antibiotic (broader spectrum), thus contributing to spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Also, when antibiotics stop working effectively, treatments become more expensive and hospital admissions are increased, thus this may take a heavy toll on already stretched health budgets of developing countries.

Measures Undertaken: This new campaign will strive towards increasing proportion of global consumption of antibiotics in Access group to minimum 60%, and towards reducing use of antibiotics most at risk of resistance from Watch and Reserve groups.

As Access antibiotics are narrow-spectrum antibiotics drugs (means that they target a specific microorganism rather than many), therefore, using Access antibiotics lowers the risk of resistance.

Red Line Campaign: In India, Union Ministry of Health Affair has made it mandatory to display a 5mm-thick red vertical band (line) on packaging of prescription-only drugs (those which compulsorily require Doctors’ Prescription) so as to sensitise people and make them cautious while buying these Antibiotic medicines that are widely sold without prescriptions.

The code name was given as a nondescript, mundane tag to the air strikes, in order to maintain secrecy and ensure that plans about Balakot operations don’t leak out.

Although as per the defence officials there was not any specific reason behind the name chosen but in general a monkey have had a cultural significance and held a special place in India’s war culture such as in Ramayana, where Lord Rama’s lieutenant Lord Hanuman swiftly sneaked into Lanka and destroyed entire capital city of Ravana.

Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister for Environment informed theLok Sabhathat India’s forest cover has increased by 1% in last one year period and over 24.39% of India’s geographical area now constitutes of green cover.

Response: As per a latest report, more than 24.39% of India’s geographical area now constitutes of green cover and government further plans to plant 125 crore trees along highways to increase green cover.

NFI offers a combined picture of both live rates and historical trends of spot price movements in India’s road freight industry.

Index is represented in two main forms- Rates on both index and exchange are based on Rivigo’s economics powered pricing algorithms and machine learning, which uses factors such as millions of data points from historical transactions, current market dynamics, micro market insights etc.

Thus using NFI will ensure unrestricted access by giving a fair and precise representation of state of country’s spot market and will bring transparency in road-freight marketplace.

In India actual freight rates are in Rupee per ton-km and in terms of relative movement with respect to a base month, and this would be updated by NFI in real time.

Brief: The book addresses major controversies, turning points and achievements of Baba Ramdev’s life and is expected to be one of its kind personal narrative of life and times of yoga teacher.

In the book, Ramdev registers his journey from a small Haryana village to international stage, and pens about his passion for yoga and good health, friends and foes, and the Swadeshi campaign spearheaded by him.

The 23-year-old Indian gymnast is from West Bengal, who had qualified for vault finals with a 6th place, in finals scored 13.384 to claim bronze medal.

It is a system that integrates flight data from various subsystems like ATC (Air Traffic Control) Automation System, flight updates and flight update messages so as to provide safe and orderly flow of traffic.

It is a world class system where on one large screen anyone can see country’s all civil aviation infrastructure such as planes on ground, planes which are in air, etc.

Working: The centralised air traffic flow management system processes demand and capacity information along with static information about airports, airspaces and air routes and provides decision-making tools to ATFM flow manager for collaborative decision making and to ensure regulated flow of traffic at each airport in India.

Purpose: C-ATFM system is primarily meant to balance capacity against demand so as to achieve optimum utilization of airport, airspace and aircraft.

Need: As country’s major airports are facing a massive infrastructure crunch and capacity constraints, with terminals handling way more passengers than their capacity to handle.

In such scenario this new system is expected to cut down on flight delays by synchronising aircraft movement with real time conditions.

Benefits Significance: With the help of C-ATFM all aviation stakeholders who are connected through various means of communications, and through dedicated networks, all of them can now access same information and everyone has same visibility towards each other’s resource requirements and resource availability.

This should now help ease up conditions at airports with maximum infra shortage such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and for other terminals which are fast becoming new pain points for flyers such as Patna and Lucknow.

Mauritania holds election for 1st time in 60yrs Mauritania, a country in Northwest Africa went to polls for the first time since the African nation gained independence from France nearly 60 years ago.

Presidential electionswere held inMauritaniaon 22 June 2019, with a second round planned for 6 July if no candidate had received more than 50% of the vote.The result was a first round victory forOuld Ghazouaniwho won in the first round with 52 percent of the vote.

PresidentMohamed Ould Abdel Aziz(62), who seized power in a military coup in 2008, agreed to step down and abide by serving period of maximum two five-year elected terms.

The Nepalese Embassy also notified that a citizen of Nepal who wants to pass immigration clearance of India while travelling to Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain are required to acquire No Objection Certificate (NOC) from respective Nepalese Embassies situated in those countries.

To get NOC, a traveler must have to submit an application to respective embassy along with relevant documents, including ticket and visa of the destination country, employment permit.

As per existing rule, a citizen of Nepal entering India by land/air directly from Nepal does not require a passport/Visa, but is required to possess an identity card that establishes his/her identity as a Nepalese national.

The ID documents which are considered valid for verifying individual’s identity includes Nepalese Passport, Nepalese Citizenship Certificate, Voter’s ID Card issued by Election Commission of Nepal and Limited Validity photo-identity certificate issued by Nepalese Embassy in India when deemed necessary.

Data Localization: The Book focuses in-depth on steps and concrete actions required to build highly capable data centres that will ensure data security, and implementation of well-thought-out policies, procedures, and laws on data sovereignty to ensure that India weakens all fear ofData Colonisationwell in time.

Although data is the new fuel which runs world, it is also a double-edged sword hence author also cautioned against data colonisation being not too far.

Risk: It identifies risks and gaps in areas such as regulatory policies, energy, water resource, network bandwidth, and risk &

It also attempts to set a clear objective for regulators to formulate a business-friendly, unambiguous, and strict policy environment for data centre business in India.

The digital data consumption in India is expected to increase two times as fast as global rate (from 0.6 zettabytes in 2013 to 6 zettabytes in 2020).

The key drivers for digital data consumption growth are sectors such as insurance, banking, telecommunications, IT, digital commerce, social media, and government sector.

In 2018, Indian data centre infrastructure market was valued at US$27billion, which by 2020 is expected to be second largest market within Asia-Pacific region.

The forming of a joint venture to set up National Electricity Distribution Company by NTPC, a leading power generator, and Power Grid, which owns India’s largest power transmission network, paves way for two to get into consumer electricity supply business.

Significance: As the announcement about Joint venture comes at a time when existing reform scheme UDAY (Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana) has been declared as a failure by several agencies, thus this move could also hint at another round of power distribution reforms.

Reform Includes: Separation of content and carriage businesses in power distribution which means that the infrastructure builder for power supply and supplier to consumers would be two separate companies.

Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojanawas launched by government of India in 2015 with aim of turning around the state-owned discoms financially and operationally as well as finding a permanent solution to financial mess that power distribution is in.

Although the financial part was concluded with states’ taking over losses of distribution companies and issuing bonds but operational front is still facing challenges.

Current Status: At the end of Financial Year 2019, Losses of state-owned discoms grew by more than 40% (Rs.21,658 crore) but at the same time, the dues of discoms to power Generation company (gencos) stood at Rs.38,023 crore.

Unique Flood Hazard Atlas Odisha has come out with a unique flood hazard atlas aided by satellite imagery, which is expected to help the coastal state manage floods more efficiently.

Base Period: Atlas is compiled on basis of historic flood inundation captured via satellite imagery over 18 years period from year 2001 to 2018.

Methodology: Firstly, all satellite data sets were analysed and flood layers were extracted from it, then all flood layers corresponding to a particular year were combined into one inundation layer, so that this layer represents maximum flooded area in 1 year period.

Then all such combined flood layers for a period of 18 years were integrated into flood hazard layer representing observed flood-inundated areas with different frequencies.

Also, as perOdisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), damages due to floods are mainly caused by Mahanadi, Brahmani and Baitarani, which havea common deltawhere floodwaters intermingle and when in series simultaneously cause havoc.

Flash Floods: Few districts in western and southern part of Odisha are prone to flash floods which are caused due to instant run-off from hilly catchments areas of rivers like,VamsadharaandBudhabalanga.

Hazard Prone: The entire coastal belt is prone to storm surges, which is commonly accompanied by heavy rainfall which then makes estuary region vulnerable to both storm surges and river flooding.

Out of this 13.96 lakh hectare flood-affected area nearly 2.81 lakh hectares of land falls under high inundated flood hazard categories (7-9 times) to very high inundated flood hazard categories (10-14 times).

Significance: In small areas and districts where there is no mobile connection, no internet and no television this new step will help in providing information and making them aware.

The DD Free Dish service will help even those people who are living in remote and distant areas of J&K and further aims to cover even those areas in country where TV has not reached so far.

In last minutes of match Gurjit, the top scorer of tournament, scored her second goal of match through a penalty corner to make it 3-1 and closed the victory for India.

Now, the kingdom’s accession came as global money laundering watchdog celebrated 30th anniversary of its 1st meeting held in Paris (France) in 1989.

Function: The Financial Action Task Force is an international group responsible for issuing international standards, policies and best practices forcombating money laundering,terrorist financingand proliferation and other related threats to integrity of international financial system.

Recent Developments: FATF has notified that Pakistan failed to complete its action plan on terror financing and has strongly urged Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan by October 2019 or else face consequences.

It will serve as a living memory of the tragic war which reinforces the message that history changes and will make the world learn from past which is required for a lasting peaceful world.

The Olympic Games are a symbol of hope and peace for all humankind, to signify this rooftop of headquarters takes the shape of a dove which is another universal symbol of peace.

betweenNDRFand shrine board in early 2019 was keeping in mind hilly terrain of region and emphasised the need for impartingAdvanced Disaster Management Trainingto shrine board staff in batches so as to keep them in state of readiness for effectively and promptly responding to any disaster situation.

Training Undertaken: NDRF is not charging any fee for training of shrine’s board staff that is being trained for ensuring a quick response in case of any fire incident, earthquake, landslides or any other emergency situation.

Now, the shrine board plans to train 180 employees by September 2020 to prepare a dedicated disaster response force for shrine.

Tasks Undertaken: For further augmenting disaster management preparedness an NDRF team would conduct acomprehensive auditof disaster management stores that are set up by Shrine board at various locations on pilgrimage track and in Bhawan area so that, wherever required, these are further replenished and strengthened by adding latest gadgets and equipment.

Mock Drill: In March 2019 an NDRF team conducted a mock exercise on yatra track near Bhawan area in order to analyze and evaluate level of preparedness to most effectively and promptly respond to any emergency situation.

The Book: It is expected to be an extraordinary, riveting and no-holds-barred saga in which the actor would make some behind-the-scenes revelations, and share anecdotes and rare nuggets from his life and the lessons it taught him.

Methane Level: Although Methane has been detected by the Curiosity team many times over the course of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program but this time unusually high’ levels of methane- about 21 parts per billion units by volume (ppbv) were reported.1 ppbvmeans that if we take a volume of air on Mars then 1 billionth of volume of air is methane.

Finding such high level of methane is exciting because microbial life is an important source of methane on Earth, thus it may help scientist to look for possibility of life outside Earth.

Dilemma: The methane on Red Planet can also be created through interactions between rocks and water and since Curiosity does not have instruments that can definitively say what exactly is the source of methane, or even if it is coming from a local source within Gale Crater or elsewhere on planet, it becomes impossible to tell if methane source is either biology or geology, or whether it is even ancient or modern.

They have also noted sudden spikes of methane gas, but again scientist team knows very little about how long these transient plumes last or why they are different from seasonal patterns.

Combining previous observations and current measurements from surface and from orbit could help scientists locate sources of gas on red planet and understand how long it lasts in Martian atmosphere.

687 days) however in December 2012 curiosity’s 2 year mission was extended indefinitely and rover is still operational as of 25 June 2019.

Agreement: Under the agreement ROK will provide financial and technical assistance to further research and development (R&D) collaboration, technology transfer and facilitate and develop business between India and Korea in med-tech (medical technology) sector specifically in area of prosthetic limbs, bionic arms, 3-D printing-based Flat foot solution and mobility solutions.

Significance The Korean ambassador emphasised that the agreement signed will open up access to Korean med-tech students to join various prosthetic fitment camps in various countries and participate in certificate programmes offered by Jaipur Foot.

ESA tests device to rescue injured astronauts… European Space Agency (ESA) recently tested a device calledEvacuation System Assembly(orLESA), which is designed to assist in astronaut rescue missions on the surface of Moon.

LESA can be transported like a golf caddy and placed close to the fallen astronaut, hence enabling an astronaut to lift their crewmate onto a mobile stretcher in less than 10 minutes, before carrying them to safety of a nearby pressurised lander.

Russia extends ban on EU Food Imports until end of 2020… Russian President Vladimir Putin recently signed a decree for extending Moscow’s embargo on food products being imported from the European Union (EU) to the end of 2020.

decree signed by President Vladimir Putin posted on Moscow’s official government website, reads that ban on produce, dairy, meat and most other foods imported from EU will now stretch to December 31, 2020.

Background: In 2014, following the international sanctions imposed by United States and other countries over Russia for its annexation of Crimea and support of east Ukraine’s separatists, Moscow in August 2014 imposed counter sanctions on most food imports from the European Union, US and several other countries.

Russia has now managed to benefit from Western economic pressure as it has started phasing out its imports and replacing them with domestically made products, even in sectors in which Moscow did not have any experience, thus giving boost to domestic producers.

Pakistan secures $3 billion bailout from Qatar… Cash-strapped Pakistan has secured a financial assistance in form of a bailout package of $3 billion from oil-rich Qatar, a day after Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad concluded his visit to Pakistan.

Pakistan and Qatar apart from stepping up cooperation in trade and economy also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate in field of exchange of financial intelligence related to money laundering and curbing terrorism financing.

During past 11 months, the Gulf state is 4th nation that has come forward at Pakistan’s rescue from default as when Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government tries to overcome a ballooning balance-of-payments (BOP) crisis.

In May 2019 Pakistan reached a preliminary agreement withInternational Monetary Fund(IMF) for $6 billion bailout package that was aimed at supporting Pakistan’s finances and for strengthening a slowing economy.

Government to launch Universal Smart Card Driving License… Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has decided to modify the format of driving licenses to smart card type driving licences so as to follow a standardised format nationwide.

Police reports in just of Delhi NCR region suggests that, cases of underage driving have jumped to 589% and in 1st 15 days of January 2019, 61 unpermitted juvenile cases were registered and issued with challans.

Proposed Changes: MoRTH seeks to modify current format of driving licenses to laminated card without chip or smart card type driving licences and which will include nationwide standardised format of placement of information, standardization of fonts etc.

For this purpose, RTOs (Regional Transport Offices) should issue a uniform format of driving licenses across nation using a universal smart card driving license format.

It has a common countrywide database of all driving license holders, with almost 15 crore driving license records being available in its central repository, which is a part of National Registry.

No Duplication: SARATHI has a unique feature to identify duplicate records in real time online basis and can also access information about challans if any, this then facilitates licencing authority that offender drivers do not get a duplicate driving licence.

It can be used for data collection, document management and analysis and will be used by financial institutions (like banks, finance companies) and law enforcement agencies such as police and designated non-financial businesses and professions (lawyers, accountants).

Over 900 entities including, banks, insurance companies and money exchange centres are required to register on goAML platform (nearly 50% of them have already registered).

It is European continent’s leading human rights organisation whose stated aim is to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.

Objective: to achieve a greater unity between its members countries for purpose of safeguarding and realising ideals and principles which are their common heritage and also to facilitate their economic and social progress.

Empowered Action Group– contains 5 states namely, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha which saw decline in overall Health Index score between base year and reference year due to deterioration of performances of several indicator.

Indicators: The decline is attributed to deterioration of performances of several indicators such as total fertility rate (TFR), low birth weight, sex ratio at birth, TB (tuberculosis) treatment success rate, quality accreditation of public health facilities, time taken for NHM (National Health Mission) fund transfer etc.

States like Kerala and Tamil Nadu have already reached 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target for neonatal mortality rate (NMR), which is 12 neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births.

Suggestions: Centre should spend 2.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on healt and state governments should increase their spending on health from an average of 4.7% to 8% of their budget (net state domestic product) on health.

Way Ahead: NITI Aayog is committed towards establishing Health Index as an annual systematic tool so as to propel states towards undertaking multi-pronged interventions to bring better health outcomes.

Bombay High Court (HC) upheld the reservation for Maratha community in government jobs and education constitutional valid but suggested to reduce the quota percentage from present 16% to 12-13%.

The court was hearing petitions challenging Maharashtra government’s decision granting 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions.

On 30 November 2018, following the state wide agitations by Maratha Community, the Maharashtra legislature passed a bill granting 16% reservation in education and government jobs for Marathas.

However, reservation to Marathas will be in addition to the existing 52% overall reservation in state and with additional 16% reservation, reservation quantum in state was expected to rise to 6 Amazon India Most Attractive Employer Brands in India 2019 According to Randstad Employer Brand Research (REBR),e-commerce player Amazon India has been rated as India’s most ‘attractive employer brand, followed by Microsoft India which emerged as the runner-up.

Toubro, (7) Nestle, (8) Infosys, (9) Samsung, (10) Dell Coverage: The Randstad research for year 2019 covered 75% of global economy with 32 participating countries and over 2 lakh respondents worldwide.

Although the gender differences between men and women on top three aspects were minimal, but women, attributed more importance to salary and benefits (49%) and work-life balance (47%) as compared to their male counterparts who ranked these as top aspects at 46% and 46% respectively.

The research captures views of more than2 lakh respondentswhich include general public (aged 18-65) on 6,162 companies in 32 countries.

It provides insights into drivers and perceptions of choice of potential employees by finding answers to questions such as- Why do people prefer one company, or a specific industry, over another and What motivates them to stay with an employer/start looking elsewhere?

Need: Being a disaster-prone state, it is essential for Himachal Pradesh to pay special heed to disseminating weather advisories as well as installing early warning systems in state.

Users can pseudonymously buy/cash out their Libra online or even at local exchange points (ex- grocery stores), and can spend it using interoperable 3rd-party wallet apps or Facebook’s own Calibra wallet.

The Libra value is meant to stay largely stable, so that it stays a good medium of exchange, and merchants can also have confidence that they won’t be paid a Libra today that’s then worth less tomorrow.

Libra- A Stablecoin: Libra’s value is attached to a basket of bank deposits and short-term government securities for stable international currencies, such as dollar ($), pound, euro, Swiss franc and Japanese yen.

It maintains basket of assets and can also change balance of its composition if necessary to offset major price fluctuations in any one foreign currency so as to keep value of a Libra consistent.

Other Cryptocurrency: Existing cryptocurrencies such asBitcoinandEthereumwere not properly engineered to scale to be a medium of exchange which made their unanchored price susceptible to huge and unpredictable swings further making it tough for merchants to accept as payment.

But with Facebook’s deep relation with 7 million advertisers and 90 million small businesses and its user experience prowess, it is well-poised to tackle this problem.

Minimum Education requirement for Transport Drivers The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has decided to remove requirement of minimum educational qualification (class 8th pass) for transport vehicle drivers in country.

Initially, Haryana state government had requested Centre for waiver of minimum educational qualification condition for drivers belonging to economically backward Mewat region of Haryana where the residing population is dependent for livelihood on low-income earning pursuits such as driving, and even though many people in region possessed required driving skill but not had required educational qualification, thus were finding it difficult to obtain driving license.

Benefits: This move will benefit skilled persons in economically backward areas and will open up employment opportunities for a large number of unemployed youth (especially rural areas), who may not have a formal education but are otherwise skilled and literate.

It will also help meet shortage of nearly 22 lakh drivers in country’s transport and logistics sector, which is hindering economic growth.

Balancing Act: Although removing the minimum educational qualification requirement is being welcomed but emphasis must be laid upon training and skill testing of drivers so that road safety is not compromised in any way.

India extends $15 Million assistance to Niger for holding AU summit India has for the first time extended$15Million financial support to Niger as a support for organising African Union (AU) summit scheduled to be held in 7-8 July 2019 in Niamey (Capital of Niger).

Both countries enjoys close relations and India has extended Lines of Credit to Niger worth$96.54million, for projects in transport, electrification, solar energy and potable drinking water.

This convention Centre by India in Niger is part of India’s plan to build chain convention centres across 20 African states as signature infrastructure projects which was until now an expertise for China.

IIT-Bombay best-ranked Indian institute in QS World Rankings The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-Bombay), has emerged as best-ranked Indian institute globally at 152nd position inQS World University Rankings’ 2020.IIT-Bombay has been securing top position among all Indian institutes for past three years and in 2020 edition it has improved its rank by 10 moving up places from 2018 ranking.

IISc Bangalorelost 14 places in this year’s ranking and ended at 184th place even when it achieved world’s 2nd-best score for research impact and secured full 100 marks for citations per faculty metric.

It is first step towards creating an indigenous space program by designing, building, operating, testing and launching 1st satellite for participating nations.

Therefore, based on an estimated population top 5 world’s populous nation will be- India is projected to remain world’s most populous country with about 1.5 billion inhabitants, followed by China (1.1 billion), Nigeria (733 million), United States (434 million), and Pakistan (403 million).

Ageing Population: The report projects that overall world’s population is ageing at such a fast rate that by 2050, 1 in 6 people in world will be part of age group of 65 (and above) as compared to 1 in 11 in 2019.

This declining trend in population being experienced by growing number of countries is attributed to sustained low levels of fertility or even high rates of emigration.

This years WPPP’s presents population estimates and projections describe 2 out of 4demographic megatrends– population growth and ageing other being migration and urbanization.

Namma Kolhapuri chappals Kolhapuris, the sturdy ethnic leather chappal (footwear) that rose from its humble rural origins to occupy high table of fashion globally, now has a Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

Significance of GI tag: Getting GI tag will open large markets, both domestic and international to artisans who produce Kolhapuris in 8 districts namely- Kolhapur, Sangli, Solapur and Satara districts of Maharashtra and Belgaum, Dharwad, Bagalkot and Bijapur districts of Karnataka.

King’s Prime MinisterVishwaguru Basavanna,wanted to create a casteless society and remove stigma attached to cobbler community, thus, the community embraced Lingayat faith and used its skills to start producing footwear that came to be known equally for its ruggedness and regal bearing.

GI is used on products/items which have specific geographical origin and possess qualities, reputation and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality.

Almost 20 years ago it started with providing 1,500 free school lunches every day and today it feeds 1.75 million children all over India with freshly prepared meals.

This is in recognition to the fact that some children may drop off education to do menial jobs to earn enough money to eat, and even if they do make it to classroom, an empty stomach can make it hard to concentrate.

FIFA latest Rankings In the latest FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) World Ranking Indian football team remains static at 101st place and Belgium continued to top.The FIFA Ranking ranks men’s national teams in association football.

It is a ranking system by FIFA, football’s world governing body, in which teams of member nations of FIFA are ranked based on their game results with the most successful teams being ranked highest.

Top 10 Countriesin Latest FIFA Rankings- (1) Belgium, (2) France (3) Brazil (4) England (5) Portugal (with +2), (6) Croatia (with -1), (7) Spain (with +2), (8) Uruguay (with -2), (9) Switzerland (with-1) and (10) Denmark Portugal climbed 2 places in latest FIFA rankings to 5th after it added the inaugural Nations League title to their European Championship crown.

Under newly appointed coachIgor Stimac, although Indian men lost to higher-ranked Curacao (by 1-3) before beating hosts Thailand 1-0, but still these results did not make any difference to India’s rankings as points made by India remained same at 1219 as that of previous list, issued on 4 April 2019.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks to ensure their ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) are grouted to a structure preferably wall, pillar, or floor by 30 September 2019 in a move to enhance security of cash vending machines.

Key Recommendations ATM Grouting: All ATMs shall be grouted to a structure (wall/pillar/floor) by end of September 2019, except for those ATMs which are installed in highly secured premises (ex- airports) or places which have adequate CCTV coverage and are guarded by state or central security personnel.

Extension: India’s space station project will be an extension of Gaganyaan Mission, which involves sending three Indian astronauts to space for 7 days in lower earth orbit (of 120-400 km).

Features: The proposed space station is anticipated to weigh about 20 tonnes, it would be placed in an orbit 400 km above earth and will serve as a facility where astronauts can stay for upto 15-20 days in space.

It is a spacecraft that designed to remain in space for an extended period of time and can be used for other spacecraft to dock as well as capable of supporting crew members, the most commonly known being the International Space Station (ISS).

Operation Sunrise 2: Armies of India, Myanmar target NE Militants Starting from 16 May 2019, the armies of India and Myanmar carried out a 3-week-long coordinated operation in their respective border areas called ‘Operation Sunrise 2’ to bust terror camps.

Background: In June 2015, days after NSCN-(K) militants killed 18 armymen in Manipur, Indian Army carried out an operation against the militants near Indo-Myanmar border areas.

Objective: The day is observed every year to promote public awareness about presence of desertification and drought, highlighting methods of preventing desertification and also about international efforts to combat desertification.

Concern: As per United Nation (UN), world is losing 24 billion tons of fertile soil ever year and National Domestic Product (NDP) in developing countries is reduced by up to 8 % annually due to dryland degradation.

Siginificance: WDCDD is a unique occasion that serves as a reminder global community that desertification can be effectively tackled and that solutions are possible with tools such as strengthening community participation and cooperation at all levels.

In last 5 years forest cover in India has increased and the government is committed towards improving it further as well for working towards betterment of farmer and environment protection.

Tariff War: India levies retaliatory tariffs on 28 US products In a tit-for-tat trade battle between the United States (US) and India, latter imposed higher tariffs on 28 American goods including almonds, apples and walnut in retaliation to US tariffs.

Among targetedUS products imported, the custom duty on walnut is increased from 30% to 120%, and on chickpeas, masur dal and Bengal gram (chana) has been raised from 30% to 70%.

Background: Initially the retaliatory tariff by India, were triggered by US announcing higher duties on Indian steel and aluminium in 2018 but were deferred multiple times in view of possible trade dialogue between the two countries.

Current Scenario: Lately, India had decided to levy higher tariffs following America’s withdrawal of $5.6 billion trade concessions given to India by US under theGeneralised System of Preferences(GSP) programme in June 2019 which benefitted Indian Exports.

Concern: The strain in trade relation between two economies (India-US) comes at a time when the global economic growth rate is projected to slow down as trade tensions among other major economies (like between US and China) weighs on business confidence and investments.

TheInternational Monetary Fund’s (IMF)World Economic Outlook(WEO, a biannual survey that is partly updated twice a year) in April 2019 forecasted a downfall in global growth to 3.3% for 2019, down from the 3.5% in January 2019.

Thus initially, the project will be aimed at developing and adapting best practices and monitoring protocols for country, and building capacity within 5 pilot States.

It is a global effort towards bringing 150 million hectares of world’s degraded and deforested land under restoration by the year 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.

At COP-13 (2015) in Paris, India also joined the voluntary Bonn Challenge pledge and had committed towards restoring 13 million hectares (MH) of degraded and deforested land by year 2020, and an additional 8 million hectares (MH) by 2030.

Despite the approval for imposing penalty, the inter-ministerial panel of DCC has asked Telecom Regulatory authority of India (TRAI) to review penalty amount worth ₹3,050 crore considering the financial stress in telecom sector.

The telecom regulator while recommended a fine for Airtel and Vodafone amounting to ₹1,050 crore each and for Idea it was ₹950 crore but since Vodafone and Idea have now merged to form Vodafone-Idea (becoming largest telecom carrier in India), the new entity will have to bear the combined burden.

In October 2016, TRAI recommended total penalty of ₹3,050 crore on 3 Telephone Company namely Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, for violating their licence agreement and denial of interconnection to newer entrant Reliance Jio which complained that more than 75% of calls on its Jio network failed as its rivals did not releasing sufficient number of points of interconnect (PoI).

TRAI also upheld that the act of 3 operators was against public interest and in violation of their licence agreement, which warrants revocation of operator’s licence.

The body governs WTA Tour which is worldwide professional tennis tour for women Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) It was founded in September 1972 by Jack Kramer, Donald Dell, and Cliff Drysdale (who became 1st President of body) to protect the interests of male professional tennis players.

Centre reconstitutes 8 key Cabinet Committees Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government which stormed back into power for a second term at Centre after recently concluded17thLok Sabhaeletion, reconstitutedeight key cabinet committees.

Chandrababu Naiduissued a government order number 176 ( GO 176), on 8 November 2018 withdrawing ‘general consent‘ to CBI officers for exercising jurisdiction in state and for investigating corruption charges against central government officials and private persons.

Prayuth Chan-ocha elected as new Prime Minister of Thailand National Assembly of Thailand(Thailand’s Parliament) elected 2014 coup leaderPrayuth Chan-ochaas Prime Minister after military-backed party that nominated Prayuth won 2nd-highest number of seats in House of Representatives (lower house of Thailand’s Parliament) in a general election held in March 2019.

Waste-to-energy Plant: Expectation: RBI Monetary Policy review The Reserve bank of India (RBI) in its bi-monthly monetary policy review reduced repo rate by 25 basis points to 5.75% from current 6.0% with immediate effect.

IAF inks Rs 300 crore deal to procure SPICE 2000 bombs from Israel Indian Air Force (IAF) signed Rs.300 crore deal with Israel’sRafael Advanced Defense Systems, an Israeli defence firm to procure a batch of SPICE 2000 guided bombs.

Cabinet extends PM-KISAN to all farmers The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has comprehensively extended ambit ofPradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi(PM-KISAN) to all land holding eligible farmer families who will avail benefits under the scheme (but subject to existing exclusion factor).

China launches Space Rocket from Yellow Sea for 1st time China launched a space rocket named “Long March 11” from a mobile launch platform in Yellow Sea off Shandong province (China) for the first time.

Bimal Jalan led panel defers report on RBI surplus funds The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) committee led by Bimal Jalan (former RBI governor) constituted for considering guidelines for transfer of central bank’s surplus funds to government delayed submitting its report after lack of consensus among its members.

Members: The six member committee headed by Bimal Jalan includes- Rakesh Mohan (former deputy governor of RBI) as vice-chairman, Subhash Chandra Garg (finance secretary), N S Vishwanathan (RBI deputy governor), and lastly RBI central board members Sudhir Mankad and Bharat Doshi.

The Bimal Jalan led panel will now meet one more time before submitting its report by end of June 2019 and the delay in finalising report which may be over difference of opinion will also be discussed.

Cabinet approves Governor’s Rule in J&K for another 6 months The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the extension of President’s rule under article 356(4) of Indian Constitution, in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) for a period of 6 more months, beginning from 3 July 2019.

The present term of President’s Rule is expiring on 2 July 2019 but as recommended by J&K Governor, the President Rule in State may be extended for a further period of six months with effect from 3 July 2019 if it gets parliamentary approval.

President’s Rule in a state can continue for a period of 6 months at a time and after this period it can be extended for another term with approval of both houses of Parliament (Lok Sabhaand Rajya Sabha) but for a maximum period of 3 years.

He was acknowledged for in his novels which treads through historical settings to modern era and weaves a space where past connects with present in relevant ways.

Literary Themes: The majorthematic concernsin is literature includes migration and interconnections across places, cultures and races, as well as human distress and suffering caused by historical turbulences, especially at level of girmitiyas, coolies and lascars.

Xi showcased China’s readiness in joining hands with Kyrgyzstan so as to deepen traditional friendship between two countries and also towards pushing forward Kyrgyzstan-China comprehensive strategic partnership for new bilateral achievements which will benefit the people of two countries.

Global Peace Index 2019: India ranked 141 In the recently released Global Peace Index (GPI) of Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), India’s rank slipped by five places to 141 among 163 countries on GPI 2019 and Iceland was ranked 1st.

The report observed that China, India and Bangladesh score in bottom half of GPI and have significant exposure to climate hazards, with over 393 million people in high climate hazard areas Report Analysis As per the index findings, although global peacefulness improved for first time in past five years but world now remains less peaceful than a decade ago.

While the state sponsored terror has declined significantly over the last decade, with 62 countries improving their scores and only 42 deteriorated but imprisonment data shows the opposite trend with 95 countries increasing the imprisonment rate compared to 65 that improved.

Background: The decision to set up a new agency for developing space warfare weapon systems was taken some time ago at the topmost level and the agency has already started taking shape under a Joint Secretary-level scientist.

Significance: This newly approved space agency DSRA will develop sophisticated weapon systems and technologies so as to enhance capabilities of armed forces to fight wars in space.

The test also helped India to develop deterrence capability against adversaries who may want to attack Indian satellites to cripple systems in times of war.

FDI to India:It grew by 6% to$42billion in 2018 saw strong inflows in manufacturing, financial services sectors, communication and cross-border merger and acquisition activities.

India has historically accounted for 70% to 80% of inflows that came to the South Asian region.Among other countries in South Asian region, FDI flows to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh rose to record level, to$1.6billion and$3.6billion respectively, but Pakistan witnessed a 27% decline in investment to$2.4billion.

It was established in 1964 for integrated treatment of trade and development and related issues in areas of investment, finance, technology, enterprise development and sustainable development.

Its mandate is to maximize trade, investment and development opportunities of developing countries and assist them in their efforts towards integrating into world economy on an equitable basis without any bias.

No-frills airline SpiceJet became fourth Indian airline to have a 100 aircraft in its fleet after a recent induction of a Boeing 737 which became its 100th plane.

States miss deadline for submitting Action Plan on Waste Disposal Over 25 State governments missed the deadline for submitting their action plans on systematic disposal of plastic waste to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Moreover, NGT ordered that if any state fails to submit action plans within designated deadline it will have to pay the pollution body compensation at the rate of ₹1 crore per month after 1 May 2019.

Key Highlights Definition: Three Dimensions:The syndrome is characterised by three dimensions – Significance:Classifying “burn-out” in ICD could help put to rest years of debate among experts about how to define burnout, and whether it should be considered a medical condition or not.

The indicators are used to evaluate country’s ability to foster an environment where enterprises can achieve desirable sustainable growth, generate employment and increase its citizen’s welfare.

Key Highlights Punjab bans Online Food Delivery without Hygiene Rating The Punjab government has decided to make it mandatory for all online food aggregators to ensure that food supplied by them should compulsorily havehygiene rating as per Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) guidelines.

On occasion of World Tobacco Day which was observed on 31 May, ICMR released a white paper (an authoritative report or guide that informs readers about an issue) about harmful effects of ENDS and e-cigarettes.

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved Rs.3000 monthly pension scheme for small retail traders and shopkeepers after they attain the age of 60 years.

Under a new rule, the United States has asked all Visa applicants to must provide information on their social media use and declare their social media profiles going back five years.

Background: In January 2019 the RBI had set up the five-member panel under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani to provide suggestions on deepening digital payments with a view of encouraging digitization of payments and of enhancing financial inclusion through digitization.

Google Maps launches new public transport features in Indian Google Maps has announced three India-first public transport navigation features with an aim to ease daily commute of users.

Starting from 5 June 2019, Google Maps users will be able to see bus travel times from live traffic across ten Indian cities, get live train status for Indian Railways and even getmixed-mode commute suggestionswhich now combines auto-rickshaw and public transport.

Indian Navy deploys P81 to increase Anti-Piracy Patrol The Indian Navy recently deployed itsP8I surveillance planesfor carrying out anti-piracy patrol sorties from Salalah (in Oman) to patrol theGulf of Adenand other piracy prone areas.

SDG Gender Index In first-ever SDG Gender Index which measures progress made in achieving gender commitments against internationally set targets, India was ranked 95th out of a total 129 countries.

Therefore, road and infrastructure development towards the (Sino-India) international border should act as a boon for exploration and extraction of mineral at the same time meeting India needs and reducing imports.

Key Facts e-Vidhan: Kerala Assembly to Digitize all its Records The Kerala Legislative Assembly recently announced an initiative to digitize all its records and proceedings under its ambitious project called E-Vidhan which enables state legislature to go fully digital and completely paperless.

Key Features India Signs ‘Christchurch Call to Action’ Initiative India has recently joined a major global initiative called ‘Christchurch call to action’ to combat extremismand terrorism online and make internet a safe and secure place.

Same-sex marriage is also due to become legal inCosta Rica.Israelrecognizes same-sex marriages entered into abroad as full marriage Geographical Facts: Taiwan US President unveils Merit-Based Immigration System The United States President Donald Trump has proposed rolling out of a new immigration plan named ‘merit-based immigration system’.

Key Highlights ISRO announces Seven Mega Missions The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), recently announced its planned seven mega missions, including Chandrayaan-2 (India’s second lunar exploration mission) which will be conducted over a period of next 10 years.

The rest six are classified as: SC Verdict: Foreigners Tribunal decision will prevail over NRC The Supreme Court of India has held that a Foreigner Tribunal’s order declaring a person as an illegal foreigner will be binding and will prevail over government decision to include or exclude name from National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.

Key Highlights Objective:The coordinated patrol (CORPAT) initiative between the Indian Navy and Myanmar Navy seeks to address issues of terrorism, human trafficking, poaching, illegal fishing, drug trafficking and other illegal activities harmful to interest of both nations.

In a move of partial withdrawal from JCPOA Iran will pull out of some commitments such as: Recent Developments US Stand on Issue Reasons given for Withdrawal: About JCPOA Royal Bengal Tigers may not survive Climate Change According to a recent UN report, Climate change and rising sea levels may eventually wipe out ‘The Sundarbans’, which is one of world’s last and largest tiger strongholds.

About the Claims Plastic Waste included in Basel Convention After 12 days of negotiations under the patronage of United Nations (UN) around 180 governments agreed on a new UN accord to regulate the movement and export of plastic waste between their national borders.

About the Stamp India to stop Importing Crude Oil from Iran In the backdrop of theUS refusal to extend the sanctions waiver for India to import crude from Iran, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has taken steps necessary steps to end the imports from Iran.

Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority Further to enhance its reach, the IEPF Authority is also in the process of commissioning an online facility to collect primary information directly from retail investors about the deposits which have matured and are still pending with various entities for repayment or payment of interests.

The mission comprises of two satellites launched together: The mission will undertake a comprehensive study of Mercury, including characterization of its magnetic field, magnetosphere, and both interior and surface structure.

The flybys of Venus will provide an opportunity to operate some of the instruments on both orbiters and to collect scientifically valuable data to further study this fascinating planet while en route to the mission’s destination Mercury.

Studying these internal structures will aid in answering the early formation of rocky planets in our inner solar system – Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars – more than 4 billion years ago, as well as rocky exoplanets.

million species risk extinction due to humans: Draft UN report According to draft of UN report set to be released on May 6, 2019, up to One million world species are at risk of extinction due to human activity.

This 44-page draft report which has summarized 1,800-page assessment of scientific literature on the state of Nature conducted by the UN will be examined on 29 April, 2019 by 130 nations that will meet in Paris, France.

With aim of regulating international trade in conventional arms (from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships), it was entered into force in 2014.

-The member nations are required tokeep records of international trade of weaponsand prohibit cross-border shipments that can be used for human rights violations or attacks on civilians.

It reaffirms UN Charter and its principles of resolving disputes among countries by peaceful means and acknowledges use of multilateral decision-making and diplomacy in achieving peaceful resolutions to conflicts among nations.

The World Intellectual Property Day was observed globally on 26 April 2019 to spread awareness about important role played by intellectual property rights (IPRs) such as Patents, Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Copyrights in encouraging innovation and creativity.

Key Facts Background In 1993, women were inducted as Army officers and were given only Short Service Commission (a period of 10 years which can be extended up to 14 years) and inducted in combat support branches and support services.

It saw participation of126 countries and 29 international organisations,increase from 60 countries and international organisations seen in in first edition of BRF 2017.

Italy and China signed an MoU with deals worth 2.5 billion euros including working together to develop Italy’s port infrastructure, transport and logistics.

India finishes Asian Wrestling Championships 2019 with 16 medals India finished Asian Wrestling Championships tournament held in Xian, China with a total of 16 medals which included eight (one gold, three silver and four bronze) won by men’s freestyle wrestlers, four bronze by women and three silver and one bronze by Greco-Roman wrestlers.

The second named storm and the first severe cyclonic storm of the2019 North Indian Ocean cyclone season, Fani originated from a tropical depression that formed west ofSumatrain the Indian Ocean on 26 April.

After moving away from the wind shear, Fani began torapidly intensify, and became anextremely severe cyclonic stormon 30 April 2019, the first severe cyclonic storm of the season.

Fani reached its peak intensity on 2 May, as a high-end extremely severe cyclonic storm, and the equivalent of a high-end Category 4 major hurricane.

This is where most of the damage occurs within a mature tropical cyclone, such as a typhoon or hurricane, as most of the damaging aspects of these systems are concentrated near theeyewall.

Prior to its landfall, authorities in India and Bangladesh moved at least a million people each from Fani’s projected path onto higher ground and into cyclone shelters, which is thought to have reduced the resultant death toll.

ISSF World Cup Rifle 2019 Centre increases Wheat Import Duty by 40% With wheat production at record high, government has raised import duty on wheat from existing 30% to 40% to support local farmers interest.

The higher duty will help offtake of domestically produced grain by discouraging milers to import wheat but to buy local produce and help protect farm prices.

The oversupply in domestic market due to back to back bumper production of food grains has put wheat prices under pressure.

In Bharati Script characters these different components are separable by design, therefore, OCR works quite accurately, giving almost 100% accuracy even with mild noise added.

In September 2018, Supreme Court in unanimous decision partly struck down IPC Section 377, thus removing ban imposed on consensual gay sex and affirming human rights of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena used his emergency powers to issue an order to ban burqa, veil or covering of face in public places in any manner which prevents anyone from being identified.

Current State of Cybercrime Report 2019 According to whitepaper ‘Current State of Cybercrime-2019’, released by RSA Security (is an American computer and network security company of parent organization Dell Technologies), social media fraud has increased by 43% in 2018.

Key Findings Steps taken by Government Government has undertaken number of legislative, technical and institutional measures for addressing cyber security issues and strengthening cyber security system in country.

United Nations Security Council 1267(UNSC) Committee Russia President Putin signs “Sovereign Internet” law Russian President Vladimir Putin on 2 May 2019 signed into law a “sovereign internet” bill which will allow Russian authorities to isolate the country’s internet.

It will be conducted in two phases, with –first part of Varuna 19.1, conducted off the Goa coast from 1st to 10th May 19 and -Second part, Varuna 19.2, is scheduled to be held at end of May 2019 inDjibouti.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sentenced in UK prison Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange was sentenced on 1 May 2019 to 50 weeks (about 1 year 1 month) in a British prison for breaching his bail by entering the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Key Facts Why a Clean Ganga Never Became a Reality Rivers are a source of life and in India, this has become deadly resource due to rising levels of pollution in the rivers as tonnes of waste finds its way into them thereby polluting waters and further choking their natural flow.

Afghans call for ceasefire as “Loya Jirga” Peace Summit wraps up Afghanistan on 29 April 2019 convened rare “Loya Jirga”, a four day long grand assembly or massive meeting for delegates from across country to discuss war and efforts of United States to forge a peace deal with Taliban.

INS Imphal Arab League pledges $100m to Palestine The Arab League has pledged to pay $100 million a month to the Palestinian National Authority to plug the resulting gaps since Israel has blocked tax transfers earlier in the year.

The league aims to “draw closer the relations between member States and co-ordinate collaboration between them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty, and to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries”.

Iran and Pakistan to set up a Joint Border Reaction Force Iran and Pakistan have agreed to set up a joint border reaction force following to counter the increasing number of deadly attacks by militant groups on their frontier.

Hence together with increasing cooperation between border forces and intelligence agencies, both nations have decided to form a joint quick reaction force on the border of the two countries for fighting terrorism.

Hence the Ministry of Finance has requested all ministries and departments to prioritised guarantee requirement for 2019-20 to include only such proposals where the loan agreement can be signed and guarantee agreement can be executed during the year.

SAECK The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has distributed over 3,100 special kits SAECKs for collecting blood and semen samples, besides other evidence, to carry out immediate investigations into sexual assault cases among states and Union Territories.

Dentists to be allowed to practice as General Physicians Government’s Think tank Niti Ayog has agreed to the proposal of the Dental Council of India which had sought to allow dentists to practice as general physicians after a bridge course.

The proposal was in the backdrop of the call by the Prime Minister’s office to explore unconventional methods to address the shortage of doctors in the country, particularly in rural areas.

The2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings Were a series of coordinatedterrorist attacksthat occurred on 21 April 2019,Easter Sunday, when threeChristianchurches acrossSri Lankaand three luxury hotels in the commercial capitalColombowere targeted in a series of suicide bombings.

According to government officials, all seven of the suicide bombers in the near-simultaneous attacks were Sri Lankan citizens associated withNational Thowheeth Jama’ath, a local militantIslamistgroup with suspected foreign ties, previously known for attacks againstBuddhists.

Anthony’s Shrine,The Kingsbury,Shangri-La Hotel On 23 April 2019,Amaq News Agency, a propaganda outlet for themilitantIslamic terrorismorganisation,Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant(ISIL), claimed that the bombers were ISIL fighters answering its call to attack citizens ofthe coalition which has intervened against the group.

In the discussions held with the automotive manufacturers while the two-wheeler makers have expressed their inability in meeting the criteria for 50% localisation citing their limitations, the makers of electric buses have agreed to localise.

As a result, the world is facing the greatest rate of extinction and the rapid extinction of species in our world today is the result of human activity.

Earth Day celebrations are a way to remind humans of the environmental deterioration caused by them and advise them to turn off the electronic devices that are not in use or taking public transport to reduce the emission levels.

Amendments Proposed Criticisms against the Amendments The referendum comes eight years after a pro-democracy uprising ended Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade autocratic rule, and nearly six years after el-Sisi led a popular military overthrow Egypt’s first freely elected but divisive Islamist president,Mohammed Morsi.

Nekton Mission Nekton Mission is aimed at enhancing the humanities knowledge and understanding of the world’s oceans to speed up the protection and governance of our last great wilderness, the deep ocean.

During the process, the patient-specific biological materials served as the bio-inks (substances made of sugars and proteins that can be used for 3D printing of complex tissue models).

The GSLV continuation programme was initially sanctioned in 2003, and two phases have been completed and the third phase is in progress and expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2020-21.

President trump has stated the following reasons for vetoing theUS Congress resolution: President Trump has called the resolution as an unnecessary and a dangerous attempt to weaken his constitutional authorities.

It was the second veto during his presidency, earlier he had vetoed a congressional resolution which was aimed to reverse the border emergency President Trump had declared in order to secure more funding for his wall between the United States and Mexico.

President has stated that during his consultation with the political parties elected to the incoming 120-seat parliament 65 MPs have recommended you Benjamin Netanyahu as PM whereas 45 members supported his main rivals from the Blue and White alliance led by ex-military chief Benny Gantz and the 10 members of the Arab parties recommending nobody.

The statement by the Russian Government has stated that Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi was decorated with the Order of St Andrew the Apostle – the highest state decoration of Russia – for exceptional services in promoting special and privileged strategic partnership between the Russian Federation and the Republic of India and friendly relations between the Russian and Indian peoples.

Peace Keeping Mission in Haiti was known as MINUSTAH, a French acronym which stood for “The United Nations is not leaving.” MINUSTAH began operations in Haiti in 2004, when a violent rebellion swept the country and forced then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide out of power and into exile.

The mission with additional help from the U.S. and other nations is credited with stabilizing the country, particularly after the January 2010 earthquake, and building up the national police force.

But a stabilization group had stayed back to train national police, help the government strengthen judicial and legal institutions and monitor human rights.

CMFRI, ISRO ink MoU to protect Smaller Wetlands TheCentral Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI)and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)have signed an MoU to map, validate and protect smaller wetlands in the coastal region and restore them through coastal livelihood programmes.

Smaller wetlands (which were smaller than 2.25 hectares) cover an area of more than 5 lakh hectares across the country, with Kerala alone having as many as 2,592 such wetlands.

Indian Medal Tally Cologne Boxing World Cup earlier known asChemistry Cup witnessed participation from more than 20 nations and 160 boxers in seven women and ten men weight classes.It is one of the strongest international events in Europe with nearly 50 years of traditions.

SC directs political parties to furnish receipts of electoral bonds in to EC The Supreme Court has directed all political parties to furnish details about the receipts of electoral bonds in a sealed cover to the Election Commission.

Electoral Bond Scheme Interim Order of the Supreme Court The Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by an NGO which challenged the validity of the scheme and sought that either the issuance of electoral bonds be stayed or names of donors be made public to ensure transparency in the poll process.

In an interim order passed by the Supreme Court, the apex court has directed all political parties to provide details of the amount and bank account of donors by May 30 to the Election Commission.

PMLA Tribunalhad held that….third parties, banks in this case, which have legitimately created rights such as a charge, lien or other encumbrances, …..have a superior claim over such properties.

The first successful flight test was performed on Saturday, April 13, 2019.[26]The aircraft flew for 2.5 hours, achieving a speed of 304 kilometers/hour and altitudes up to 5,181 meters (17,000 feet) .

This method, when employed for orbital payload insertion, presents significant advantages over conventional verticalrocketlaunches, particularly because of the reduced mass, thrust and cost of the rocket.

The principal advantage of a rocket being launched by a high flying airplane is that -It need not fly through the low, dense atmosphere, the drag of which requires a considerableamount of extra work and thus mass ofpropellant.

a fixed nozzle geometry cannot provide optimal exhaust expansion over the full range of ambient pressure, and represents a compromise solution.

Issue of Dual Control Acting on the earlier order which had asked the Home and Defence Ministries to hold a meeting to resolve the matter and place before it the decision taken in an affidavit, the Home Ministry had stated that a note had been sent to the Cabinet Committee on Security on the issue.

The doctors transferred genetic material with chromosomes from the mother to the egg of a donor whose own genetic material had been removed in a process.

But this case from Greece is unique owing to the fact that for the first time an IVF (in vitro fertilization) technique using DNA from three people has been deployed to allow a mother otherwise unable to conceive to have a child.

In-vitro Fertilisation In-vitro Fertilization is an artificial reproduction technique wherein the process of fertilization happens by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory set-up.

Since the mid-2000s, theUnited Stateshas been carrying out …targeted killings ofAl-Qaedamilitants inYemen, although the U.S. government generally does not confirm involvement in specific attacks conducted byunmanned aerial vehiclesas a matter of policy.

Yemen Civil War- The conflict has its roots in the failure of a political transition supposed to bring stability to Yemen following an Arab Spring uprising that forced its longtime authoritarian president, ……Ali Abdullah Saleh, to hand over power to his deputy,…..Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, in 2011.

As president, Mr Hadi……struggled to deal with a variety of problems, including attacks by…… jihadists, a separatist movement in the south, the continuing loyalty of security personnel to Saleh, as well as….corruption, unemployment and food insecurity.

In 2018, the United Nations warned that 13 million Yemeni civilians face starvation in what it says could become “the worst famine in the world in 100 years.” Yemen’s food supplies might run out in two months, charity warns The foreign powers involved have been accused of exploiting the crisis to expand their respective spheres ofinterest within the region.

Saudi Arabia duly retaliated against the rebelsin March 2015, raining down brutal air strikes as part of operation “Decisive Storm” at the instigationofMohammed bin Salman, the country’s defence minister prior to his accession to position of crown prince.9 While theSaudi-led coalitionbegan by targeting Houthimilitary strongholds, its bombing campaign quickly shifted tocivilian targets .The countryside has meanwhile been litteredwith landminesand other explosive devices as a result of the fighting, posing a further threat to human lifeon terra firma and making the ploughing of fields impossible.

The UK hassoldmore than £4.6bn worth of arms to the Saudis since the beginning of the Yemeni conflict in March 2015, according to the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, including aircraft, drones, grenades, missiles and tanks.

NIIF-Roadis to set up platform to invest in Road Projects TheNational Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)and global transport infrastructure operator Roadis will jointly set up a platform to invest up to $2 billion of equity in road projects in India.

NIIF Funds Currently,NIIFis managing the capital invested through three funds, namely: NIIF’srole in infrastructure funding has acquired great significance in recent years, in the backdrop of most public-sector banks are struggling to cope with toxic assets and IL&FS, a key infrastructure refinancer until last year been ridden by the crisis.

The 5G technology is crucial for the future development of devices such as self-driving vehicles and is expected to bring about $565 billion in global economic benefits by 2034.

Japan names new imperial era as Reiwa Japan has revealed the name of the era which will define the new emperor’s reign when he ascends the Chrysanthemum Throne next month following a historic abdication.

The norms set the limit for the release of air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, particulate matter (PM) and sulphur oxides from vehicles using internal combustion engines.

US approves sale of 24 MH 60 Romeo Seahawk helicopters to India The United States Department of State on Tuesday approved the sale of 24 multi-role MH-60 Romeo Seahawk helicopters to India at a price of $2.4 billion (Rs 16,516 crore).

Sale of MH 60 Romeo Seahawk helicopters MH-60 Romeo Seahawk helicopters are considered as the most capable naval helicopter available today and are currently deployed with the US Navy as the primary anti-submarine warfare anti-surface weapon system for open ocean and littoral zones.

RBI Cuts Key Interest Rate The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has slashed the key interest rate,repo rateby 25 basis points or 0.25 per cent to 6 per cent and has decided to maintain the neutral policy stance.

The report notes that there were some steps that were taken by the authorities to boost capital buffers in banks and also to improve governance in state-owned banks that have had some positive impact.

Justice Joseph in his judgment has stated that through Section 8(2) of the RTI Act, Parliament has appreciated that it may be necessary to pit one interest against another and to compare the relative harm and then decide either to disclose or to decline information.

If higher public interest is established, it is the will of Parliament that the greater good should prevail though at the cost of lesser harm being still occasioned State of World Population 2019 TheUnited NationsPopulation Fund has released the State ofWorldPopulation 2019 report.

Findings of the Report The report for the first time has published data on women’s ability to make decisions over three key areas: sexual intercourse with their partner, contraception use and health care.

The Report Looking ahead to future challenges highlights the threat to women’s and girls’ reproductive rights posed by emergencies caused by conflict or climate disaster Jamia Millia Islamia gets its First Woman Vice-Chancellor The Ministry of Human Resources and Development has issued a statement about appointing Professor Najma Akhtar as vice–chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI) by the President of India.

World Summit on the Information Society Awards World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Awards were instituted as per requests from the WSIS stakeholders to create an effective mechanism to evaluate and recognize individuals, governments, civil society, local, regional and international agencies, research institutions and private-sector companies for outstanding success in implementing development oriented strategies that leverage the power of ICTs as an enabler of the development.

The Summit provides an opportunity for information exchange, knowledge creation and sharing of best practices, while identifying emerging trends and fostering partnerships, taking into account the evolving Information and Knowledge Societies.

Over the years, the award has evolved into an honour bestowed upon individuals who make an impact in the financial hub of London, referred to as the City or theSquare Mile Deepa Malik wins New Zealand PM’s Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship Rio Paralympicssilver medallistDeepa Malikwas named as the recipient of the New Zealand Prime Minister’sSir Edmund Hillary Fellowshipfor 2019 in recognition of her inspiring achievements.

The citation states that the Deepa Malik exemplifies two values that make a great sportsperson: courage and a can-do attitude.Deepa is an inspiring achiever who can confidently and proudly carry forward our message of inclusivity and the pursuit of excellence.

Air Pollution and Indian Cities Air Quality Index The Air Quality Index between 0 and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”, as per pollution control authorities.

Wisden Cricketer of the Year Hong Kong’s stock market overtakes Japan to be world’s third largest Hong Kong’s equity market has overtakenJapanto be the world’s third largest in value, behind only the U.S. and mainland China.

It envisages extending broadband and application services to the public.RailTel is working to establish bringing fast and free Wi-Fi at all stations (except the halt stations) within a year.

The awards aim to recognise excellence across the international water industry and reward those initiatives in the water, wastewater, and desalination sectors, which can bring remarkable improvements in the lives of people.

The summit attracts high-level executives from industry, municipalities and international water companies and provides the opportunity to connect with hard-to-reach industry insiders that will not attend any other water event.

The summit provides a platform for connecting the public and private sector and for accelerating change and innovation within the sector, it attracts the most influential industry representatives and also becomes a forum for business development and expanding your network.

PM May Repeats ‘deep regret’ Jallianwala Bagh British Prime Minister Theresa May reiterated the UK government’s long-standing expression of ‘deep regret’ over theApril 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacreand called the massacre a ‘shameful scar’ on British Indian history.

About the Procurement Deal The acquisition is expected to tackle the problem of Indian Army’s 4000- strong tank fleet has been battling with night blindness in the past and these new tanks would help in doing away with that.

total of 3,127 institutions participated in the ranking process under overall rankings, category-specific and domain-specific ranking and 4,867 applications for rankings were made by the total applicant institutions under various categories and domains.

SC directs EC to raise random matching of VVPAT slips The Supreme Court has directed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to increase the random matching of paper trail machine slips with EVM results from one to five polling booths in each assembly segment for the multiphaseLok Sabhapolls.

IRGC and Quds Force IRGC is an ideologically-driven branch of the armed forces of Iran set up in 1979 after Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution to protect the newly established Islamic system from hostile foreign powers and internal dissensions.

Day Before The Election Commission of India (ECI) has barred parties, candidates and others from publishing political advertisements on polling day and a day prior to it in each of the seven phases ofLok Sabhapolls unless their contents are pre-certified by screening committees.

Using its constitutional powers, the Election Commission has directed no political party, candidates or others will publish any advertisement in the print media on the day and one day prior to polling day in all the phases unless they are pre-certified by the screening committees.

India evacuates peacekeeping CRPF contingent from Libya India has evacuated its entire contingent of peacekeeping forces comprising of 15 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel from Tripoliafter the situation in the war-hit nation suddenly worsened.

Even though there is an UN-backed internationally recognised government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj, Libya is governed by rival authorities in the east and in Tripoli, in the west, each backed by various armed groups.

Guidelines of Election Commission The Election Commission has asked the political parties tonot criticise other countries, or make any verbal attack on any community or religion, use defamatory or obscene remarks or incite violence during the broadcast time allocated in public broadcasting agencies.

The Solar energy also regulates global climate, which, in turn, influences local weather conditions and the same energy is also absorbed by the oceans which carry it around the planet, creating further conditions for diverse marine life to exist.

Global Energy Transition Index 2019 The Global Energy Transition index 2019 report has been released by the WorldEconomic Forum (WEF).The index compares the energy sectors of 115 countries and analyses their readiness for energy transition.

The index benchmarks the countries energy systems based on an “energy triangle”, comprised of energy security and access, economic development and growth, environmental sustainability and how well they are set-up to succeed in the future.

The index takes into account six individual indicators: capital and investment, regulation and political commitment, institutions and governance, institutions and innovative business environment, human capital and consumer participation, and energy system structure.

Even though it is a legal way of dismissing the batsmen, it is considered as unethical and against the spirit of the RBI slaps penalty on PNB for violating SWIFT norms The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has fined Punjab National Bank (PNB) Rs 2 crorefor violation of compliance with regulatory directions regarding SWIFT operations.

The RBI has toughened the stance against banks on all kind of regulatory norms post PNB fraud which put it to question the ability of the central bank.

President Ram Nath Kovind honoured with highest civilian award of Croatia President Ram Nath Kovind has been honoured with Croatia’s highest civilian award …the Grand Order of the King of Tomislav.The Indian President was honoured during his visit to Croatia to strengthen the bilateral ties.

Croatia’s highest civilian award the Grand Order of the King of Tomislav is awarded to heads of state for their important contribution towards the development of state relations between Croatia and their respective countries.

Mission Shakti Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India has successfully test-fired ananti-satellite (A-SAT) missile by shooting down a live satellite.The project named as Mission Shakti was led by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was aimed at strengthening India’s overall security.

But as an added advantage the capability achieved through the anti-satellite missile test provides credible deterrence against threats to our growing space-based assets from long-range missiles and proliferation in the types and numbers of missiles.

Pentagon authorises fund transfer to build US-Mexico Border Wall The Pentagon has notified theUS Congress that it has authorised the transfer of USD 1 billionto begin building a new wall along the US-Mexico border.

Increasing levels of Carbon dioxide and Wheat productivity Scientists are worried over sustaining food production and productivity of major crops like wheat, paddy, and maize due to the increasing levels of carbon dioxide.

There has been optimism in tropical countries like Greenland, Canada, Northern China and Europewhere annual temperatures are currently well below the optimum range for the growth of wheat and an increase in temperature would be beneficial to them with a possibility of a hike in wheat productivity.

Study by Indian Institute of Technology- Kharagpur The Indian Institute of Technology- Kharagpur explored the possibility of nutrient management as a way to sustain wheat productivity even at higher concentrations of carbon dioxide by creating an artificial carbon dioxide-rich environment and applied different levels of nitrogen to wheat crop along with the recommended dosage of fertilizers.

The findings of the study are: The study concludes that Wheat production under the elevated carbon dioxide environment in Eastern India might be maintained or improved through the normal and increased dose of nitrogen fertilizer application.

Election Commission of India on Electoral Bonds- An electoral bond is designed to be a bearer instrument like a Promissory Note — in effect, it will be similar to a bank note that is payable to the bearer on demand and free of interest.

The bonds will be issued in multiples of ₹1,000, ₹10,000, ₹1 lakh, ₹10 lakh and ₹1 crore and will be available at specified branches of State Bank of India.

Donors can donate the bonds to their party of choice which can then be cashed in via the party’s verified account within 15 days.

Every party that is registered under section 29A of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and has secured at least one per cent of the votes polled in the most recent Lok Sabha or Stateelectionwill be allotted a verified account by the Election Commission of India.

This regulatory sandbox will help fintech companies to launch innovative products at a lower cost and in less time and enable fintech companies to conduct live or virtual testing of their new products and services.

by private firms in a controlled environment (operating under a special exemption, allowance, or other limited, time-bound exception) under the regu- lator’s supervision.

Benefits from Regulatory sandbox The RBI’s working group on FinTech and digital banking in 2017 had recommended that a regulatory sandbox/innovation hub be introduced within a well-defined space and duration to experiment with FinTech solutions, where the consequences of failure can be contained and reasons for failure analysed.

Dhanush Howitzers Dhanush makes outranged Pakistani artillery units more vulnerable to Indian counter-battery fire, while itself staying out of reach.Dhanush’slonger range and high rate of fire will also make it usefulintackling localised Pakistan Army’s offensives in sectors of the LoC where the terrain favours the Pakistani side.

As per estimates, India requires at least $2.5 trillion (Rs 150 trillion approx.) to implement its climate pledge which is around 71% of the combined required spending for all developing countries pledges.

The law on single-use plastic ban sets a target to gather 90 per cent of plastic for recycling by 2029 and mandates the production of plastic bottles with 25 per cent recycled material by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030.

The “polluter pays” principle will be extended to manufacturers of fishing nets so that companies, not fishing crews pay the cost of nets lost at sea.

The products prohibited under the law represent 70 per cent of the waste that pours into the world’s oceans, posing a threat to wildlife and fisheries.

As one EVM can accommodate only 16 candidates and a maximum of 4 EVMs can be used in one polling booth, the Election Commission is forced to switch back to the age-old practice of ballot papers.

The High Court while passing a ruling in a murder case where the Haryana police had mentioned the caste of the accused witnesses and the victim during the proceedings stated this is not permissible and the caste system was profoundly illogical and was also against the basic tenets of the Constitution.

The High court directed the governments to issue instructions to all investigating officers not to mention the caste of the accused, victims or witnesses in recovery memos, FIRs, seizure memos, inquest papers and other forms prescribed under CrPC and Punjab Police Rules.

Shoal, an international organisation working to conserve freshwater species has initiated ‘Project Mahseer’ in collaboration with other stakeholders to enable conservation action for the hump-backed mahseer.

Earth Hour 2019 Earth Hour 2019 was witnessed on March 30 by turning off lights at 8:30 pm local time for an hour as a call for global action on climate change.

The movement partners to engage millions of people worldwide to speak up on why nature matters and take the lead in action against the harm being done to the planet we all call home.

Earth Hour Earth Hour is held annually by encouraging individuals, communities, and businesses to turn off non-essential electric lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30p.m.

Earth Hour which began as a symbolic lights out event in Sydney in 2007 it is now the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring millions of people to take action for our planet and nature.

Branches of Vijaya, Dena Bank to operate as outlets of Bank of Baroda The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has stated that all branches of public sector lenders Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank will function as branches of Bank of Baroda (BoB) from April 1, 2019, and the proposed merger Bank of Baroda with Dena and Vijaya Bank will be affected from April 1.

Plan of Merger As per the proposed merger plan, shareholders of Vijaya Bank will get 402 equity shares of BoB for every 1,000 shares held and the shareholders of Dena Bank will receive 110 equity shares of BoB for every 1,000 equity shares held.

The bank will have a business mix of Rs 15 lakh crore of balance sheet, with deposits and advances of Rs 8.75 lakh crore and Rs 6.25 lakh crore, respectively.

Then the rocket was brought down further to 485 km where the fourth stage/engine transformed into a payload platformcarrying three experimental payloads: For the first time, the launch also demonstrated new technology of putting payloads into three different orbitswith a new variant of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket.

The Government of the Republic of Mauritius has stated that it does not recognise theBritish Indian Ocean Territorywhich the United Kingdom created by excising the Chagos Archipelago from the territory of Mauritius prior to its independence, and claims that the Chagos Archipelago including Diego Garcia forms an integral part of the territory of Mauritius under both Mauritian law and international law.

Brexit– “British” and “exit”) is thewithdrawalof theUnited Kingdom(UK) from theEuropean Union(EU), which is scheduled to take place on 29 March 2019 at 11pm UK time,when the period for negotiating aWithdrawal Agreementwill end unless an extension is agreed.

The broad consensus among economists is that Brexit will likely reduce the UK’s realper capita incomein the medium term and long term,and that the Brexit referendum itself had damaged the economy.Studies on effects since the referendum show a reduction in GDP, trade and investment, as well as household losses from increased inflation.

Analysis byHM Treasuryhas found that there is no Brexit scenario that is expected to improve the UK economic condition China has blocked a bid to designate the leader of the group behind an attack which brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war a terrorist.

A 28-year-old Australian man, described in media reports as awhite supremacist(Asupremacistis someone whobelievesthat one group of people, usually white people, should be morepowerfuland have moreinfluencethan another group.)and part of the “alt-right“, was arrested and charged with murder.

Venezuela’s to export oil to India in Rupees India is considering Venezuela’s proposal to use rupee for trade payments to protect the current oil import from the South American nation facing hardening US sanctions.

The US, which recognised opposition leader Juan Guaido as the president of Venezuela in January, is now considering imposing new financial sanctions aimed at cutting the ..Latin American nation’s access to the international financial system.

Article 81 of India’s Constitution laid down that every state and Union territory (UT) would be allotted seats in the Lok Sabha in such a manner that the ratio of population to seats should be as equal as possible across states.If the letter and spirit of the original provision were to be implemented today, the composition of the Lok Sabha would change drastically with states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi gaining significantly more seats in the Lok Sabha, while southern states like

The rationale was that family planning was a national imperative and states would have little incentive to pursue it if success meant their share of political power would go down.

Otters thriving and getting sufficient food to eat means the water bodies in the reserve are in a fine state and the aquatic life in them is healthy.

The reserve is home to a myriad of wild animals including the endangered tiger, swamp deer, Bengal florican, hog deer, leopard, etc.

The large carnivores are supported by a very large prey base consisting of cheetal, sambar, wild boar, hog deer, swamp deer, blue bull, etc.

Bomb Cyclone or bombogenesis refer to a rapidly intensifying area of low-pressure winter storm when there is a pressure drop by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours.

This pressure drop intensification and subsequent winter storms result in strong winds, beach erosion and coastal flooding, especially with high tide.

Bombogenesis storm can be tropical or non-tropical and proximity to a large body of water, particularly an ocean, during cold months contributes to the creation of a bomb cyclone.

Bomb Cyclone is caused by a collision of warm air and cold air which develop into rotating storm-like pattern and lead to an explosive deepening of pressure.

Tropical Cyclone is an intense low-pressure area or a whirl in the atmosphere over tropical or sub-tropical waters, with organised convection, circulating either anti-clockwise (in the northern hemisphere) or clockwise (in the southern hemisphere).

This cardless cash withdrawal will address the concerns over using debit cards at ATMs for cash withdrawals by eliminating the possible associated risks and also maximizes convenience and enhances the banking experience for its customers.

After the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011, the Soyuz spacecraft has become the sole means of transportation for crew members going to or returning from the orbiting laboratory.

The ISSmaintains an orbit with an altitudeof between 330 and 435km (205 and 270mi) by means of re-boost manoeuvresand circles the Earth in roughly 92 minutes and completes 15.5orbits per day The ISS programme is a joint project between five participating space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).

Selectively hand-picked and processes by natural fermentation, the cup exhibits full body, acidity, mild flavour and striking aroma with a note of chocolate which makes it unique.

People infected with WNV suffer from fever, headache, fatigue, body aches, nausea, vomiting, occasionally with a skin rash (on the trunk of the body) and swollen lymph glands.

In case of severe West Nile disease, the patient suffers from headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, stupor, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.

The study indicates that: The vulnerability score was calculated based on eight parameters such as percentage of area in districts under forests, yield variability of food grain, population density, female literacy rate, infant mortality rate, percentage of population below poverty line (BPL), average man-days under MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), and the area under slope >

The Paris Accord of 2015 aims to keep global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The genesis of the tournament can be traced to open tournament held in the English town ofGuildfordin 1898, the success of this tournament paved the way for the All England’s inaugural edition, which was held atLondon’s Horticultural Halls in 1899.

Facts The process to obtain the GI tagwas initiated some 6 years ago in 2013 and it took six years to get it owing to scientific research proof to be submitted to prove its uniqueness.

Geographical Indication Geographical Indication defines the goods as originating in the territory of a country or a region or locality in that territory, provided a given quality reputation or other characteristics of the product are attributable to its geographical origin.

The product to acquire GI tag has to indicate that a product of a particular origin has a certain quality or reputation or some other characteristics, which is essentially attributable to its geographical origin DRDO successfully test fires Indigenous Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test-fired indigenously designed and developed Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) in the deserts of Pokhran in Rajasthan.

Features of Erode Turmeric The claim for the uniqueness of the Erode Turmeric highlighted the following characteristics: Geographical Indication Geographical Indication defines the goods as originating in the territory of a country or a region or locality in that territory, provided a given quality reputation or other characteristics of the product are attributable to its geographical origin.

The product to acquire GI tag has to indicate that a product of a particular origin has a certain quality or reputation or some other characteristics, which is essentially attributable to its geographical origin Cloud Seeding in Karnataka for Two Monsoon Seasons .Reeling under drought the government of Karnataka is planning for cloud seeding project to influence the upcoming monsoon and capture as much water as possible from the rain clouds.

Tax Havens provide taxpayers with opportunities for tax avoidance, while their secrecy and opacity also serve to hide the origin of the proceeds of illegal and criminal activities.

EU initiated the naming and shaming tactics through Tax blacklist or Tax havens as a tool for securing a level playing field and as an external strategy for effective taxation by assessing, screening and listing third-country tax jurisdictions which are non-cooperative in tax matters.

The genesis of systematic archaeological pursuits in India can be traced to the efforts of Sir William Jones, who put together a group of antiquarians to form the Asiatic Society on 15th January 1784 in Calcutta.

Geographical Indication act as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin.

The India-Oman bilateral security ties have continued to evolve and the joint military exercise will go a long way in enchaining understanding of capabilities and strengthening camaraderie between both the Armies.

On March 10, 2019,Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a 737 MAX 8 , crashed approximately six minutes after takeoff fromAddis Ababa, Ethiopia,on a scheduled flight toNairobi, Kenyakilling all 149 passengers and 8 crew members on board.

The 737 MAX’s …Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), implicated for faulty….angle-of-attack readings inthe preliminary report into the Lion Air accident,came under renewed scrutiny due to the apparent similarity of the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

On March 11, 2019, in response to theLion Airand Ethiopian Airlines accidents, Indonesian, Ethiopian,Chinese,other regulatory agencies, and airlines suspended Boeing 737 MAX 8 operations, though other airlines continue to operate .

20 most polluted cities- Fifteen of the top 20 most polluted cities… the world are located in India, according to an analysis of air quality in several cities around the world.

Of the cities analysed, 64% exceeded the WHO’s annual exposure guideline (10 micrograms/cubic metre) for fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5.

Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) – The Pakistan government after facing severe pressure from the Financial Action Task Force, and calls from a number of countries to crack down on terror groups, especially after tensions with India, passed an order to effectively ban ….Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) offshoots Jamat-ud Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF).

The Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) passed on March 4 ,2019 has provisions like – all “properties owned or controlled, wholly or partly, directly or indirectly, by a designated entity or designated individual” and any income from the assets including rent …would be frozen or physically seized by the Pakistani authorities.

His father, as well as his brother Khalid, were killed in the2011 Navy SEAL raid .TheUN Security Councilhas designated Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden, underits sanctions list,calling him the “most probable successor”to al-Qaeda’scurrent leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The U.S. and its allies rapidly drove the Taliban from power by 17 December 2001, and built military bases near major cities across the country.

-OnFebruary 25, 2019, peace talks began between the Taliban and the United States in…Qatar, Taliban co-founder….Abdul Ghani Baradais notably present.US special envoyZalmay Khalilzadreported that this round of negotiations were “more productive than they have been in the past” and that a draft version of apeace agreementhad been agreed upon.

“Russia will continue to assist the Venezuelan authorities in resolving social and economic problems, including through the provision of legitimate humanitarian aid,” Mr. Lavrov told a joint news conference with Ms.

Masood Azhar a global terrorist Amid heightened tension between India and Pakistan over Islamabad’s denial and duplicity over terror groups flourishing under its watch, a fresh proposal by the….P-3 nations viz… US, UK and France has been submitted at the ….UnitedNations Security Council or UNSCto designate …Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist.

If the proposal is passed, Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed or JeM chief Masood Azhar will get the tag of being a‘UN-designated global terrorist’, which in turn would subject him to global travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo.

If we want to save humanity, we must tell the states who provide shelter and funding to the terrorists to dismantle the infrastructure of the terrorist camps and stop providing funding and shelter to the terror organisations based in their country,” Ms.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is an international organization… founded in 1969, consisting of 57 member states, with a collective population of over 1.8 billion as of 2015 with 40 countries being Muslim Majority countries .

right of ….first refusal for the..reconnaissance permit (RP)and prospecting license holders, -Encouraging the..private sector to take up explorationand the auctioning of virgin areas on a revenue- sharing basis .

Reconnaissance Permitis apermitgranted for the purpose of undertaking “reconnaissanceoperations” whichmeansany operation undertaken for preliminary prospecting of a mineral through regional, aerial, geophysical or geochemical surveys and geological mapping, but does not include pitting, trenching, drilling

SPV for the disinvestment of Air India- -In a separate decision, the Union Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval for the creation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the disinvestment of Air India and its subsidiaries and joint ventures.

-The government has decided to transfer…to the newly-created SPV the debt of Air India Limited amounting toRs 29,464 crore” as well as “non-core assets, painting and artifacts and other non-operational assets of Air India Limited”.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, …abruptly ended their second summit meeting after talks collapsed with the two leaders failing to agree on any steps toward nuclear disarmament or measures to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Kim had offered to dismantle the North’s most important nuclear facility ….if the U.S. lifted the harsh sanctions imposed on his nation — but would not commit to do the same for other elements of its weapons programme.

stay The Supreme Court …….stayed its February 13 ,2019 ..order ……directing the eviction of lakhs of the Scheduled Tribes and …..other traditional forest-dwellers(OTFD), whose claims for forest land rights have been ….rejected under the ..Forest Rights Act, 2006.

It acknowledged the need to delve into whether due process had been followed by the gram sabhas and the State authorities under the FRA before the claims for forest rights of the forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers were finally rejected.

Designed with a 7-inch (180mm) diameter form-and-fit factor, and employing active transmit-receive radar guidance instead of semi-active receive-only radar guidance, it has the advantage of being afire-and-forgetweapon when compared to the previous generationSparrowmissiles.

The Indian Air Force droppedmultiple 1,000 kg bombson ……Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorcamps across the terror camps of Jaish-e-Mohammed in ………Balakot townof the…….Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province…of Pakistan.…..Line of Control (LoC) in….Muzafarabad&Chakothiin retaliation for the Pulwama terror attack that claimed the life of 40 CRPF jawans.

“At 0330 hours on 26th February, a group of…Mirage 2000 Indian Fighterjets struck a major terrorist camp across the LoC and completely destroyed it,” reported ANI

The Mirage 2000has a fly-by-wire flight control system(Fly-by-wire is a system that replaces the conventional manual flight controls of an aircraft with an electronic interface)and has a Sextant VE-130 HUD, which displays data related to flight control, navigation, target engagement, and weapon firing.

“very large number of terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis being trained for fidayeen action” were killed in the attack .

Francehas also called for …..restraint but also supported India’s “legitimacy to ensure security” and asked Pakistan “to put an end to the operations of terrorist groups established on its territory”.

Chief Information Commissioner (CIC)Sudhir Bhargavaruled that “the EVM which is available with the respondent [ECI] in a material form and also as samples … is an information under the RTI Act.” Mr. Bhargava noted that the definition of information under Section 2(f) of the RTI Act includes “any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form…” The CIC upheld applicant Razaak K.

and has a logo inspired by the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).The Ministry of Defence has planned following events as per the theme of the day during the Aero India 2019: Drone Olympicsprovides an opportunity for all the UAV manufacturing enthusiasts to showcase the capabilities of the Drones they are manufacturing.

Three aircrafts Jaguar, Tejas and Su-30 Mki flew past in the missing man formationto pay tribute to the Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi who lost his life while carrying out a practice sortie for the Aero India 2019.

The capital inclusion has been undertaken to ensure the lenders are able to maintain regulatory capital requirement and step up lending and boost overall growth.

With this latest capital infusion, the government has nowthe government has now provided Rs 1,00,958 crore out of theRs 1.06-lakh-crore bank recapitalisation plan.The remainingRs.5,000 crore capital infusion would be used as a buffer for any contingency or growth capital for Bank of Baroda which is in the process of merging Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with itself.

The capital infusion has been undertaken to ensure that state-run lenders, which have emerged out ofthe PCA, remain above the triggers and help others such as Indian Overseas Bank, Central Bank, United Bank and UCO Bank meet minimum regulatory capital requirements.

LCA Tejas is first advanced fly-by-wire Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) designed, developed and manufactured indigenously by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) as part of LCA programme, started in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters.

It has a limited reach of little over 400-km and will be mainly used for close air-to-ground operations (unlike Russian-origin Sukhoi-30MKIs or Rafale which have deep strike capability into enemy territory due to their long range).

DRDO has successfully tested fired Tejas with different kinds of weaponry and missiles including R-73 air-to-air missile, bomb dropping (including laser-guided bombs).

The scheme aims to provide financial and water security to farmers through harnessing solar energy capacities of 25.75 gigawatts (GW) by 2022.

The scheme has three components: Component-B will be implemented in a full-fledged manner whereas Component-A and Component-C will be implemented on pilot mode for 1,000 MW capacity and one lakh grid-connected agriculture pumps, respectively.

It is estimated that three components of the scheme combined together would result in savings of about 27 million tonnes of CO2 emission per annum.

The features of the National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP) are: Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) aims to create efficient and effective institutional platforms for the rural poor to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services.

DAY-NRLM aims to organize the poor into SHGs and make them capable of self-employment with a special focus on women empowerment including a dedicated component for promoting farm and non-farm based livelihoods for women farmers in rural areas.

Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS corridor is first of the three prioritized corridors planned for implementation in Phase-1 and other two are Delhi-Gurugram-Alwar and Delhi-Panipat Corridors New company to be established under Department of Space The government has approved setting up of a new company under the Department of Space to commercially exploit the research and development work carried out by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Centers and constituent units of DOS.

The Policy aims to position India as a global hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing – (ESDM) by encouraging and driving capabilities in the country for developing core components, including chipsets, and creating an enabling environment for the industry to compete globally.

The Indian History Congress holds annual sessions on five sections namely: The Indian History Congress stands for collaboration with historians throughout the world and promotes the study in India of the history of other countries.

Iran Unveils New ‘Fateh’ Submarine TheIranian President HassanRouhanihas unveiled a “state-of-the-art” domestically produced submarine capable of firing cruise missiles.The launchhas gained significance due to the skewed relations with the USA.

Sweden has similar agreements with over30 countries around the world, as well as with the EU and NATO.The salient features of the agreement are: Indian has proposed dialogue to enable a greater understanding of the successful model of collaboration between government, industry and academia in building technologically advance ecosystem.

It includes the facilities of surgical oncology, radiation oncology, medical oncology, anesthesia, palliative care, and nuclear medicine.There are 6 existing ESIC medical colleges at Kolkata, Faridabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Gulbarga

Some of the identified reasons are: Indian Army holds annual ‘Exercise Topchi Indian Army on 12thFebruary 2019 showcased its artillery firepower by using …ultra light Howitzersand indigenousSwathi weapon-locating radarat the annual “Exercise Topchi”.

There were a showcase of display of rockets, missiles, surveillance and target acquisition radars, remotely piloted aircraft and hi-tech equipments in addition to gun fire.

The Union Government has envisaged the development of the National Gas Grid.The government is implementing various projects of about 14,239 Km gas pipelines which would add to the existing 16,788 Kmnatural gas pipeline.

Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board identifies the geographical areas for authorizing the development of the CGD network in synchronization with the development of natural gas pipeline connectivity/ natural gas availability.

Cremica Food Park The important features of the Cremica Food Park are: Mega Food Park Scheme The Ministry of Food Processing is implementing Mega Food Park Scheme to give a major boost to the food processing sector by adding value and reducing food wastage at each stage of the supply chain with a particular focus on perishables.

These mega food parks create modern infrastructure facilities for food processing along the value chain from farm to market along with strong forward and backward linkages through a cluster-based approach.

GeM provides the tools of e-bidding, reverse e-auction and demand aggregation to facilitate the government users, achieve the best value for their money.

GeM aims to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement and has used technology to remove entry barriers for bonafide sellers and has created a vibrant e-marketplace with a wide range of goods and services.

Eight medical Equipment as Drugs by the Health Ministry The government has notified the following eight medical equipments as Drugs after consultation with the Drugs Technical Advisory Board: The notification has been made under Section 3 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, with effect from April 1, 2020.The notification brings all the implantable and diagnostic devices will come under the regulatory framework.

Features The salient features of the 125thConstitutional Amendment Bill which will impact one crore tribal people in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram are: The bill to empower the Autonomous Councils was announced by the government last month in the backdrop of the protests in the North-East following thepassage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, in the Lok Sabha.

The withdrawal of the Generalised System of Preferences from India could be the strongest punitive action since President Donald Trump took office in 2017 vowing to reduce the US deficit with large economies.The Trump administration has repeatedly called out India for its high tariffs.

Generalised System of Preferences-..instituted in 1976 under the Trade Act of 1974 is a U.S. trade program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry for up to 4,800 products from 129 designated beneficiary countries and territories.

Increase in Exports The increase in the exports to China is attributed to US-China trade spat creating new opportunities for exporters and Beijing removing some trade barriers in its effort to check the growing bilateral trade imbalance.

The growth of exports was driven by the following sectors which include marine products, organic chemicals, plastics, petroleum products, grapes and rice.

Acknowledging the need to take steps to check the deficit, the following steps have been initiated to bridge the deficit: To make the most of theUS-China trade dispute, the Department of Commerce had taken the initiative to identify and share with Indian exporters and other stakeholders, specific lines where the US will lose competitiveness in China and where India had an export potential.

The advanced multi-mission helicopter Chinook will provide the Indian armed forces with unmatched strategic airlift capability across the full spectrum of combat and humanitarian missions.

The important features of the bill are: The Bill proposes to offer greater protection to Indian women married to NRIs and serve as a deterrent to NRIs against harassment of their spouses.

Ghumot is an indigenous earthen drum fashioned as a designed clay pot, with the skin of the monitor lizard stretched taut across the pot’s mouth, forming a drumhead.Ghumot is a percussion instrument widely played during Ganesh Chaturthi Aarties.

Akshaya Patra Foundation is the world’s largest not-for-profit run organisation serving wholesome food to over 1.76 million children every school day from over 14,000 schools across 12 states in India.

The winners are: Grammy Awards are presented by the Recording Academyto recognize achievements in themusic industry.The Grammys held for thefirst time on May 4, 1959, are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually (between theAmerican Music Awardsin the Fall, and theBillboard Music Awardsin the Summer).

Dera Baba Nanak Land Post Designated as Immigration Centre for visiting Kartarpur Sahib The notification issued by the Union Home ministry has designated Dera Baba Nanak land postlocated in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district as an authorised immigration checkpoint to exit and enter for visiting Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan.

The features of the Rajasthan Backward Classes Amendment Bill, 2019 are: The statement on the objective and reasons for the bill notes that Parliament has amended the Constitution to exceed the limit of 50 per cent laid down by the Indra Sawhney case having regard to the compelling circumstances in which Economically Weaker Sections of the society are languishing.

The protect and safeguarding the land rights and other rights of Scheduled Tribes who are the most marginalized, isolated and deprived population, following constitutional and legislative measure have been put in place:

Initial investigations suggested the car was carrying more than 300 kilograms (660lb) of explosives,including 80 kilograms (180lb) ofRDX, ahigh explosive,andammonium nitrate.

Internal calculations claim that the Make in India project can give a $5 million cost advantage due to lower labour and production costs at Nagpur as compared to the current facility in France.

The apex court rule has two main points – (1) It finds no evidence of commercial favoritism (2) It is not the job of court to deal with comparative pricing mechanism.

6.25%in a bid to …………..revive economic growth as it projected retail inflation to remain below its target of 4% for the next 12 months.

But the talks, being held over two days in a hotel maintained by the Russian government, included representatives of President Ashraf Ghani’s government, inviting ….fierce criticism from the U.S.-backed Afghan leader.

Last month’s accord with Greece to change the name of the former Yugoslav republic to ‘Republic of North Macedonia’ ended one of the world’s longest diplomatic disputes, paving the way for Skopje to join NATO and the European Union.

(103rd Amendment) Act, 2019,which provides ….10% reservation in government jobsand educational institutions for the economically backward in the unreserved category, but agreed to an early hearing of the challenge to the law .

The objective is to breed imported pigs to address the problem of protein deficiency in a sizeable section of the population that has been deprived of access to affordable meat besides providing livelihood to farmers.

newly-named department under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry will look into matters related to promotion of internal trade, including retail trade, welfare of traders and their employees, facilitating ease of doing

The NRC is now being updated in Assam to include the names of those persons (or their descendants) who appear in the NRC, 1951, or in any of theElectoralRollsup to the midnight of 24 March 1971or in any one of the other admissible documents issued up to mid-night of 24 March 1971, which would prove their presence in Assam or in any part of India on or before 24 March 1971.

Venugopal urged the court to allow the …..NRC work to be kept in abeyance during the Lok Sabha election, observing that the ….Ministry of Home Affairs had been attempting to undermine “the Assam NRC process from the very beginning.” The Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Nariman reacted angrily after Mr. Venugopal sought to impress on the court the requirement for …..redeploying 167 companiesof Central armed police forces, currently engaged in the NRC work, to other parts of the country during the general election Home Minister Rajnath Singh said

In making extradition decisions, the…..Minister has to consider issuesincluding whether the death penalty would be involved or the person be extradited to a third country (neither of which would apply in this case).

Many ……opposition candidates had been barred from running while others had been jailed or had fled the country for fear of being imprisoned and the opposition parties argued that the poll would be neither free nor fair.

The government has pegged the fiscal deficit target at 3.4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) for financial year 2019-20.

Though not specified, the assumption is that both are of sufficiently high quality, with bandwidth available for most commonly used Internet applications to work on computers, tablets and mobile phones.

Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan Dhan Yojana Objective Actually, the central government has launched this scheme with an aim to provide financial security to the unorganized sector workers after the age of 60.

However, only Government employees were taking the benefits of Pension Schemes but now the unorganized sector workers will also be able to take the benefit of a monthly pension under Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan Dhan Yojana This scheme will be a mega pension scheme for unorganized sector workers.

two-minute silence in memory of Indian martyrs is observed across the country at 11 AM and participants hold all-religion prayers and sing tributes in the honour of Martyrs.

The important features of the periodic table are: To celebrate the International Year of the Period Table of Chemical Elements the UNESCO would be organising events like online competition to test high school students’ knowledge of the table, and scientific experiments brought to schools around the world.

Impact of global warming on El-Nino El-Ninodisturbs the atmospheric conditions across the world.El-Ninooccurs every two-to-seven years with very strong El Niño’s occurring about every 15 years results in droughts, floods, wildfires, dust and snow storms, fish kill, and even elevated risks of civil conflicts.

The El-Nino is measured by studying the averages sea surface temperature anomalies over the central-eastern tropical Pacific.A study which analyses the impact of global warming on El-Nino has been published in the journal Nature in December 2018.

Hence it is imperative that models be held to very stringent standards on their performance of El Niño behaviour during historic periods, especially the 20th century, as a test of their reliability for future projections.As a result it is difficult to conclude how reliably the models can project El Niño response to global warming in addition to how the models perform in reproducing floods and droughts of 20th century.

The Rangarajan Commission recommended the establishment of a permanent National Commission on Statistics to serve as a nodal and empowered body for all core statistical activities of the country, evolve, monitor and enforce statistical priorities and standards and to ensure statistical co-ordination among the different agencies involved.

Genesis in India Beating Retreat is a centuries-old military tradition, at the sounding of retreat, the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield, returning to their camps at sunset.

About the Centre The important aspects of the Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development are: The centre would be hosted by UNDP which would utilise its extensive country office network and programmatic hubs, and global expertise and knowledge, to enable the African countries to access the resources available through it.

Attaining the Sustainable Development Goals Africa referred to as Dark Continent still has up to 330 million of its population living in poverty and up to 60% of unemployed Africans are young people.The centre will help to speed up progress and quickly resource national development priorities in the African countries to address these challenges and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The corruption perception index draws on 13 surveys and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories.

The report highlights a connection between healthy democracies and successfully fighting corruption in the public sector and notes that corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak.

The Corruption perception index makes the following observations about India: These findings gain importance at the time Supreme Court has set the ball rolling for the appointmentof Lokpal bysetting a deadline forthe search committee to recommend names for selection committee headed by Prime Minister Survey of Elephants in Captivity The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has submitted the affidavit with the findings of thefirst Survey of Elephants in Captivity to the Supreme Court.

Findings of the Survey The Survey was undertaken after the order of the Supreme Court which had asked the Union Government to identify elephants in captivity and whether their owners have an ownership certificate while hearing a writ petition filed by Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM JAY)is a scheme of the government under Ayushman Bharat which aims to reduce the financial burden on poor and vulnerable groups arising out of catastrophic hospital episodes and ensure their access to quality health services was conceived.

Under the PM-JAY scheme about 10.74 crore poor, deprived rural families and identified occupational categories of urban workers’ families as per the latest Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data (approx.

Section 126 of the Representation of People Act 1951 prevents electronic media from airing any political advertisements in the silent period (48 hours before polling begins), The Election Commission has also made it mandatory to seek pre-certification of the campaign material to be published in newspapers during the 48 hours.

But the Social media platforms which are have gained huge prominence for their ability to influence election outcomes, are completely out of the purview of the pre-screening and prohibition rules.

The Commission has sought inclusion of ‘print media’ and ‘other entities’ within the ambit of Section 126 (1) (b).The other entities would refer to all social media formats.

During the interaction, Prime Minister interacted with students, parents and teachers and responded to their queries on a host of subjects related to examinations particularly, dealing with exam-centric anxiety.

This plan proposes a special purpose vehicle to accept payments from companies that want to trade with Iran, either by receiving waivers for oil imports or permissible trade in goods like food and medicine.

The new train provides number of features to enhance passenger comfort which include inter-connected fully sealed gangways, automatic doors with retractable footsteps, onboard Wi-Fi and infotainment, GPS-based passenger information system, modular toilets with bio-vacuum systems, rotational seats which can be aligned in the direction of travel (available only in the executive class), roller blinds and diffused LED lighting and disabled-friendly toil.