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Majuli Island in News : Environment for UPSC Exams

Majuli Island in News : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • It is the biggest river island in the world in the Brahmaputra River, Assam.
  • It is also 1st island district of the country.
  • The island has been the hub of Assamese neo-Vaishnavite culture, initiated around 15th century by the revered Assamese saint Srimanta Sankardeva and his disciple Madhavdeva.
  • The island is almost pollution free owing to the lack of polluting industries and factories and also the chronic rainfall.
  • The island is under threat due to the extensive soil erosion on its banks.
  • It is also India’s first carbon neutral district and now a biodiversity heritage site.
  • “Forest are Lives” campaign was launched by Assam chief minister in the same district on the international day of forest.

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Global Aviation Climate Deal : Environment for UPSC Exams

Global Aviation Climate Deal : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • The world’s first agreement to curb aviation’s greenhouse gas pollution has been struck by 191 nations in a landmark United Nations accord at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a UN agency, in Montreal.

  • A global emissions-reduction scheme that will apply to passenger and cargo flights that generate more than 10,000 tonnes of annual greenhouse gases.

  • Global aviation emissions in 2020 will be used as a benchmark, with around 80% of emissions above 2020 levels offset until 2035.

  • The new system will be voluntary until 2027.

  • Commercial aircraft emit 11 per cent of carbon emissions produced from transportation.

  • The ICAO deal would require airlines to limit their emissions or offset them by buying carbon credits from designated environmental projects around the world.

  • In 1997, Kyoto Protocol first assigned responsibility for international transport emissions to ICAO and IMO(International Maritime Organization).

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International Relations based Article: Current General Studies Magazine (April 2017)

Current General Studies Magazine (April 2017)

General Studies - II "International Relations based Article" (China: an insight and the state of bilateral relations)

China has been in the news for many years now. This is understandable. China is now the second largest economy in the world and perhaps already the largest trading nation in the world. It has in place an ambitious and extensive defence modernization programme coupled with an economic and technological modernization programme that is intended to transport it into the world’s leading power. The problem is that while China’s growth and ambitions are known, the manner in which it intends to use its new power remains problematic.

It will surprise you to hear from me that, to my mind China has so far by and large been a status-quo power. It was fortunate to have inherited a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and used the Cold War in a skillful manner to convert obvious weaknesses into strengths. It has intelligently used the processes of international economic inter-independence to develop its economy and obtain access to high-end dual use technologies almost without restriction till recent years. It is also a fact that despite being the world’s largest democracy, India was denied access to high level technologies in the guise of dual use technology restrictions since 1974. But a Communist totalitarian regime did not face any such barrier. The double irony is that China has depended enormously for its development on external support especially from the west including Japan. Yet, today it is these very countries which see China as their biggest threat if not competitor on the international arena.

China is ruled by the Communist Party but it is not a Communist State. The objective of the Chinese regime is to set up a system that is overwhelming governed by Chinese characteristics. Hence, for example the concepts of "socialism with Chinese characteristics” and "democracy with Chinese characteristics.” The over-riding objective of the Communist Party of China is to retain power. In sustaining this objective, it faces many obstacles; obstacles that have arisen out of the economic success that China has achieved; obstacles that have arisen because of growing outside influences on China. The latter is important to bear in mind since China’s economic successes have depended enormously on opening out to the outside world. This dependence on the world is even larger today than before. This fact is recognized by the Chinese leadership.

The major part of the problem within China arises from the desire of people who have achieved economic prosperity to aspire for and acquire spiritual, religious and political freedom. The challenge before the Communist Party of China is to ensure that such freedoms can be provided without necessarily breaking the iron hold of the Communist Party on the governance of China. If China does indeed succeed in this effort, the Communist Party would have achieved success in establishing a Chinese model of political governance that has not yet been replicated in the modern world.

The Chinese system is characterized by another dichotomy. Let me explain this. The dominant force in China is the Communist Party and it is the constitution of the Communist Party of China that is supreme. But, China also has a State constitution and State laws. Maintaining consistency between a State system and the supremacy of the Party may have been relatively simple in the past but ever since the impact of the Four Modernizations Programme has progressively kicked in since 1978, the contradictions between the two have grown. Further, as China has integrated more and more with the world, it has put in place laws, rules and regulations which apply not only to their own citizens but also to the outside world; to foreign companies, foreign nationals, etc.

Another facet in which the contradictions have come to the fore is in respect of the Chinese armed forces, broadly defined as the PLA. The PLA functions under the absolute control of the Party. The effort in recent years has been to tighten this control. The PLA is seen as the ultimate guarantor of the Party’s supremacy. The contradiction between the Chinese system and that followed in most other countries especially democracies where the armed forces are answerable to the civilian government is quite stark. As the PLA modernizes and is reorganized to meet the requirements of modern technological warfare, the ability of the Party to maintain absolute control on the armed forces may weaken. Alternatively, the fighting capacities of the PLA could get impaired.

Before I proceed, I should explain how the Chinese system has succeeded in making China the second most powerful economy in the world today. This has been the result of a single-minded focus on development in the belief that if the people can be offered economic prosperity, their desire to seek political freedom can be kept under serious check. Deng Xiaoping brought back the Four Modernizations Programme in 1978 after the excesses of the Cultural Revolution had left China in a difficult and precarious economic situation. Please recall, however, that in spite of the Cultural Revolution, the then Chinese leadership, lead by Mao Zedong, had made peace with the United States and begun to collaborate with that country to constrain the then Soviet Union which was considered the greater threat at that point in time to China. It is yet another irony that today China and Russia are strategic partners and the United States and China potential adversaries. But then, that is the business of international relations and power balances!

The Four Modernizations was the policy to ensure the modernization of agriculture, industry, science and technology and defence. This was not a new plan but a revival of Zhou Enlai’s plan of 1963. The difference is that following the Cultural Revolution and its disastrous outcome for China, Deng Xiaoping who emerged as the supreme leader and had learnt serious lessons from Mao’s disastrous campaigns decided that the time had come to put China’s development on an assured and firm footing. This did not, however, mean that he wanted the Communist Party to lose power.

The process of implementing the Four Modernizations coupled with the system put in place by Deng Xiaoping to ensure political succession in an organized manner every ten years, along with the opening of the Chinese economy to the world and access to science and technology from outside is what has brought China to where it is today.

The Four Modernizations has been implemented in a sequential manner. As the economy grew, the ability to do more in each sector grew with it. As agriculture and industry grew, so did the ability to spend on science and technology and defence grow. Membership of WTO enabled China to integrate itself fully into the international economic system. Indeed, China used its WTO membership to put in place domestic economic reform which may otherwise have faced resistance.

The outcome of the Four Modernizations process has been dramatic across all four areas of focus, be it agriculture, industry, science and technology or defence. Thus, China’s comprehensive national power has grown enormously especially since the beginning of this century. The down side of the economic model that China has followed so far, however, is that appears to have run its course of being able to generate double digit percent growth rates on a sustained basis. That model which was based on infrastructure investment, exports, FDI and technology from abroad could not be sustained beyond a point. The global financial and economic crisis that began in 2008 highlighted this fact. In all fairness however, the Chinese leadership had, since the beginning of this century, begun to make efforts to change the economic paradigm and make it more domestic demand oriented. There has been some success in this latter effort but not enough. Hence, the so called "new normal” in China’s economic growth rate has been reduced from a double digit figure to 6% -7%. With an economy as large as China’s, this still represents a huge absolute increase in GDP every year. But, given the massive requirements of China’s development, for reducing inequalities, for financing urbanization, addressing unemployment, modernizing agriculture, reducing environmental degradation, etc, this may not be adequate. Thus, the challenge to continue to grow at a reasonably rapid growth rate between 6 to 7% will remain a major pre-occupation of the Communist Party of China and the Government of China.

I said earlier that it is the Party that is supreme in China. I also mentioned that Deng Xiaoping had put in place a regular system of leadership change every ten years. The last such change in the top leadership of the Party happened in October 2012 at the 18th Party Congress. It is at that time that time Xi Jinping assumed the leadership of the 5th Generation of the Communist Party of China as General Secretary of the CPC and was subsequently elected as President of China at the National People’s Congress in spring 2013. Let me explain the generational issue. The first generation leadership was lead by Mao Zedong and the second by Deng Xiaoping and thereafter the ten year cycle began with Jiang Zemin taking charge at the head of the third generation leadership. The fourth generation leadership was led by Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping heads the 5th generation. At the 19th Party Congress scheduled for autumn this year, Xi Jinping is expected to receive his second five year term which will take him to 2022. There will be major changes in the Standing Committee of the Politbureau and substantial change in the Politbureau. Xi Jinping will remain at the "core” of the new Central Committee leadership.

It is the Party Congress which lays down the policy priorities for the country over the next five years. The General Secretary of the Party along with the Standing Committee and Politbureau are responsible for implementation of these policies under the supervision of the Central Committee. In view of this, it may interest you to know that the 18th Party Congress had given to Xi Jinping, directions which he has faithfully implemented including the drastic action against corruption and the development of China’s great power ambitions.

Every General Secretary has in recent years coined a focus theme to identify with his respective leadership term. Deng Xiaoping was the father of the Concept of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. This is the foundation of the current Chinese state. For Jiang Zemin, it was the Theory of Three Represents. For Hu Jintao, it was Social Harmony and the Scientific Concept of Development and for Xi Jinping it is Renewal of the Chinese nation and achievement of the China Dream. I mentioned earlier that there has been continuity in Chinese policy since Deng Xiaoping put in place his reforms in 1978. This continuity is reflected in the policies underpinning the slogans given by the respective General Secretaries in recent years of all which aim to achieve the two centenary goals set by the Party namely;

By the year 2021, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CCP, China's GDP and per-capita income should double from 2010 levels, and "the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects” should be complete.

The second Centenary Goal targets year 2049, the centenary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. According to this goal , China should become a "modern socialist country” that is "prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious” by 2049.

The direction given to Xi Jinping by the 18th Party Congress was to address the growing social strains within society, growing inequalities, deep-seated corruption, public disorder, crime and the question mark on the acceptability of the institutions and current system of governance. All this had to be done while ensuring the leadership and sole & absolute control of the Party over the institutions of power and governance. Pluralism and democracy are ruled out.

On the external front, the directives were no less significant. At that point in time, it was the assessment that world economic growth was over shadowed by growing factors of instability and uncertainty; the imbalance in global development had widened; and there were signs of increasing hedgemonism, power politics, neo-interventionism and local turmoil.

In response to the above external challenges, China, a permanent member of the UNSC, was, inter-alia, to get more actively involved in international affairs and play its due role of a major responsible country; take an active part in global economic governance; promote and facilitate free trade and investment and oppose protectionism in all its forms. [These are essential for China’s continued high growth.] To meet its external objectives, China had also announced that under the new leadership it will continue to build strong national defense and powerful armed forces that are commensurate (what this means is not spelt out) with China’s international standing and meets the needs of its security and development interests. The latter stress was new and particularly important from the perspective of the conduct of international relations. Indeed, guaranteeing China’s security and development interests is identified as a strategic task of China’s modernization drive. A strong national defence and powerful armed forces provide a security guarantee for China’s peaceful development. [MSWP 05/15]

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Polluter Pays Principle : Environment for UPSC Exams

Polluter Pays Principle : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • The 'polluter pays' principle is the commonly accepted practice that those who produce pollution should bear the costs of managing it to prevent damage to human health or the environment.

  • For instance, a factory that produces a potentially poisonous substance as a byproduct of its activities is usually held responsible for its safe disposal

  • It is regarded as a regional custom because of the strong support it has received in most Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and European Community (EC) countries

  • The Polluter Pays principle was propounded in the OECD Guiding Principles Concerning International Economic Aspects of Environmental Policies, 1972.

  • India has time and again vouched for the implementation of ‘Polluter Pays’ principle on international carbon emissions.

  • Further, Ex-Chief Justice of India Thakur had said that an international framework should be evolved to apply the polluter pays principle to advanced economies like the U.S.

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IUCN: World Conservation Congress : Environment for UPSC Exams

IUCN: World Conservation Congress : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • 25th World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) was held last year in Hawaii.

  • Hawaii is the endangered species capital of the world.

  • The last time it was held in Jeju, Korea in 2012.

  • USA hosted the event for the 1st time.

  • Theme: ‘Planet at the crossroads’.

  • Three Indian conservationists were felicitated for their work on nature conservation.

  • Dhrubajyoti Ghosh: Was awarded the prestigious Luc Hoffmann Award. He is being recognized for his pioneering work on the East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW), which have been designated a Ramsar Site (Wetland of International Importance).

  • Bibhuti Lahkar: He received  IUCN Heritage Heroes Award. Lahkar, a grassland specialist working in Manas National Park, is the only Asian to get it.

  • Kartikeya V. Sarabhai: He received The International Brandwein Medal, for his lifetime work in creating an exemplary education movement focused on nature, the environment, and sustainability across India.

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Heritage Hero Award : Environment for UPSC Exams

Heritage Hero Award : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • Assam-based ecologist and conservation activist Bibhuti Lahkar has become the first Asian to be awarded the prestigious Heritage Heroes Award by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

  • He received the award at the IUCN’s 25th World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii.

  • The award recognises the “outstanding efforts” around the world in making a difference in the conservation of World Heritage sites in challenging situations.

  • He has been working to save the grasslands, flora and fauna of Manas National Park area for the past two decades.

  • He was also instrumental in connecting Manas Wildlife Sanctuary with the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan, which led to a system of trans-boundary wildlife monitoring and now supports management in the entire Manas natural area that spreads across India and Bhutan.

  • He also conducted the first GIS survey of the park and his research findings and recommendations are a critical component in the Manas Tiger Conservation Plan.

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India H5N1 Free : Environment for UPSC Exams

India H5N1 Free : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • H5N1 is a type of influenza virus that causes a highly infectious, severe respiratory disease in birds called avian influenza (or "bird flu"). Human cases of H5N1 avian influenza occur occasionally, but it is difficult to transmit the infection from person to person.

  • India has declared itself free from avian influenza (H5N1) from September 5, 2016 and notified the same to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

  • India had notified outbreak of avian influenza on 9 May 2016 at Humnabad, Bidar district, Karnataka.

  • In areas on the one-kilometre radius of the outbreak location, the government took measures, including culling, disinfection and clean-up, to contain the spread of avian influenza.

  • Post the surveillance, the state has shown no evidence of presence of the disease. There has been no further outbreak reported in the country thereafter.

  • Bird flu affects mainly the domestic poultry. The disease spreads from infected birds to other winged creatures through contact with nasal and respiratory secretions and also due to contamination of feed and water.

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Special Category Status (SCS) : Important Topics for UPSC Exams​

Special Category Status (SCS) : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

What is ‘Special Category Status’?

  • The classification was started after the suggestion given by the 5th finance commission in the year 1969.

  • By identifying that some regions in our country are historically disadvantaged in contrast to others, Central plan assistance to the SCS States has been granted in the past by the erstwhile Planning Commission body, National Development Council (NDC).

  • The NDC granted this status based on the features of the States which included:

    • hilly and difficult terrain,

    • low population density or the presence of sizeable tribal population,

    • strategic location along international borders,

    • economic and infrastructural backwardness and

    • non-viable nature of State finances.

  • However, there is no Constitutional provision to take such steps it is only in the hands of the executives to take such decisions as and when they seem necessary and same goes for the criteria while selecting states for central assistance under this scheme.

What kind of assistance does the SCS States receive?

  • They used to receive grants based on the Gadgil-Mukherjee formula, which effectively allowed for nearly 30 percent of the Total Central Assistance to be transferred to the SCS States as late as 2009-10.

  • Centrally Sponsored Schemes for the SCS States was given with 90% Central share and 10% State share.

  • However, after the suggestion from NITI AAYOG and the 14th finance commission recommendation, central plan assistance to the SCS states is subsumed in the increased sharing of the divisible tax pool (42% from 32%) and no longer there in the plan expenditure. Further, plan and non-plan system is no longer there.

  • Money which remains as unutilized does not lapse and gets carry forward in the next year.

  • Substantial reduction in excise & customs duties, income tax and corporate tax.


What were the Problems in the working of SCS?

  • SCS selection was not transparent and many times political reasons determined the destiny of the states

  • Lobbying by some states and regional parties led to opportunist classifications.

  • The Selection criteria were in the hands of the central government and states did not have much say.

  • As per many reports and data, it is quite evident that even after awarding Special category status not much economic progress has been noticed among states.


Now there is no provision of SCS, however, the executives or the parliament may devise some scientific methods in the NITI AAYOG to enhance cooperative federalism and address the backwardness, poverty, development related challenges of the country.

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Surge Pricing : Important Topics for UPSC Exams​

Surge Pricing : Important Topics for UPSC Exams


What is it?​

  • It is a pricing strategy in which businesses set flexible prices for products or service based on current market demands.

  • It is also called as Dynamic pricing, demand pricing, time based pricing.

  • Its main objective is to control the mismatch of demand and supply of goods and services by increasing the prices and therefore reducing the demand likelihood.

  • It is a common practice in several industries such as hospitality, travel, entertainment, retail, electricity, and public transport.

Why in news?

  • OLA and UBER, the private taxi operators started this method and many consumers complained of exorbitantly high charges even for small distances.

  • Railway Ministry started the surge pricing for premium trains such as Rajdhani, Duranto and Shatabadi.

What are some Issues arising out of it?

  • Taxi services charging more.

  • Railways may become unaffordable for poor people while making last minute reservations.

  • Many a times, seats in the trains have gone empty due to prices even higher than airplane.

  • On positive side, they provide higher earnings for the taxi drivers of and they provide better revenue to the railways.

  • There may be price fixing or algorithms manipulation by the industries to exploit customers and further there may be behavioural change of the service providers to respond only if surge pricing kicks in so that to get more money for less work.

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Gujarat 1st in UJALA Implementation : Environment for UPSC Exams

Gujarat 1st in UJALA Implementation : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • Under the Government of India’s Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for all (UJALA) scheme, Gujarat has become the 1st  state to distribute 2 crore LED bulbs

  • Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under the administration of Ministry of Power, Government of India, is involved in this exercise.

  • Gujarat has reached this milestone in just 96 days.

  • In Gujarat, 9W LED bulbs are being distributed under the UJALA scheme. These energy efficient bulbs come with a free 3 year replacement warranty for any technical defect.

  • Under UJALA, over 22 crore LED bulbs have already been distributed across India.

  • Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has described the LED bulb as “Prakash Path” – “way to light”.

  • The scheme was initially labelled as DELP (Domestic Efficient Lighting Program) and was re-launched as UJALA.

  • Every domestic household having a metered connection from their respective Electricity Distribution Company is eligible to get the LED bulbs under the UJALA Scheme.


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Emissions from ships can reduce monsoon activity : Environment for UPSC Exams

Emissions from ships can reduce monsoon activity : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • Using surface and satellite data, a team led by scientist M.V. Ramana of the Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Centre has found that aerosol plumes from ships produced severe pollution along the international shipping route in the Bay of Bengal.

  • As per its research, emissions from ships along the corridor (5-6 degrees North latitude) has directly heated the lower troposphere by 2.5 times compared to surrounding areas and also created a temperature gradient of around 0.1K/day on either side of the shipping route.

  • As per Satellite measurements, compared with the surrounding regions, the concentration of NO 2 was 5 times higher along the shipping corridor.

  • Since NO 2 can absorb solar radiation, the increased levels of this gas along the shipping route led to more heating of the atmosphere.

  • In addition to gaseous emissions, ship exhaust also contains particulate matter such as black carbon.

  • Along the shipping route, the black carbon concentration was elevated by a factor of 4 compared to surrounding regions.

  • The emissions also led to increased concentration of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN).

  • Increased levels of CCN can “disrupt organised convection in the monsoon depressions”, which means the more the concentration of nuclei in the atmosphere the more the number of water droplets that can form. However if the water vapour content remains the same and you have more CCN then it may not help cloud formation.

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Global Green Award : Environment for UPSC Exams

Global Green Award : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • The steering committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) has awarded Dr. Dhrubajyoti Ghosh the Luc Hoffman award,

  • It is one of the highest international awards in environmental leadership.

  • He was involved in mapping East Kolkata Wetlands and calculating its economic value.

  • He is the first Indian environmental activist to receive the Luc Hoffman award.

  • East Kolkata Wetlands, a swathe of water bodies spanning over 100 sq. km., is fast shrinking due to illegal filling of fishponds.

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30 Days Revision Plan for UPSC Pre Exam 2017


30 Days Revision Plan for UPSC 2017 Pre Exam

It is said that “All is well if the end is well”. Now you have reached the final stage of your preparation and the next one month journey can either lead to the coveted services of IAS or add one more year to the preparation. Therefore, next 30 days are extremely important for your life. Revision is the key mantra every topper speaks and is essentially the secret ingredient between success and failure. More importantly, it’s the timing of revision and the way one revises it.

Here are some time tested “Revision Plan”:

UPSC PRE Study Plan for GS:

  • Divide your entire study material into 6 major parts: Environment, Art and Culture & History, Polity, Economics, Geography, Current Affairs.
  • Daily revision one part and solve UPSC previous year papers of the corresponding area.
  • On the 7th day, revise all the 6 parts in just 4-5 hours and solve 4-5 mock tests in the next 6-7 hours.
  • Continue this exercise for the 4 weeks.
  • Use the last 2 days before the examination for complete rest. It means just sleep and sleep and even watching inspirational movies.
  • Let’s discuss how to revise the entire one major part in just one day:
  • Start with static portion, and try to recall the important points and no need to study word by word.
  • Thereafter, read the corresponding current affairs part and again just recall.
  • Wherever, you get stuck give a fast reading to that portion and move on.
  • Remember, you will revise 4 times in coming days therefore don’t worry even if you are not able to recall more than 50% of the study material.
  • You can follow any other process which suits your way of revision because there is not any fixed formula of revision. People follow different methods and yet they qualify.

How to work upon for CSAT?

  • If you are an engineer or belong from mathematics/analytical background. This paper does not require any special treatment. Just solve last 3-4 years papers in the last week of the preparation.
  • If you have non-technical background, buy 5-6 CSAT test papers from the market. Solve them without looking at the solutions first. Find the areas where you are facing difficulties.
    Read about them from any standard online source.
  • Now focus on 3 important areas: Pythagoras Theorem, Man days’ work, Profit and loss. Every year these areas cumulatively cover at least 10 questions.
  • Try to solve reasoning based questions at least 50 and may buy Arun Sharma’s book very beneficial.
  • Now solve previous year questions of CSAT.
  • Do not more than 1-2 hour daily for CSAT. Questions asked in the CSAT are very primary and if you just apply simple logic you would be able to solve and get through the qualifying mark.

You have worked very hard to reach at this level of preparation. Just keep focused and hold your nerves for next and final revision strategy. This one month must be so well into your head that you must not have any other matter in your mind to distract you. Revision is the key to success in any examination. Finally, take care of your health, avoid mosquitos especially in Delhi. :-)

All the Best!!!

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AYUSH : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

AYUSH : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

AYUSH-logo.jpg (200×233)What?

  • It stands for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, abbreviated as AYUSH, is a governmental ministerial body in India. Its Sanskrit meaning is “life”.


  • To cultivate education and research in ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine), yoga, naturopathy, unani, siddha, homoeopathy, Sowa-rigpa(Traditional Tibetan medicine), and other Indigenous Medicine systems.



  • 1995:  Department of Indian System of Medicine and Homeopathy (ISM&H) formulated.
  • 2003:  Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy      (AYUSH)    under Ministry of family and health welfare.
  • 2014: Ministry of AYUSH created, to ensure the optimal development and propagation of AYUSH systems of health care.



  • For upgrading the educational standards of Indian Systems of Medicines and Homoeopathy colleges in the country.

  • For strengthening existing research institutions and to ensure a time-bound research programme on identified diseases for which these systems have an effective treatment.

  • Formulate schemes for promotion, cultivation and regeneration of medicinal plants used in these systems.

  • For the evolution of Pharmacopoeial standards for Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy drugs.

What Impact it may have on Society?

  • Will provide growth opportunity to the indigenous medical research and further employment opportunities in the upstream and the downstream of the AYUSH supply chain.

  • In the Era of “Superbugs” where even the best antibiotic is becoming futile, Ayush may open the doors of future technologies for healthy life.

  • Natural cure may be possible for many severe diseases such as Depression .

  • Lesser carbon footprint while developing as well as using the Ayush medicines.

  • Promotion of sustainable lifestyle which is one of the goals under the INDCs(Intended Nationally Determined Contribution).

  • However, some researcher are still skeptical about the Ayush impact since there is not much concrete research published in the Lancet Journal upon this very subject.

  • Some experts suggest that Ayush may be useful as preventive drugs than prescriptive ones.

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Laggar Falcon habitat loss : Environment for UPSC Exams

Laggar Falcon habitat loss : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • The laggar falcon (Falco jugger) is a mid-sized bird of prey which occurs in the Indian subcontinent from extreme south-east Iran, south-east Afghanistan, Pakistan, through India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and north-west Myanmar.

  • They are Near Threatened species as per IUCN.

  • They are an Indigenous raptor species with white and grey plumage which can hunt and fly at speeds of 180kmph.

  • Indiscriminate sand mining and Granite quarrying in Madurai have caused habitat loss to them.

  • The species nest only on rock cliffs unreachable to humans.

  • Due to sand quarrying Madurai lost its Vaigai based biodiversity.

  • Stone quarrying in Keezhavazhavu and Melavazhavu have caused habitat loss to eagles, falcons and owls.

  • Felling of palm trees in these areas, which is a nesting spot of many raptor species, is also one of the reasons for the disappearance of the birds.

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Prasar Bharti: Important Topics for UPSC Exams


Prasar Bharti: Important Topics for UPSC Exams

What?  It is India's largest statutory autonomous public broadcasting agency which was set up in 1997 by an Act of Parliament and comprises Doordarshan Television Network and All India Radio, which were earlier part of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Primary functions:

  • To organize and conduct public broadcasting services to inform, educate and entertain the public and to ensure abalanced development of broadcasting on radio and television

Governing Act:

The Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990. Though act is of 1990 but final body was enacted only in 1997.

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Tips for UPSC Preliminary Exam 2017


Tips for UPSC 2017 Pre Exam

Civil Services examination held every year by UPSC is considered the most unpredictable examination in India. It is said so not in literal sense but in terminological sense. It means that aspirants cannot follow one single strategy to conquer the 1st stage. However, one can follow certain tips and guidelines which is followed by most of the aspirants. These are the basic minimum and must be done by everyone before going for the examination on 18th June 2017.

TIPS/Guidelines for UPSC Exams:

  • Follow a single source for reading any topic, subject or newspaper. It will help you in revising the same in faster and yet comprehensive manner.
  • Do not bother about many free online test series just because they are free, stick with your plan and focus and revise the one you are following religiously.
  • Remember, revision is the key, therefore plan your studies accordingly and leave last 3 weeks for 3 full time revisions.
  • Since UPSC keep changing its pattern of asking questions, it is in the best interest of aspirants to give equal time on static as well as current affairs topics.
  • For revision part: Start from Polity, move to environment, then economy, then geography and history.
  • Some aspirants are night owls, for them it is very important to become a day person before the examination. Time has come; start waking up around 6-7AM in the morning.
  • It is very important to give your 100% in the examination therefore always take care of your health especially if you are in Delhi take care of mosquitos.
  • Focus more on Union government schemes, recent acts, and policy decisions. Every year there are 2-3 very simple questions from this area which can be solved just by a simple reading of the schemes.
  • If possible read the budget and economic survey from the government source itself. If you have not done that there is no time to go through all of that. Therefore, you still have one best thing; just listen to the budget which was presented in the parliament.
  • For economic survey; watch discussion on RajyaSabha TV and listen to AIR news discussion on the same. You will require hardly 3-4 hours for this exercise which would definitely fetch you at least 70-80% answers from this area.
  • If you have not read culture and ancient history, don’t panic. Most of the aspirants have not done it and remember you have to just qualify for the prelims. Therefore focus on your strengths, revise them well and just give a 1-2 times reading of any material on art and culture.
  • Moving to the environment, here revision is very important. More focus should be given on Climate bodies (national and international), National parks, World Heritage Sites, Ramsar sites, Conservation plans, rivers, IUCN Red list etc.
  • Just be focused even if it seems very hectic and impossible task. Remember, the key to this examination is confidence, hard work, revision rather than just knowledge.
  • Stop reading newspapers from 20th of May and complete detachment from news after 1st of June 2017. Now to cover 20th May to 1st June current affairs follow any online site.
  • Finally, believe in yourself. Be confident that you will qualify for sure no matter what happens. Follow your micro plans religiously, take care of health. Just be optimistic.

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Project Alloy : Environment for UPSC Exams

Project Alloy : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • Intel announced a new virtual reality (merged reality) reference design it's calling Project Alloy, a cordless system the company says contains everything you need to have a VR(Virtual Reality) experience without extraneous components.

  • Merged reality means you can see real-world stuff in front of you, even while you’re wearing a full headset.

  • The headset is a completely standalone device, with no need to hook up to a computer or external sensors, so wearers can move around and explore virtual environments with total freedom.

  • The headset uses Intel’s RealSense cameras, which have depth-sensing capabilities, to allow, without the need for additional sensors, objects such as the user’s hands to be tracked and entered into the virtual world displayed within the goggles.

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Disaster Risk Index : Environment for UPSC Exams

Disaster Risk Index : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • The index is part of the World Risk Report 2016 released by the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and Bundnis Entwicklung Hilft in cooperation with the University of Stuttgart in Germany.

  • India has been ranked 77th out of 171 countries.

  • The index assessed the risk of disaster through the combined analysis of natural hazards and societal vulnerabilities.

  • Ranking No.1, the island state of Vanuatu displayed the greatest risk in 2016.

  • The repost says, “Lack of critical infrastructure and weak logistic chains substantially increase the risk that an extreme natural event will become a disaster”.

  • Pakistan ranks 72nd, Sri Lanka 63rd, Bangladesh 5th position, China 85th and Nepal 108th position.

Sagarmala Programme : Government Plan Programme Policies for UPSC Exam

:Government Plan Programme Policies for UPSC Exam:

Sagarmala Programme

More than 150 projects have been identified as part of the National Perspective Plan (NPP) under the ambitious Sagarmala Programme . The projects will mobilize more than Rs. 4 lac crore of investment and enable creation of 1 crore new jobs, including 40 lac direct jobs, in the next 10 years. These projects have been identified across the areas of Port Modernization & New Port Development, Port Connectivity Enhancement, Port-led Industrial Development and Coastal Community Development.

The Sagarmala Programme of the Government of India aims to promote port-led development in the country by harnessing India’s 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location on key international maritime trade routes. A National Perspective Plan has been developed under this programme for the comprehensive development of India’s coastline and maritime sector. The draft report in this regard was submitted in February, 2016 and these findings were presented to the Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways:

To meet the future growth in cargo volumes, 50 projects have been identified to increase the port capacity from 1400 MMTPA to 2500 MMTPA by 2025, at an investment of Rs. 1 lac crore. These projects include capacity augmentation at existing ports and development of 5-6 new ports, including a trans-shipment hub. In addition, 104 initiatives have been identified to improve major port efficiency.

To enhance the port-connectivity to the country’s production and consumption centres, 65 projects have been proposed at an investment of more than Rs. 2 lac crores. This includes10,000 km of last mile port-connectivity infrastructure, 12 new freight expressways, heavy haul rail corridor to transport coal, new pipelines for transporting crude and petroleum products, development of prioritized inland waterways and new multi-modal logistics hubs.

For promoting port-led industrial development, 14 Coastal Economic Zones covering all the Maritime States and Union Territories have been proposed. These include 13 port-based discrete manufacturing clusters, in the labour intensive sectors of electronics, apparel, leather products, furniture and food-processing, and 14 large coastal clusters for basic input industries such as power, refineries & petrochemicals, steel and downstream industries (Shipbuilding, Automotive), and cement. Setting up infrastructure for these clusters will require an investment of Rs. 1 lac crore and will attract an additional Rs. 7 lac crore of industrial investment. These clusters are expected to boost India’s merchandize exports by USD 110 Billion by 2025.

As part of Sagarmala’s objective of coastal community development, skilling, fishermen and other community development projects have also been identified. Setting up of a Community Development Fund is envisaged to enable these coastal communities related projects and initiatives. These projects will be showcased in the maiden Maritime India Summit 2016, for attracting potential investors and their implementation will be taken up starting FY 16-17. The Ministry of Shipping is also conducting stakeholder consultations with the Maritime States and Central Ministries to finalize the NPP by March 2016.

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