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India need a roadmap to address Maoist Insurgency: Weekly IAS Mains Essay Writing Challenge

Weekly IAS Mains Essay Writing Challenge

Write Essay in not more than 2500 words. (250 marks)

Topic:- India need a roadmap to address Maoist Insurgency.

National Mineral Exploration Policy: Government Plan Programme Policies for UPSC Exam

Government Plan Programme Policies for UPSC Exam

:: National Mineral Exploration Policy ::

The Union Government has unveiled National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP), 2016 for adaptation of comprehensive exploration of non-fuel and non-coal mineral resources. The Mining industry in India is a major economic activity which contributes significantly to the economy of India. It contributes more than 10 % of the total industrial activity. Along with major economic contributor, this sector is also a major sector with respect job opportunities. Indian mining industry provides job opportunities to around 700,000 individuals. Fisrt national mining policy in India came after 1993. National mining policy of 1993 along with the economic reforms of 1991 helped the growth of the mining sector. Mining policies have changed with time in India. Government came up with National Mineral Policy (NMP) in 2008. It changed the way government involves itself in the mining sector. As far as survey and exploration are concerned, NMP 2008 stated that Government agencies would continue to perform the tasks assigned to them for exploration and survey.

National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP) prescribes for incentivising the participation of private companies in exploration. Under NMEP, private agencies would be engaged to carry out exploration with the right to a certain share in the revenue (by way of royalty/premium to be accruing to the state government) from the successful bidder of mineral block after e-auction, which will be discovered by that private explorer. The revenue sharing could be either in the form of a lump sum or an annuity, to be paid throughout the period of mining lease, with transferable rights.

Government will also work out normative cost of exploration works for different kinds of minerals so that the exploration agencies could be compensated, in case they could not discover any mineable reserves in their respective areas. This will be an added incentive for exploration agencies to mitigate their risk of exploration.

Other Salient features of this policy are given below:

  • The selection of private explorer is proposed to be done following a transparent process of competitive bidding.
  • Acquisition, processing and interpretation of pre-competitive baseline geoscience data play a pivotal role in successful exploration process. In this regard, the NMEP proposes the following:

Sachet: Important Topics for UPSC Exams​

Sachet: Important Topics for UPSC Exams​


It is a financial awareness program for the identification of cases relating to the illegal collection of deposits therefore to take timely action; The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in collaboration with the other financial regulators, has launched a website called ‘Sachet’.


  • The public will know about regulated financial entities, regulators, and pertinent regulations by visiting the website.
  • On the website there is a section for the participants of State Level Coordination Committees, that is the regulators, various state government departments, the police and other enforcement agencies. Here, sharing of market intelligence can take place, thereby ensuring that illegal activities do not pass through the gaps while passing from one jurisdiction to another.
  • Sachet, true to its Hindi meaning, is all about prevention step to be adhered to before making investments into Ponzi schemes or for that matter any financial schemes.
  • To weed out “fly by night operators” who promise astronomical returns at low or zero risks.
  • To address the proliferation of Ponzi schemes problems.
  • Early identification of these cases may lead the enforcement agencies to take quick action before the money is lost or misused.
  • Presently the website is in Hindi and English and efforts are being taken to provide its vernacular versions too.

Goods and Services Tax: Government Plan Programme Policies for UPSC Exam

Government Plan Programme Policies for UPSC Exam

:: Goods and Services Tax ::

President has recently signed the 122nd constitutional amendment act, which is to bring a single taxation system of GST in India. This constitutional amendment will make India a single market and will have various important benefits for the common people of India. It will lead to reduction on tax on tax as well as movement of goods would be more smooth across the India. Till now we pay different taxes in different states. After the proper implementation of GST, tax on goods and services would be similar in all the states. GST is one indirect tax for the whole nation, which will make India one unified common market. GST is a single tax on the supply of goods and services, right from the manufacturer to the consumer. GST is a tax on value addition at every stage, taxes paid during the previous stage will be given at next stage as crduts. The final consumer will thus bear only the GST charged by the last dealer in the supply chain, with set-off benefits at all the previous stages.

Various very important taxes would be subsumed under the Goods and services tax after its implementation. List of important taxes to be subsumed under the GST is given below:

At the Central level, the following taxes are being subsumed:

a. Central Excise Duty,
b. Additional Excise Duty,
c. Service Tax,
d. Additional Customs Duty commonly known as Countervailing Duty, and
e. Special Additional Duty of Customs.
At the State level, the following taxes are being subsumed:
a. Subsuming of State Value Added Tax/Sales Tax,
b. Entertainment Tax (other than the tax levied by the local bodies), Central Sales Tax (levied by the Centre and collected by the States),
c. Octroi and Entry tax,
d. Purchase Tax,
e. Luxury tax, and
f. Taxes on lottery, betting and gambling.

SAARC Youth Parliamentarian Conference: Important Topics for UPSC Exams​

SAARC Youth Parliamentarian Conference: Important Topics for UPSC Exams​

What is SAARC Youth Conference?

  • It is a dialogue among youth parliamentarians of the SAARC region to create democratic space to meet the mounting expectation of the rapidly increasing youth population in the region.
  • The first ever South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Youth Parliamentarians Conference was held in Islamabad, Pakistan in August 2016.
  • The theme of the summit was 'Peace and Harmony for Development'.

National Civil Aviation Policy: Government Plan Programme Policies for UPSC Exam

Government Plan Programme Policies for UPSC Exam

:: National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP 2016 – Vision, Mission and Objectives) ::

Vision: To create an eco-system to make flying affordable for the masses and to enable 30 crore domestic ticketing by 2022 and 50 crore by 2027, and international ticketing to increase to 20 crore by 2027. Similarly, cargo volumes should increase to 10 million tonnes by 2027.

Mission: Provide safe, secure, affordable and sustainable air travel for passengers and air transportation of cargo with access to various parts of India and the world.


i) Establish an integrated eco-system which will lead to significant growth of civil aviation sector, which in turn would promote tourism, increase employment and lead to a balanced regional growth.
ii) Ensure safety, security and sustainability of aviation sector through the use of technology and effective monitoring.
iii) Enhance regional connectivity through fiscal support and infrastructure development.
iv) Enhance ease of doing business through deregulation, simplified procedures and e-governance.
v) Promote the entire aviation sector chain in a harmonised manner covering cargo, MRO, general aviation, aerospace manufacturing and skill development.

NCAP 2016 covers the following policy areas:

a) Regional connectivity
b) Safety
c) Air Transport Operations
d) Route Dispersal Guidelines
e) 5/20 Requirement for International Operations
f) Bilateral traffic rights
g) Code-share agreements
h) Fiscal Support
i) Airports developed by State Govt, Private sector or in PPP mode
j) Airports Authority of India
k) Air Navigation Services
l) Aviation security, Immigration and Customs
m) Helicopters
n) Charters
o) Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul
p) Ground handling
q) Air-cargo
r) Aeronautical ‘ Make in India’

Rare Earth Minerals/Elements/Metals/Oxides: Important Topics for UPSC Exams​

Rare Earth Minerals/Elements/Metals/Oxides: Important Topics for UPSC Exams​


  • Rare earth elements (REE) are a group of seventeen chemical elements that occur together in the periodic table also known as rare earth metal (REM) because all of them are metals.


  • 15 lanthanides, Scandium and Yttrium =15+1+1=17.


  • Scandium and Yttrium also included in the REM?
  • Because they are found in the same ore deposits as the lanthanides and show similar chemical properties.

Some Significant Features:

  • All are Metals and have many similar properties which often cause them to be found together in geologic deposits.
  • They are also referred to as "rare earth oxides" because many of them are sold as oxide compounds.
  • They are extremely important for many modern technologies, including consumer electronics, computers and networks, communications, clean energy, advanced transportation, health care, environmental mitigation, national defense etc.
  • Due to their unique magnetic, luminescent, and electrochemical properties, they help in technologies perform with reduced weight, reduced emissions, and energy consumption; therefore give them greater efficiency, performance, miniaturization, speed, durability, and thermal stability.
  • They are not rare in quantity however their extraction is very difficult therefore they are called rare and further they are in plenty in nature.


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