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QUESS Satellite: Important Topics for UPSC Exams​

QUESS Satellite: Important Topics for UPSC Exams​

What is QUESS?

  • QUESS stands for Quantum Experiments at space scale.
  • It is an international research project in the quantum physics jointly developed under Chinese-Austrian Satellite Mission
  • The satellite is nicknamed “Mozi” or "Micius," after a Chinese scientist who conducted ground-breaking optical experiments in the 5th century B.C.
  • QUESS is the first spacecraft launched capable of generating entangled photons in space.

What is the Mission of QUESS?

  • It is a proof-of-concept mission designed to facilitate quantum optics experiments over long distances to allow the development of quantum encryption and quantum teleportation technology.

Green Energy Corridor Project : Environment for UPSC Exams

Green Energy Corridor Project : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • It is a project for evacuation of renewable energy from generation points to the load centres by creating intra-state and inter-state transmission infrastructure.
  • It is under implementation in renewable resource rich states for the likely renewable power capacity addition during 12thFive Year Plan period.
  • The intra-state transmission component of the project is being implemented by the respective states and the Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) is implementing inter-state transmission component.
  • PGCIL has taken loans from Asian Development Bank for the project implementation.
  • Funding of green energy corridors in both intra and inter State transmission projects, under the framework of cooperation between Govt. of India and Govt. of Germany, KfW Germany is providing soft loan to the tune of Euro 1 billion.
  • Renewable rich States in India are (Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu).

Ozone Layer Healing : Environment for UPSC Exams

Ozone Layer Healing : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • The Antarctic ozone layer, which shields the Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays, shows encouraging signs that it's beginning to heal, according to research published in the journal Science.

  • Recently it has been found that due to Montreal Protocol (1987) which caused curb on the release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the Atmosphere, Ozone layer over the Antarctic is healing.

  • The 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer -- called for the phase-out of substances including chlorofluorocarbons and halons, once present in refrigerators, aerosol cans and dry cleaning chemicals.

  • The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects animal and plant life on Earth from powerful UV rays. When the ozone layer is weakened, more UV rays can get through and affect humans, making them prone to skin cancer, cataracts and other diseases. There also may be consequences for plant life, including lower crop yields and disruptions in the ocean's food chain.

  • The Antarctic ozone hole is an area of the Antarctic stratosphere which came into prominence during 1980s due to very large hole.  

  • It occurs during the Antarctic spring, from September to early December.

  • Main reason for the ozone depletion is the presence of chlorine-containing source gases primarily CFCs and related halocarbons. In the presence of UV light, these gases dissociate, releasing chlorine atoms, which then go on to catalyze ozone destruction.  

  • The Cl-catalyzed ozone depletion can take place in the gas phase, but it is dramatically enhanced in the presence of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) because they provide a surface for the chain reaction to maximise.

  • Sunlight is the reason causing ozone depletion during spring. During winter, even though PSCs are at their most abundant, there is no light over the pole to drive chemical reactions.

  • As per recent study, natural processes such as El Nino and volcanic eruptions have slowed down the process of ozone healing.

Disability Bill: Government Plan Programme Policies for UPSC Exam

Government Plan Programme Policies for UPSC Exam

:: Disability Bill ::

The Lok Sabha passed "The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill - 2016". The Bill will replace the existing PwD Act, 1995, which was enacted 21 years back.

The salient features of the Bill are:

A. Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.

B. The types of disabilities have been increased from existing 7 to 21 and the Central Government will have the power to add more types of disabilities. The 21 disabilities are given below:-

1. Blindness
2. Low-vision
3. Leprosy Cured persons
4. Hearing Impairment (deaf and hard of hearing)
5. Locomotor Disability
6. Dwarfism
7. Intellectual Disability
8. Mental Illness
9. Autism Spectrum Disorder
10. Cerebral Palsy
11. Muscular Dystrophy
12. Chronic Neurological conditions
13. Specific Learning Disabilities
14. Multiple Sclerosis
15. Speech and Language disability
16. Thalassemia
17. Hemophilia
18. Sickle Cell disease
19. Multiple Disabilities including deafblindness
20. Acid Attack victim
21. Parkinson's disease

(Download) Civil Services Mentor Magazine, April 2017 - FREE PDF

Click Here to Download CSM Magazine (PDF) Copy

Free Digital Magazine: Civil Services Mentor, April 2017

Issue : April 2017

Size: 4.07 MB

File Type: PDF


Table of Contents:


  • Women in Politics
  • Electronic Voting Machines
  • Armed Forces Special Provisions Act
  • National Anthem
  • Inter State Water Dispute
  • Selected Articles from Various Newspapers & Journals

(GIST OF YOJANA) Labour's Landscape in India-June-2017

(GIST OF YOJANA) Labour's Landscape in India-June-2017

Workforce Participation and Employment Challenges

Government Plan Programme Policies for UPSC Exam: ‘Jal Marg Vikas’ (National Waterway-1)

Government Plan Programme Policies for UPSC Exam

:: ‘Jal Marg Vikas’ (National Waterway-1) ::

The ‘Jal Marg Vikas’ (National Waterway-1) project envisages to develop a fairway with 3 meters depth between Allahabad to Haldia covering a distance of 1620 kms at an estimated cost of Rs. 4200 crore to be completed in six years. This would enable commercial navigation of at least 1500 ton vessels. For implementation of the Jal Marg Vikas Project, technical assistance and investment support is being provided by the World Bank. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) through selected Consultancy firms will conduct (i) Detailed Feasibility Study and Detailed Engineering for Ancillary works on National Waterway-1; (ii) Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), Environmental Management Plan (EMP) and Resettlement Action Plan (RAP); and (iii) IWT Sector Development Strategy and Market Development Study during 2015-16. The actual developmental works and the interventions required in the project would be decided based on the outcome of the above studies.

Ponzi Scheme: Important Topics for UPSC Exams​

Ponzi Scheme: Important Topics for UPSC Exams​

What is a Ponzi scheme?

  • It is a deceitful investing scam with two promises which are high rates of return and little risk to investors.
  • It is so designed that it generates returns for older investors by acquiring new investors. Therefore, Similar to a pyramid scheme in the sense that both are based on using new investors' funds to pay the earlier backers.

  • Both these schemes that are Ponzi and Pyramid eventually fails because there isn't enough money to go around and around for much longer.
  • They are considered as illegal in most of the countries.

How does a Ponzi scheme?

Suppose that there is a company XYZ which sells products in the healthcare industry to only those people who are either the employee of the company or related to them. Now suppose for every sells that happens the profit goes from top to bottom in the ratio of the relationship linkages. Therefore suppose is CEO of the company then he/she will get the maximum benefit then the next guy to him/her will get the benefits and it will continue like that. At the end of the cycle, the people who invest in the scheme at the end will get paid very less as compared to other people and further if sells do not happen up to say certain quantity 10000 then the one responsible for it won’t get paid. But here, other guys above to him/her will get paid because they must be having 3-4 people below them to complete their required number.

National Green Highway Mission : Environment for UPSC Exams

National Green Highway Mission : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • It is a National Mission of making highways green which includes (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification and Maintenance).

  • Under this a 300 crores project along 1500 Km National Highways was launched in 2016

  • Its intention is to take care of the ecological needs, environmental needs; peoples need, and strike a sustainable balance.
  • Financing: 1% of the total project cost of National Highways will be kept aside in a Green Highways Fund to be used for plantation and its maintenance.

  • Strict auditing: Release of money only if the survival rate of the trees/project is 90% in the previous year.  

  • ISRO as monitoring and auditing agency.

  • Project on Contract basis to NGOs, private companies and government organisations.

  • It has multiple benefits:

    • Soil Erosion reduction.
    • Livelihood opportunities to the nearby community.
    • Employment Creation.
    • Reduce Air pollution.
    • Reduce Noise Pollution.
    • Act as anti-glare to the upcoming vehicle thereby reducing roadside accidents.

Kerala Bird Atlas Project : Environment for UPSC Exams

Kerala Bird Atlas Project : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • Kerala Bird Atlas, a citizen science project to map the distribution and abundance of birds in Kerala, began in Wayanad district in July 2016.
  • The programme is being coordinated by the Hume Centre for Ecology and Wildlife Biology, a conservation organisation in the district, in association with the Bird Count India and e-bird.

  • This is the first time in India that birds in an entire state are being mapped. The only similar effort was in Mysore city few years back.
  • Kerala has the distinction of having six bird monitoring schemes, which includes recording common birds, heronries, water birds, pelagic (sea) birds, and forest birds.
  • It is envisaged as a five-year activity. By repeating the process over a period of 25 years.

Government Plan Programme Policies for UPSC Exam: Mission XI Million

Government Plan Programme Policies for UPSC Exam

:: Mission XI Million ::

Mission XI Million will take the beautiful game of football to at least 11 million boys and girls around the country. Children in every state, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Kutch to Arunachal Pradesh will get a chance to learn, play and enjoy football.

Vying to reach out to over 37 cities and 12,000 schools across all 29 states of India, the initiative will focus on games that can be adapted to different field sizes and conditions, with special emphasis in small sided games (4 vs. 4 and 5 vs. 5). It is divided into three phases: seminars for teacher and educators, in-school activities and football festivals, which will run up to September 2017.

OSIRIS-REx Mission: Important Topics for UPSC Exams​

OSIRIS-REx Mission: Important Topics for UPSC Exams​


  • The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) is a NASA asteroid study and sample return mission launched in September 2016.
  • OSIRIS-REx seeks answers to the questions that are central to the human experience: Where did we come from? What is our destiny?
  • Asteroids, the leftover debris from the solar system formation process, can answer these questions and teach us about the history of the sun and planets.
  • Mission : is to study asteroid 101955 Bennu, a carbonaceous asteroid, and return a sample to Earth in 2023 for detailed analysis.

Why Bennu?

  • Bennu may contain the molecular precursors to the origin of life and the Earth’s oceans. Bennu is also one of the most potentially hazardous asteroids, as it has a relatively high probability of impacting the Earth late in the 22nd century.
  • OSIRIS-REx will determine Bennu’s physical and chemical properties, which will be critical to know in the event of an impact mitigation mission.
  • Finally, asteroids like Bennu contain natural resources such as water, organics, and precious metals.
  • In the future, these asteroids may one day fuel the exploration of the solar system by robotic and manned spacecraft.

Air pollution Report : Environment for UPSC Exams

Air pollution Report : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • World Energy Outlook report by International Energy Agency titled “Energy and Air Pollution, World Energy Outlook Special Report”.
  • Mere 1% of Indians live in areas that meet WHO air quality standards. This could increase to almost 10 per cent by 2040, if stringent air pollution regulations are in place.  
  • Major Pollutants identified ares:  
    • NOx (nitrates) -transport is the major contributor of nitrates.
    • SO2 (sulfates) - power sector (thermal power stations, back-up generators) for sulfates.
    • PM2.5 (particulate matter) – residential sector, biomass burning for cooking and heating.
  • NOx emissions growth could be contained to 10 per cent in 2040 by new passenger car standards (BS VI).  
  • The report recognizes the part of Environmental Protection Amendment Rules (EPA) 2015 in firming emission standards for new and existing plants.

Bioremediation : Environment for UPSC Exams

Bioremediation : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • Bioremediation is the use of microbes to clean up contaminated soil and groundwater and to degrade environmental pollutants.

  • Microbes are very small organisms, such as bacteria, that live naturally in the environment.

  • Bioremediation stimulates the growth of certain microbes that use contaminants as a source of food and energy.

  • Conventional methods like mechanical removal, burial, evaporation, dispersion, and washing are expensive and can lead to incomplete decomposition, leaving residual contaminants to pollute soil and water.

  • Employed in areas that are inaccessible without excavation. For ex: spills affecting ground water.

  • Clean up petroleum pollutants from the environment conserving aquatic wildlife without negatively affecting bio-diversity.

  • Technologies based on Bioremediation: Bio-leaching, Bio-Venting, Bio-augmentation, Composting.


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