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(VIDEO) Wombs Not For Rent - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

(VIDEO) Wombs Not For Rent - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

Topic of Discussion: Wombs Not For Rent - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate
Expert Panel Name : Dr. Shivani Sachdev Gour, General Secretary, INSTAR, Shilpi Jain, Lawyer, Supreme Court, Hari G Ramasubramanian, Chief Consultant, Indian Surrogacy Law Centre, Kiran Chawla Kapoor, Social Activist, Shankar Agrawal, Former Secretary of women & Child Development; Neelu Vyas (Anchor)

Courtesy: Rajya Sabha TV

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Awash in water crises (World Water Day on March 22) : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

Awash in water crises : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

Water crises is the situation when there is lack of sufficient availability of potable, unpolluted freshwater within a region and due to which regions demand for water remain unfulfilled due to various factors like growing freshwater use and depletion of freshwater resources. Almost every continent is affected by water crises.

Why in news?

  • World Water Day on March 22.

  • World Water Development Report 2018 released on 19th March 2018.

World Water Development Report 2018

  • The United Nations World Water Development Report, Nature-based Solutions for Water, launched on 19 March 2018 during the 8th World Water Forum, and in conjunction to the World Water Day.

  • The report demonstrates how nature‐based solutions (NBS) offer a vital means of moving beyond business‐as‐usual to address many of the world’s water challenges while simultaneously delivering additional benefits vital to all aspects of sustainable development.

Challenges to Global Water Security

  • The world’s population is expected to increase from 7.6 billion (2017) to between 9.4 and 10.2 billion people (2050), with two-thirds of them living in cities and UN estimates are that more than half of this anticipated growth will be in Africa (1.3 billion) and Asia (0.75 billion). Therefore, those most in need of water will be in developing or emerging economies.

  • Climate change and induced Global warming also impacting the Global water cycle, due to which wetter region generally becoming wetter and drier region drier.

  • An estimated 3.6 billion people now live in areas that could face water scarcity for at least a month in a year, with that number increasing to 4.8 and 5.7 billion by 2050.

  • The International Water Management Institute estimates that total demand could increase from 680 billion cubic metres (BCM) to 833 BCM by 2025, and to 900 BCM by 2050.

  • By 2050, countries already facing water scarcity challenges may also be forced to cope with the decreased availability of surface water resources.

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Water crises in India

  • India faces major threats to its water security, with most water bodies near urban centres heavily polluted.

  • Inter-State disputes over river resources are also becoming more intense and widespread.

Quality of Water- Global

  • Along with water scarcity, there is the issue of water quality. Since the 1990s, water pollution has worsened in most rivers in Africa, Asia and Latin America, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

  • An estimated 80% of industrial and municipal wastewater is released without any prior treatment, with detrimental impacts on human health and ecosystems.

  • Given the transboundary nature of most river basins, regional cooperation will be critical to addressing projected water quality challenges.

Quality of water- India

A report conducted by CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) indicates-

  • Almost half of India’s inter-State rivers are polluted.

  • Sewage from 650 cities and towns along 302 polluted river stretches in the country increased from 38,000 million litres per day (MLD) in 2009 to 62,000 MLD in 2015.

  • Report found that the untreated sewage and industrial waste was a major cause of pollution in 16 of 40 inter-State rivers in the country.

Solutions for ensuring water security

Environmentally-friendly agricultural systems like-

  1. Use practices such as conservation tillage,

  2. Crop diversification,

  3. Legume intensification and

  4. Biological pest control.

Constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment


  1. These can also be a cost-effective, nature-based solution that provides effluent of adequate quality for several non-potable uses (irrigation) and additional benefits that include energy production.
  2. Such systems already exist in nearly every region of the world.
  3. Natural and constructed wetlands also biodegrade or immobilise a range of emerging pollutants.
  4. Recent experiments suggest that for some emerging pollutants, nature-based solutions work better than “grey” solutions, and in certain cases may be the only viable option.

Watershed management

  • It is another nature-based solution that is seen as a complement to built or “grey” infrastructure.

  • It can also spur local economic development, job creation, biodiversity protection and climate resilience.

Advantage of Nature based Solutions?

  • In areas like access to drinking water, sustainable food production, improved human settlement, water related disaster risk reduction the Nature based solutions provide great opportunities.

NBS use or mimic natural processes to-

  1. Enhance water availability (e.g., soil moisture retention, groundwater recharge),
  2. Improve water quality (e.g., natural and constructed wetlands, riparian buffer strips), and
  3. Reduce risks associated with water‐related disasters and climate change (e.g., floodplain restoration, green roofs).
  • Nature-based solutions can address overall water scarcity through “supply-side management,” and are recognised as the main solution to achieving sustainable water for agriculture.

  • Nature-based solutions are closely aligned with traditional and local knowledge including those held by indigenous and tribal peoples in the context of water variability and change.

Case Study- Chennai

  • Chennai in Tamil Nadu is a textbook example of how nature is being ignored in urban development-posed challenges.

  • Unplanned urban development and unwieldy growth with no hydrological plan are causing many problems.

  • Earlier, when there was heavy rain in catchment areas in the Chennai region, lakes, ponds, tanks, rivers and inter-linked drainage systems helped replenish groundwater, hold back some water and release the excess to the ocean.

  • With development, a number of tanks and lakes in and around Chennai have been encroached upon by various stakeholders.

  • Major rivers and canals such as the Cooum, Adyar and Buckingham Canal which are meant to carry excess rainwater to the Bay of Bengal now serve as the city’s drainage outlets.

  • The Pallikaranai marsh which acted as a sponge to soak up excess rainwater is now an over-run.


Business-as-usual approaches to water security are no longer sufficient and Nature-based solutions are crucial to achieving our Sustainable Development Goals. Adopting them will not only improve water management but also achieve water security.


:: MCQ’s ::

Q. World Water day is celebrated on?

A.19th March.

B. 22nd March

C.22nd April

D.5th June

Answer- B

Q. Explain how Climate change is affecting the global hydrological cycle and Mention the solutions to check global water crises?

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(VIDEO) New Push to education - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

(VIDEO) New Push to education - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

Topic of Discussion: New Push to education - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate
Expert Panel Name : Prof. Sushma Yadav, Professor of Public Policy, IIPA ; Dr. Pankaj Gupta, Professor, Vice Dean and Director (EMBA) Jindal Global Business School ; Prof. Rajnish Jain, Secretary, University Grants Commission, New Delhi ; Neelu Vyas (Anchor)

Courtesy: Rajya Sabha TV

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E-way Bill : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

E-way Bill : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

The E-way bill, or the electronic way bill, is a document to be generated online under the GST system, when goods of the value of more than ₹50,000 are shipped inter-State or intra-State. The E-way bill must be raised before the goods are shipped and should include details of the goods, their consignor, recipient and transporter. According to the McKinsey report speed- breakers cost Indian Economy an extra $45 Billion or 4.3% of the GDP every year so the GST e-way Bill is expected to trim the logistic cost by 20%.

How to generate e-way Bill?

  • e-way portal provides the seamless gateway to generate the e-way Bill via two methods web and SMS.

How to verify an e-way Bill?

  • A consignment can be intercepted at any point for the verification of its E-way bill, for all inter-State and intra-State movement of goods.

  • If a consignment is found without an E-way bill, a penalty of ₹10,000 or tax sought to be evaded, whichever is greater, can be levied.

What is the advantage of an e-way Bill?

  • E-way bill is supposed to make the transportation smooth by eliminating the time spent on inter-state check points, since the time spent by truck on inter-state checkpoints is around 20% of its total journey time which is huge.

  • E-way bill helps in reducing Tax-Evasion since every e-way bill generated by the sender or buyer of goods is to be automatically updated in the outward sales return (GSTR) of the supplier, leaving little scope for tax evasions on shipments.

  • In previous tax regime, tax official had to manually cross-check the way bill against the tax-returns filed to verify whether the tax has been paid or not but with e-way bill the process becomes automatic.

  • Single electronic way bill for movement of goods across the country will save lot of paperwork.

  • The LPI (Logistics Performance Index) Survey by World Bank in 2014 put logistics costs at 14 per cent of the total value of goods in India, while it is only 6-8 per cent in other major countries. Thus, e-way bill will help to reduce the logistic cost and it will help in increasing ease of doing business in India.

  • It may increase the govt revenues by 20%.

Limitation and challenges in the implementation of the e-way Bill

  • The original rollout plan for February 1, 2018 had to be aborted as the IT system couldn’t handle the lakhs of e-way bills being generated by consignors and transporters.

  • The e-way Bill has been proposed to be launched in the phased manner in the states from April 1 2018, onwards due to technical limitations.


:: MCQ’s ::

Q. Which of the following statement about e-way Bill is wrong?

A. It can be generated via web as well as SMS.

B. It will help in increasing ease of doing business.

C. It will help in reducing the logistics cost.

D. It has already been implemented by 14 state govts before 1st of April 2018.


Q. Analyse the advantages of the e-way bill and also mention the limitation and challenges in the implementation of this tool?

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(VIDEO) New Religion Ahead of Polls - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

(VIDEO) New Religion Ahead of Polls - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

Topic of Discussion: New Religion Ahead of Polls - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate
Expert Panel Name : Desh Ratan Nigam, Senior Advocate & RSS Thinker, Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr, Sr Journalist, V. Rajyalaxmi, Sociologist, Janki Devi Memorial College, Sanjay Makal, President, Vishwa Lingayat Mahasabha; Frank Rausan Pereira (Anchor)

Courtesy: Rajya Sabha TV

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(VIDEO) Russia's New Czar - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

(VIDEO) Russia's New Czar - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

Topic of Discussion: Russia's New Czar - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate
Expert Panel Name : Professor Harsh V Pant, Head, Strategic Studies, ORF, Professor Sanjay Pandey, Centre for Russian Studies, JNU,Virendra Gupta, Former Ambassador; Frank Rausan Pereira (Anchor)

Courtesy: Rajya Sabha TV

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Environment Performance Index : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

Environment Performance Index : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) is a method of quantifying and numerically marking the environmental performance of a state's policies. This index was developed from the Pilot Environmental Performance Index, first published in 2002, and designed to supplement the environmental targets set forth in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

The EPI was preceded by the Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI), published between 1999 and 2005. Both indexes were developed by Yale University (Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy) and Columbia University (Center for International Earth Science Information Network) in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission





Issue Category


Environmental Performance Index (EPI)

Environmental Health (40%)

Health Impacts (23%)

Environmental Risk Exposure (100%)

Air Quality (33%)

Household Air Quality (30%)

Air Pollution - Average Exposure to PM2.5 (30%)

Air Pollution - PM2.5 Exceedance (30%)

Air Pollution - Average Exposure to NO2 (10%)

Water and Sanitation (33%)

Unsafe Sanitation (50%)

Drinking Water Quality (50%)

Ecosystem Vitality (60%)

Water Resources (25%)

Wastewater Treatment (100%)

Agriculture (10%)

Nitrogen Use Efficiency (75%)

Nitrogen Balance (25%)

Forests (10%)

Change in Forest Cover (100%)

Fisheries (5%)

Fish Stocks (100%)

Biodiversity and Habitat (25%)

Terrestrial Protected Areas (National Biome Weights) (20%)

Terrestrial Protected Areas (Global Biome Weights) (20%)

Marine Protected Areas (20%)

Species Protection (National) (20%)

Species Protection (Global) (20%)

Climate and Energy (25%)

Trend in Carbon Intensity (75%)

Trend in CO2 Emissions per KWH (25%)

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Women Safety : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

Women Safety : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

Violence against women is a worldwide phenomenon. Women across the world have to face various kind of acts of aggression like trafficking for sex tourism, kitchen accidents, sexual war crimes like rape, marital rape, honor killings and other kinds of brutality they face globally.  According to World Health Organization (WHO), there are five stages of violence against women in the life cycle-- (i) Pre-birth, (ii) Infancy, (iii) Girlhood, (iv) Adolescence and adulthood and (v) Elderly.

Gender violence in India is an old issue, but consciousness among the people about the violence against women (VAW) has heightened, specially post Nirbhaya case of December 2012. Indian cities and villages are not regarded as safe places for women. The National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data shows that the rate of crime against women stood at 52.2%.

It should be understood that gender violence is not just a legal crime but a violation of human rights directed against the female human population. This violence against women get compounded in areas where exposure and literacy rates among women are low. Due to this illiteracy, women do not become financially independent to break out of the dependence barrier to speak out against violence. Besides this economic barrier, presence of a relatively more conservative atmosphere about social and familial prestige attached to the crime against women. The issue of VAW in India, further being added by the lack of awareness among women, especially rural, of their rights.

The Gender vulnerability index, 2017 gives us a bad picture of vulnerability of Indian women in different states as shown in the given infographic--


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UPSC Prelims 2017 Exam GS Paper Analysis & IAS Exam Strategy

UPSC Prelims 2017 Exam GS Paper Analysis & IAS Exam Strategy

With UPSC prelims 2017 paper, UPSC has again proved the unpredictability of the civil service prelims exam. While last two years saw the share of direct current affairs based question increase, 2017 exam year upsc question were bit tricky and not directly based on the facts as in case of 2016 paper. Many of the question required serious brainstorming and therefore for many two hours might have proved to be insufficient. This article tries to go into the depth of last year paper and see how a candidate can calibrate her/his approach for such surprises in the exam hall.

Following is the topic wise breakup of the UPSC pre paper for last 3 years:

No singular pattern about the weightage of the subject can be discerned from the above chart.

Click here to Download UPSC Pre Exam Previous Year Papers

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Point to be noted my lord!! The attitude of leaving one or two low weightage subjects based on the previous year papers is not at all fine with UPSC. It loves to surprise the candidate and therefore when you might have thought that S&T does not matter that much anymore, UPSC 2018 paper may house more than 15 questions as in case of polity this year.

You have to be battle ready for any kind of Thali that UPSC will serve to you on the D-Day!!

Should I focus on the fundamental part or the current affairs?

This is the most common doubt for every aspirant. There is no definite answer to that nor there can be unless UPSC comes out with a white paper on the subject (Which we know is never going the happen).

While UPSC 2016 paper was heavily skewed in the favor of Current Affairs, UPSC 2017 paper tilted towards the fundamental part as can be gauged from the increased share of polity.

UPSC Question Paper Analysis

For election to the Lok Sabha, a nomination paper can be filed by
(a) anyone residing in India.
(b) a resident of the constituency from which the election is to be contested.
(c) any citizen of India whose name appears in the electoral roll of a constituency.
(d) any citizen of India


Direct question. Can be attempted easily if
you have gone through the book of M. Laxmikant


If you travel by road from Kohima to Kottayam, what is the minimum number of States within India through which you can travel, including the origin and the destination?
(a) 6
(b) 7
(c) 8
(d) 9

Basic - Application

Requires application of only basic knowledge of Indian maps. Rote learning will not suffice in this question

Recognition of Prior Learning Scheme’ is sometimes mentioned in the news with reference to
(a) Certifying the skills acquire by construction workers through traditional channels.
(b) Enrolling the persons in Universities for distance learning programmes.
(c) Reserving some skilled jobs to rural and urban poor in some public sector undertakings.
(d) Certifying the skills acquired by trainees under the National Skill Development Programme.

Current Affairs

Often covered in daily news. A direct question from the newspaper.

In India, if a species of tortoise is declared protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, what does it imply?
(a) It enjoys the same level of protection as the tiger.
(b) It no longer exists in the wild, a few individuals are under captive protection; and not it is impossible to prevent its extinction.
(c) It is endemic to a particular region of India.
(d) Both (b) and (c) stated above are correct in this context.

Current Affairs - Application

Must know what does the Schedule I of the act means
and other animals that are covered under the schedule.

With reference to the religious history of India, consider the following statements:
1. Sautrantika and Sammitiya were the sects of Jainism.
2. Sarvastivadin held that the constituents of phenomena were not wholly momentary, but existed forever in a latent form.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2


Not covered in any conventional sources and requires in
depth knowledge of the subject.
Not possible to cover such questions during preparation
and therefore candidate has to be selective about attempting such questions

What to do then?

It is clear that a candidate has to make a habit of balancing the studies between the two. A candidate must:

  • Read the NCERTs thoroughly and revise them at least one. If possible underline the important concept or make note out of them. you can consider NCERT Notes for UPSC exams to cover everything easily.

  • Read only one reference books for every subject and revise it again. Selected candidate have always emphasized on this aspect of the preparation and is relevant for both upsc mains and prelims equally. It is a common mistake to burden oneself with too many thick books and ending up with zero retention of what one had read in those books.

  • Pick up one newspaper like The Hindu or in case it is not available them Indian express and make a habit of reading it thoroughly every day and make notes out of it. These notes come in handy in the last month before prelims where focus has to be on revision.

  • Go through IAS EXAM PORTAL daily current affairs and daily quiz based on current affairs. Go through them and note the concepts that you might have not covered in your newspaper.

  • If possible go through the latest economic survey and budget speech which will cover all the important relevant concepts of economy as it has been a direct source of many questions in the past like these.

  • If for some reason it is not possible to go through the eco survey cover to cover then do go through at least 2 summaries of the budget and eco survey as they cover important schemes as well.

  • Be selective in reading of India Year book. If you have a group of 3-4 friends them you can divide the important chapters amongst yourself and make note to share with each other

  • Don’t fall into the trap of subscribing to plethora of magazines and trying to go through them

(VIDEO) Are We Drinking Plastic? - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

(VIDEO) Are We Drinking Plastic? - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

Topic of Discussion: Are We Drinking Plastic? - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate
Expert Panel Name : Amit Khurana, Head, Food Safety and Toxins, CSE, Dr. Punit Mishra, Prof of Community Medicine, AIIMS, Tusar Trivedi, Founder, Bottled water India, Sunil Bakshi, Advisor, Regulations & Codex, FSSAI; Tracy Shilshi (Anchor)

Courtesy: Rajya Sabha TV

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Cyber Security : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

Cyber Security : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

Cyber security refers to preventing any form of unauthorized and malafide access to any of the electronic pr digital device.  With evolving technological landscape cyber security has been dominating the public discourse from quite some time. For Ex: National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) stated that India recorded 9,622, 11,592 and 12,317 cases of cybercrime in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively, experts stated that this data accounted for merely 1% of the cybercrimes that actually took place in the country.

Certain features of cyberspace make it a challenge to be tackled for ex: Absence of any geographical barriers, Rapidly evolving technologies and innovations in the field, difficulty in locating the attacker because of anonymity that the cyberspace offers and there are always loopholes in the technologies to be exploited.


1. The crimes in which the computer is the target. Examples of such crimes are hacking, virus attacks, DOS attack etc.

2. The crime sin which the computer is used as a weapon. These types of crimes include cyber terrorism, IPR violations, credit card frauds, EFT frauds, pornography etc.

Steps taken by the government of India

  1. Legislative framework: IT act 2000 provides for legal provisions for cyber security, Enacted with prime objective to create an enabling environment for commercial use of I.T.  The IT Act specifies the acts which have been made punishable.

  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860 has also been amended to take into its purview cyber crimes.

  1. Policy framework: National cyber security policy 2013 lays down the future path to be traced in this regard.

  • Set up different bodies to tackle various levels of threats.

  • Create a National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC)

  • Create a workforce of around 500,000 trained in cyber security

  • Indigenizing technological development in this regard.

  • Promoting education and awareness in this field

  • The policy also aims for public-private partnership for enhancing the security of cyberspace.

  • To enable effective prevention, investigation and prosecution of cybercrime and enhancement of law enforcement capabilities through appropriate legislative intervention.

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(VIDEO) State of our Cities - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

(VIDEO) State of our Cities - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

Topic of Discussion: State of our Cities - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate
Expert Panel Name : K.T. Ravindran, Dean Emeritus, RICS School of Built Environment ; Vivek Anandan Nair, Head, Annual Survey of India's City-System, Janaagraha ; Kunal Kumar, Municipal Commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation; Frank Rausan Pereira (Anchor)

Courtesy: Rajya Sabha TV

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Physicist Stephen Hawking, passes away at 76 : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

Physicist Stephen Hawking, passes away at 76 : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

Stephen Hawking was a fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the US National Academy of Science and he is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein.

About Stephen Hawking

  • Hawking contracted motor neurone disease in 1963 and was then told he had just two years.

  • From 1979 to 2009 he held the post of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663.

Awards and Honours received by Stephen Hawking

  • Professor Hawking has been awarded over a dozen honorary degrees including the CBE – Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire – in 1982.

  • He was awarded with Adams Prize, Einstein Award, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Eddington Medal, Maxwell Medal, Heineman Prize, Hughes Medal, RAS Gold Medal, Dirac Medal, Wolf Prize, Prince of Asturias, Gemant Award, Naylor Prize and Fundamental Physics Prize.

Contributions of Stephen Hawking

  • He predicted theoretically that black holes emit radiation, this is often called Hawking radiation. 

  • For the first time in the world Hawking showed how quantum fluctuations (i.e. minuscule variations in the distribution of matter), might give rise to the spread of galaxies in the universe. 

  •  In 1983 together with Jim Hartle at Chicago University, he proposed a "wave function of the universe" that, in theory, could be used to calculate the properties of the universe we see around us.

  • Existence of millions of Mini Black Holes formed by the force of the original Big Bang explosion.

  • He also answered the famous unified field theory, which was one of the Einstein’s unanswered theories.

  • Hawking was also the subject of the 2014 film ‘The Theory of Everything’, which starred Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones and it was based on Prof. Hawking's ex-wife Jane Hawking's memoir 'Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen'.

  • The movie depicted the story of the scientist extraordinaire whose mind maps the universe while his body remains immobile in a wheelchair.

Books authored by him


Q.Which of the following is not correct regarding motor neurone disease?

A. Motor neurone disease (MND) describes a group of diseases.

B. MND affect the nerves (motor neurones) in the brain and spinal cord that tell your muscles what to do. 

C. In MND, messages from Motor Neurones gradually stop reaching the muscles, leading them to weaken, stiffen and waste.

D. MND does not affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. 


Q. What are various contributions of Dr. Stephen Hawking in the field of Science and Technology?

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Initiatives in India to deal with the climate change : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

Initiatives in India to deal with the climate change : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

The recently concluded Paris agreements has brought the issue of climate change at the center stage of national and international politics. The effects of climate change know no boundary and therefore require a concerted efforts at the national and global level.

Though Paris deal seeks to contain the global temperature rise below 2 degree C (preferably below 1.5), various studies have pointed out that the INDCs, if factored in the current trend of emission will lead to at least an increase of 3.5 degrees.

Developing countries especially the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and small island nations are at the highest risk of damage due to the climate change (Fiji will be underwater in 50 years). These countries such as India and China who now contribute significantly to global emissions have an important role to play. However, at the same time they have to fulfill their development needs through utilization of natural resources and industrialization.

India, today faces its biggest conundrum: Environment or Development? The population in India is projected to be highest in the world by 2022. It is the third largest emitter of the GHGs in aggregate terms but still has only 1/7th of the per capita energy consumption as that of OECD nations. At the same time India has high vulnerabilities to climate change impacts due to its peculiar economy and geography. The risks that India faces are:

  • Coastal areas: 7500 km long coastline is already vulnerable to various disasters like cyclone, coastal flooding, storm surges, heavy rainfall (as seen recently in Mumbai) etc. The rise in the sea temperature and level will only increase the frequency of such hazards endangering the life and livelihood of the coastal population. Also, India being close to the equator will experience much higher increase in sea level than higher latitudes

  • Monsoon: Phenomenon such as El Nino will increase the variability of the monsoon worsening the agricultural crisis with more than 50% area still being rain-fed and threatening the food security. Climate change has about 4-9 per cent impact on agriculture each year. As agriculture contributes 15 per cent to India’s GDP, climate change presumably causes about 1.5 per cent loss in GDP(1).

  • Disasters: More weather aberrations as recently seen in Mumbai and Chennai and increase incidence of the disasters like flood and drought will threaten both rural and urban economy

  • Biodiversity: Loss of biodiversity put the livelihood of the forest dependent and hill communities at risk and disturb the biogeochemical cycles that help maintain the flow of nutrient, water and pure air. Increase in human-wildlife conflict as recently observed in State like Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand is another threat.

  • Health: Increased disease outbreaks especially of the tropical diseases like Malaria and Dengue, heat waves aggravating the urban heat island effect and water scarcity compelling people to consume polluted water will increase the burden of mortality and morbidity.

  • Migration: Rising inequalities as poor will be most affected due to climate change will increase the burden of migration and cripple the urban economies. Illegal migration from the neighbor countries will also cause security threats.

Reasons of the climate change:

So what initiative the governments in India have taken to deal with the crisis?

The initiatives can be classified into two broad categories:

  • Mitigation: Reducing the emission of the greenhouse gases causing the rise in temperature

  • Adaptation: Building the capacity of the community through financial, technical and other infrastructural support to minimize the losses due to the climate change.

The major initiative are:

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(VIDEO) Return Of Trade Barriers - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

(VIDEO) Return Of Trade Barriers - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

Topic of Discussion: Return Of Trade Barriers - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate
Expert Panel Name : Ajay Shankar, Former Secretary, DIPP; Ajay Sahai, Director General & CEO, Federation of Indian Exports Organisation ;S.K. Sarkar, Managing Committee Member, ASSOCHAM; Frank Rausan Pereira (Anchor)

Courtesy: Rajya Sabha TV

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Indo-French harmony on President Macron's visit to India : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

Indo-French harmony on President Macron's visit to India : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

France was the first country in the West with which India established a strategic partnership and the first with which India initiated a strategic dialogue after our 1998 nuclear tests when France refrained from imposing sanctions on us and at the same time leaders from no other country have been honoured as many times as chief guests at India’s Republic Day celebrations. 

Indo -French Cooperation

New vision in the Indian Ocean region

  • Aimed at countering China’s growing presence in the region.

International Solar Alliance

  • India and France by challenging the geopolitical power structure configured around fossil-fuel energy resources are proposing an alternative leadership model for the less developed world,.

  • Mr. Modi and Mr. Macron declared they would ensure cheaper solar energy and increase avenues for financing and Mr. Macron asserted that $1 trillion is needed to reach the ISA goals by 2030: India and France have so far committed $1.4 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively.

Agreement in the field of Nuclear Energy

  • Recommitment to starting the Jaitapur nuclear power plant.

Joint Venture in Climate Change Cooperation

  • Joint ventures on climate change cooperation are reactions to the U.S. abdicating its role by announcing its pullout from the Paris accord.

Logistic Agreement

  • The “reciprocal logistics support” agreement and this agreement has seen less opposition compared to INDO-US LEMOA, which was passed in a very compromised manner and after a much longer negotiation.

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Corruption in India - An Analysis : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

Corruption in India - An Analysis : Important Topics for UPSC Exams

What is corruption?

Corruption refers to the act of misuse and abuse of power especially by those in the government for personal gains either pecuniary or a favor.

The menace of corruption is pervasive in India, from petty bribes demand by the policemen to multi-crore scams at the highest political level like 2G scam. It is not only limited to government authorities but can be seen within the private sector as well, for instance, the Satyam scandal. In the Corruption perception index of 2016 India stands at 79th place out of 176 countries. It not only hampers the economic growth but also undermines the rule of law in the country.

More than 50% people in India have accepted giving bribes while accessing public services. Though recently held protest under the banner of ‘India against corruption’ brought corruption at the center stage of the political discourse and led to passage of Lokpal Act, it ended up merely as a political gimmick with little progress seen in reforms on the other fronts such as electoral and administrative.


Reason for corruption in India:

1. Political:

  • Use of black money in elections: According to various studies, a Lok Sabha election candidate ends up spending at least 30 Cr. as against the legal limit of only Rs. 70 lakh. In the last 10 year the declared expenditure has increased by more than 400% for the LS elections(1) while 69% of their income came from unknown sources(2). This rising expenditure is rather seen as investment by the candidates who then misuse their power to amass the illegal wealth. Assets some MPs have even seen a jump of more than 1000% between successive elections

  • Criminalization of politics: More than 30% of the legislators in the country have pending criminal cases against them. When law breakers become the law makers, rule of law is the first casualty.

  • Crony capitalism: With the economic reforms undertaken in the aftermath of the BoP crisis of 1991, private sector has become a prominent player in the market earlier monopolized by the state. This has led to growth of unholy nexus between Politicians and businessmen. The recent amendment in to RPA that allow the corporates to keep their donation secret further strengthen the veil of secrecy around such a nexus.


2. Economic:

  • High share of informal sector: In India more than 80% of the workforce is in the informal sector and therefore do not come under the ambit of tax or labor laws. Such enterprises usually bribe the officials to keep out of the ambit of laws where the compliance is costly and complex


  • Ease of doing business: The plethora of approvals required to start and run a business with no transparency and legal accountability related to matters such as time limits force the entrepreneurs to overcome the red tapism through bribery.

  • High inequalities: In India 1% of the rich hold about 60% of the total wealth. At the upper income levels it leads to crony capitalism, at lower income levels it forces people to bribe the  officials even to get their basic needs fulfilled. This is so because poor lacks the purchasing power to buy the services from the market and therefore depends mostly on public provisioning of the basic services such as food from PDS shops.

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(VIDEO) Judiciary: From realism to idealism - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

(VIDEO) Judiciary: From realism to idealism -

Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate

Topic of Discussion: Judiciary: From realism to idealism - Rajya Sabha TV Big Picture Debate
Expert Panel Name : Justice R.S. Sodhi, Former Delhi High Court Judge ;Soli Sorabjee, Former Attorney General of India ;Satya Prakash, Legal Editor, The Tribune; Frank Rausan Pereira (Anchor)

Courtesy: Rajya Sabha TV

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