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International Seabed Authority

In News: India has signed a contract with International Seabed Authority for Exploration of Polymetallic Sulphides in Indian Ocean.

  • The contract provides India’s exclusive rights of exploration in the area near the Rodriguez Tripple Junction in the southern part of Central India ridge and a part of South-West Indian ridge.

International Seabed Authority

  • It is an intergovernmental body based in Kingston, Jamaica and established by the Law of the Sea Convention.

  • It was established to organize, regulate and control all mineral-related activities in the international seabed area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, an area underlying most of the world’s oceans.

Polymetallic Nodules

  • Polymetallic nodules, also called manganese nodules, are rock concretions on the sea bottom formed of concentric layers of iron and manganese hydroxides around a core.

  • The core may be microscopically small and is sometimes completely transformed into manganese minerals by crystallization.

  • The sizeable deposits have been found in four areas:

  • Penrhyn Basin near within the Cook Islands.

  • North central Pacific Ocean in a region called the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) roughly midway between Hawaii and Clipperton Islands.

  • Peru Basin in the southeast Pacific.

  • Southern tropical Indian Ocean in a region termed the Indian Ocean Nodule Field (IONF) roughly 500 km SE of Diego Garcia Island.

FAME Scheme

In News: Government of India (Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises) has notified FAME India Scheme [Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India] for implementation.

  • It is to support hybrid/electric vehicles market development and Manufacturing eco-system.

  • The scheme has 4 focus areas i.e. Technology development, Demand Creation, Pilot Projects and Charging Infrastructure.

  • It is aimed at incentivizing all vehicle segments i.e. 2 Wheeler, 3 Wheeler Auto, Passenger 4 Wheeler Vehicle, Light Commercial Vehicles and Buses.

  • The scheme covers Hybrid & Electric technologies like Mild Hybrid, Strong Hybrid, and Plug in Hybrid & Battery Electric Vehicles.

Development in National Waterways

  • The Government has planned construction of three multimodal Inland Water Transport (IWT) terminals on National Waterway-1(Ganga) at Varanasi, Sahibganj and Haldia and one terminal on National Waterway-2 (Brahmaputra) at Pandu.

  • Specified stretches of River Barak have been declared as National Waterway- 16 by the National Waterways Act, 2016.

  • Development of river Barak for navigation is proposed in two stages.

  • Phase-I – The stretch from Silchar to Bhanga (71 km).

  • Phase-II – Remaining stretch from Silchar to Lakhipur (50 km).

Proposed Waterways in the country

  • Inland Waterways in the state of Goa – Chapora (NW-25), Cumberjua Canal (NW-27), Mandovi (NW-68), Mapusa (NW-71), Sal (NW-88) and Zuari (NW-111).

  • Other Proposed Waterways in the country

  • River Barak – NW-16

  • River Ghagra – NW-40

  • River Gandak – NW-37

  • River Kosi – NW-58

  • Sunderbans waterways – NW 97

Project 75I

  • The Project 75I-class submarine is follow-on of the Project 75 Kalvari-class submarine for the Indian navy.

  • Under this project, the Indian Navy intends to acquire 6 diesel-electric submarines.

  • It will also feature advanced Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) systems to enable them to stay submerged for longer duration and substantially increase their operational range.

  • It will have a vertical launch system (VLS) to enable them to carry multiple Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles, making the submarines fully capable of anti-surface and anti-ship warfare missions.

  • Project 75I submarines will also be armed with torpedoes and will feature advanced stealth capabilities such as a greater ability to suppress noise and acoustic signatures.

  • Submarines will also be outfitted with Air-independent propulsion (AIP) fuel cells which can significantly increase submerged endurance and operational range.

INS Shardul

  • INS Shardul, an amphibious ship of the Indian Navy, is currently on a month long deployment in the Southern Indian Ocean.

  • It is deployed in Seychelles in keeping with the vision of SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the Region.

  • During the deployment, INS Shardul would also assist local authorities in providing logistics and medical support to the outer islands of Seychelles.

  • There have been already two deployments in Seychelles – P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft in March 2016 and the second by Indian Naval Ship Trikand in July 2016.

Ban on 344 popular drugs

  • In News: The Delhi High Court set aside the Centre’s decision to ban 344 fixed dose combination (FDC) medicines saying the government had acted in a “haphazard manner”.

What are combination drugs?

  • Combination drugs or fixed dose combination (FDC) drugs are those with two or more active pharmaceutical ingredients combined in a fixed dose to form a single drug.

  • eg A combination of nimesulide and paracetamol that is prescribed as an anti-pyretic (used to prevent or reduce fever).

  • They involve commonly used medications such as paracetamol, aceclofenac and nimesulide.

Why were they banned?

  • In a gazette notification issued on March 10, the Health Ministry banned 344 such combination drugs.

  • these drugs have dangerous side-effects and that many of these combinations do not have any advantage over the individual drugs.

  • Eventually, the government acted on the opinion of the Kokate Committee which recommended the ban.

Migration in India

  • In News: According to Census data released on Thursday, southern states, especially Tamil Nadu and Kerala, have shown the highest increase in migrant population.

Who are migrants?

  • The present study considers migrants by place of last residence i.e those who have last resided at a place other than their place of enumeration are deemed to be migrants.

  • The study, however, does not point out whether these are interstate or intrastate migrants.

What is the current scenario?

  • more migrants over the last decade heading to the southern states, which have grown at a faster clip during this period.

  • With 45.36 Crore migrants in India, every third citizen of the country is a migrant.

  • Of these, 69% are women.

  • Migrants constitute 37.8% of India’s 121.03 Crore population.

  • Tamil Nadu’s migrant population surged 98% between 2001 to 2011.

  • Kerala’s migrant population has grown by 77 nearly 49% of the population called themselves migrants.

  • Karnataka too has shown a 50% increase in its migrant population.

  • Only Andhra Pradesh, with a 40% rise in migrant population, has shown a growth below the national average.

  • Meghalaya and Manipur, where the number of migrants has grown by 108% and 97% respectively.

What is the reason for migration?

  • While globally, migration is attempt by people to survive and prosper.

  • In India, marriage appears to be the biggest reason why people migrate.

  • Of the total 45.36 Crore migrants, 69% people referred to marriage being the reason for their migration.

Only 17% of the migrants termed work and business as causes.

Why women migrate?

  • Majority of women have cited marriage or having migrated with their husbands as the reason for their translocation.

  • Indian women are also migrating for work and education. It has grown by 129%.

  • During the same period, the number of male economic migrants grew by 51%.

Why surge in migration to Southern States?

  • The socio-economic development of the southern states is considerably higher and that attracts people.

  • Another factor is that because of better education levels and awareness, local residents of these areas get drawn towards better economic opportunities.

  • This vacuum that gets created gets filled up by people from outside.

  • These developed areas face a crisis of manpower, especially for low-skilled jobs, which leads to migration.

Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY)

  • The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) was announced in 2003.

  • The objective of the scheme is correcting regional imbalances in the availability of affordable/ reliable tertiary healthcare services and also to augment facilities for quality medical education in the country.

  • PMSSY has two components:

  • Setting up of AIIMS like Institutions.

  • Up gradation of Government Medical College Institutions.

National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO)

  • National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) is a National level organization set up under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

  • NOTTO has been set up to maintain National registry of donors and recipients of human organs and tissues based on the information received from the transplant/retrieval hospitals and other related organizations.

  • NOTTO is working along with a large number of Non-Governmental Organizations to spread awareness about organ donation, their retrieval and transplantation.

  • It has following two divisions –

  • National Human Organ and Tissue Removal and Storage Network” and

  • National Biomaterial Centre”.

  • National Biomaterial Centre (National Tissue Bank) – to fulfill the demands of tissue transplantation including activities for procurement, storage and fulfill distribution of biomaterials.

UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in India

  • Yoga, India’s one of the ancient practices has now been inscribed as an element in the UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of humanity.

  • It was added during the 11th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

  • Yoga has become the 11th intangible cultural heritage that has been listed from India so far with UNESCO.

  • Previous Intangible cultural Heritage Added in the years are:

  1. Ramlila-the traditional performance of the Ramayana

  2. Kutiyattam, Sanskrit theatre

  3. Tradition of Vedic Chanting

  4. Ramman, religious festival and ritual theatre of the Garhwal Himalayas.

  5. Chhau dance

  6. Kalbelia folk dance and songs of Rajasthan

  7. Mudiyettu,ritual theatre and dance drama of kerala.

  8. The Buddhist chanting of Ladakh

  9. Sankirtana –the ritual singing, drumming, and dancing of Manipur

  10. The traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab

  11. Other heritage lists added during the session includes,

  12. Cuba – Rumba Dance.

  13. Belgium – Beer.

  14. Portugal – Black Pottery.

  15. Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk region Cossack

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