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ARTICLES

ARTICLES

ARTICLES

Q. Why is this in news? Recently, a rocket system meant to take tourists to space successfully completed its seventh test launch after it took off from a test facility in Texas. Called New Shephard, the system is built by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s space company called Blue Origin and will eventually allow space tourists to experience microgravity by taking them over 100 km above the Earth.In 2018, Blue Origin was one of the ten companies selected by NASA to conduct studies and advance technologies to collect, process and use space-based resources for missions ... Read More...

  Oct 23, 2020   Science and Technology

Q. Why is this in news? On Monday, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled fresh restrictions due to Covid-19. The three-tier system is to help manage the rising cases across the country. The guidelines for the three alert levels — medium, high and very high — will be debated in the House of Commons Tuesday and will depend on the outcome of the vote. If approved by Parliament, they will come into effect from Wednesday onward.Q. What do the new rules propose?Areas across Britain wi... Read More...

  Oct 22, 2020   International Relations

Q. Why is this in news? Due to an event referred to as “opposition”, which takes place every two years and two months, Mars will outshine Jupiter, becoming the third brightest object (moon and Venus are first and second, respectively) in the night sky during the month of October.This year, while Mars’ closest approach to Earth was on October 6, the opposition will happen on October 13, which will give the planet its “biggest, apparent size of the 2020s”, according to NASA.Mars’s next close approach will happen on De... Read More...

  Oct 22, 2020   Geography

Q. Why is this in news? This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) between India and Pakistan, a treaty that is often cited as an example of the possibilities of peaceful coexistence that exist despite the troubled relationship. Well-wishers of the treaty often dub it “uninterrupted and uninterruptible”. The World Bank, which, as the third party, played a pivotal role in crafting the IWT, continues to take particular pride that the treaty functions.The role of India, as a responsible upper riparian abiding by the provisions of the tre... Read More...

  Oct 21, 2020   Geography

Q. Why is this in news? Eight beaches in India have been awarded the coveted ‘Blue Flag’ certification by an eminent international jury, which comprises members of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).The beaches selected for the certification are: Kappad (Kerala), Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), ... Read More...

  Oct 21, 2020   Bio-diversity, Environment

Q. Why is this in news? Starting October 15, some stricter measures to fight air pollution will come into force in Delhi and its neighbouring National Capital Region (NCR) towns, as part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). The action plan has been in effect for three years in Delhi and NCR.Starting October 15, diesel generator sets can no longer be used in Delhi and the NCR towns of Noida, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Faridabad, and Gurgaon. The only exception is DG sets used for emergency and essential services.Pollution c... Read More...

  Oct 20, 2020   Bio-diversity, Environment

Q. Why in news? The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded this year’s Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel — popularly, albeit incorrectly, referred to as the Nobel Prize for Economics — to Paul R Milgrom and Robert B Wilson. Both winners are currently with Stanford University, where they teach in different departments.In its announcement, the Academy said the pair were receiving the award for “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats”. They will equally share the... Read More...

  Oct 20, 2020   Awards

The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize 2020 to the United Nation’s (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) for its efforts to combat hunger and for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for preventing the use of hunger being weaponised in war and conflict.Q. What is this Nobel Peace Prize?In his will, signed by Alfred Nobel on November 27, 1985, he mentioned that one part of his fortune that went towards the Nobel Prizes would be dedicated to “the person who shall have done the most or the be... Read More...

  Oct 20, 2020   Awards

Q. Why is this in news? The Rudram missile is launched from a Sukhoi-30 MKI.India’s first indigenous anti-radiation missile, Rudram, developed for the Indian Air Force, was successfully flight-tested from a Sukhoi-30 MKI jet off the east coast on Friday.Q. What is an anti-radiation missile? Anti-radiation missiles are designed to detect, track and neutralise the adversary’s radar, communication assets and other radio frequency sourc... Read More...

  Oct 20, 2020   Science and Technology

Q. Why is this in news? The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day (5th October 2020).Q. What is World Habitat Day?It focuses on the state of human settlements and people’s right to sufficient shelter.It also aims to remind people that they are responsible for the habitat of future generations. Read More...

  Oct 20, 2020   Bio-diversity, Environment

For TRPs it does not matter what the entire country is watching, but essentially what the 45,000 odd households, that are supposed to represent the TV viewership of the country, have watched.Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said that police are looking into a scam about manipulation of TRPs (Television Rating Points) by rigging the devices used by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India, which has the mandate to measure television audience in India.What is TRP?In simple term... Read More...

  Oct 20, 2020   Science and Technology

GS II Q1. Winds of Normalization in West Asia will bring a New Middle East in existence, which would not only lead to integration, trade and connectivity in the region but also have peace-dividends for India and the globe. Discuss. GS II Q2. COVID-19 has exposed the insecure and exploitative nature of domestic wo... Read More...

  Oct 18, 2020   General Category

GS II Q1. Though the United Nations Human Rights Council is a big improvement over the erstwhile UN Commission on Human Rights, it still faces credibility issues and challenges. Explain. GS2/GS3 Q2. “Nutrition Deficiency poses the greatest challenge to the demographic dividend of India”. Elaborate upon this in the light of the recent Global Hunger Index report? GS3 Q3. Read More...

  Oct 18, 2020   General Category

Q. Why is this in news? Emmanuelle Charpentier, Jennifer Doudna share Prize for the chemistry of CRISPR, which allows scientists to ‘cut-paste’ inside a genetic sequence. This has a variety of potential uses, but also raises ethical concerns.Its simplicity has often been compared to the ‘Cut-Copy-Paste’ mechanism in any word processor (or probably, the equally common ‘Find-Replace’ mechanism), while its uses can potentially transform human beings, and all other life forms. It can potentially eliminate genetic, and other, diseases, multiply agricultural... Read More...

  Oct 17, 2020   Current Affairs

Q. Why is this in news ? While the World Health Organization (WHO) cautions that there is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the coronavirus, the jury is still out on the precise impact of temperature on the coronavirus.Experts agree, in fact, that most of the evidence for seasonal viruses indicate they are more active during the cooler months of the year. For instance, in many parts of the world, there is a winter seasonality for influenza, and in India and regions of similar climate, there is a monsoon peak and a smaller winter peak. Experts, h... Read More...

  Oct 17, 2020   Current Affairs

Q. Why is this in news ? “Only 6% of Indian farmers benefit from minimum support prices (MSP)”. So widely-quoted is this figure — especially in the context of the recently-passed Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act — that it has become a factoid or even truism.Q. What is the source of this claim and what is that isn’t counted? The apparent source of the 6% figure is the Shanta Kumar-headed High Level Committee on Restructuring of Food Corporation of India... Read More...

  Oct 16, 2020   Economy

Q. What is the news?India’s involvement in the Quad — the forum that also involves the US, Japan and Australia — has been criticised as a deviation from New Delhi’s traditional policy of non-alignment. Over the years, India has experimented with alliances of different kinds – during World War I, some nationalists aligned with imperial Germany to set up the first Indian government-in-exile in Kabul; during World War II, Subhas Chandra Bose joined forces with imperial Japan to set up a provisional government in Port Blair;... Read More...

  Oct 16, 2020   International Relations

Q. Why is this in news?India successfully conducted the flight test of a Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).Q. What is SMART system?Torpedoes, self-propelled weapons that travel underwater to hit a target, are limited by their range. In the mid-2010s, DRDO undertook a project to build capacity to launch torpedoes assisted by missiles; Monday’s was the first known flight test of the system. Read More...

  Oct 15, 2020   Science and Technology

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences decided to award one half of the 2020 Nobel Prize in physics to Roger Penrose and the other half jointly to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for furthering the understanding of black holes, the most “enigmatic” objects in the universe.A day before three biologists shared the Nobel Prize in medicine for the discovery of the vaccine for the hepatitis C virus.Q. What are black holes?A black hole is formed when stars collapse and can be defined as a space in the universe with an escape v... Read More...

  Oct 15, 2020   Current Affairs

Q. Why is this in news?A. According to a new study, the fire regimes in the Arctic are changing rapidly, with ‘zombie fires’ becoming more frequent in addition to fires occurring in the once-frozen tundra.Q. What is Zombie Fire?It is a fire from a previous growing season that can smoulder under the ground which is made up of carbon-rich peat. When the weather warms, the fire can reignite. These are also known as holdover fires. Read More...

  Oct 14, 2020   Current Affairs