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ARTICLES

ARTICLES

ARTICLES

India would now be playing a more prominent role at the World Health Organisation (WHO), with the Union Health Minister set to take charge as chairman of the WHO Executive Board at its 147th session. Indian minister would succeed Dr Hiroki Nakatani of Japan, currently the Chairman of the 34-member WHO Executive Board.The WHO, a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health, is currently at the forefront of global efforts towards containing the nov... Read More...

  Jun 15, 2020   Health

More than 90 per cent of working people in our country are engaged in the informal economy. The most vulnerable are women who suffer from multiple disadvantages — as women, as poor, informal workers and as members of the socially disadvantaged castes and communities that predominate the informal sector. They keep the wheels of the economy turning with their labour, and yet they have limited or no social protection to act as a cushion in hard times. Read More...

  Jun 15, 2020   Economy

Sound travels in the form of waves which are emitted outwards from its source. In air, the speed of these waves depends on a number of factors, such as the temperature of the air and altitude.From a stationary source, such as a television set, sound waves travel outwards in concentric spheres of growing radii.As long as the source of the sound keeps moving slower than the speed of sound itself, this source– say a truck or a plane, it remains nested within the sound waves that are travelling in all directions. Read More...

  Jun 15, 2020   Science and Technology

ChemistryJohn Goodenough, at 97 the oldest person to be awarded a Nobel prize — Britain’s Stanley Whittingham, and Japan’s Akira Yoshino won the Nobel Chemistry Prize for the development of lithium-ion batteries, paving the way for smartphones and a fossil fuel-free society.Lithium-ion batteries which are lightweight, rechargeable and powerful are   used in mobile phones to laptops and electric vehicles and can also store significant amounts of energy from solar and wind power, making possible a fossil fuel-free society. Lithium batteries have revolutioni... Read More...

  Jun 13, 2020   Awards

The Global Competitiveness Report is an annual report published by the World Economic Forum. Since 2004, the Global Competitiveness Report ranks countries based on the Global Competitiveness Index. The Global Competitiveness Index integrates the macroeconomic and the micro/business aspects of competitiveness into a single index.What is the aim of the report?The report "assesses the ability of countries to provide high levels of prosperity to their citizens". This in turn depends on how productively a country uses available resources. To this end, the Global Com... Read More...

  Jun 13, 2020   Economy

Who are the Kurds?Kurds make up the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East, but they have never obtained a permanent nation state. Between 25 and 35 million Kurds inhabit a mountainous region straddling the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia. They inhabit south-eastern Turkey, north-eastern Syria, northern Iraq, north-western Iran and south-western Armenia. Today, they form a distinctive community, united through race, culture and language. Majority are Sunni Muslims.Why are Kurds fighting Islamic State(IS)... Read More...

  Jun 13, 2020   International Relations

Why it’s in the news?Countries must strive to double the population of snow leopards in the next 10 years, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday while launching the first national protocol to enumerate the endangered species' population in the country.Addressing the inaugural session of the 4th steering committee meeting of the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program here to mark the International Snow Leopard Day, he said it was time to think about the green economy and cross countr... Read More...

  Jun 13, 2020   Bio-diversity, Environment

Why is it in news?India’s Vishnu Nandan is selected to be a member of the 300-researcher group, largest ever, working on Arctic expedition.What is MOSAiC Expedition? The Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition is a one-year-long expedition into the Central Arctic, taking place from 2019 September to 2020. For the first time a modern research icebreaker will operate in the direct vicinity of the North Pole year roun... Read More...

  Jun 13, 2020   Science and Technology

Who are the intermediaries?Information Technology Act, 2000 says intermediaries are telecom service providers, Internet service providers, web-hosting service providers, search engines, online payment sites, online auction sites, online market places, cyber cafes etc. Section 87 of the IT Act gives power to the central government to frame Rules. Centre did so in 2011 to regulate intermediaries.What were the cases and where were they pending?In Madras, Bombay and Madhya Pradesh High Courts, appeals were pending about reg... Read More...

  Jun 13, 2020   Polity

The coal sector gets a boost as the private sector can now bid at the auctions for 50 blocks, enhancing supplies, reducing imports, which is good for the economy. The proposed structural reform measures in the coal and mining sector are expected to give a boost to private investments in the sector and reduce India’s reliance on imports.This would bring competition, transparency and efficiency of the private sector in the coal sector will automatically build transparency of mine valuations, force rigorous mine planning and compliance, and invite investments for enhancing operat... Read More...

  Jun 13, 2020   Economy

As the deadline for a response to a fresh proposal of India rejoining negotiations on the ASEAN-led trade Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) approached recently, India has indicated that due to global post-COVID-19 concerns over China had strengthened India’s opposition to the grouping.According to India, due to Covid-19, the countries experienced that it would be detrimental for them to be overly dependent on imports from China or one country and hence taken the decision to stay out of the RCEP.Australia and Japan have been at the forefront of efforts to convince I... Read More...

  Jun 13, 2020   International Relations

India has it’s own perspectives on Afghanistan, and it’s traditional and neighbourly ties with the people of Afghanistan will continue to guide it's Afghanistan policy.However the USA favours India-Taliban talks given India’s regional and global position. It says that India is an important force in Afghanistan and it would be appropriate that India-Taliban engagement to take place.India’s reluctance has many reasons. Talks with Taliban would give primacy to a terrorist organisation and give boost to other such groups. Read More...

  Jun 13, 2020   International Relations

The government has taken steps to indigenise defence production by banning the import of some weapons and platforms while hiking foreign direct investment into the sector.In the defence sector, the FDI limits through automatic route has been increased to 74% from 49% at present. However the sector can receive 100% FDI under approval route.Moreover, the government would bring a negative list and the weapons listed under the list would have to necessarily be produced dome... Read More...

  Jun 13, 2020   Economy

What is Keeladi (Keezhadi) excavation?In 2013-14, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) carried out explorations in 293 sites along the Vaigai river valley in Theni, Dindigul, Madurai, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram districts. Keezhadi in Sivaganga district was chosen for excavation and artefacts were unearthed by the ASI in the second phase of the excavation. This is a large-scale excavation carried out in Tamil Nadu after the Adichanallur archaeological site. What did it show?It pointed to an ancient civili... Read More...

  Jun 12, 2020   Miscellaneous

The government introduced the Maharatna scheme from 2010.Why?It aims to empower mega central public sector enterprises to expand and emerge as global giants. What are the criteria for grant of Maharatna status?The central public sector enterprises(CPSEs) fulfilling the following criteria are eligible to be considered for grant of Maharatna status.Having Navratna status.Listed on Indian stock exchange with... Read More...

  Jun 12, 2020   Economy

What is the background?President Donald Trump in 2018 began setting higher tariffs and other trade barriers on China with the goal of forcing it to make changes to what the U.S. says are "unfair trade practices".  As a result over the past year, the world's two largest economies have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another's goods.How do the two countries perceive the trade war? Read More...

  Jun 12, 2020   International Relations

What is Coalition for Disaster-Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and when was it launched?In September 2019 Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Coalition for Disaster-Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in New York, US. It has a secretariat in Delhi, supported by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), to enable knowledge exchange, technical support and capacity building.What does it seek to do?The CDRI involves consultations with more than 35 countri... Read More...

  Jun 12, 2020   Bio-diversity, Environment

What is quantum supremacy?John Preskill, a theoretical physicist coined the term "quantum supremacy" in 2012 by John Preskill to describe the point at which quantum computers can perform tasks that classical computers simply can't.Why is it in news?Scientists and engineers from Google announced that their machine was able to finish a job in just 200 seconds—and that the world's most powerful supercomputers would need 10,000 years to accomplish the same task. The task involved executing a randomly chosen... Read More...

  Jun 12, 2020   Science and Technology

How many Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) are there and under which Union Ministry do they fall?The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) are seven and come under the authority of Union Ministry of Home Affairs. They are the,Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP),Assa... Read More...

  Jun 12, 2020   Polity

It is apparent that financially broke State governments are forced to adopt desperate and reviled measures such as opening liquor shops to mobilise money for their fight against COVID-19. The question is, even if they are strapped for resources, surely there must be other means to raise funds in this struggle to save lives than to prey on people’s alcohol addiction.Most States raise resources through a combination of their own taxes and a share in the Centre’s taxes. Before GST, States were free to charge sales taxes as legislated by... Read More...

  Jun 12, 2020   Current Affairs