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ARTICLES

ARTICLES

ARTICLES

Q. Why is this in news?Fast-moving wildfires in southern California have seriously injured two firefighters , and forced over 100,000 people to evacuate in what has been referred to as the worst wildfire season the state has seen on record.Out of the six largest wildfires in California recorded since 1932, five occurred in 2020. The largest out of these were in August, called the August Complex fires, and burned an area of about 1,032,264 acres, resulting in one death. This year has also seen the most destructive and deadliest wildfires, with t... Read More...

  Nov 04, 2020   Bio-diversity, Environment

Q. Why is this in news ?A. India and the United States on (October 27) signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), which, along with the two agreements signed earlier — the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) and the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) — completes a troika of “foundational pacts” for deep military cooperation between the two countries.Q. What is the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)? Read More...

  Nov 04, 2020   International Relations

Q. Why is this in news?Recently , Trump administration has announced stricter rules for the H-1B visa program, which US companies have long valued. (The New York Times: Doug Mills)In yet another policy stance change on H-1B visa within six months, the US administration on October 6 said it was announcing an “interim final rule” which will “strengthen” the non-immigrant work visa programme. The new rules will be effective 60 days from their publication in the Federal Register, which is the official journal of the US government, much li... Read More...

  Nov 03, 2020   Current Affairs

Q. Why is this in news?A.  The newly passed farm trade Bill has raised concerns that farmers may no longer be assured MSP for their crop. But MSP isn’t even mentioned in the new law or in existing ones. The recently enacted law that dismantles the monopoly of APMC (agricultural produce market committee) mandis, thereby allowing sale and purchase of crops outside these state government-regulated market yards, may not have faced serious farmer opposition had it included a provision safeguarding the continuance of the existing minimum support pr... Read More...

  Nov 03, 2020   Economy

Q. Why is this in news?A. The Rajya Sabha has in this session passed the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which seeks to amend the Aircraft Act, 1934, it was passed by Lok Sabha earlier. The Act regulates the manufacture, possession, use, operation, sale, import and export of civil aircrafts and licensing of aerodromes.Q. What are the provisions of Bill?  Read More...

  Nov 02, 2020   Current Affairs

Q. How are the rankings arrived at?The objective of DPIIT’s reform exercise is to provide a business-friendly environment, for which the regulations in a state have to be made simpler.Therefore, it devised a methodology to rank the states according to the ease of doing business (EoDB) in a state.DPIIT provides a set of recommendations meant to reduce the time and effort spent by businesses on compliance with regulation called the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP). Q. What is BRAP?  Read More...

  Nov 02, 2020   Current Affairs

Q. Why is this in news ?A. Recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the distribution of property cards under the SVAMITVA scheme through video conferencing. The government aims to provide such property cards to each household in the next three to four years in every village across the country.Q. What is the SVAMITVA card?The acronym SVAMITA stands for Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas. It is a Central Sector Scheme aimed... Read More...

  Nov 02, 2020   Current Affairs

Q. Why is this in news ?A. The Maharashtra government has withdrawn “general consent” given to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe cases in the state. The decision means the central agency will have to get consent from the state government for every case it registers in Maharashtra.Q. What types of cases is the CBI involved in at a state level?The CBI is divided into three categories when it comes to investigation. The first is the Anti-Corruption Division t... Read More...

  Nov 02, 2020   Current Affairs

Q. What is the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project?The Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation System is considered to be one of the world’s largest multi-purpose projects. It is designed to provide water for irrigation and drinking purposes to about 45 lakh acres in 20 of the 31 districts in Telangana, apart from Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The cost of the project is Rs 80,000 crore, but is expected to rise to Rs 1 lakh crore by the time it is completely constructed by the end of 2020.Q. What does the project entail?T... Read More...

  Oct 31, 2020   Bio-diversity, Environment

Q. Why is this in news ?A.  Recently NASA’s OSIRIS-REx — Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer — spacecraft briefly touched asteroid Bennu, from where it is meant to collect samples of dust and pebbles and deliver them back to Earth in 2023.The asteroid was named after an Egyptian deity by a nine-year-old boy from North Carolina in 2013 who won NASA’s “Name that Asteroid” competition. The asteroid was discovered by a team from the NASA-funded Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research team in 19... Read More...

  Oct 31, 2020   Science and Technology

Q. Why is this in news ?A.  The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved remdesivir as the first drug to treat COVID-19. The drug is designed to obstruct the replication of the virus in the body and has become the first drug to get official approval from the FDA for the treatment of the disease.Since the pandemic began, there has been debate about the efficacy of this drug, which was originally developed for treating Ebola, which is not caused by a coronavirus. So what does its ap... Read More...

  Oct 31, 2020   Science and Technology

Q. Why is this in news ?A.  Air quality index (AQI) of Delhi slipped into ‘very poor’ category while some parts of the city saw AQI turn ‘severe’. As of 2pm, the overall AQI was 370 and eight out of 36 monitoring stations were in the ‘severe’ category, with most severely affected areas being North Delhi.Real-time air quality monitoring data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) showed that particulate matter of 2.5 and 10 micrometres (PM2.5, PM10) were the prominent pollutants at the three highly polluted areas. Read More...

  Oct 31, 2020   Bio-diversity, Environment

Q. Why is this in news ?A. Over the last one week, residents of Assam and Mizoram have clashed twice over territory, injuring at least eight people and torching a few huts and small shops. It spotlights the long-standing inter-state boundary issues in the Northeast, particularly between Assam and the states that were carved out of it.Q. What were the recent clashes about?On Saturday, residents of Lailapur village in Assam’s Cachar district clashed with residents of localities nea... Read More...

  Oct 31, 2020   Polity

Q. Why is this in news ?A. The Centre is working on a plan to restrict the number of fertiliser bags that individual farmers can buy during any cropping season. Q. What is fertiliser subsidy?Farmers buy fertilisers at MRPs (maximum retail price) below their normal supply-and-demand-based market rates or what it costs to produce/import them.The MRP of neem-coated urea, for instance, is fixed by the government at Rs 5,922.22 per tonne, whereas its average cost-plu... Read More...

  Oct 31, 2020   Economy

Q. Why is this in news?We may have a Covid-19 vaccine by this year itself, with about eight candidates nearing the end of late-stage clinical trials, but getting the shots delivered safely to different countries and then finally to hospitals and pharmacies is set to be the next challenge.Since different Covid-19 vaccines require different temperatures and different handling procedures, cold chain facilities, including equipment and procedures used in transport and storage, are a critical aspect before they are ... Read More...

  Oct 28, 2020   Health

Q. Why is this in news ?A. Over the last one and half months, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted at least 12 tests of missiles or systems for missiles belonging to a vast spectrum of ranges and purposes. Some more tests are said to be in the pipeline. These tests have taken place at the time when there is an ongoing stand-off between the Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Ladakh region.Q. What are the various tests that the DRDO conducted recently? Read More...

  Oct 28, 2020   Science and Technology

Q. Why does air pollution rise in October each year?October usually marks the withdrawal of monsoons in Northwest India. During monsoons, the prevalent direction of wind is easterly. These winds, which travel from over the Bay of Bengal, carry moisture and bring rains to this part of the country. Once monsoon withdraws, the predominant direction of winds changes to north westerly. During summers, too, the direction of wind is north westerly and storms carrying dust from Rajasthan and sometimes Pakistan and Afghanistan. According to a peer reviewed study conducted by scientists at the National Physical Lab... Read More...

  Oct 27, 2020   Bio-diversity, Environment

Q. Why is this in news?Mount Everest or Sagarmatha, Earth’s highest mountain above sea level, is located in the Himalayas between China and NepalAlmost a year after China and Nepal together decided to re-measure the elevation of the world’s highest mountain, the two countries are soon expected to announce its latest official height, the Nepali Times reported.Mount Everest or Sagarmatha, Earth’s highest mountain above sea level, is located in the Himalayas between China and Nepal -– the border between them running across its ... Read More...

  Oct 27, 2020   International Relations

Q. Why is this in news?The indigenously developed laser-guided version of the Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) was successfully test fired by the Defence Research and Development Organisation on two separate occasions recently.The indigenously developed laser-guided version of the Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) was successfully test fired by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on two separate occasions recently and will undergo more validation tests in coming days before it is ready for the user trials. We look at the imp... Read More...

  Oct 26, 2020   Science and Technology

Q. Why is this in news? The first of the five seaplane services in Gujarat, connecting Sabarmati River in Ahmedabad to the Statue of Unity in Kevadia in Narmada district, will be inaugurated on October 31, the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.Officials say Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to fly in the first 14-seater amphibian flight that will eventually be open to the public. The other spots are, Dharoi dam in Mehsana district, to connect Ambaji and Shatrunjay dam in Palitana of Bhavnagar district as w... Read More...

  Oct 26, 2020   Current Affairs