9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – March 16th, 2022

Dear Friends, We have initiated some changes in the 9 PM Brief and other postings related to current affairs. What we sought to do:

  1. Ensure that all relevant facts, data, and arguments from today’s newspaper are readily available to you.
  2. We have widened the sources to provide you with content that is more than enough and adds value not just for GS but also for essay writing. Hence, the 9 PM brief now covers the following newspapers:
    1. The Hindu  
    2. Indian Express  
    3. Livemint  
    4. Business Standard  
    5. Times of India 
    6. Down To Earth
    7. PIB
  3. We have also introduced the relevance part to every article. This ensures that you know why a particular article is important.
  4. Since these changes are new, so initially the number of articles might increase, but they’ll go down over time.
  5. It is our endeavor to provide you with the best content and your feedback is essential for the same. We will be anticipating your feedback and ensure the blog serves as an optimal medium of learning for all the aspirants.
    • For previous editions of 9 PM BriefClick Here
    • For individual articles of 9 PM BriefClick Here

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 1

GS Paper 2

GS Paper 3

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 1

Sanskritisation

Source: The post is based on an article “Sanskritization” published in the Hindu on 15th march 2022

Syllabus: GS I Indian Society

Topic: Caste System and Sanskritization

Context: A long-drawn phenomenon that is not restricted to caste hierarchy, but also encompasses a wider social and cultural process.

Concept of Sanskritization

It was coined and popularised by M.N. Srinivas, an eminent social anthropologist in his book Religion and Society Among the Coorgs of South India (Oxford, 1952),

Initially, ‘Sanskritization’ referred to the lower castes’ adoption of the “Brahmanical” ways of life. But gradually, the process also involved the adoption of the practices and rites of the locally dominant caste in a particular region. It included non-Brahmin castes which were politically powerful, socio-economically influential and ritually higher in the local caste hierarchy.

It allowed the mobility in caste positions/roles for certain castes.

What are the limitations of the Sanskritization Phenomenon?

The process itself do not always result in higher social status for the lower castes. For example, it did not guarantee higher social stature and did not lead to improvement in the everyday life of Dalits.

It is because other factors such as economic well-being, political power, education, establishment of historical evidence for their affiliation to/descent from a particular caste/caste lineage were also important for their aspirations for higher social positions

Multiple angles about the nature of Sanskritization

First viewpoint: Sanskritization’ was a civil campaign of dissent, resistance and challenge against the hierarchical and hereditary nature of the caste structure in Indian society

Second viewpoint: Multiple developments in Indian socio-polity opened up a range of socio-political issues/changes in India not entirely related to Sanskritization. For example, modernity, political independence, social reform movements, agrarian class relations,  anti-caste struggles, globalisation, etc. These developments have indicated the problems in assessing and analysing caste relations and the Hindu social structure through the exclusive prism of Sanskritisation.

What are various issues in the study of the phenomenon of Sanskritization alone?

Although, Sanskritization movement allows social mobility within the Indian society. But it encompasses a number of problems: These are

It reinforces the graded inequalities and practices in the name of caste in Indian society. It does not offer a strong critique and denunciation of the caste system as a whole.

It ignores the existence of a pre-/non-caste, egalitarian society that sued to be present in Indian society.

It ignores the role of anti-caste struggles which did not follow the cultural-ritual trajectory of Sanskritization. Unlike the Sanskritization model, which reinforces caste relations, anti-caste politics emphasises the destruction of the caste system. It advocates the destruction of other undemocratic/inegalitarian values, customs and institutions associated with it. The approach advocates for ‘casteless humans.

Way Ahead

Indian society continues to witness movements of both the types – Sanskritization as well as Anti-caste struggles.

Therefore, both the processes require a separate and integrated study and analysis, taking into consideration socio-economic, cultural and political factors.

GS Paper 2


A MISFIRING AND ITS TRAIL OF POOR STRATEGIC STABILITY

Source: This post is created based on the article “A misfiring and its trail of poor strategic stability” published in The Hindu on 16th March 2022.

Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – International Relations – India and its neighborhood

News: Accidental misfiring of Indian missile and the analysis of mechanisms available to avert such type of crisis.

The accidental misfiring of an Indian missile to Pakistan highlights the sorry state of bilateral mechanisms for crisis management between two nuclear adversaries. Such accidents are known as “broken arrows” (accidents that involve nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons components, but do not create the risk of nuclear war).

Why the responses from both countries were not aggressive?

Despite this lack of bilateral mechanism, both countries responded maturely to the accident. Pakistan did not allege that it was done intentionally by India and Indian sides owned up the mistake and ordered for inquiry.

This can be because in the subcontinent, unlike the Cold War, neither side keeps its nuclear forces on high alert. In case of India:

  • Warheads are separated from delivery vehicles
  • Nuclear weapons are de-alerted
  • No presence of tactical nuclear weapons
  • No pre-delegation of nuclear launch authority to local commanders, even during a crisis.

The situation in Pakistan is different i.e., there is presence of tactical weapons and reports of pre-delegation to forward commanders. However, like India, its nuclear forces are also not on high alert.

Is South Asia prepared for dealing with such accidents?

South Asia is hardly prepared for dealing with such crisis due to following reasons:

1) “Pre-Notification of Flight Testing of Ballistic Missile Agreement” is insufficient as it does not cover cruise missiles. In this incident also the missile that was misfired was a cruise missile (suspected to be BrahMos).

2) Confidence Building Measures (CBM) are weak: Two sides have not held structured meetings on nuclear and conventional CBMs for years now. There is a need to revive such dialogue mechanisms. Such as, started by Cold war adversaries after the 1962 Cuban Missile crisis.

3) Refusal of China to engage in strategic stability discussions with India and Pakistan – even though today China is involved in the Indo-Pak conflict even more.

What should be done?

1.) Setting up of Nuclear Risk Reduction Centres: These can provide a faster mechanism to communicate sensitive information during a crisis. This should have the objective of timely communication and proper implementation of already agreed mechanisms. A case in point could be ‘Permanent Indus Commission’ (Resolving disputes under Indus Water Treaty).

2.) Use of existing hotlines in case such an accident happens. In this case, the Indian Director General of Military Operations didn’t use the hotline to inform Pakistan about misfiring.

New Delhi should devise ways to provide assurances to Pakistan and to improve strategic stability between two countries.


‘BHARATNATYAM’ IN INDIAN DIPLOMACY

Source: This post is created based on the article “‘Bharat Natyam’ in Indian diplomacy” published in The Hindu on 16th March 2022.

Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – International Relations – Foreign Policy of India

This term was coined by Jyotindra Nath Dixit, who was a former Foreign Secretary. ‘Bharatnatyam’ in Indian diplomacy means that – “you may appear in different forms to others but after you have first secured your interests.” The following events can be regarded as an example:

1.) Republics and Moscow – After the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, India accepted the challenge. It started to build new relationships with newly formed republics in Central Asia, South Caucasus, Central Europe. While maintaining its traditional ties with Moscow.

2.) Israel – In 1992, India established a full diplomatic relationship with Israel, leading to one of India’s most significant strategic partnerships.

3.) Nuclear deal – In 1992, India and US bilateral meeting it was decided that the countries need to have frank exchanges on issues that divided them during the Cold War. This ultimately led to the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement in 2008.

4.) ASEAN – Establishment of ‘Look-East’ policy in 1992. Since 2002, this relationship has strengthened as an annual India-ASEAN summit.

5.) China and Taiwan – In 1993, confidence building measures were initiated. Such as Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in India-China border areas. Simultaneously, India and Taiwan negotiated to open economic and cultural centers.

Use of similar strategy by India during Ukraine-Russia war

The Dixit principle is visible in India’s stand on the Ukraine conflict in the UN. The Indian government has chosen to ‘abstain’ based on its core interest. ‘Abstaining’ reflects a grey zone. It can either be seen as a sign of helplessness or create space for diplomatic maneuvers. In this case, both West and Russia should feel satisfied that India is not giving into Russian or western persuasion respectively.


THE ECLIPSE OF SOVEREIGN EQUALITY

The Ukraine crisis has shown the weakness of International law and especially given a blow to ‘Principle of sovereign equality’.

What is principle of sovereign equality under international law?

It is juridical in nature i.e., all states are equal under International law. Despite the differences between military power, economic clout, population, geographical size etc. It is a fundamental principle of the UN.

The UN Charter states that the primary objective is to protect successive generations from scourge of war. To meet this end: principles of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, collective security, non-aggressive and peaceful settlement of disputes are regarded as fundamental.

What is an act of aggression under international law?

International law defines aggression as any use of armed force in international relations. In certain cases the use of aggression is permissible such as:

  • Defensive necessity
  • International authority (Ex – collective action by UN)
  • Consent of state in which force is used.

However, in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, none of these defenses apply. Hence, it is a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Provisions regarding aggression in the UN Charter:

  1. Article 2(4) of the UN Charter states the principle of non-aggression:
    “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”
  2. Article 39 contains the Doctrine of Collective Security:
    Wherein the Security council determines that there is any threat or breach of peace, or an act of aggression. Accordingly, the Council makes recommendations or takes measures to restore International peace and security.

Challenges in the UN system:

  1. Oligarchy in UN: The Permanent 5 (P5) members of the UN Security Council (US, UK, France, Russia, China) represent an undemocratic and oligarchic system.
  2. Against the principle of sovereign equality: For instance, Russia vetoed a draft UNSC resolution regarding criticism of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. This veto rendered futile the vote given by 80 countries in favour of Ukraine.

The Ukraine crisis reflects the ‘might is right’ world order, one where some are equal but some are more equal than others. There is a need for ‘rule-based international order’ based on sovereign equality and collective security.


Fixing Indian Higher Education is the ideal way to rescue students

Source: The post is based on an article “Fixing Indian Higher Education is the ideal way to rescue students” published in the livemint on 16th march 2022

Syllabus: GS II Social Sector, Education Sector

Topic: Higher Education

Context: Ukraine Crisis has brought the issues faced by Indian students going abroad for education

Problems faced by Foreign University Studying Students?

Crisis Situation: like the covid pandemic forced India to carry out largest rescue operations from China and the current war situation in Ukraine forcing Indian students to stand at a loss.

Impact of crisis situation: The abrupt discontinuation of foreign education takes a severe toll on students. They had to suffer on educational, economic, mental health and physical fronts.

Why do Indian students go abroad to pursue higher studies?

Read – Medical Education in India and Associated Issues – Explained, pointwise

Status of Indian Students Studying Abroad

There are over 1.1 million Indian students studying in 99 countries across the world.

What is lost in case of Indian students studying abroad ?

Monetary Loss: India’s budget for higher education is estimated at ₹1.04 trillion for fiscal year 2022-23. But Indian students studying abroad spend more than ₹2 trillion for their education which is lost by the Indian exchequer.

Loss of human resources: India’s gross enrolment ratio (GER) for higher education is just above 27%. The National Education Policy 2020 envisages achieving a GER of 50% by 2030.

Inadequate Infrastructure: Our present education infrastructure is inadequate even for handling demand at a GER of 27%.

What measures should be taken to arrest this drain of wealth and human resources?

One, increase the supply of public and private institutions. Promote and incentivize private entities to set up educational institutions.

Two, rationalize the country’s current caste-based reservation system. Introduce a ‘creamy layer’ criterion for Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe candidates. It could also enforce the seat reservation-limit that was mandated by a Supreme Court ruling.

Three, there is a need to standardize the curriculum across universities. For example, facilitate inter-disciplinarily learning and promote research-oriented education.

Four, start scholarships and on-campus jobs such as those for research and teaching assistants, etc.

Fifth, facilitate loans for education.

Conclusion

The plight of Indian students is not merely an issue of a large gap between demand and supply. A good-quality education can lead to the creation of better human resources and will be an asset for the country over the long term.

GS Paper 3


Why special situation funds are necessary

Source: The post is based on an article “Why special situation funds are necessary” published in the Indian Express on 16th March 2022.

Syllabus: GS III: Indian Economy, Issues in the mobilization of resources.

Topic: Reforms in debt market, bad loan

News: Recently, Indian financial markets witnessed two crucial reforms. One was release of a dedicated regulatory framework for special situation funds (SSFs) by SEBI and, the other was approval of a new dual-structure for bad-bank (called NARCL-IDRCL) by RBI.

Why have such new reforms been undertaken?

India suffers from a bad loan problem which requires higher provisioning, and locking up more capital in the banking system. This reduces credit supply and hurts economic growth.

Special Situation Funds (SSFs) can buy bad loans (in addition to Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC) which can also do the same). This can release capital locked-up in the banking system and help improve credit supply.

Concept of Special Situation Fund (SSF)

SSFs is a sub-category of Category I Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs). AIFs manage privately pooled funds. The funds are raised from sophisticated investors with deep pockets.

Traditionally, AIFs could participate in the equity markets. But, could not participate in the distressed debt markets. It is because regulations did not allow AIFs to participate in the secondary market for corporate loans extended by banks and NBFCs.

Now, a special sub-category of AIFs, namely SSFs can participate in the secondary market for buying loans extended to companies that have defaulted on their debt obligations.

What more steps can be undertaken regarding SSFs?

SSFs must be allowed to have seamless access across the entire secondary market. It should be allowed to have access for investment as well as non-investment grade corporate debt (loans and bonds). It is an international practice. It was also suggested by the RBI task force (chaired by T N Manoharan) on secondary markets for corporate loans.

SSFs could also be allowed to participate in the secondary market for corporate debt even before the company defaults on its debt obligations. It has multiple advantages as given below:

  • It will help lenders and bond investors to offload potentially stressed assets to SSFs before any default.
  • SSFs would also get adequate time for debt aggregation before default. It reduces the collective action problems that may arise after default during insolvency or restructuring.

Indian lenders or bond investors should have full freedom to sell their loans or bonds in the secondary market at the best price possible, irrespective of whether default has happened or not.

Conclusion

Introduction of SSFs promises to usher in a modern era of distressed debt investing in India.


Let an open market for vaccines fulfill demand

Source: The post is based on an article “Let an open market for vaccines fulfil demand” published in the live mint on 16th March 2022

Syllabus: GS II: Health Sector, GS III Disaster Management

Topic: Covid-19 Vaccination, Covid-Management

News: India’s state-run covid vaccination drive was primarily aimed at pandemic mitigation for public health.

Outcomes/Impressive coverage of the India’s Vaccine Program

A vast proportion of our adult population has got one or more shots, for example More than 1.8 billion doses have been administered so far.

The Children aged 15 years and above were made eligible for covid jabs in the later stages of the programme (Also, the 12-14-years age group will be covered)

The co-morbidity conditions have also dropped for people above 60year who had a booster shot to supplement the usual double-jab regimen.

Average of daily infections is under 4,000, and the virus has lost virulence. It has lessened the risk.

What are the challenges in India’s vaccine programme?

The government has a limited capacity for immunizing the population of India. For example, there was a low outlay for this.

Slow pace of expansion of eligibility: Some parents also want under-12s immunized (as kids aged above 4 are eligible in the US),

Individuals aged under 60 who were vaccinated in early-2021 might have lost immunity gained from the jab. They are in need of boosters too.

Way Ahead

Allow the open vaccine market to emerge in India that can help fulfil unmet vaccine requirements.

Give people choice to opt for a mix-and-match boost, with an mRNA jab to enhance what they took.

The Centre should allow vaccine makers to get clearances for local distribution independent of the restrictions imposed by the government guidelines.


Electric vehicles can’t go too far in reducing our use of fossil fuel

Source: The post is based on an article “Electric vehicles can’t go too far in reducing our use of fossil fuel” published in the Live Mint on 16th March 2022.

Syllabus: GS III Environment and Ecology

Topic: Electric Vehicle Technology

News: The Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in fuelling the price of crude oil. It has triggered renewed calls for the use of electric vehicles (EVs) to lower the human dependence on fossil fuels which pollute the environment.

Concept of Electric Vehicles

The Electric vehicles don’t run on fossil fuels like petrol, diesel or CNG. They run on the electricity.

What are the issues in reduction of fossil fuel dependence by the Electric Vehicles (EVs) Technology?

EVs are also powered by fossil-fuel based electricity: The electricity is generated from various sources like coal, natural gas, water flows, nuclear fission, solar energy and wind etc. At present, majority of electricity is produced using fossil fuels, like coal and natural gas. For e.g., 61.4% of our electricity was drawn from fossil fuel sources (the share of coal in total electricity is 54%) in 202-21.

Restriction of Renewable Energy: The wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine.

Inadequate affordable batteries: A large number of affordable batteries are need to store energy to power a city for few days, for example, more than 14 million batteries would be needed so that Tokyo can have enough power for three days if wind and solar power could not be produced in those 3 days

The electricity accounts for only part of the total global energy consumption: i.e., only 18%:  Most energy produced is consumed in the production of four pillars of modern civilization: cement, steel, plastics and ammonia. They are heavily dependent on the combustion of fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels are even required to generate renewable power: for example, if wind power is to supply 25% of global demand for electricity by 2030, it would require around 400 million tonnes of steel. The production of the steel used in wind power requires combustion of fossil fuels.  e

Fossil fuels are even required to produce electric car: A typical lithium car battery require lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper, graphite, steel, aluminium, and plastics. A massive expansion in EV requires the massive extraction of these metals and, in turn, mean massive use of fossil fuels for their production.

Way Ahead

In India, the proportion of installed capacity that depends on wind and the sun to produce power has gone up, and now amounts to a little over one-fifth of our overall capacity, against 8% in 2014-15.

To conclude, moving the world away from fossil fuels is not just complicated, it’s complex. As David Wallace-Wells writes in The Uninhabitable Earth, people are “mesmerized by the threat” of climate change “without ever perceiving it clearly”.

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

National Floodplains Zoning Policy

Source: This post is based on the articleNational Floodplains Zoning Policypublished in PIB on 15th Mar 2022.

What is the News?

The Ministry of Jal Shakti has informed the Rajya Sabha about the National Floodplains Zoning Policy.

What is Flood Plain Zoning?

Flood Plain Zoning has been recognized as an effective non-structural measure for flood management. 

Flood-plain zoning measures aim at demarcating zones or areas likely to be affected by floods of different magnitude or frequencies and probability levels and specify the types of permissible developments in these zones so that whenever floods actually occur, the damage can be minimized.

The action for demarcation of flood plain areas and regulating the activities therein is to be undertaken by respective state governments.

Assessment of Flood Prone Area of the Country: The assessment of flood-prone areas of the country has been carried out by different expert committees:

1) The Rashtriya Barh Ayog(RBA) had in the year 1980 estimated the total area liable to floods in the country as 40 Million hectares (Mha), 2) The extent of the maximum area affected by floods as per the Working Group(WG) Report on Flood Management and Region Specific Issues in 2011 is 49 Mha.

Model Draft Bill for Flood Plain Zoning 

A Model Draft Bill for Food Plain Zoning Legislation was circulated by the Union Government to all the States. 

The Bill talks about flood zoning authorities, surveys and delineation of flood plain area, notification of limits of flood plains, prohibition of the use of the flood plains, compensation and most importantly removing obstructions to ensure free flow of water

The states of Manipur, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and the erstwhile State of Jammu & Kashmir had enacted the legislation. 


Explained: India’s draft medical devices policy, and why it is needed

Source: This post is based on the article “Explained: India’s draft medical devices policy, and why it is needed” published in Indian Express on 16th Mar 2022.

What is the News?

The Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has released “Draft National Policy for the Medical Devices, 2022.

What is the Medical Devices Sector?

Click Here to read

What is the need for National Policy for the Medical Devices?

Firstly, nearly 80% of the medical devices currently sold in the country are imported, particularly high-end devices. This new policy aims to reduce India’s import dependence to nearly 30% in the next 10 years.

Secondly, India’s medical devices sector has so far been regulated as per provisions under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940 and a specific policy on medical devices has been a long-standing demand from the industry.

Thirdly, the policy aims to increase India’s per capita spending on medical devices. India has one of the lowest per capita spend on medical devices at $3 compared to the global average of per capita consumption $47.

What are the salient features of the policy?

The policy will

– Incentivise core technology projects and exports through tax refunds and rebates.

– Adopt Public-private partnerships to reduce the cost of healthcare and drive efficiency.

– Create a single-window clearance system for licensing medical devices.

– Identify critical suppliers and promote local sourcing.

– Encourage cross-industry collaboration.

– Increase the share of medical technology companies in research and development to around 50%.

– A dedicated fund for encouraging joint research involving existing industry players, reputed academic institutions and startups.

– Incorporate a framework for a coherent pricing regulation to make available quality and effective medical devices to all citizens at affordable prices.

– NPPA (National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority) shall be strengthened with adequate manpower of suitable expertise to provide effective price regulation, balancing patient and industry needs.


Supreme Court tears into practice of ‘sealed cover jurisprudence’

Source: This post is based on the article Supreme Court tears into practice of ‘sealed cover jurisprudencepublished in The Hindu on 16th Mar 2022.

What is the News?

Recently, the two separate Benches of the Supreme Court have criticized the “Sealed Cover Jurisprudence” practised by the Government in Courts.

What is Sealed Cover Jurisprudence?

It is a practice used by the Supreme Court and sometimes lower courts of asking for or accepting information from government agencies in sealed envelopes that can only be accessed by judges.

While a specific law does not define the doctrine of sealed cover, the Supreme Court derives its power from:

Rule 7 of Supreme Court Rules: It states that if the Chief Justice or court directs certain information to be kept under sealed cover or considers it of confidential nature, no party would be allowed access to the contents of such information, except if the Chief Justice himself orders that the opposite party be allowed to access it. 

Section 123 of the Evidence Act: It says that the official unpublished documents relating to state affairs are protected, and a public officer cannot be compelled to disclose such documents.

Why has the Sealed Cover Jurisprudence been criticized?

Firstly, sealed cover practice is not favourable to the principles of transparency and accountability of the Indian justice system.

Secondly, it enlarges the scope for arbitrariness in court decisions, as judges are supposed to lay down the reasoning for their decisions, but this cannot be done when they are based upon information submitted confidentially.

Thirdly, not providing access to such documents to the accused parties obstructs their passage to a fair trial and adjudication.

What are recent Supreme Court views on Sealed Cover Jurisprudence?

The Supreme Court was critical about how the government and its agencies file reports in sealed envelopes directly in court without sharing the contents with the opposite party. 

This is usually done on the ground that the contents are highly sensitive in nature and may injure even national security or public order. Another reason given by State agencies mostly in money laundering cases is disclosure would affect the ongoing investigation.

However, the court said this sealed cover practice should be used in exceptional cases in which the court, for the benefit of the parties, do not want them to see the government files. For example, like in a case of child sexual abuse.


Hijab not an essential practice of Islam, rules Karnataka High Court

Source: This post is based on the article “Hijab not an essential practice of Islam, rules Karnataka High Court” published in The Hindu on 16th Mar 2022.

What is the News?

Karnataka High Court has pronounced its verdict on the petitions related to the row over wearing hijab in educational institutions.

What were the issues before the Karnataka High Court?

The questions before the High Court were:

– Whether the wearing of the hijab is essential religious practice under Islam.

– Whether the prescription of school uniforms is violative of fundamental rights and 

– Whether the Karnataka government order (which barred students from wearing clothing that could ‘disturb the peace, harmony and law and order), apart from being incompetent and manifestly arbitrary, violates Articles 14 and 15.

What was the Court verdict on these issues?

Firstly, the Wearing of a hijab (headscarf) by Muslim women does not form a part of essential religious practices in the Islamic faith, and it is not protected under the right to freedom of religion guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution of India.

Secondly, the prescription of school uniforms does not violate either the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1) (a) or the right to privacy under Article 21 of the Constitution. Moreover. 

– The restriction against wearing hijab in educational institutions is only a reasonable restriction constitutionally permissible, which the students cannot object to.

Thirdly, the court upheld the legality of the Karnataka Government’s order prescribing the wearing of uniforms in schools and pre-university colleges under provisions of the Karnataka Education Act, 1983.


Implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana

Source: This post is based on the article “National Floodplains Zoning Policy” published in PIB on 15th Mar 2022.

What is the News?

Union Minister of State for Rural Development has informed Lok Sabha about the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

What is Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana(PMGSY)?

PMGSY was launched as a one-time special intervention to provide rural connectivity by way of a single all-weather road to the eligible unconnected habitations of designated population size as per Census 2001.

PMGSY-II was launched in 2013 for up-gradation of selected Through Routes and Major Rural Links (MRLs) with a target to upgrade 50,000 Km in various States and Union Territories.

In 2016, Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas(RCPLWEA) was launched as a separate vertical under PMGSY  for construction/up-gradation of strategically important roads. 

In 2019, the Government launched PMGSY-III for consolidation of 1,25,000 Km through Routes and Major Rural Links connecting habitations, inter-alia, to Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), Higher Secondary Schools and Hospitals.

Click Here to read more about PMGSY

Monitoring Mechanism under PMGSY: There is a three-tiered Quality Control mechanism for ensuring the construction of quality road works and durability of road assets under PMGSY. 

-Under the first tier, the Programme Implementation Units (PIUs) are required to ensure process control through mandatory tests on material and workmanship at field laboratories. 

-The second tier is a structured independent quality monitoring at the State level through State Quality Monitors (SQMs) to ensure that every work is inspected at the initial stage, middle stage and final stage of construction. 

-Under the third tier, independent National Quality Monitors (NQMs) are deployed by National Rural Infrastructure Development Agency (NRIDA) for random inspection of road and bridge works to monitor quality and also to provide guidance to the field functionaries.


Indian Armed Forces turn to 3D Printing for military construction

Source: This post is based on the article “Indian Armed Forces turn to 3D Printing for military construction” published in Livemint on 16th Mar 2022.

What is the News?

Indian Army’s Military Engineering Services(MES) has constructed two houses using 3D Rapid Construction Technology. The houses have been constructed in South-Western Air Command in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

How are houses constructed using 3D Printing?

3D printing is a process where three-dimensional objects are created from a digital representation by putting layer after layer of printing material. 

Typically, the material used in 3D printing is made of plastic or metal. A special type of concrete is used for housing projects.

Advantages of 3D Printed houses

– Potentially reduces overall construction cost significantly,

– Less construction time,

– Brings down the related carbon footprint,

– Increases productivity of labour involved,

– Offers raw material flexibility/utilization of eco-friendly materials.

Why has the Indian Army turned to 3D Printing for military construction?

The Indian Army has turned to 3D Printing to make bunkers and parking facilities for military vehicles in border areas, where traditional construction is challenging due to harsh weather conditions and a short supply of labour due to the threat from hostile neighbours.


DST-INSPIRE Faculty fellow working on doping techniques for monolayer and bi-layer 2D-semiconductors for future 2D-electronics devices optimization

Source: This post is based on the article DST-INSPIRE Faculty fellow working on doping techniques for monolayer and bi-layer 2D-semiconductors for future 2D-electronics devices optimization published in PIB on 15th Mar 2022.

What is the News?

A recipient of the INSPIRE Faculty fellowship is working on two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors.

What is the researcher working on?

Due to the continual shrinking of the dimension of transistors, silicon (Si) technology has reached its limit. Therefore, new materials systems and device designs have been explored to carry on Moore’s law. 

Researchers are working on the exceptional and tunable nature of two-dimensional(2D) semiconductors. They look very promising due to their stability and high device performance.

Hence, this has opened new possibilities for nanoelectronics, optoelectronics, and sensor applications.

What is an INSPIRE Faculty fellowship?

Nodal Ministry: Department of Science and Technology.

Purpose: The scheme offers postdoctoral fellowships to young achievers with an opportunity for independent research. 

Eligibility: The candidate should be an Indian citizen or a person of Indian origin with PIO status having a PhD degree (in science, mathematics, engineering, pharmacy, medicine and agriculture-related subjects) from any recognised university. 

– Candidates should possess a minimum of 60% (or equivalent CGPA) marks throughout their academic profile starting from the higher secondary examination (class 12 onwards).

– Those who have submitted their PhD theses and are awaiting the award of the degree shall also be eligible. However, selection for the fellowship will be confirmed only after the PhD degree is awarded. 

Age Limit: The upper age limit at the time of awarding the offer should be 32 years for considering support.

Prize: Each selected INSPIRE faculty fellow will be eligible to receive a consolidated amount of Rs 1,25,000 per month as a fellowship. 

In addition, a research grant of Rs 7 lakh every year for 5 years will also be provided to each successful candidate including the carryforward amount, if any, from the previous year.


Union Minister to inaugurate pilot project for Hydrogen based advanced Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)

Source: This post is based on the article Union Minister to inaugurate pilot project for Hydrogen based advanced Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)published in PIB on 15th Mar 2022.

What is the News?

The Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways will be inaugurating a pilot project for Hydrogen based advanced Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle(FCEV).

What is a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle(FCEV)?

The Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle(FCEV) is a device that uses a source of fuel, such as hydrogen, and an oxidant to create electricity by an electrochemical process. 

Put simply, the fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to generate an electric current, water being the only byproduct. 

Does FCEV a conventional vehicle or an electric vehicle (EV)?

Fuel cells generate electricity through an electrochemical process. But unlike a battery-electricity vehicle, it does not store energy and, instead, relies on a constant supply of fuel and oxygen. In that sense, it may be seen as being similar to a conventional internal combustion engine.

However, unlike combustion engine cars, there are no moving parts in the fuel cell, so they are more efficient and reliable by comparison. Also, there is no combustion on board, in the conventional sense.

Advantages of FCEVs

FCEVs produce much smaller quantities of greenhouse gases and none of the air pollutants that cause health problems.

Fuel cells emit only heat and water as a byproduct and are far more energy-efficient than traditional combustion technologies.

FCEVs do not need to be plugged in for charging, like battery-powered EVs.

There is also a wide availability of resources for producing hydrogen.

Problems associated with FCEV

While FCEVs do not generate gases that contribute to global warming, the process of making hydrogen needs energy — often from fossil fuel sources. 

Also, there are questions of safety, as hydrogen is more explosive than petrol. 

Moreover, these vehicles are also expensive.


Explained: What revoking Russia’s ‘most favoured nation’ status means

Source: This post is based on the article “Explained: What revoking Russia’s ‘most favoured nation’ status means” published in Indian Express on 16th Mar 2022.

What is the News?

The US and other members of the Group of Seven (G7) will revoke Russia’s “Permanent Normal Trade Relations (Pntr)” status to punish Russia for war over Ukraine.

What is Permanent Normal Trade Relations(PNTR)?

The status of Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) is a legal designation in the United States for free trade with a foreign nation.

In the United States, the name was changed from Most Favored Nation (MFN) to PNTR in 1998.

What is the Most Favoured Nation(MFN) Status?

The World Trade Organization members commit to treating other members equally, so they can all benefit from each other’s lowest tariffs, the highest import quotas and the fewest trade barriers for goods and services. This principle of non-discrimination is known as the most favoured nation (MFN) treatment. 

Article 1 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT),1994 requires every WTO member country to accord MFN status to all other member countries.

However, there are also some exceptions, such as when members strike bilateral trade agreements or when members offer developing countries special access to their markets.

For countries outside the WTO, such as Iran, North Korea, Syria or Belarus, WTO members can impose whatever trade measures they wish without flouting global trading rules.

What is the process for the removal of MFN Status?

There is no formal procedure for suspending MFN treatment and it is not clear whether members are obliged to inform the WTO if they do so. 

Note: India suspended Pakistan’s MFN status in 2019. Pakistan never applied MFN status to India.

What does losing MFN status mean?

For instance, revoking Russia’s MFN status sends a strong signal that the United States and its Western allies do not consider Russia an economic partner in any way, but it does not in itself change conditions for trade. 

However, it does formally allow the Western allies to increase import tariffs or impose quotas on Russian goods or even ban them and restrict services out of the country. They could also overlook Russian intellectual property rights.


Ministry of Education to release a detailed Report on Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2020-21

Source: This post is based on the article Ministry of Education to release a detailed Report on Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2020-21published in PIB on 15th Mar 2022.

What is the News?

The Ministry of Education has released a detailed report on Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2020-21.

What is UDISE+?

Click Here to read

What are the key findings of UDISE+ 2020-21?

Students in schools: Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) which measures the general level of participation has improved in 2020-21 at all levels of school education compared to 2019-20.

– Level wise GER in 2020-21 as compared to 2019-20 are: 92.2% from 89.7% in upper primary, 99.1 % from 97.8% in elementary, 79.8% from 77.9% in secondary and 53.8% from 51.4% in higher secondary respectively.

Teachers in Schools: In 2020-21 the Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR) stood at 26 for primary, 19 for upper primary, 18 for secondary and 26 for higher secondary showing an improvement since 2018-19.

Data on Girls: In 2020-21, over 12.2 crore girls are enrolled in primary to higher secondary, showing an increase of 11.8 lakh girls compared to the enrolment of girls in 2019-20.

School Infrastructure: Now 84% of the total schools have functional electricity facilities in comparison with 73.85% in 2018-19, showing a remarkable improvement of 10.15% during the period.

– Percentage of schools with functional drinking water has increased to 95.2 % in 2020-21 from 93.7 % in 2019-20.

– Percentage of the school with a functional girl’s toilet facility has increased to 93.91 % in 2020-21 in comparison with 93.2 % in 2019-20 by adding the facility in additional 11,933 schools during the year.

– Number of schools having functional computers increased to 6 lakh in 2020-21 from 5.5 lakh in 2019-20.

– Number of schools having internet facilities increased to 3.7 lakh in 2020-21 from 3.36 lakh in 2019-20, with an increase of 2.6%.

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on enrolment: During 2020-21, 39.7 lakh students of government-aided, private school students shifted to Government schools.

Mains Answer Writing

[UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #20 : M Sathiyavathy Board, PSIR Optional, Karnataka Home State, Football, silk farming Hobbies

Date of Interview: Feb 02 Board: M Sathiyavathy Optional: PSIR Home State: Karnataka Background: Mechanical Engg Work: Sports Authority Hobbies: Football, silk farming, documentaries Chair asked to remove mask. Read the DAF. To view all IAS Interview Transcripts 2022, visit this page Chairman What doing since graduation? What is your salary? Ok gross salary? What… Continue reading [UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #20 : M Sathiyavathy Board, PSIR Optional, Karnataka Home State, Football, silk farming Hobbies

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Yaya Tso to become Ladakh’s first biodiversity heritage site

Source: The post is based on the article “Yaya Tso to become Ladakh’s first biodiversity heritage site” published in Livemint on 2nd February 2023. What is the News? Yaya Tso has been proposed as Ladakh’s first biodiversity heritage site(BHS). What is Yaya Tso? Yaya Tso is located in Ladakh. It is known as a birds’… Continue reading Yaya Tso to become Ladakh’s first biodiversity heritage site

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Newly-discovered ancient ‘marine crocodile’ fossil could be the oldest of its kind ever found

Source: The post is based on the article “Newly-discovered ancient ‘marine crocodile’ fossil could be the oldest of its kind ever found” published in Indian Express on 4th February 2023. What is the News? A new study has uncovered a new thalattosuchian — an ancient ancestor of the modern-day crocodile. What is Thalattosuchian? Thalattosuchia is… Continue reading Newly-discovered ancient ‘marine crocodile’ fossil could be the oldest of its kind ever found

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Who is a ‘puisne’ judge, and what does the term mean?

Source: The post is based on the article “Who is a ‘puisne’ judge, and what does the term mean?” published in Indian Express on 4th February 2023 What is the News? Chief Justice of India (CJI) has recently reiterated that the collegium takes into consideration the seniority of Chief Justices and senior puisne judges while… Continue reading Who is a ‘puisne’ judge, and what does the term mean?

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Government initiates various steps under National Bioenergy Programme to promote and encourage establishment of new waste to energy plants

Source: The post is based on the article “Government initiates various steps under National Bioenergy Programme to promote and encourage establishment of new waste to energy plants” published in PIB on 3rd February 2023. WGovernment initiates various steps under National Bioenergy Programme to promote and encourage establishment of new waste to energy plantshat is the… Continue reading Government initiates various steps under National Bioenergy Programme to promote and encourage establishment of new waste to energy plants

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Operation Sadbhavana in Ladakh

Source: The post is based on the article “ Operation Sadbhavana in Ladakh” published in PIB on 4th February 2023 What is the News? The Indian Army is running Operation Sadbhavana in Ladakh. What is Operation Sadbhavana? Operation Sadbhavana (Goodwill) is a unique humane initiative undertaken by the Indian Army in Ladakh. Purpose: The focus… Continue reading Operation Sadbhavana in Ladakh

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Tihar jail to get AI-powered surveillance system

Source: The post is based on the article “Tihar jail to get AI-powered surveillance system” published in The Hindu on 4th February 2023. What is the News? Tihar jail is installing artificial intelligence(AI)-powered CCTV cameras to monitor inmates and fight crime.The premises will also have a real-time grievance redressal system. What is Tihar Jail? Tihar… Continue reading Tihar jail to get AI-powered surveillance system

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Supreme Court eases procedures for terminally ill patients to withdraw medical treatment

Source: The post is based on the article “Supreme Court eases procedures for terminally ill patients to withdraw medical treatment” published in The Hindu on 4th February 2023. What is the News? The Supreme Court has modified its 2018 judgment on passive euthanasia and living wills. What is a Living Will/advance medical directive(AMD)?  Click Here… Continue reading Supreme Court eases procedures for terminally ill patients to withdraw medical treatment

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Govt. extends deadline for laggard solar scheme

Source: The post is based on the article “Govt. extends deadline for laggard solar scheme” published in The Hindu on 4th February 2023. What is the News? The deadline for the PM KUSUM scheme to install 30,000 MW solar power capacity in rural India by 2022 has now been pushed to March 2026. What is… Continue reading Govt. extends deadline for laggard solar scheme

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Govt eases rules to help disabled register vehicle

Source: The post is based on the article “Govt eases rules to help disabled register vehicle” published in The Hindu on 4th February 2023. What is the News? The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has asked states to register vehicles owned by people with disabilities under the ownership category of ‘Divyangjan’ and extend necessary… Continue reading Govt eases rules to help disabled register vehicle

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Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme

Source: The post is based on the article “Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme” published in PIB on 3rd February 2023 What is the News? The Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare has informed Lok Sabha about Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme(PMNDP). What is Dialysis? Dialysis is a procedure that removes waste and… Continue reading Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme

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Working of the MGNREGS: Challenges and Solutions – Explained, pointwise

For 7PM Editorial Archives click HERE → Introduction The Economic Survey 2022-23 showed that 6.49 crore households demanded work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). Of these, 6.48 crore households were offered employment by the government and 5.7 crore actually availed it. The Scheme was hailed for its role in mitigating the impact of… Continue reading Working of the MGNREGS: Challenges and Solutions – Explained, pointwise

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[UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #19 : RN Choubey Board, Geography Optional, Haryana Home State, Cricket Hobby

Date of Interview: 2nd February 2023, Afternoon Session Board: RN Choubey Sir Home State: Haryana Background: Physics Optional: Geography Hobbies: Stargazing, Flute, Cricket Other Keywords: Police, CAPFs To view all IAS Interview Transcripts 2022, visit this page Chairman You had lunch today? What? ( I said Poha). That is a breakfast item. We will arrange… Continue reading [UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #19 : RN Choubey Board, Geography Optional, Haryana Home State, Cricket Hobby

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[UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #18 : Lt. Gen. Raj Shukla Board, Anthropology Optional, Telangana Home state, farming Hobby

Board: Lt. Gen. Raj Shukla (Retd.) Optional: Anthropology Home State: Telangana Hobbies: Helping parents in farming activities Worked as software engineer and Panchayat secretary Interview went well and it’s more than 35 minutes To view all IAS Interview Transcripts 2022, visit this page Chairman Are you happy with new state Telangana? Why you are happy? Any… Continue reading [UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #18 : Lt. Gen. Raj Shukla Board, Anthropology Optional, Telangana Home state, farming Hobby

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[UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #17 : RN Choubey Board, Geography Optional, Travel Hobby

Date of Interview: 2nd February Board: RN Choubey Optional: Geography Background: MSc Chemistry In service: State Civil Service Hobby: Travel documentary To view all IAS Interview Transcripts 2022, visit this page Chairman Introduce with educational and work experience. What’s your opinion on farmer protest ? What are the 3 laws ? Why they opposed ?… Continue reading [UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #17 : RN Choubey Board, Geography Optional, Travel Hobby

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[UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #16 : RN Choubey Board, Andhra Pradesh Home State

Board: RN Choubey In service: ICLS, Home State: Andhra Pradesh Background: Mechanical Engineering To view all IAS Interview Transcripts 2022, visit this page Chairman What are u doing at present What is the role of mca in ease of doing bussiness Different cities selected for the rank and the last rank of india Is the… Continue reading [UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #16 : RN Choubey Board, Andhra Pradesh Home State

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[UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #15 : RN Choubey Board, Anthropology Optional, Maharashtra Home State, playing harmonium Hobby

Date of Interview: 31 Jan 2023, Afternoon session. Board: RN Choubey Sir Background: Physics and statistics. Optional: anthropology Home State: Maharashtra Hobby: playing harmonium, To view all IAS Interview Transcripts 2022, visit this page Chairman Introduce yourself with work experience Tell me Types of leaders What type of leader was Gandhi ji? What are the… Continue reading [UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #15 : RN Choubey Board, Anthropology Optional, Maharashtra Home State, playing harmonium Hobby

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Must Read Current Affairs Articles – February 4th, 2023

About Must Read News Articles: Must Read News Articles is an initiative by Team ForumIAS to provide links to the most important news articles of the day. It covers The Hindu newspaper. This saves the time and effort of students in identifying useful and important articles. With newspaper websites requiring a paid subscription beyond a certain… Continue reading Must Read Current Affairs Articles – February 4th, 2023

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[UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #14 : M Sathiyavathy Board, Haryana Home State, Reading, Meditation Hobbies

Date of Interview: 30/01/2023 Board: M Sathiyavathy Background: Electrical Engg, IIT Delhi Home State: Haryana Employee: Intel, Currently in IDAS Hobbies: Reading Biographies, Meditation, Playing piano To view all IAS Interview Transcripts 2022, visit this page Chairman Satyavathi Mam read out the DAF loudly and asked the following questions : Tell us about the recent reforms in… Continue reading [UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #14 : M Sathiyavathy Board, Haryana Home State, Reading, Meditation Hobbies

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Trading more within Asia makes economic sense

Source– The post is based on the article “Trading more within Asia makes economic sense” published in The Hindu on 3rd February 2023. Syllabus: GS2- Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements Relevance– Trade and Economic relations across Asia News– IMF has warned that global trade would slow down from 5.4% in 2022 to 2.4%… Continue reading Trading more within Asia makes economic sense

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System Bails Out – Kappan finally free on bail but many aren’t, in contravention of juridical principles

Source: The post is based on an article “System Bails Out – Kappan finally free on bail but many aren’t, in contravention of juridical principles” published in The Times of India on 3rd February 2023. Syllabus: GS 2 – Governance News: The Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan has been freed from jail after 846 days. He was charged… Continue reading System Bails Out – Kappan finally free on bail but many aren’t, in contravention of juridical principles

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India’s G20 Presidency: LiFE lessons for global markets

Source– The post is based on the article “India’s G20 Presidency: LiFE lessons for global markets” published in The Indian Express on 3rd February 2023. Syllabus: GS3- Environment Relevance– Sustainable development News– The world is facing its first truly global energy crisis, with turbulent markets and sharp price spikes. It is creating difficulties for citizens,… Continue reading India’s G20 Presidency: LiFE lessons for global markets

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Decluttering the defence budget

Source: The post is based on an article “Decluttering the defence budget” published in Business Standard on 3rd February 2023. Syllabus: GS 3 – Government Budgeting Relevance: Budget 2023-24 for the defence News: The article discusses the shortcomings of the Budget 2023-24 in the defence sector. What are the shortcomings with the budget in the defence sector?… Continue reading Decluttering the defence budget

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Fire and ice – Problem facing Ladakh

Source– The post is based on the article “Fire and ice” published in The Hindu on 3rd February 2023. Syllabus: GS2- Polity. GS1- Regionalism Relevance– Regional political issues News– The people of Ladakh are on agitation for their demands. What are the demands of agitating people in Ladakh? They are demanding the inclusion of the… Continue reading Fire and ice – Problem facing Ladakh

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SFG 2023 Level-2 by ForumIAS | Entrance Test 11th February 2023

Dear Friends, Please be informed that we will be conducting the Level-2 of Select Focus Group (SFG) starting from 28th February 2023. The entrance test for the program will take place on 11th February 2023 at 9:30 AM. ForumIAS SFG is a test-based self-study program that emphasizes on three parameters: a) discipline, b) rigor, and c) revision. It balances static and dynamic content and… Continue reading SFG 2023 Level-2 by ForumIAS | Entrance Test 11th February 2023

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[UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #13 : RN Choubey Board, public administration Optional, Maharashtra Home State, Reading, web series Hobbies

Date of Interview: 1st FEB Afternoon 2nd to go Board: RN Choubey sir Optional: public administration Background: Computer Engg. Home State: Maharashtra Hobbies: Reading non fiction, web series To view all IAS Interview Transcripts 2022, visit this page Chairman Briefly tell abt educational b/g nd work experience Why pubad? Major internal security challenges India is… Continue reading [UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #13 : RN Choubey Board, public administration Optional, Maharashtra Home State, Reading, web series Hobbies

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A ‘waterfall’ for insolvency resolution

Source– The post is based on the article “A ‘waterfall’ for insolvency resolution” published in the Business Standard on 3rd February 2023. Syllabus: GS3- Changes in Industrial Policy and their Effects on Industrial Growth Relevance– Exit process of the business News– The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has recently issued a discussion paper inviting comments on… Continue reading A ‘waterfall’ for insolvency resolution

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The Union budget ticks all the right boxes for India Inc

Source: The post is based on the following articles “The Union budget ticks all the right boxes for India Inc” published in the Livemint on 3rd February 2023. “Express View on Budget 2023: Adding it up” published in the Indian Express on 3rd February 2023. Syllabus: GS 3 – Government Budgeting. Relevance: Budget 2023-24 is… Continue reading The Union budget ticks all the right boxes for India Inc

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Get to know about macrosomia, the condition that creates gigantic babies

Source: The post is based on the article “Get to know about macrosomia, the condition that creates gigantic babies” published in Economic Times on 2nd February 2023 What is the News? A mother in Brazil recently gave birth to a two-foot-tall baby weighing 7.3kg. This is called as Macrosomia. Note: A newborn boy typically weighs… Continue reading Get to know about macrosomia, the condition that creates gigantic babies

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New income tax regime: A nudge on income tax mustn’t become a shove

Source: The post is based on the article “A nudge on income tax mustn’t become a shove” published in the Livemint on 3rd February 2023. Syllabus: GS 3 – Government Budgeting. Relevance: About the new income tax regime. News: In the Budget 2023-24, the government introduced a new income tax regime. About the new tax regime… Continue reading New income tax regime: A nudge on income tax mustn’t become a shove

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Current insight on the mechanisms of Cobra venom cytotoxins can help anti-venom therapy

Source: The post is based on the article “Current insight on the mechanisms of Cobra venom cytotoxins can help anti-venom therapy” published in PIB on 3rd February 2023 What is the News? Scientists have traced the mechanisms of the toxic action of cobra venom paving a path towards developing strategies for application of antivenom which… Continue reading Current insight on the mechanisms of Cobra venom cytotoxins can help anti-venom therapy

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Tamil Nadu’s proposed Pen Monument to Karunanidhi’s memory — the plan and the criticism

Source: The post is based on the article “Tamil Nadu’s proposed Pen Monument to Karunanidhi’s memory — the plan and the criticism” published in Indian Express on 3rd February 2023. What is the News? A public hearing for the proposed ‘Pen Monument’ in memory of late Tamil Nadu chief minister and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi… Continue reading Tamil Nadu’s proposed Pen Monument to Karunanidhi’s memory — the plan and the criticism

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Budget 2023: 80,000 start-ups exempt from angel tax, says gov

Source: The post is based on the article “Budget 2023: 80,000 start-ups exempt from angel tax, says gov” published in Business Standard on 3rd February 2023 What is the News? The Finance Minister has made several announcements related to the startup sector in the Union Budget 2023-24. What are the announcements made in the Budget… Continue reading Budget 2023: 80,000 start-ups exempt from angel tax, says gov

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Union Budget 2023-24: Push for ELS cotton yield to reduce imports

Source: The post is based on the article “Union Budget 2023-24: Push for ELS cotton yield to reduce imports” published in The Hindu on 3rd February 2023 What is the News? The Budget has proposed to enhance the productivity of extra-long staple (ELS) cotton through public-private partnerships. This is meant to lower the import dependence… Continue reading Union Budget 2023-24: Push for ELS cotton yield to reduce imports

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No bar on contesting two seats in one poll

Source: The post is based on the article “No bar on contesting two seats in one poll” published in The Hindu on 3rd February 2023 What is the News? The Supreme Court has refused to set aside a provision in the election law which allows candidates to contest polls from two constituencies simultaneously. What was… Continue reading No bar on contesting two seats in one poll

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CITES database reveals red sanders smuggling

Source: The post is based on the article “CITES database reveals red sanders smuggling” published in The Hindu on 3rd February 2023 What is the News? The CITES trade database has recorded 28 incidents of red sanders confiscation, seizure and specimens from the wild being exported from India. What is Red Sanders? Red Sanders(Pterocarpus santalinus)… Continue reading CITES database reveals red sanders smuggling

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Health ministry’s fight against sickle cell anaemia to follow Gujarat playbook

Source: The post is based on the article “Health ministry’s fight against sickle cell anaemia to follow Gujarat playbook” published in Economic Times on 2nd February 2023 What is the News? The Finance Minister has announced that the government will work towards the mission to eliminate sickle-cell anaemia while presenting the Union Budget 2023-24 in… Continue reading Health ministry’s fight against sickle cell anaemia to follow Gujarat playbook

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Cut in MGNREGS outlay is not a concern: Somanathan

Source: The post is based on the article “Cut in MGNREGS outlay is not a concern: Somanathan” published in The Hindu on 3rd February 2023. What is the News? In the Union Budget 2023-24, the Union Government has reduced the allocation for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme(MGNREGS). What is the MGNREGA allocation… Continue reading Cut in MGNREGS outlay is not a concern: Somanathan

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Union Budget 2023-24: Key Highlights – Explained, pointwise

For 7PM Editorial Archives click HERE → Introduction The Union Finance Minister has presented the Union Budget 2023-24 in the Parliament. This is the last full budget before the next year’s General Elections. There were apprehensions that the Budget may resort to populist measures ahead of the election year. However, most economic experts have observed that the Government… Continue reading Union Budget 2023-24: Key Highlights – Explained, pointwise

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[UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #12 : M Sathiyavathy Board, Law Optional,

Date of Interview: 1/02/2023 afternoon session. Board: M Sathiyavathy Background: Biomedical science Optional: law. Profession: Deputy jailor. Hobbies: feeding stray animals, mimicking Bollywood artists. As usual start by ma’am reading daf to all members. To view all IAS Interview Transcripts 2022, visit this page Chairman Explain ur gap year ….. feeding stray is menace don’t you… Continue reading [UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #12 : M Sathiyavathy Board, Law Optional,

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[UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #11 : RN Choubey Board, Maharashtra Home State, Cooking Hobby

Date of Interview: 2nd Feb to be interviewed, Forenoon Session Board: Shri Rajiv Nayan Choubey Home State: Maharashtra Background: IRS (IT), Hyderabad, Hobby: Cooking, CSE, International Mathematical Olympiad, Google summer of code(GSC), Stray animal rescue and rehabilitation, chess 4th attempt, 3rd Interview(including this — every time, Chaubey Sir chaired them) To view all IAS Interview… Continue reading [UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #11 : RN Choubey Board, Maharashtra Home State, Cooking Hobby

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[UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #10 : M Sathiyavathy Board, Psychology Optional, Odisha Home State, Volleyball, teaching, photography Hobbies

Date of Interview:  1st Feb, afternoon. 1st to go Board: M Sathiyavathy Home State: Odisha. Optional: Psychology Background: NIT RKL, Electrical Engg. Employee: Linde India. Recently selected in OAS. Hobbies: Volleyball, teaching, photography To view all IAS Interview Transcripts 2022, visit this page Chairman Since 5 yrs what are u doing. Who do u teach? What did… Continue reading [UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #10 : M Sathiyavathy Board, Psychology Optional, Odisha Home State, Volleyball, teaching, photography Hobbies

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[UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #9 : RN Choubey Board, Mathematics Optional, Haryana Home State

Date of Interview: 1 Feb 2023 Forenoon 6th and last to enter Board: RN Choubey Sir Optional: Mathematics Background: IIT Delhi Btech Chemical engineering Home State: Haryana Hobbies: Playing Chess and captain of hostel team, Teaching and Mentoring, NSS To view all IAS Interview Transcripts 2022, visit this page Chairman 1. Tell me about your… Continue reading [UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #9 : RN Choubey Board, Mathematics Optional, Haryana Home State

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Must Read Current Affairs Articles – February 3rd, 2023

About Must Read News Articles: Must Read News Articles is an initiative by Team ForumIAS to provide links to the most important news articles of the day. It covers The Hindu newspaper. This saves the time and effort of students in identifying useful and important articles. With newspaper websites requiring a paid subscription beyond a certain… Continue reading Must Read Current Affairs Articles – February 3rd, 2023

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[UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #7 : RN Choubey Board, Medical science Optional, J&K Home State

Date of Interview: 31st January, forenoon session Board: RN Choubey Sir Optional: Medical science Home State: J&K To view all IAS Interview Transcripts 2022, visit this page Chairman 1.tell us about consumer protection architecture in India 2.you r a doctor, why civil services? 3.what do you know about Ross island, who is Ross? 4.who discovered the… Continue reading [UPSC Interview 2022] – Transcript #7 : RN Choubey Board, Medical science Optional, J&K Home State

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Locally made green trains to be rolled out

Source: This post is created based on the article “Locally made green trains to be rolled out”, published in Live Mint on 2nd Feb 2023. Why in the News? Under the ‘Amrit Bharat Station’ scheme, the central government plans to redevelop about 1,275 stations across the country. About ‘Amrit Bharat Station’ scheme Under the scheme,… Continue reading Locally made green trains to be rolled out

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Tourism to go into mission mode

Source– The post is based on the article “Tourism to go into mission mode” published in The Hindu on 2nd February 2023. What is the news? The Union Budget announced a slew of measures for promotion of tourism that will go into Mission Mode.There was no increase in Budget allocation. It remained at ₹2,400 crore.… Continue reading Tourism to go into mission mode

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FM Sitharaman announces PM PRANAM scheme to push states to promote alternative fertilisers

Source– The post is based on the article “FM Sitharaman announces PM PRANAM scheme to push states to promote alternative fertilisers” published in The Indian Express on 2nd February 2023. What is the news? The Finance Minister announced in the budget that the government will launch a new scheme called PM PRANAM. What are some… Continue reading FM Sitharaman announces PM PRANAM scheme to push states to promote alternative fertilisers

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A raft of concessions amid consolidation

Source– The post is based on the article “A raft of concessions amid consolidation” published in The Hindu on 2nd February 2023. What is the news? The Finance Minister has presented the budget for FY2024. She termed it as the “first Budget in Amrit Kaal”. What are the key focus areas of the budget? Inclusive… Continue reading A raft of concessions amid consolidation

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The social sector has been short-changed once again

Source– The post is based on the article “The social sector has been short-changed once again” published in The Hindu on 1st February 2023. Syllabus: GS3- Mobilisation of resources Relevance– Fiscal policy News– The article explains the focus of the budget. It talks about the allocation for welfare programmes of the government. It also explains… Continue reading The social sector has been short-changed once again

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