GS 2 A tragedy that was long in the making Illegal rat-hole mining in Meghalaya persists despite ruinous effects on the environment Are we undermining our scientific temper? The British understood that scientific temper would result in a questioning of their rule and preferred to keep their subjects subservient. It was only after Independence that the need for scientific temper was considered to be important. SC refuses to stay amendments to SC/ST Act The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act of 2018, which nullified the controversial March 20 apex court judgment diluting the stringent provisions of the Dalit protection law. Report on AQIS’s growing influence alarmist: official A top intelligence official on Thursday dismissed as ‘alarmist’ a U.S.-based think tank’s report that contends that the Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) was exploiting the growing incidents of violence against Muslims in India and attacks in the name of “cow vigilantism” to recruit cadres India, South Africa to revise 22-year-old Strategic Partnership India and South Africa will update their Strategic Partnership by agreeing on a comprehensive “roadmap” on the way ahead, as well as relaxing visa restrictions, when South African President Cyril Ramaphosa meets with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, officials said here. GS 3 Hope for Kerala in Bandipur deadlock SC asks Environment and Transport Ministries to arrive at a consensus in 6 weeks ISRO tastes first success of 2019 The mission with the modified PSLV with just two strap-on motors, dubbed the PSLV-DL (dual strap-ons), marked another first for ISRO as it provided an alternative to its normal six strap-on motors. This will enable it to carry slightly higher payloads than its Core-Alone version. 18 Indian institutions to study nitrogen pollution Eighteen research institutions in India are among a group of 50 institutions — called the South Asian Nitrogen Hub (SANH) — in the United Kingdom and South Asia that have secured £20 million (about ₹200 crore) from the U.K. government to assess and study the quantum and impact of “nitrogen pollution” in South Asia. Season’s worst A concerted public health push is required to tackle periodic outbreaks of influenza