4 new frog species found in Northeast after 14-year study

4 new frog species found in Northeast after 14-year study News: An Indian and British team of biologists have discovered four new species of horned frogs in the Northeast, ending a 15-year confusion on the amphibians’ nomenclature. Important Facts: This has been the result of a 14-year study that was a joint effort by Delhi… Continue reading 4 new frog species found in Northeast after 14-year study

‘Corruption no longer among top 3 hurdles to doing business in India’

‘Corruption no longer among top 3 hurdles to doing business in India’ News: The latest edition of the U.K. India Business Council’s Ease of Doing Business Report was released recently. Important Facts: Findings of the report: The perception among U.K. businesses that corruption is a major barrier in doing business in India has halved compared… Continue reading ‘Corruption no longer among top 3 hurdles to doing business in India’

Govt-RBI call truce after a marathon board meeting

Govt-RBI call truce after a marathon board meeting News: The government and Reserve Bank of India have found a middle ground on the contentious issues between the two in the board meeting held recently. Important Facts: The Reserve Bank and the government have agreed to refer to an expert committee the following issues: The appropriate… Continue reading Govt-RBI call truce after a marathon board meeting

New space industry emerges: servicing satellites on orbit

New space industry emerges: servicing satellites on orbit News: A new space infrastructure and civil Space at a company called Space Systems Loral (SSL) is planning to service two to three dozen satellites in a distant geostationary orbit, some 36,000 km from the earth. Important Facts: SSL unmanned spacecraft will be able to latch onto… Continue reading New space industry emerges: servicing satellites on orbit

Cyclone Gaja: Being prepared against extreme events

Cyclone Gaja: Being prepared against extreme events News: The article discusses about the effective mitigation measures taken by the government in tackling Cyclone Gaja. Important Facts: Tamil Nadu’s political parties have acted in a mature manner and kept partisan criticism from getting in the way of relief and rehabilitation after Gaja. This is in contrast… Continue reading Cyclone Gaja: Being prepared against extreme events

Rare bird sighted in Kerala’s Chinnar sanctuary

Rare bird sighted in Kerala’s Chinnar sanctuary News: 1.       Sri Lankan Frogmouth which  is usually  confined to its habitation in the western side of the Western Ghats was recently noticed on the eastern side of the Western Ghats for the first time which has sparked much interest among ornithologists. Important Facts: This rare bird species… Continue reading Rare bird sighted in Kerala’s Chinnar sanctuary

A forest filled with butterflies

A forest filled with butterflies News: Recently, butterfly survey was organised in Parambikulam. Important Facts: This is the fourth consecutive year that the butterfly survey is being organised in Parambikulam. The survey is initiated jointly by the Department of Forest and Wildlife, Parambikulam Tiger Conservation Foundation, and the Wayanad-based Ferns Naturalists Society. About Parambikulam Tiger… Continue reading A forest filled with butterflies

Another orbit: on GSAT29 launch

Another orbit: on GSAT29 launch News: The Indian Space Research Organisation recently successfully launched its latest communication satellite GSAT-29, which was put in its orbit by India’s heavy-lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-Mk III). Important Facts: About GSLV MkIII: With a liftoff mass of 640 tonnes, the GSLV MkIII is the heaviest launch vehicle… Continue reading Another orbit: on GSAT29 launch

Full disclosure: on the credit rating industry

Full disclosure: on the credit rating industry News: SEBI has tightened disclosure norms for credit rating agencies after they failed to warn investors in time about the deteriorating credit profile of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS). Important Facts: SEBI Guidelines: The credit rating agencies will have to inform investors about the liquidity situation… Continue reading Full disclosure: on the credit rating industry

GSAT-29 has a perfect launch

GSAT-29 has a perfect launch News: The Indian Space Research Organisation recently successfully launched its latest communication satellite GSAT-29, which was put in its orbit by India’s heavy-lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-Mk III). Important Facts: The launch was a key test to the GSLV Mk III as it carried the GSAT-29 weighing 3,423… Continue reading GSAT-29 has a perfect launch

Is crop insurance scheme losing steam?

Is crop insurance scheme losing steam? News: According to a reply to an RTI application, more than 84 lakh farmers (around 15% of the total farmers) insured in the first year of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna in 2016-17, withdrew themselves from the scheme in 2017-18 Important Facts: About Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna… Continue reading Is crop insurance scheme losing steam?

After IL&FS, SEBI tightens norms for raters

After IL&FS, SEBI tightens norms for raters News: SEBI has tightened disclosure norms for credit rating agencies after they failed to warn investors in time about the deteriorating credit profile of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS). Important Facts: SEBI Guidelines: The credit rating agencies (CRAs) will now have to take into account various… Continue reading After IL&FS, SEBI tightens norms for raters

New index to check ease of doing agri-business

New index to check ease of doing agri-business News: The ministry of agriculture is planning to come out with its own index to rank states on ‘ease of doing agri-business’. Important Facts: Background: This proposal comes barely two years after NITI Aayog launched the first index to rank states on the basis of marketing and… Continue reading New index to check ease of doing agri-business

Opinion | A much-needed revamp for rating agencies

Opinion | A much-needed revamp for rating agencies Article: The article discusses the issues with credit rating agencies in the backdrop of the recent IL&FS crisis Important Analysis Credit ratings and Credit Rating agencies Credit ratings provide retail and institutional investors with information that assists them in determining whether issuers of bonds and other debt… Continue reading Opinion | A much-needed revamp for rating agencies

Report sees climate risk from rise in Indian AC units

Report sees climate risk from rise in Indian AC units News: According to the report Solving the Global Cooling Challenge, by 2022, India is expected to have a fourth of the world’s air conditioning units. Important facts About the Report: The report was released by environment minister of India at the Global Cooling Innovation Summit… Continue reading Report sees climate risk from rise in Indian AC units

Arihant completes India’s nuclear triad & serves as a credible strategic deterrence

Arihant completes India’s nuclear triad & serves as a credible strategic deterrence Article: The article discusses the significance of Strategic Strike Nuclear Submarine (SSBN) INS Arihant. The submarine has recently returned from its first deterrence patrol, completing the establishment of the India’s survivable nuclear triad. Important analysis About INS Arihant INS Arihant is India’s first… Continue reading Arihant completes India’s nuclear triad & serves as a credible strategic deterrence

Behind India’s leap in ease of doing business

Behind India’s leap in ease of doing business Article: In the backdrop of World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, the article discusses the India’s improvements and challenges in ease of doing business Important Analysis India’s position India has been one of the biggest ‘improvers’ in the 2019 Ease of Doing Business Index and has… Continue reading Behind India’s leap in ease of doing business

ISRO invites foreign ‘riders’ to Venus

ISRO invites foreign ‘riders’ to Venus News: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has taken its first step towards its mid-2023-planned mission to Venus by issuing an announcement of opportunity (AO) to the international space community to propose their scientific payloads to be carried on the mission. Important Facts: This AO for space-based experiments to… Continue reading ISRO invites foreign ‘riders’ to Venus

Protect the little helpers

Protect the little helpers Article: The article discusses the growing concern over declining population of different species of pollinators Important analysis Importance of pollinators: In 2015, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) established that pollinators lead to huge agricultural economic gains. According to the report, estimated pollinator contribution in India to… Continue reading Protect the little helpers

National body set up to study rare form of diabetes

National body set up to study rare form of diabetes News: As part of the World Diabetes Day 2018, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has nominated the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) and Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre as the ‘National Coordinating Centre for the ‘National Monogenic Diabetes Study Group of India’. Important… Continue reading National body set up to study rare form of diabetes

Don’t compare air pollution to smoking’

Don’t compare air pollution to smoking’ News: Anti-tobacco activists are expressing concern that comparing the ill-effects of air pollution to that of smoking will result in trivialising the catastrophic effects of smoking. Important Facts: Comparing air pollution to smoking is based on a formula proposed by a Berkeley Earth study that draws an equivalence between… Continue reading Don’t compare air pollution to smoking’

Most child deaths due to pneumonia in India

Most child deaths due to pneumonia in India News: The 2018 Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report, by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) released on the eve of 10th World Pneumonia Day (November 12) describes progress in fighting pneumonia and diarrhoea in 15 countries. Important Facts: The report analyses how effectively countries are delivering 10… Continue reading Most child deaths due to pneumonia in India

Army fire power gets booster shot

Army fire power gets booster shot News: The Army recently inducted M777 Ultra Light Howitzers, K9 Vajra-T self-propelled artillery gun, common gun tower giving a boost to the defence capabilities. Important Facts: About M777 Ultra Light Howitzers: This is the first artillery gun systems in three decades after the Bofors guns procured from Sweden in… Continue reading Army fire power gets booster shot

Centre to sell its entire stake in Dredging Corporation

Centre to sell its entire stake in Dredging Corporation News: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved divestment of its entire 73.44 percent stake in Dredging Corporation of India to a consortium of four ports. Important Facts: 2. The consortium of four ports are namely Vishakhapatnam Port Trust, Paradeep Port Trust, Jawahar Lal… Continue reading Centre to sell its entire stake in Dredging Corporation

6 airports get Centre’s nod for privatisation; AAI to hold a minor stake

6 airports get Centre’s nod for privatisation; AAI to hold a minor stake News: The government has decided for operation,management and development of six airports through a public-private partnership (PPP) model of six airports. Important Facts: The chosen airports are of  Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, and Guwahati. This comes 12 years after Delhi and… Continue reading 6 airports get Centre’s nod for privatisation; AAI to hold a minor stake

Political economics: credit stimulus for MSMEs

Political economics: credit stimulus for MSMEs News: The Prime Minister has launched a support and outreach programme for the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector to give a boost to the sector and help generate employment. Important Facts: Background: MSMEs, which account for 30% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP), were hit hard by… Continue reading Political economics: credit stimulus for MSMEs

Centre eyes seaplanes in UDAN 3

Centre eyes seaplanes in UDAN 3 News: The Centre is inviting bids for connecting selected destinations under the regional connectivity scheme (RCS) leading to seaplanes operating commercial passenger flights in India. Important Facts: Opening the third round of the RCS, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has invited proposals for air routes that include tourist destinations… Continue reading Centre eyes seaplanes in UDAN 3

The ozone hole is recovering

The ozone hole is recovering News: A recent study by NASA has confirmed the recovery of the ozone layer due to the absence of chlorine from Chlorofluorocarbon(CFC) in the atmosphere. Important Facts: Findings of UN study: The study published in Geophysical Research Letters journal has confirmed the phenomenon by mapping the chemical composition of the… Continue reading The ozone hole is recovering

India’s nuclear triad is complete with INS Arihant ending its first deterrence patrol

India’s nuclear triad is complete with INS Arihant ending its first deterrence patrol News: INS Arihant, India’s first nuclear ballistic missile submarine, has completed its first “deterrence patrol”, operationalising India’s nuclear triad. Important Facts: The INS Arihant completes India’s nuclear triad by adding maritime strike capability to land- and air-based delivery platforms. All the big… Continue reading India’s nuclear triad is complete with INS Arihant ending its first deterrence patrol

Challenge to the Reserve Bank of India’s reserves

Challenge to the Reserve Bank of India’s reserves News: The Centre is dwelling upon the burgeoning reserves of RBI which the central bank necessitates as an emergency buffer not meant to be shared. Important Facts: The RBI’s reserves are built through transfers from the annual surpluses in the profit and loss account of RBI. The… Continue reading Challenge to the Reserve Bank of India’s reserves

Water ATMs may help in bridging safe water gap

Water ATMs may help in bridging safe water gap News: The government is increasingly starting to accept small water enterprises such as water ATMs and community purification plants as an alternative solution to the safe drinking water challenge. Important Facts: In 2010, the United Nations declared access to clean drinking water as a human right,… Continue reading Water ATMs may help in bridging safe water gap

Greater flamingoes visit Hope Island after 25 years

Greater flamingoes visit Hope Island after 25 years News: Recently a flock of five greater flamingoes were spotted on the Coast of Hope Island in East Godavari River Estuarine Eco (EGREE) System after a long gap of 25 years. Important Facts: Last occurrence: These were last seen in a group about two and a half… Continue reading Greater flamingoes visit Hope Island after 25 years

NASA’s historic Dawn mission to asteroid belt comes to end’

NASA’s historic Dawn mission to asteroid belt comes to end’ News: NASA’s pioneering Dawn spacecraft in the asteroid belt has run out of fuel, ending its historic 11-year mission that unravelled many mysteries of our solar system. Important Facts: About Dawn Spacecraft: The $467million Dawn mission was launched in 2007 to study the protoplanet Vesta… Continue reading NASA’s historic Dawn mission to asteroid belt comes to end’

Modi announces incentives for MSMEs, including 59-minute sanction for loans up to ₹1 crore

Modi announces incentives for MSMEs, including 59-minute sanction for loans up to ₹1 crore News: The Prime Minister has launched a support and outreach programme for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector to give a boost to the sector and help generate employment. Important Facts: As part of this programme, the Prime Minister… Continue reading Modi announces incentives for MSMEs, including 59-minute sanction for loans up to ₹1 crore

Oceans heating faster: study

Oceans heating faster: study News: According to a new study published in journal ‘Nature’, the scientists have noted that the global oceans may be absorbing up to 60 percent more heat since the 1990s than older estimates had found. Important Facts: New novel method in the study: Unlike earlier studies, which relied on tallying the… Continue reading Oceans heating faster: study

Always a fine balance

Always a fine balance News: The article discusses about the recent simmering tensions between the Reserve Bank of India and the Centre. Important Facts: A certain amount of creative tension is systemically in-built between Reserve Bank of India and Centre given their different perspectives. For example, Centre’s concern is short-term and political while RBI’s concern… Continue reading Always a fine balance

Deal inked for biofuel research

Deal inked for biofuel research News: The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has signed a three-year, ₹11 crore deal with The Energy and Research Institute (TERI) to set up a centre to produce “advanced biofuels and bio-commodities.” Important Facts: This will be the fifth such dedicated centre for bioenergy-research and development set up by the DBT.… Continue reading Deal inked for biofuel research