News: June 17, 2020

Sub: Geography
Topic: India Physical Setiings
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 1/11

Lakes and Rivers in focus


  • Ladakh
    • Pangong Tso lake
  • Maharashtra
    • Lonar lake
      • Lonar lake in Buldhana district had turned pink.
      • CSIR-NEERI and Geological Survey of India will give their findings in 4 weeks, about glass formation  on surface of lake
      • As per study by Pune based institute, the pink coloration is due to Haloarchaea or halophilic archaea bacteria. the bacteria is found in salt saturated water bodies. The coloration is supposed to be temporary


Himalayan rivers

  • Brahmaputra River
    • Originates from Angsi glacier near Mansarovar Lake, and enters India along the eastern side of Namcha Barwa mountains
    • Tributaries : Subansiri, Bhareli, Manas, Sankos, Jaldhaka, Tista on right bank; Dibang, Lohit, Dhansiri, Kolong on left bank
  • Indus River
    • Tributaries
      • Shyok River - Flows through northern Ladakh and enters Gilgit Baltistan. Originates in Siachen Glacier
  • Ganges
    • Tributaries
      • Ghaghra River
        • Tributaries
          • Kali River (Mahakali, Sharda) - originates in the Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand, and flows along western boundary of Nepal. Dudhwa National Park in Uttar Pradesh lies in its basin

Peninsular rivers

East flowing rivers

  • Godavari
    • Largest river of peninsular India, it rises in Western Ghats near Nasik.
    • Major tributaries from left are Purna, Maner, Penganga, Pranhita (the combined Wardha and Wainganga), Indravati, Tal, and Sabri. Major tributary from right is Manjira
    • The delta is characterized by extensive mangrove swamps, mud-flats, lagoons and barrier splits
  • Krishna
    • Originates in Western Ghats near Mahabaleshwar
    • Major tributaries: Bhima, Tungbhadra
      • Tungbhadra:  Tungabhadra River is formed by the confluence of the Tunga River and the Bhadra River at Koodli which flow down the eastern slope of the Western Ghats in Karnataka. It joins Krishna River near Alampur Village in Telangana near Sangameshwara temple and Jogulamba temple
    • Dams - Nagarjuna Sagar dam
    • The delta is characterized by extensive mangrove swamps, mud-flats, lagoons and barrier splits
West flowing rivers
  • Sharavathi - West flowing river, which originates and flows entirely within Karnataka, and it houses Jog Falls
  • Periyar
    • It originates from the Sivagiri peaks of Sundaramala in Tamil Nadu.
    • Dams: Iduki dam,  Mullaperiyar dam
    • Tributaries - Muthirapuzha, Mullayar, Cheruthoni, Edamala, Chalakudy
      • Chalakudy
        • The river has its origin in the Anamalai region of Tamil Nadu. The river hosts Athirappilly hydroelectric project

Other rivers

  • Nag river - The river gives Nagpur city its name, and originates in Lava hills. There is a lobby which places its origin further below at Ambazari dam, so as to carry with industrialization in upper stretch.

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • Union government is going to take stock of water utilisation from the Krishna and Godavari rivers following Telangana to assess whether there will be surplus water for new projects
  • July, 20
    • Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court takes note of pollution in Nag river.
  • Aug, 20
    • With a considerable increase in the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam following heavy rain, Kerala has asked Tamil Nadu to initiate urgent measures to keep the storage in the dam at a manageable level
    • Heavy rainfall in Krishna, Bhima, Tungabhadra basin areas of Maharashtra is expected to increase inflows to various dams and barrages in the neighbouring state.

Sub: Science And Technology
Topic: Physics And Chemistry
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 2/11

COVID Control


  • Dexamethasone
    • Is an anti-inflammatory drug, and has gained traction for its success against corona virus
    • UK's 'RECOVERY Trial' study showed success with low doses of Dexamethasone to target lung inflammation
    • As per Clinical Management Protocol, it can be used as an alternative to methylprednisolone for managing moderate to severe cases.
    • Dexamethasone is part of the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM)
  • Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)
    • Anti-malarial drug, which was seen as part of preventive treatment against COVID
      • WHO in June said HCQ shows very limited success in reducing mortality rate of COVID patients. Following this, India lifted all bans on its export.
    • Cleared by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for treatment of COVID-19 patients under emergency use
  • Methylprednisolone - anti-inflammatory drug used in COVID-19 treatment
  • Favipiravir
    • Sold under brand FabiFflu, is an anti-viral drug for COVID-19 patients from age group 18-75 with mild to moderate symptoms
    • Originally developed to treat influenza
  • Itolizumab 
    • From biocon, approved by ICMR for patients with moderate to severe acute respiratory distress
    • Normally used to cure skin ailment psoriasis
  • Remdesivir
    • Antiviral drug, cleared by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for treatment of COVID-19 patients under emergency use for patients in moderate stage requiring oxygen support
    • As part of the agreements, the drugmakers will receive technology transfer of the manufacturing process for Remdesivir, and get to set their own prices for the generic product they produce.
    • The licenses are royalty-free until the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the end of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern regarding COVID-19 or until an alternative is approved to treat or prevent COVID-19, whichever is earlier.
  • Tocilizumab
    • Antiviral drug, cleared by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for treatment of COVID-19 patients with moderate disease with progressively increasing oxygen requirements and in mechanically ventilated patients not improving despite use of steroids
    • Thwarts pro-inflammatory cytokines released by immune system
  • Covaxin
    • Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation(CDSCO) has permitted phase-I and II of human clinical trials of ‘Covaxin’, the country’s first vaccine candidate for COVID-19, developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR-National Institute of Virology
    • It is an inactivated vaccine, wherein a dead virus is injected into the body to generate an antibody response
  • Sputnik V
    • The vaccine is based on an adenoviral vector which normally causes respiratory viral infections. Vectors are vehicles, which can induce a genetic material from another virus into a cell.
    • The gene from adenovirus, which causes the infection is removed, while a gene with the code of a protein from another virus spike is inserted. This inserted element is safe for the body but still helps the immune system to react and produce antibodies, which protect us from the infection.
    • Sputnik V uses two vaccines using two different vectors, the second vaccination takes place in 21 days for long lasting immunity


  • Clinical Management Protocol for COVID-19
    • By Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
    • Symptoms - fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, sore throat and diarrhoea. They have also complained of loss of smell (anosmia) or loss of taste (ageusia)
    • Risk factors - For ages more than 60 years, and in those with underlying non-communicable disease like diabetes, hypertension, cardiac arrest, etc.
    • Treatment
      • Mild COVID-19 cases - may be given symptomatic treatment such as antipyretic (Paracetamol) for fever and pain.
      • Moderate COVID019 cases - patients will be isolated in Dedicated Covid Health Centre (DCHC) or District hospital or Medical College hospitals.
      • Severe - Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) may be considered for any of those having high risk features for severe disease
  • Policy Responses to COVID19: Policy tracker by International Monetary Fund, summarizes the key economic responses, governments are taking to limit the human and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Index (CESI)
    • By Columbia University and World Bank, the index standardises the economic responses taken by governments, thus allowing use to study cross-country differences in policies
    • The two main components of index are: fiscal stimulus package (as a percentage of GDP) and the interest rate cut by the monetary policy authority 


  • Pre-symptomatic spread - Pre-symptomatic spread is the transmission of the virus by people who don't look or feel sick, but will eventually get symptoms later. 
  • Asymptomatic spread  - Asymptomatic spread is the transmission of the virus by people who do not have symptoms and will never get symptoms from their infection.
  • Spike protein / S protein - A protein that protrudes from the surface of SARS-CoV-2 virus that attaches it to human enzyme ACE2 receptor, after which the virus enters the cell and makes multiple copies of itself.


  • Enzyme-Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay antibody test (ELISA)
    • developed by National Institute of Virology in Pune along with Zydus Cadila. 
    • The blood sample is placed inside the small wells of an ELISA plate. These plates are coated with the antigen or the inactivated form of the virus. If the blood contains antibodies, it binds to the antigen and a substrate solution is added to the well. The reaction usually produces a colour change, thus detecting antibodies.
    • In India, the ELISA test for Covid-19 is only approved for serosurveys - which estimate the proportion of the population exposed to infection, and for surveys in high-risk areas and segments like containment zones
  • Rapid Antigen Detection Test (RADT)
    • Approved by ICMR. RADT checks for antigen production from a nasal swab.
      • An antigen means any toxin in the body which produces an immune response.
    • It takes about 30 minutes to give result. However rapid test has been found to have a higher chance of false negatives.
  • Real Time Reverse Transcription–Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR)
    • Real time RT–PCR is one of the most precise (and expensive) laboratory methods for detecting the COVID-19 virus.
    • Cleared by ICMR, it takes about 1 day to get result
    • Once the swab is taken, RT–PCR checks for virus's RNA
    • RT–PCR cannot be used for detecting past infections, only for active infections.
  • TrueNat
    • Commonly used for tuberculosis and HIV 
    • Cleared by ICMR, it works on same principle of RT-PCR. It involves taking nasal or oral swabs
    • The TrueNat machine is small and portable, mostly running on batteries, and provides result within 60 minutes.

A positive result from ELISA or rapid antibody test may not mean the person needs isolation or is infectious; it may simply mean the person was exposed to the virus and has developed antibodies. These two tests, being cheaper than RT-PCR, are employed in large-scale population surveys


  • Convalescent plasma therapy
    • Convalescent plasma therapy is a passive immunisation process. It is simply the transfusion of plasma containing antibodies from immune survivors of infectious diseases to the affected individuals
    • As per protocol by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare , Convalescent plasma therapy may be considered for patients with moderate illness with no improvement in condition despite the use of steroids.

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • SARS-COVID 2, COVID-19
    • Drug approvals
  • July, 20
    • Russian vaccine clears first phase clinical trial.
    • ICMR cautions itolizumab, tocilizumab over claims of significantly reducing mortality rates
    • A new research shows spike protein changing its shape to hairpin form after attaching to ACE2 receptors
  • Aug, 20
    • Russia registers first COVID-19 vaccine

Sub: Science And Technology
Topic: Research and Technology
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 3/11

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

  • Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), is an autonomous body under Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • CSIR was constituted in 1942 under the provision of the Registration of Societies Act
  • CSIR covers a wide spectrum of science and technology – from radio and space physics, oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology

National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI)

  • It was established in Nagpur in 1958 with focus on water supply, sewage disposal,communicable diseases and to some extent on industrial pollution and occupational diseases

North East Institute of Science and Technology (CSIR-NEIST)

  • It was established in 1961 as one of the multidisciplinary laboratories of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research(CSIR) under its Chemical Science Group of laboratories

[In news]

  • CSIR-NEIST to study reported tremors in Assam's Baghjan area
  • CSIR-NEERI Researching Lonar lake pink coloration

Sub: Politics
Topic: Governance Agencies and Bodies
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 4/11

National Survey Organisations in focus

Geological Survey of India (GSI)

  • The main functions of GSI relate to creation and updation of national geoscientific information and mineral resource assessment
  • GSI is a survey organization attached to the office to the Ministry of Mines. 

National Statistical Office (NSO)

  • NSO was formed in 2019 under Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), from merger of National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) and Central Statistics Office (CSO) by
  • National Statistical Office (NSO) headed by a Director General is responsible for conduct of large scale sample surveys in diverse fields on All India basis.
  • First Advance Estimates of National Income, 2019-20
    • Released in January 20, the estimate is based on Benchmark-Indicator method from industrial production, financial performance of companies, freight and cargo handling, crop production.
    • Real GDP or GDP at Constant Prices (2011-12)  to grow at 5%
    • Real GVA at Basic Prices is estimated to increase by 4.9%
      • GVA is the value of output minus the value of intermediate consumption, and is a measure of the contribution to GDP made by an entity. In simple terms  it gives the rupee value of goods and services produced in the economy after deducting the cost of inputs and raw materials

Central Statistics Office (CSO)

  • Central Statistics Office coordinates the statistical activities in the country and evolves statistical standards. It is headed by a Director General assisted by 5 Additional Director Generals.
  • Prepares quarterly estimates of GDP at current and constant prices, estimates of State Domestic Product (SDP), Input-Output Transaction Tables, maintains National Data Bank (NDB) on socio-religious categories, monitors Millennium Development Goals, and publishes National Accounts Statistics
  • Its Economic Statistics Division (ESD) compiles All India Index of Industrial Production(IIP), and develops classifications like - National Industrial Classification (NIC) and National Product Classification (NPC)
  • Its Coordination and Publications Division (CAP) organizes Conference of Central and State Statistical Organizations (COCSSO), Annual Action Plan, Outcome Budget and Annual Plan of the Ministry. The Division is also responsible for implementation of Capacity Development Scheme and Support for Statistical Strengthening (SSS) , a Central Sector Scheme aimed at improving the Statistical Capacity and Infrastructure of the State Statistical System

Index For Industrial Production (IIP)

  • IIP measures the quantum of changes in the industrial production in an economy and captures the general level of industrial activity in the country. It is a composite indicator expressed in terms of an index number which measures the short term changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products during a given period with respect to the base period.  The base year is always given a value of 100. The current base year for the IIP series in India is 2011-12. So, if the current IIP reads as 116 it means that there has been 16% growth compared to the base year. 
  • IIP is a short term indicator of industrial growth till the results from Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) and National Accounts Statistics (NAS) are available
  • Index of Industrial Production is compiled and published every month by Central Statistics Office (CSO), with a time lag of six weeks from the reference month
  • Categorization of IIP
    • Sectoral classification: Industrial production for the purpose of IIP is divided into three sectors, i.e, Mining, Manufacturing and Electricity, with relative weights of 75.5%, 14.2% and 10.3% respectively. 
    • Use-based classification: In addition to the industry wise indices/growth rates, the users also require the indices in respect of different use-based categories, i.e., basic goods (45.68%), capital goods (8.83%), intermediate goods (15.68), and consumer durables and non durables (29.81%).

Private Survey Bodies

  • Inferential Survey Statistics and Research Foundation[ISSRF]
    • a research group formed by retired officials from the statistical and economic services.
  • Projex Survey
    • By Projects Today
    • Tamil Nadu, followed by Maharashtra, emerged as the top investment destination in the first quarter of 2020 financial year

[In news]

  • June, 20
    • GSI along with CSIR-NEERI are finding the causes behin Lonar lake coloration
    • ISSRF survey - Although almost all of Odisha’s poor senior citizens received the four-month advance old-age pension promised by the State as COVID-19 relief, only half of them got free foodgrains,
  • Aug, 20
    • Industrial Activity Continued To Contract In May But At A Slower Pace

Sub: Politics
Topic: Governance Policies and Welfare schemes
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 5/11

Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS)

  • Members of Parliament Local Area Development Division is entrusted with the responsibility of implementation of (MPLADS)
  • Under the scheme, each MP has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for works to the tune of Rs.5 Crores per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency.
    • Rajya Sabha Members can recommend works in one or more districts in the State from where he/she has been elected
    • Nominated Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may select any one or more Districts from any one State in the Country
  • Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) issues the guidelines and working for the scheme.
  • Projects are implemented by district level officers under the guidelines from MoSPI
  • Of the MPLADS corpus, 15% has been earmarked for the development of Scheduled Castes and 7.5% for the Scheduled Tribes. Around 20 lakh of the MPLADS fund per annum is allotted for the welfare of differently abled people.

[In news]

  • Suspension of the MPLADS for 2020-21 and 2021-22 in the wake of the pandemic

Sub: Society
Topic: Human Development Health
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 6/11

Health Bodies


Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation(CDSCO) 

  • CDSCO is the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) of India, governed by Drugs & Cosmetics Act,1940
  • CDSCO is headed by Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) , and functions under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
  • Under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, CDSCO is responsible for approval of Drugs, Conduct of Clinical Trials, laying down the standards for Drugs, control over the quality of imported Drugs in the country and coordination of the activities of State Drug Control Organizations
    • Drug approval is done in consultation with CDSCO's Subject Expert Committee (SEC). SEC consists of 8 experts approved by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
    • Medical deviced regulation is done DCGI; and registration and import is done by CDSCO's Medical Device & Diagnostics Division
    • Clinical trials
      • The first phase, usually conducted on a small group of individuals, tries to find what dosage of the vaccine is safe for use, whether it is effective in building their immunity to the virus and whether there are any side effects.
      • The second phase is conducted on a larger group comprising hundreds of persons fitting the description of those for whom the vaccine is intended using characteristics like age and sex. 
      • The third phase is conducted on thousands of patients.
      • After approval, the firm has to monitor the use of vaccine
  • To regulate imported drugs as authority, the CDSCO works with the Drugs Technical Advisory Board and the Drugs Consultative Committee, while the Central Drugs Laboratory undertakes testing of such drugs.
  • CDSCO along with state regulators is jointly responsible for grant of licenses of certain specialized categories of critical Drugs such as blood and blood products, I. V. Fluids, Vaccine and Sera.
  • CDSCO also regulates notified medical devices as per Medical Devices (Amendment) Rules, 2020. 

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

  • ICMR is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research
  • ICMR is funded by the Government of India through the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
  • ICMR institutes in focus
    • National Institute of Medical Statistics (NIMS), New Delhi
      • NIMS provides technical expertise on research methodology, programme evaluation, mathematical modelling, data analysis, etc
      • India’s only institute to coordinate and standardize the collection of medical and health statistics in the country
      • Clinical Trials Registry (CTRI) - a free and online public record system for registration of clinical trials being conducted in India

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) 

  • NPPA was constituted by a resolution in 1997 as an attached office of the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers
  • Has the power to regulate its own procedures for performing functions entrusted to it.
  • NPPA acts as an independent Regulator for pricing of drugs (under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order) and ensures availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices.
  • Collect and maintain data on production, exports and imports, market share of individual companies, profitability of companies etc. for bulk drugs and formulations


World Health Organization (WHO)

  • WHO is is a specialized agency of the United Nations, established in 1948, with headquarters in Geneva
  • World Health Assembly (WHA) is the decision-making body of WHO.
  • WHA is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the 34 member Executive Board. India was elected to chair this board in 2020
  • In Focus
    • WHO acknowledges of emerging evidence of airborne spread of novel corona virus. Currently WHO's guidance on COVID-19 spread is limited to droplet transmission
      • Droplet transmission: It occurs when a person is within 1 metre of the infector, who coughs or sneezes. Such droplets are 5µm-10µm and so fall under gravity
      • Airborne transmission: It refers to transmission through aerosols (small droplets <5µm) which can linger in air for longer periods and so transmit over distances greater than 1 metre.
    • US officially notified WHO of its intention to withdraw membership. It previously halted WHO's funding

[In news]

  • June, 20
    • CDSCO - Drug approvals
    • Glenmark's Favipiravir trial data by CTRI
    • Illegal disinfectant seize
  • July, 20
    • NAPA requested to ensure availability of critical medical equipment
    • WHO on Tuesday said there is evidence emerging of the airborne spread of the coronavirus, after over 230 scientists across the world urged the global body to update its guidance.

Sub: Politics
Topic: Judiciary
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 7/11

Codes And Articles In Focus


  • States
    • Nagaland
      • Article 371A - Special provision with respect to the state of Nagaland
      • Article 371A (1) (b) - important functions like "transfer and posting of officials" entrusted with the maintenance of law and order of and above the district level will be with the approval of the Governor.
  • Right to Health
    • Right to Health is an integral part of Right to Life as enshrined in Article 21.
    • Article 38 lays down the responsibility of the state to secure social order for the in promotion of the welfare of public health.
    • Article 39 (e) pertains to the protection of health of the workers.
    • Article 41 relates to providing public assistance by the state in special circumstances such as sickness, disability, old age etc.
    • Article 42 protects the health of the infant and the mothers, i.e. in a way, it pertains to maternity benefit.
    • Article 47 imposes a primary duty of the state in improvement of public health, in securing of justice, providing humane conditions of work for the workers, extension of benefits pertaining to sickness, disability, old age and maternity benefits. In addition to this, the state is under an obligation to prohibit the consumption of liquor in the interest of the public good.
    • Article 48A: State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
    • Article 164 (1A) : The total number of Ministers, including the Chief Minister, in the Council of Ministers in a State shall not exceed 15% of the total number of members of the Legislative Assembly of that State
  • Environment
    • Article 48A - State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
    • Article 51 A - Every citizen shall protect the environment.
  • Governor
    • Article 159 :  Oath or affirmation by Governor 
    • Article 174 :  Empowers Governor to decide on session sittings of Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, but no more than six months should pass between two sittings. It also allows Governor to Prorogue either House and dissolve Legislative Assembly.
    • Article 175 : Governor may address the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council, and can require attendance of its members. Governor may also send message (pending Bills, functioning of House, order, etc) to either House, and the respective House will have to consider the said message


Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)  codes

  • Section 144
    • Power to issue order in urgent cases of nuisance of apprehended danger.
    • It authorizes the Executive Magistrate of any state or territory to issue an order to prohibit the assembly of four or more people in an area. According to the law, every member of such 'unlawful assembly' can be booked for engaging in rioting.
    • Also referred as 'gag order'

Indian Penal Code (IPC) codes

  • Section 188:  Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant. It is sufficient that he knows of the order which he disobeys. It can lead to imprisonment of 6 months and/or a fine of Rs 10000
  • Section 295: Damage to a place of worship or an object held sacred, punishable with imprisonment which may extend to two years, or fine, or both.
  • Section 300 and 302: Mob Lynching - Lynching incidents can be dealt with under Section 300 and 302 of IPC. IPC does not specifically describes lynching
  • Section 330 and 331: causing hurt or grievous hurt to extort confession 
  • Section 383: Extortion
  • Section 497 and 498: Adultry
  • Section 498A: Domestic violence
  • Section 506: Criminal Intimidation. non bailable remand

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • Madhya Pradesh Council of Ministers exceeding prescribed limit
    • Section 188: Lockdown curbing, in Uttar Pradesh alone, as of 29th April, 2020, FIRs have been registered against 33094 people under Section 188 of IPC during the period of lockdown.
  • July, 20
    • Governor of West Bengal cites Article 159 of deteriorating condition of state
    • 10 yr old dalit girl booked for sacrilege in Punjab
    • Rajasthan Governor allows holding of Assembly session
  • Aug, 20
    • Section 188 - Cases of hospitals and ambulances overcharging public during pandemic

Sub: International Relations
Topic: India and its neighbors
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 8/11

Indo Nepal Relations

Eminent Persons’ Group on Nepal-India relations

EPG was formed in January 2016, consisting of relevant experts from India and Nepal, with the mandate to review various aspects of the bilateral relations including Nepal-India Friendship Treaty 1950. It submitted a joint report, not in public domain, in June 2018, but it has not been put upto discussion since. A point of contention is putting a smart and regulated border. The recommendations of the EPG are non-binding to both the governments

Nepal-Bharat Maitri

  • Nepal-Bharat Maitri is a development partnership initiated by India as a high impact community development scheme
  • Under an MoU in 2018, Nepal-Bharat Maitri Dharmashala was constructed at the Pashupati Temple Area Complex in Kathmandu
  • In June 2020, India has pledged to construct a 2.33 crore sanitation facility at the Pashupatinath temple complex 
  • Pashupatinath temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site

Sub: History
Topic: Art & Culture Language, Religion, and Culture
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 9/11

Bhakti Movement

Bhakti movement originated in the Southern parts of India, especially Tamil Nadu between 7th and 12th century.  Presence of priest was not required in Bhakti tradition. Bhakti saints spoke and wrote in vernaculars like Tamil and Telugu so that the common people could easily read and recite it. There were two schools of thought depending on the way they imagined God:

  1. Nirguna School - Nirguna school of thought imagined God as formless with no attributes or quality. They rejected the scriptures and condemned every form of idol worship. The prominent figures of this school of thought were Kabir, Guru Nanak and Dadu Dayal.
  2. Saguna School - Saguna school thought of God as having a definite form, quality and positive attributes and the god manifests himself in incarnations such as Rama and Krishna.  They accepted the spiritual authority of the Vedas, and the need of a human Guru as mediator between God and his devotee. Ramanuja, Ramananda and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu belonged to this school of thought.

There were three main group of Bhakti saints in South India

  1. Alvars /Azhwars - which literally means "those immersed in God", were Vaishnava poet-saints who sang praises of Vishnu or his avatar Krishna. They composed hyms in the praise of Vishnu and his avatars which are compiled in the 'Divya Prabandha' There were 12 Alvars, and Andal was the only female Alwar saint.
  2. Nayannars - They were devoted to lord Shiva. The details of the livesand of the saints are described in the work 'Tevaram' which is also called the Dravida Veda. On the request of the Chola king Raja Raja I, his priest, started collecting the hymns composed by the Nayyanars into a series of volume called 'Tirumurai'.
  3. Virshaiva Movement/ Lingayats - The Virshaivas are a Shaivite sect in Hinduism that emerged in the 12th Century AD in Karnataka during the reign of Kalachuri dynasty. They opposed elaborate rituals prescribed by Hindu priests. They also rejected the caste system and various social practices of Hindus. The movement was initiated by Basavanna and was assisted by Allamaprabhu and Akkamaha Devi. They wanted a more egalitarian society and greater individual freedom. The followers are called Virshaiva (heroes of Shiva) or the Lingayats (wearers of Shivalinga).

[In news]

  • Mention of Azhwars in Bhagavata Purana / Srimad Bhagavatam

Sub: Economics
Topic: Development Companies and Industries
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 10/11


Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are defined by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006 based on following

  1. Enterprises engaged in the manufacture or production, processing or preservation of goods 
  2. Enterprises engaged in providing or rendering of services 


  • Micro - Investment is less than 1cr, and turnover less than 5 cr
  • Small - Investment is less than 10cr, and turnover less than 50 cr
  • Small - Investment is less than 20cr, and turnover less than 100 cr


  • Every Central Ministry /Department / PSUs shall set an annual target for 25% procurement from MSE Sector
  • Loans under the priority sector lending scheme
  • Promoters of MSMEs are permitted to be considered for resolution of their own companies during insolvency resolution process.

Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS)

ECLGS is the biggest fiscal component under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, aiming to provide collateral-free loans up to Rs 3 lakh crore 

  • All Business Enterprises / MSME borrower (including MUDRA borrowers) with combined outstanding loans of up to Rs. 100 crore as of February 29, 2020, and annual turnover of up to Rs. 250 crore for FY 2019-20are eligible for the loan
    • Also cover loans given to larger firms, as well as to self-employed people and professionals who have taken loans for business purpose
  • Credit will be provided under Guaranteed Emergency Credit Line (GECL) scheme by banks, in the form of term loan. Credit under GECL would be up to 20% of the borrower’s total outstanding credit up to Rs. 25 crore as of February 29, i.e. additional credit shall be up to Rs. 5 crore.
  • National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC) will provide 100% credit guarantee coverage
  • Repayment has to be done within 4 years from date of disbursement.

[In news]

  • June, 20
    • ECLGS to help businesses struggling during pandemic
  • Aug, 20
    • ECLGS - The upper ceiling of outstanding loans under the scheme has been increased from Rs 25 crore to Rs 50 crore and the turnover ceiling has been hiked to Rs 100 crore to Rs 250 crore. The scheme now also covers larger firms, self-employed people and professionals 

Sub: Society
Topic: Human Development Health
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 11/11

Health Acts And Initiatives In India


National Health Mission, 2013

  • NHM, under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, envisages achievement of universal access to equitable, affordable & quality health care services that are accountable and responsive to people’s needs
  • National Rural Health Mission, 2005 (NRHM)
    • Key Objectives
      • Access to integrated comprehensive primary health care.
      • Reduction in child and maternal mortality
      • Revitalize local health traditions & mainstream AYUSH.
  • National Urban Health Mission, 2013 (NUHM)
    • Providing essential primary health care to urban poor.
    • Every Municipal Corporation, Municipality, Notified Area Committee, and Town Panchayat will become a unit of planning with its own approved broad norms for setting up of health facilities.
    • The separate plans for Notified Area Committees, Town Panchayats and Municipalities will be part of the District Health Action Plan drawn up for sub-mission NUHM.  
    • The centre-state funding pattern will be 75:25 for all the States; and 90:10 for North Eastern states, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.
  • Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) - Online portal for reporting epidemic prone diseases through trained Rapid Response Team (RRTs).

Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 (DCA)

  • Mandates that every drug stocked or sold in India must be sold under a license
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers (gel) and hand rubs (liquid) (ABHR) are required to be licensed under DCA
  • Disinfectant which is used to disinfect only medical equipments, comes under the category of Disinfectant, as per Medical Devices Rules, 2017
  • DCA does not have any specific regulatory provisions for conduct of trials for Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, and Homeopathy drugs.

Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954

  • Act to control the advertisement of drugs in certain cases, to prohibit the advertisement for certain purposes of remedies alleged to possess magic qualities
  • Penalty - In case of first conviction imprisonment upto six months, or fine, or both

National Medical Commission Act 2019

The Bill seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and dissolves the current Medical Council of India. It provides for a medical education system to ensure availability of high quality of medical professionals, adoption of latest medical research, a grievance redressal system, and periodic assessment of medical institutions.

  • The Bill sets up the National Medical Commission (NMC).  
  • Composition - NMC to consist of 25 nominated members. NMC to include diverse stakeholders such as public health experts, social scientists, and health economists. 
  • Within three years of the passage of the Bill, state governments will establish State Medical Councils at the state level.  The NMC will consist of 25 members, appointed by the central government.
  • Under the Bill, the central government will constitute a Medical Advisory Council.
  • The Bill sets up autonomous boards under the supervision of the NMC.  Each autonomous board will consist of a President and four members, appointed by the central government.  These boards are:
    • Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB), Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB) - responsible for formulating standards, curriculum, guidelines for medical education, and granting recognition to medical qualifications at the under-graduate and post-graduate levels respectively. 
    • Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB) - The Board will have the power to levy monetary penalties on institutions which fail to maintain the minimum standards as laid down by the UGMEB and the PGMEB. It will also grant permissions for establishing new medical colleges, starting postgraduate courses, and increasing the number of seats in a medical college. 
    • Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EARB) - This Board will maintain a National Register of all the licensed medical practitioners in the country, and also regulate professional and medical conduct.  Only those included in the Register will be allowed to practice as doctors.  The Board will also maintain a register of all licensed community health providers in the country. 
  • There will be a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to under-graduate and post-graduate super-speciality medical education in all medical institutions regulated under the Bill.
  • The Bill proposes a common final year undergraduate examination called the National Exit Test for the students graduating from medical institutions to obtain the license for practice.

[In news]

  • June, 20
    • Drug approvals
  • July, 20
    • IDSP reports sharp fall in reporting of Non-COVID diseases
    • IDSP - In India, 60% of COVID-19 patients had at least one co-morbidity and nearly 78% were under 50


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