News: July 23, 2020

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


News: 1/6

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: History
Topic: Art & Culture
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 2/6

Visual Arts In Focus

Handicrafts in focus

  • Embroidery
    • Chikankari
      • the culture and cloth making process of Lucknow.
      • Has GI status

Paintings in focus

  • Madhubani paintings / Mithila paintings
    • Traditional religious painting done in Bihar and Terai regions of Nepal
    • Has GI status

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • Chikankari exhibition in Chennai
  • July, 20
    • Madhubani artists painting face mask during pandemic

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


News: 3/6

Hindu Schools Of Philosophy

There are six schools of hindu philosophy - Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa and Vedanta


The Vedanta essentially refers to the philosophy pronounced in the Upanishads, the final parts of the Vedas. In a broad sense, the Vedanta covers the fundamental philosophy enunciated by the  the Upanishads, the Brahma-Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita

Shamkaracharya, Ramanujacharya and  Madhavacharya wrote commentaries on the Brahma-Sutra. This lead to the rise of three schools of  the Vedanta:

  1. Advaita Vedanta : It is a non-dualistic school of Vedanta philosophy, which believes there is no difference between atman and brahaman.
    • The philosophy evolved in 9th century AD by Shankaracharya.
    • Shankaracharya used four sentences called Mahavakyas (Great Sayings) to establish the identity of Atman and Brahman as scriptural truth:
      1. Prajnanam brahma - Consciousness is Brahman (Aitareya Upanishad)
      2. Aham brahmāsmi - I am Brahman (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad)
      3. Tat tvam asi - That Thou art (Chandogya Upanishad)
      4. Ayamatma brahma - This Atman is Brahman (Mandukya Upanishad)
    • The two Advaita writings of pre-Shankara period are - the Vakyapadiya by Bhartṛhari, and the Mandukya karika by Gaudapada 
    • Siddhi-literature of Advaita: The term ‘siddhi’ stands for a conclusive conclusion after careful investigation. There are four famous ‘siddhi’ texts in advaita vedanta:
      • brahma siddhi of mandaṇa mishra: It discusses brahman as infinite unsurpassed unlimited 
      • naiṣhkarmya siddhi of sureshvar acharya: It discusses the opposition between karma and gyana, and establishes gyana as the sole means of mokṣha.
      • ishta siddhi of vimuktatman: It discusses avidya
      • advaita siddhi of madhusudana sarasvati: It refutes criticisms by dvaita scholars
  2. Vishishtadvaita Vedanta : It is a non-dualistic school of Vedanta philosophy, which believes atman to be part of brahaman, and hence are similar but not identical.
    • There are three key principles of Vishishtadvaita:
      1. Tattva: The knowledge of the 3 real entities namely, jiva (living souls; the sentient); ajiva (the nonsentient) and Ishvara (Vishnu-Narayana or Parahbrahman, Supreme-self and the cause of all manifestations and in-dwelling giver of grace based on Karma).
      2. Hita: The means of realization, as through bhakti (devotion) and prapatti (self-surrender).
      3. Purushartha: The goal to be attained, as moksha or liberation from bondage.
  3. Dvaita Vedanta : all individual souls (jīvātmans) and matter as eternal and mutually separate entities.

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • Mahavakyas
  • July, 20
    • Siddhi literature - naiṣhkarmya siddhi

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


News: 4/6

Indo China Relations


Current conflict

  • Galwan river - Galwan river is a tributary of Shylok river, a tributary of Indus river. It flows from Aksai chin to Ladakh.
  • Pangong Tso - Lake in Ladakh and Tibet. Not part of Ramsar Convention
  • Five fingers of the Tibetan palm - Cited in the 1950s by Chinese officials, Xizang (Tibet) was China’s right palm, and it was its responsibility to 'liberate' the fingers, defined as Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, and the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA, or Arunachal Pradesh).

LAC agreements

  • Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas, 1993
    • Neither side shall use or threaten to use force against the other by any means.
    • Two sides shall strictly respect and observe the line of actual control. No activities of either side shall overstep the line of actual control
  • Agreement on Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas, 1996
    • Neither side shall use its military capability against the other side.
    • The two sides reiterate their determination to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of the boundary question.
    • Reaffirmed in 2003 in Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation between India and China
  • Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field Along the Line of Actual Control in the India–China Border, 2005
    • The differences on the boundary question should not be allowed to affect the overall development of bilateral relations
    •  The two sides will give due consideration to each other’s strategic and reasonable interests, and the principle of mutual and equal security.
    • The boundary should be along well-defined and easily identifiable natural geographical features to be mutually agreed upon between the two sides.
    • In reaching a boundary settlement, the two sides shall safeguard due interests of their settled populations in the border areas.
  • Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination of India-China Border Affairs (WMCC), 2012
    • WMCC is focussed on management of relations between the troops on the ground in border areas, the Special Representatives mechanism between the two countries is engaged in finding a solution to the vexed boundary issue between the two neighbours. 
    • It is headed by joint secretary-level officials from both sides
  • Border Defence Cooperation Agreement between India and China, 2013
    • The two sides shall implement border defence cooperation by exchanging information, by jointly combating smuggling, by assisting other side if a personnal or livestock crosses other's side.
    • Resolve border deference  through flag meetings and periodic meetings
    • Work with the other side in combating natural disasters or infectious diseases that may affect or spread to the other side
    • Two sides may establish Border Personnel Meeting sites in all sectors, as well as telephone contacts and telecommunication links
    • The two sides agree that they shall not follow or tail patrols of the other side in areas where there is no common understanding of the line of actual control 
    • In case a doubtful situation arises with reference to any activity by either side in border areas where there is no common understanding of the line of actual control, either side has the right to seek a clarification from the other side. 


  • The Chinese and Indian armies have agreed to not use unmanned aerial vehicles at the friction points in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)


Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

  • China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), erstwhile One Belt One Road, in 2013 to improve connectivity and cooperation on a transcontinental scale.
  • Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM) is not part of initiative after India's reservations over China's expansion
  • CPEC : India opposes it as the road is bound to pass through Gilgit-Baltistan


  • Islands
    • East China sea
      • Senkaku Islands / Diaoyu Islands - disputed island between Japan and China

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • border talks
  • July, 20
    • Pakistan committed to completion of CPEC
    • Japan accuses China for sending its ships to Senkaku Islands

Sub: Economics
Topic: Development Infrastructure
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 5/6

Industrial Acts And Bodies


Legal Metrology Act, 2009

  • An Act to establish and enforce standards of weights and measures, regulate trade and commerce in weights, measures
  • By Department  of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
  • Base units to be metre, Kilogram, seconds.
  • Any standard weight or measure import needs to be first registered with the Director; and every weight should first be verified by controller before put into use.
  • Central government to appoint director and other employees for exercising powers under Act. State governments to appoint a Controller of legal metrology in state, who can delegate his powers to any legal metrology officer, and the said legal metrology officer to exercise such powers as conferred by Act, and not by delegation.
  • Penalty for violation under Act invites maximum fine of 25,000 and subsequent violation invites imprisonment of 6 months.

Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011

  • By Department  of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
  • All packaging to display name and address of manufacturer, date of import, importer's name and address, net quantity, MRP, consumer care details
  • Applies to commodities less than 25kg/lite; except cement and fertilizers (50kg)
  • Base units to be metre, Kilogram, seconds
  • Enforcement of provisions of Legal Metrology Act, 2009 and Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 lies with state government


Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT)

  • Established in 1995 and reconstituted in 2000 with the merger of the Department of Industrial Development. Under Ministry of Commerce And Industry
  • Roles and Functions
    • Facilitates investment and technology flow and monitors industrial development 
    • Formulation and implementation of industrial policy and strategies for industrial development 
    • Formulation of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy and promotion, approval and facilitation of FDI
      • DPIIT oversees the applications filed on Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal(FIFP) and forwards the same to concerned Administrative Ministry
      • A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) developed by DIPP in consultation with the concerned Administrative Ministries is being followed for processing of the FDI applications.
    • Formulation of policies relating to Intellectual Property Rights in the fields of Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications of Goods 
    • Administration of Industries (Development & Regulation) Act, 1951
    • Promoting industrial development of industrially backward areas and the North Eastern Region 

Index of Eight Core Industries (ICI)

  • The monthly Index of Eight Core Industries (ICI) is a production volume index. The objective of the ICI is to provide an advance indication on production performance of industries of ‘core’ nature before the release of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) by Central Statistics Office. Like IIP the base year used in 2011-12
  • The Index is compiled and released by Office of the Economic Adviser (OEA), Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP)
  • ICI measures collective and individual performance of production in selected eight core industries 
    1. Coal: Coal Production excluding Coking coal.
    2. Crude Oil: Total Crude Oil Production.
    3. Natural Gas: Total Natural Gas Production.
    4. Refinery Products: Total Refinery Production (in terms of Crude Throughput).
    5. Fertilizer: Urea, Ammonium Sulphate (A/S), Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN), Ammonium chloride (A/C), Diammonium Phosphate (DAP), Complex Grade Fertilizer and Single superphosphate (SSP).
    6. Steel: Production of Alloy and Non-Alloy Steel only.
    7. Cement: Production of Large Plants and Mini Plants.
    8. Electricity: Actual Electricity Generation of Thermal, Nuclear, Hydro, imports from Bhutan.

Independent Bodies

  • Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI)
    • Established in 1927 on Gandhiji's advice by GD Birla and Purshottamdas Thakurdas, FICCI is an association of business organisations in India
    • Taking the Temperature Report - On Coivd-19 impact on Indian economy, along with British Council in association and Art X. The report (in context of helping artists) recommends diverting the budgets already allocated for state-sponsored cultural festivals to help artists, ensuring health coverage to artists, moratoriums on GST payments, and investing in digital infrastructure

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • Ministry of Consumer Affairs has ordered e-commerce players in country to put a "country of origin" tag on all their products. The Ministry in its reminder invoked the  Legal Metrology Act, 2009 and Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011. DPIIT held meetings with e-commerce companies in this regard
    • 'Taking the Temperature report' by FICCI
  • Aug, 20
    • The output of eight core sector industries shrank for the fourth straight month in June 2020. Of the eight core sectors, the fertilizer industry was the only one which saw actual growth in June, with output rising 4.2%

Sub: Science And Technology
Topic: Space
Category: Prelims & Mains


News: 6/6

Global Space Agencies

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)


  • Parker Solar Probe
    • Launched in 2018
    • Parker Solar Probe is part of NASA’s Living With a Star program to explore aspects of the Sun-Earth system. It will try to assist understanding of corona and solar winds.
    • NASA's parker probe will orbit as close as 3 million miles in its final stages

China National Space Administration (CNSA)


  • Tianwen-1 /  Huoxing-1
    • The spacecraft consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover, and the mission aims to study the thickness and sub-layer distribution of the Martian soil.
    • China's previous attempt, in partnership with Russia, to Mars in 2011 was unsuccessful. This will be China's first solo attempt

European Space Agency (ESA)


  • Solar Orbiter
    • Joint mission between ESA and NASA launched in Febuary 2020 on United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 rocket
    • Solar Orbiter is traveling as close as 26 million miles from the Sun, inside the orbit of Mercury to measure the magnetic fields, waves, energetic particles and plasma escaping the Sun, while they are still in their pristine state, before being modified and mixed in their long journey from the Sun. 
    • Solar Orbiter joins NASA’s Parker Solar Probe in studying our star from closer than any spacecraft before them 


  • United Arab Emirates
    • Al-Amal / Hope: First Arab space mission to Mars launched from Japan. It will orbit Mars for a whole Martian year

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • Al-Amal / Hope launches from Japan
    • Tianwen-1 launches from CNSA


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