Friday, 16 February 2018

Atal Bhoojal Yojana

The scheme is aimed at efficient management of available water resources and strengthening of recharge mechanism through community participation. The emphasis of the scheme will be on recharge of ground water sources and efficient use of water by involving people at the local level.
Funding: Rs 6,000 crore has been earmarked for this ambitious plan. Half of the total cost of this central scheme will be supported by the World Bank as loan while the remaining half (Rs 3,000 crore) will be funded by the government through budgetary support.
Implementation: The government plans to give 50% of the money to states, including gram panchayats, as incentives for achieving targets in groundwater management. That’s a first-ever move to encourage community participation and behavioural changes. The remaining 50% of the funds will be given to states for strengthening institutional arrangements such as providing a strong database and scientific approach to help them accomplish sustainable management of groundwater.

Need for groundwater conservation:
Ground water in India provides for about 60% of the country’s irrigation needs, 85% of rural drinking water requirements and 50% of urban water needs. Over-exploitation and contamination have left many blocks across the country in a critical stage.
The last assessment report of the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) shows that 1,034 of 6584 assessed blocks in the country are over-exploited (usually referred to as ‘dark zones’). It means annual ground water consumption in those blocks is more than the annual ground water recharge. Besides, 934 blocks fall in different stages of criticality due to depletion without recharge. The over-exploited units are mostly concentrated in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, western UP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu has the maximum number of ‘dark zones’.

Monday, 12 February 2018


One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history. The campaign, launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. 

On 14 February 2013, people across the world came together to express their outrage, strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women. 

On 14 February 2014, One Billion Rising for Justice focused on the issue of justice for all survivors of gender violence, and highlighted the impunity that lives at the intersection of poverty, racism, war, the plunder of the environment, capitalism, imperialism, and patriarchy. For the third year of the campaign, One Billion Rising’s global coordinators chose the theme of “Revolution” as an escalation of the demand for justice, and to build upon the massive efforts of communities worldwide that also looked at the roots and causes of violence as part of their call for justice. 

On (or around) 14 February 2015, millions of activists in over 200 countries gathered to Rise for REVOLUTION, to change the paradigm, demand accountability, justice and systematic CHANGE. We are rising to show we are determined to create a new kind of consciousness – one where violence will be resisted until it is unthinkable. In 2016, the theme of Revolution continues with a call to focus on marginalised women and to bring national and international focus to their issues; to bring in new artistic energy; to amplify Revolution as a call for system change to end violence against women and girls*; to call on people to rise for others, and not just for ourselves.

 In 2017, the call escalated to Rising in Solidarity against the exploitation of women and girls. In so many regions of the world, women are abused in multiple ways across layers of exploitation and oppression. One layer is the deeply entrenched patriarchal structures in society that continue to subordinate and oppress women, and conditions or forces women into submission and subjugation. This creates fertile ground for domination and control over them. Another layer is the exportation of poor women for labor when economic exploitation is globally enforced by imperialist and capitalist states that place profit over people. 

The abuse of the planet, and the commodification and dehumanization of women’s bodies in the service of profit, and in the service of other nations’ profit and development, is the most criminal act of abuse and power. This is especially so when the exploitation is being done to the most marginalized women – indigenous women, workers, migrants, domestic workers, the urban poor and peasant women. The 2017 Rising was a demand to end ALL forms of exploitation of women and girls

Three new eel species found in Bay of Bengal

Scientists have discovered three new species of eel along the northern Bay of Bengal coast in the past few months. Dark brown with white dots on the dorsal side, Gymnothorax pseudotile was discovered at the Digha coast of the Bay of Bengal. 

The other two species, Gymnothorax visakhaensis (uniformly brown) and Enchelycore propinqua (reddish brown body mottled with irregular creamy white spots), were discovered from the Visakhapatnam coast of the Bay of Bengal. While Gymnothorax pseudotile is about 1 feet to 1.5 feet long, Gymnothorax visakhaensis is about a foot long. Enchelycore propinqua is the smallest of them measuring less than a foot. 

A description of all the three new species was published in the journal Zootaxa. Anil Mohapatra, a Zoological Survey of India ( ZSI) scientist who is behind all the three discoveries, said that while the specimens of the first two species can be found upon a considerable search, the third one is relatively rare. Scientists and researchers David G. Smith, Subhrendu Sekhar Mishra , Swarup Ranjan Mohanty, Dipanjan Ray and Prasad C. Tudu have contributed to these discoveries. 

Eels are found mostly at the bottom of rivers and seas. Across the world about 1,000 species of eels have been identied. In India, the number is around 125. For species belonging to the family Muraenidae, referred commonly as Moray eels, there are records of about 200 species of which more than 30 species are found in India. Five new species With these new discoveries, the Bay of Bengal coast has yielded at least five new species of eel. In 2016, Mr. Mohapatra and his team identied Gymnothorax indicus, an edible species.

 In 2015, a short brown unpatterned moray eel, named Gymnothorax mishrai (Bengal moray eel), was discovered from the coast of Bay of Bengal. The specimens of Gymnothorax pseudotile were collected in a trawl net by shermen in the northern Bay of Bengal.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Pre­Christian era artefacts unearthed in Odisha 

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered pottery pieces, and tools made of stones and bones believed to be of the pre Christian era from a mound in Jalalpur village of Cuttack district. 

“Discoveries of ancient artefacts indicated that a rural settlement might have thrived in that period. What is important in these latest discoveries is that we have found continuity in the progress of rural culture from a pre­historic era,” said D. B Garnayak, superintending archaeologist of ASI’s excavation branch in Bhubaneswar. 

Excavation carried out on 12 acres of land in the Jalalpur village has unearthed remnants of axe, adze, celts and thumbnail scrappers chiselled from stones, harpoons, point and stylus made of bones and potteries with marks of paintings. 12 trenches 

The ASI teams have also come across a couple of circular wattle and daub structures, which were predominantly used by people to take shelter during the preChristian era, in 12 trenches being dug simultaneously. “We will send carbon samples to the Inter­ University Accelerator Centre (IUAC), New Delhi, and the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow, to ascertain their exact age. Once we get the exact age, it will be easier for us to analyse the rural settlement and its activities,” Dr. Garnayak said. 

The ASI researcher, however, said the people here could not have lived in isolation and they could have had cultural and trade ties with other settlements in the Prachi Valley that had come up around the Prachi river, which gradually disappeared. Subsistence economy Rich materials found from excavation sites indicate that the people had a subsistence economy and they largely relied on agriculture, shing and hunting. 

ASI researchers assumed that the bones found on the site belonged to deer species and bovidae. Discovery of tortoise shell, dolphin and shark teeth and sh bones indicated that the settlement could have been closer to the sea coast. 

Some rice grains have also been detected. Further excavation is expected to throw light on whether there was cultural link with other settlements, what happened to settlements established around the Prachi river, and how it declined, they said.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Download Economic Survey 2018 in Hindi and English

India's economy should grow between 7 percent and 7.5 percent in the 2018/19 (April-March) with exports and private investment set to rebound, the country's top finance ministry economist said in a report presented on Monday. 

The Economic Survey, which sets the stage for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's annual budget on Thursday, forecast that economic management will be challenging in the coming year. 

The survey was prepared by the finance ministry's Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian, who estimates that gross domestic product will have grown 6.75 percent in the current fiscal year ending in March.

For UPSC civil Service exam Economic survey is important so here you can download economic survey in both the language .

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Humans Rights

Human Rights are those rights to which all humans are entitled merely by virtue of being humans. They are the inalienable and inviolable rights of all human beings. They derive from the inherent dignity of human beings. They are essential for human survival and human development.

 Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. This declaration represents the first international expression of human rights to which all human beings are entitled. 

It is described as the “International Magna Carta”. The declaration consists of 30 articles which can be divided into four parts. 

These are explained below. 

The first two articles contain the basic principles underlying all human rights. Thus, they state as follows: 

Article 1 : All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. 

Article 2 : Everyone is entitled to all the human rights and freedoms, without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. 

Articles 3 to 21 consist of civil and political rights. They are as under: 

Article 3 : Right to life, liberty and security 

Article 4 : Freedom from slavery and servitude 

Article 5 : Freedom from torture and inhuman punishment 

Article 6 : Right to recognition as a person before the law 

Article 7 : Right to equality before the law 

Article 8 : Right to judicial remedy 

Article 9 : Freedom from arbitrary arrest or exile 

Article 10 : Right to a fair trial and public hearing 

Article 11 : Right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty 

Article 12 : Right to privacy and reputation 

Article 13 : Right to freedom of movement 

Article 14 : Right to seek asylum 

Article 15 : Right to a nationality 

Article 16 : Right to marriage and family protection 

Article 17 : Right to own property 

Article 18 : Freedom of thought, conscience and religion 

Article 19 : Freedom of opinion, expression and information 

Article 20 : Freedom of peaceful assembly and association 

Article 21 : Right to participate in government and equal access to public service 

Articles 22 to 27 contain economic, social and cultural rights. 

They are mentioned below: 

Article 22 : Right to social security 

Article 23 : Right to work and equal pay for equal work 

Article 24 : Right to rest and leisure 

Article 25 : Right to adequate standard of living for health and well-being including food, clothing, housing, medical care, social services and security. 

Article 26 : Right to education 

Article 27 : Right to participate in cultural life of community 

The last three articles specify the context within which all the human rights are to be enjoyed. Thus, they state as under: 

Article 28 : Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the above rights and freedoms can be fully realised. 

Article 29 : The exercise of the above rights and freedoms shall be limited for the purpose of securing recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for meeting the requirements of morality, public order and general welfare. 

Article 30 : No state, group or person has any right to engage in any activity aimed at the destruction of the above rights and freedoms. 

International Bill of Human Rights Later on, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was bifurcated into two separate covenants, namely, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 

The human rights and freedoms contained in the Universal Declaration have been further developed and elaborated upon in these two covenants. Both the covenants were adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966 and came into force in 1976. 

In addition to the above two detailed covenants, two Optional Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights were also adopted by the UN General Assembly. The First Optional Protocol was adopted in 1966 itself while the Second Optional Protocol was adopted in 1989. The First Optional Protocol provides for the submission of complaints by individuals whose human rights have been violated by a State party. The Second Optional Protocol, on the other hand, advocates the abolition of the death penalty. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights constitute what is now widely regarded as the “International Bill of Human Rights”.

 Other International Conventions The International Bill of Human Rights has been further supplemented by various other international treaties, conventions and declarations. They are usually regarded as “human rights instruments”. 

They are specialised in nature and related to either a particular human right or to a specific vulnerable group. 

The important among them are as follows: 

  1. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1966)
  2. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979)
  3.  Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984)
  4.  Declaration on the Right to Development (1986)
  5. Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
  6. Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (1990)
  7. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006)

Human Rights in India The Constitution of India has a rich content of human right

The Preamble, the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy reflect the principles and provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). 

The four ideals of the Preamble are aimed at the promotion of human rights. They are as under: 
  1. Justice in social, economic and political spheres 
  2. Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship 
  3. Equality of status and opportunity 
  4. Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual 
The Fundamental Rights under Part-III of the Constitution contain an elaborate list of civil and political rights divided into six categories: 

  1. Right to equality 
  2. Right to freedom 
  3. Right against exploitation 
  4. Right to freedom of religion 
  5. Cultural and educational rights 
  6. Right to constitutional remedies 
The Directive Principles of State Policy in Part-IV of the Constitution comprise economic, social and cultural rights. They can be classified into three broad categories, viz., 
  1. Socialistic Principles 
  2. Gandhian Principles 
  3. Liberal-Intellectual Principles 
Besides the Fundamental Rights included in Part-III, there are certain other rights contained in other parts of the Constitution—for example, the right to property in Part-XII of the Constitution. 

In the course of time, the Supreme Court has also expanded the scope of human rights contained in the Fundamental Rights. It declared a number of human rights as integral part of fundamental rights, though they have not been specifically mentioned in Part-III of the Constitution. 

The examples of such un-enumerated fundamental rights are right to health, right to speedy trial, right against torture, right to privacy, right to travel abroad, right to free legal aid, and so on. 

In addition to these, the various laws enacted by the Parliament and the State Legislatures contain a number of human rights, particularly for the vulnerable sections of the society. Some such laws are the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, the Protection of Civil Rights Act, the Persons with Disabilities Act, the Minimum Wages Act, and so on. Finally, the Protection of Human Rights Act (1993) defines human rights in India as the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India. 

Further, it also defined the International Covenants as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 16th December, 1996 and such other Covenant or Convention adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations as the Central Government may, by notifications, specify. The Indian Government acceded to these two International Covenants on April 10, 1979. 

The Constitution of India and the laws of Parliament as well as state legislatures not only consist of several human rights but also provide for the establishment of national and state commissions for the protection and promotion of those rights. 

National Commissions Related to Human Rights 

Name of the Commission

Established Under

1. National Commission for SCs
Constitution (Article 338) 

2. National Commission for STs
Constitution (Article 338-A) 

3.Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities

Constitution (Article 350-B) 

4. National Human Rights Commission

The Protection of Human Rights Act,1993 

5. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights           
The Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005                                                                                                       
6. National Commission for Women

The National Commission for Women Act, 1990 

7. National Commission for Minorities
The National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992 

8. National Commission for Backward Classes
The National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993
 9. Central Commissioner for Disabled
Persons The Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 

State Commissions Related to Human Rights

Sr No
Name of the Commission
Established Under
State Human Rights Commission
The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993

State Commission for Protection of Child Rights
The Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005

State Commissioner for Disabled Persons
The Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995

State Commission for SCs and STs
Act of the State Legislature or Executive Resolution of the State Government

State Commission for Women of the State Government

Act of the State Legislature or Executive
State Commission for Minorities
Resolution Act of the State Legislature or Executive Resolution of the State Government

State Commission for Backward Classes
Act of the State Legislature or Executive Resolution of the State Government

Sunday, 21 January 2018

India admitted to Australia Group

India on Friday joined the Australia Group, saying the membership will be mutually benefitcial.

 The Ministry of External Aairs (MEA) said India’s entry into the group, which aims to prevent proliferation of biological and chemical weapons, would ensure a more secure world. 

“The Australia Group decided to admit India as its 43rd participant. India would like to thank each of the participants. Its entry would be mutually benefi­ cial and further contribute to international security and non­proliferation objectives,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, praising the role of the former head of the group Jane Hardy. 

Earlier, in a separate statement, the Australia Group said India’s membership would help to counter the “spread of materials, equipment and technologies that could contribute to the development or acquisition of chemical/biological weapons.”

 Diplomats said the entry is a show of support from the international community for India’s non ­proliferation records. 
 “India’s entry into the Australia Group shows our export controls and safeguards for biological and chemical agents, equipment and technologies meet the benchmarks established by the international community,” said Rakesh Sood, a former Special Envoy of the Prime Minister for Disarmament and Non­Proliferation. 

India joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 2016 and the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) last year.  

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Urban Heat Island

What is Urban Heat Island ?

The Urban Heat Island is an urban area that is significantly warmer than its surroundings rural area due ti its Human activities. This effect is known as urban heat island effect.

Reasons for the Formation of Urban Heat Island 

  1. Concentration of heavy vehicular and industrial pollution in urban Areas.

  2. Discharge of greenhouse gases (CHG.) in substantial amounts, which trap the outgoing infrared radiations. 

  3. Tall buildings and other Infrastructure which obstruct the flow of wind is, consequently obstructing the transfer of Heat. 

  4. Lack of vegetation in urban areas which acts as heat and carbon sink. 

  5.  Majority of urban surfaces are composed of metals, glass, concrete or asphalt. These materials have high heat-retaining capacity during the day and emit this heat out during the night. 

  6. The inability of water to penetrate the above materials makes the urban landscape behave as desert landscape. 
Effects of UHIs 

  1. UHI have the potential to directly affect the health of urban  residents. UHI witness prolonged heat waves which result in  higher fatalities due to heat stroke,exhaustion heatcramps, etc. 

  2. UHI have varied effects on biodiversity. The variation In temperatures adversely affect local species and promote the invasion of alien species.

  3.  The raised temperature may elevate the temperature of local water bodies causing the aquatic animals to undergo thermal stress and shock. 

  4. The increased temperatures provide fertile breeding ground for insects, which bring a host of diseases along with them. 

  5. UHI create a spike in energy consumption duo to higher use of refrigerated air  conditionals. 

  6. UHI can alter load weather conditions arch as wind, Humidity,  and rainfall
Mitigation Strategies 

  1. The effects of UHI can he diluted to some Extend  by applying  techniques to maintain a large albedo. Larger albedo means higher  ability to reflect radiations. The buildings and ether dark Surfaces (asphalt) could be painted with a light colour or with a high reflective coating. 

  2. Green roofs (roofs with plants and vegetation) on top of buildings help lower down the temperature and compensate to some extent for the loss of vegetation. Beside green roof, roof sprinklers in reducing temperature of evaporation. 

  3. Increasing area wider natural vegetation and reclaiming waste lands to develop green belts may also help in reducing the effects of UHl.

  4. While deciding urban architecture, wind flow should be given priority. Urban architecture should be least detrimental to natural Wind flow.