TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. GS 1 Related GEOGRAPHY 1. Research paper links El Nino and Antarctic Oscillation with pollution forecast B. GS 2 Related INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 1. New British PM urges EU to renegotiate Brexit C. GS 3 Related DISASTER MANAGEMENT 1. All 1050 passengers rescued from stranded train near Mumbai SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 1. India to launch Deep Ocean Mission in October ECONOMY 1. Ministry of Finance and NITI Aayog flags discrepancies in airport privatisation 2. GST on electrical vehicles (EV) reduced from 12% to 5% ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY 1. NGT Committee chairman tells rat hole miners to form cooperatives INTERNAL SECURITY 1. CISF launches encyclopaedia to strengthen security services D. GS 4 Related E. Editorials INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 1. Why does India say no to Kashmir mediation? ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY 1. Cleaner air, higher costs? SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 1. What is Zero budget natural farming? F. Tidbits 1. Kargil War 2. Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland 3. Self Help Groups 4. NH 37 G. Prelims Facts H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
A. GS 1 Related
In a paper published in the journal Science Advances, researchers claim that Patterns like El Nino and Antarctic Oscillation can help predict weather conditions and pollution, nearly a season in advance.
- The study considered a combination of El Nino, Antarctic Oscillation and the anomalies in sea surface temperature during autumn (September-November).
- The team constructed a computer model based on the climatic patterns.
- The model shows 75% accuracy in predicting pollution levels in northern Indian States during winter.
- The aerosol over an area is modulated by meteorological conditions and circulation patterns.
- Stagnant weather conditions such as low wind speeds and descending air can favour rapid aerosol formation and accumulation.
Why the finding important to us?
- India has been emerging as one of the world’s most polluted countries, with particulate matter PM 2.5 levels spiking more than 999 microgram per cubic metre in parts of Delhi last year.
- The statistical model can help the government in adjusting policies and strategies for pollution control before winter comes.
- El Nino is associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific
- It is accompanied by high air pressure in the western Pacific and low air pressure in the eastern Pacific.
- India is affected with lower levels of monsoon rainfall in El Nino years.
- The Antarctic Oscillation or the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is a belt of westerly windsor low pressure surrounding Antarctica which moves north or south as its modes vary.
- In its positive phase, the westerly wind belt that drives the Antarctic Circumpolar Current intensifies and contracts towards
- In its negative phase, the belt moving towards the Equator.
- Winds associated with the Southern Annular Mode cause oceanic upwelling of warm circumpolar deep water along the Antarctic continental shelf which has been linked to ice shelf basal melt.
- The Antarctic Oscillation does not directly influence Indian climate but affects the Indian Ocean Meridional Dipole which in turn plays a role in our climatic conditions
B. GS 2 Related
New British PM Boris Johnson wants EU to renegotiate Irish backstop in order to avoid a No-Deal Brexit.
- The Withdrawal Agreement that the previous PM Teresa May struck in November with the EU says the U.K. will remain in a customs union “unless and until” alternative arrangements are found to avoid a hard border with Northern Ireland.
- But the new PM deviated from the agreement and said that it was antidemocratic.
- He also threatened that if the EU continues to refuse to renegotiate he will undertake a No-Deal Brexit on October 31.
What is Irish Backstop?
- The backstop is designed to prevent the return of border controls along the 500km land border between Ireland and Britain’s province of Northern Ireland.
- Such border controls were ended by the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement.
- The backstop means that products do not need to be inspected for customs or standards at the border.
- Hardline Brexiters fear it could effectively keep the UK tied to the EU indefinitely.
What will happen if a No-Deal Brexit is to happen?
- It will allow Britain doing its own trade deals without being overseen by EU judges.
- It will send shock waves through global markets and hurt the world’s economy.
- The question of the unification of Ireland and Northern Ireland may arise.
C. GS 3 Related
- In a 10 hour long dramatic operation, all the passengers of the Mumbai-Kolhapur Mahalaxmi Express were rescued from waterlogged tracks.
- Unprecedented rainfall in a short period inundated large swathes of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) on Friday.
- The Mumbai-Kolhapur Mahalaxmi Express had left Mumbai on Friday night.
- However, the tracks became waterlogged as the Ulhas River near Badlapur burst its banks.
- The train was unable to proceed beyond Vangani in Thane district, around 65 km from Mumbai.
- 1,050 passengers, including nine pregnant women, from the 20 odd coaches got stranded.
- The first SOS on the train was sent out at 5.25 a.m.
- After a 10 hour operation, all the passengers were evacuated and brought to the Sahyadri Mangal Karayalay in Badlapur.
- A special train was arranged for evacuated passengers through the Manmad line to Kolhapur, by the Railways officials
Who all took part in the rescue operation?
- NDRF teams were the first to reach the site with six inflatable boats at 9.43 a.m.
- Western Naval Command participated with three diving units, seven Navy units, a Sea King helicopter with divers on board and several auto inflatable crafts.
- Two helicopters of the Indian Air Force.
- Four Army columns.
- The entire operation was monitored by the Western Naval Command, the Army, the Air Force, the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra and the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs.
Challenges faced during the rescue operation:
- Passengers got into panic as they were stranded in rising waters.
- Reshma Kamble, who was in an advanced stage of pregnancy, was seeking immediate medical attention.
- The train lost power and lights went out in the coaches
- Communication was lost as the cell phones went dead either due to drained batteries or lack of signal connectivity.
The Union Earth Sciences Ministry plans to launch a five year Rs. 8000Cr. ‘Deep Ocean Mission (DOM)’ in October.
- We are yet to explore the depths of ocean on par with the space exploration started by ISRO about 35 years ago.
- India has been allotted a site of 75,000 sq. km. in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) by the UN International Sea Bed Authority for exploitation of poly metallic nodules (PMN).
What are the objectives of the mission?
- It will explore oceanic depths for metals like iron, manganese, nickel, cobalt, etc. and minerals.
- An off shore desalination plant that will work with tidal energy to reduce scarcity of
- Developing a submersible vehicle that can go to a depth of at least 6,000 metres with three people on board.
The PPP Appraisal Committee has allegedly dismissed key suggestions made by the Finance Ministry’s Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) and the NITI Aayog to improve criteria for selecting bidders for operation, management and development in the PPP mode for 6 air ports.
- In November (2018) the Union Cabinet gave in principle approval to privatise six airports owned by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
- In December (2018) the AAI floated a tender for operation, management and development in the PPP mode for the Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru airports.
- In February, the AAI declared Adani Enterprises Limited the highest bidder for all six airports.
- In July, the Union Cabinet gave its nod for leasing three of these airports, while a decision on the remaining three is awaited.
What are the allegations raised by DEA and NITI Aayog?
- Finance Ministry had recommended not to award the same bidder more than two airports, as the projects are highly capital intensive and to improve competition as well.
- NITI Aayog had highlighted that the bidders should possess prior Operation and Management (O&M) experience.
- The DEA had also raised concerns over the criteria of per passenger fee (PPF) for determining the winning bid and said the current PPF should be set as a reserve price.
- To an RTI plea filed by Sobhan P.V. of the Airports Authority Employees’ Union, AAI had replied that no study was conducted to ascertain the existing Per Passenger Fee.
Explanations given by PPPAC and AAI for ignoring the recommendations:
- The PPPAC referred to a decision taken by the Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS) which removed the condition on awarding multiple projects to a single entity.
- The PPPAC went on with the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s (MoCA) explanation that it was not possible to calculate the total project cost for the entire period of 50 years of lease, on the ground that these were brownfield airports and all the required data should be available.
Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS)
- It was constituted by the Union Cabinet to take decisions on any issue falling beyond the scope of PPPAC.
- It is headed by the CEO of NITI Aayog.
The 36th GST Council meeting took the much awaited decision to cut the GST on electrical vehicles from 12% to 5%
How will it help the adoption of EVs?
- It will stimulate demand for EVs as the upfront cost of buying a vehicle by ₹8000 to ₹ 10,000.
- It will supplement the Union Budget provision on additional income tax deduction of 1.5 lakh rupees on the interest paid on the loans taken to purchase EVs
- The council also reduced the tax on chargers from 18% to 5%.
- It also exempted the hiring of electric buses by local authorities from the GST.
- It will help realise the nation’s aim to become a global hub for electric vehicle manufacturing.
What is remaining to be done?
- A corresponding reduction of 18% GST on spare batteries
The chairman of the committee of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for rat hole mining in Meghalaya has advised small coal mine owners in the State to form cooperatives to shift to scientific and sustainable mining.
- Rat-hole mining involves digging of narrow tunnels, usually 3-4 feet high, for workers to enter and extract coal.
- The horizontal tunnels are often termed rat-holes.
- It is an unsafe way to extract coal with minimum machinery.
- It also causes river pollution.
- The National Green Tribunal’s banned it in April 2014.
- A flooded rat hole mine at Khloo Ryngksan in East Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya cause death of 17 miners in December 2018.
- After the incident, the NGT formed a committee headed by B.P. Katakey to look into the issue.
- The chairman of the committee, B.P. Katakey, has advised miners to form cooperatives to overcome the constraint of investment, which lead them to take up rat hole mining.
- He added that cooperatives will have to ensure the safety of mining workers and sustainability of the environmentally vulnerable area.
- The NGT had also advised the state to explore alternative way of mining that factors in safety measures, environmental clearance and restoring the areas mined.
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) launched Securitypedia, an online encyclopaedia as a one stop repository of information on security related practices across the globe.
- The online encyclopaedia contains extensive information on technical learning, CISF manuals, case studies, technical compendium, etc.
- A special feature called CISF Tube will provide with videos relevant to CISF.
- It will also have a platform where CISF officials can contribute by writing blogs on professional issues.
- The technical research and development lab of CISF has collaborated with the National Centre of Excellence in Technology for Internal Security (NCETIS) at IIT Mumbai and the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) for the commissioning of the encyclopaedia.
- The CISF has established a technical lab at National Industrial Security Academy (NISA) in Hyderabad to maintain and update technical knowledge about the latest innovations in the field of safety and security that can be used in places like airports and government offices.
- At present, it will be accessible only CISF personnel. Depending upon the outreach and feedback, the Securitypedia will be made accessible to other paramilitary forces too.
D. GS 4 Related
U.S. President Donald Trump offered assistance on Kashmir dispute and claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sought mediation in Kashmir when they met during the G20 summit in Osaka. But the External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar was quick to deny it and reaffirmed India’s commitment on bilaterally solving the issue.
Historical stand of U.S on the issue:
- In 1993, President Bill Clinton expressed his wish to mediate between India and Pakistan as he spoke in the UN General Assembly.
- A month later, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robin Raphel questioned the validity of Kashmir’s ‘Instrument of Accession’.
- The then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao protested strongly at both instances.
- Trump stated the most recent stand at a joint press appearance with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Why does India stand firm on bilateral route to solve the issue?
- Historical suspicion: since the 1950s and 1960s, mediated talks by the United Nations and World Bank, the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia have been unsuccessful in resolving the issues between India and Pakistan.
- Apart from diffusing tensions, or calling off hostilities at the Line of Control and the International Border, the mediated talks did not help much on Jammu and Kashmir.
- Regional interests: India sees itself as a regional leader and does not want external assistance in solving its issues with other regional countries.
- Intrinsic flaws of mediation as a method: It is believed that mediation always favours the weaker party (in this case, Pakistan) as it levels the playing field.
History of mediation by UN:
- In 1948, India approached the UN Security Council against Pakistan’s forced occupation of parts of Kashmir (PoK).
- The UN set up the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) which proposed a three point action plan:
- Pakistani demilitarisation of the Kashmir region
- Indian reduction in military presence after step 1 is affected.
- A proposed final resolution by an impartial U.N. administered plebiscite to determine the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
- But, the deal was never realised as Pakistan never agreed to demilitarise.
- Also, India under Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru made it clear that a plebiscite would never be accepted.
- However, the UNCIP was successful in mediating a ceasefire in 1949, and negotiating the geographical location of the ceasefire line under the monitor of the United Nations Military Observer Group In India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP)).
- Individual representatives of U.N. from1949 to 1953 failed to improve the atmosphere for a resolution or demilitarisation of LoC.
- The proposals given by the first and the second United Nations Representative for India and Pakistan (UNRIP) were rejected by both India and Pakistan.
Instances of guaranteed outcomes after mediation:
- The 1960 World Bank guaranteed Indus Water Treaty.
- The 1965 territorial agreement on the Rann of Kutch, mediated successfully by the British government.
- The 1965 Tashkent peace agreement mediated by the Soviet Premier Kosygin.
Instances of U.S. mediation:
- The U.S. and the U.K. attempted but failed mediation after the 1962 Sino Indian war.
- According to American officials, India had to agree to mediate talks with Pakistan on Kashmir if it wanted U.S. to provide with planes and military hardware during the war.
- “The mediation was accepted because Nehru was in shock after the defeat to China, and the U.S. made it clear that any further military assistance was contingent on India’s cooperation on Kashmir talks.”(Source: Forged in Crisis: ‘India and the United States since 1947’ by Rudra Chaudhuri
- After the war, American and British negotiators headed to India to bring India to the table for six rounds of talks between India and Pakistan.
- However, the talks ended in 1963 after Nehru made it clear that India would never give up the Kashmir Valley.
What will be the future course for India?
- The Simla Agreement post the 1971 war did away with any idea of future mediation between the two countries.
- As per the agreement the two countries “resolved to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means mutually agreed upon between them”.
- In 1999, the Lahore declaration reaffirmed the bilateral nature of issues and their resolution.
- Hence, India is most likely to reiterates its traditional stand over resolving the issue, regardless of periodic mediation offers, from South African President Nelson Mandela, UN Chief António Guterres, the Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg or Mr. Trump.
- However, it is notable that the four step formula reached at the last negotiations on Kashmir (2003-2008) has not progressed much.
The move to Bharat Stage VI mass emission standards for various classes of motor vehicles by April 2020 entails many opportunities as well as concerns.
- The Union Government in September 2016, mandated Bharat Stage VI (BSVI) mass emission standards for various classes of motor vehicles throughout the country from April 1, 2020.
- The order skipped BS V standards as it envisaged a shift directly from BS IV.
- It was introduced in New Delhi last year itself.
What is BS VI Standards?
- Sulphur content is reduced to 10 mg/kg max in BSVI from 50 mg/kg under BSIV.
- It follows the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) norms for upgraded fuels (IS: 2796 for petrol and IS: 1460 for diesel).
- There are lower limits for hydrocarbons (HC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in diesel engines and lower Particulate Matter limits for both petrol and diesel engines.
- The reduction in sulphur makes it possible to equip vehicles with better catalytic converters that capture pollutants.
- It will have limit set on Particle Number (PN) for engines, a reference to direct injection engines that emit more particulates but are more efficient and release less carbon dioxide.
What are the advantages of the move?
- It will lead to better air quality in the short term.
- For the automobile industry, this has meant accelerated development of all related technologies and components and big investments.
- Fuel price will rise due to additional manufacturing cost.
- It will also lead to higher vehicle prices and costs. An industry research estimate puts the increase at up to ₹ 20,000 for petrol cars, ₹ 65,000 to ₹ 90,000 for diesel cars and up to ₹ 25 lakh for heavy commercial vehicles.
- Two wheelers will require an alternate fuel injection technology which will cause a price hike of ₹3,000 to ₹6,000.
- Auto manufacturers incur additional cost on production and testing facilities.
- Some manufacturers are compelled to remove either petrol or diesel variants, citing the huge investment required.
- Upgrading petroleum refineries will cost around ₹ 25,000 Cr. and ₹ 30,000 Cr.
- Fuel outlets across the count should be made uniformly made available with the upgraded fuel.
What is the status of production and sales of vehicles in India?
- According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the industry produced 30,915,420 vehicles ranging from two wheelers to commercial vehicles in the year ended April 2019.
- The annual growth rate on production is 6.26%.
- Sales growth of vehicles has witnessed a slump recently.
- As per June 2019 sales data released by SIAM, automobile companies sold 16.28% fewer passenger vehicles compared to June 2018.
- There was a 23.39% drop in the sale of commercial vehicles in the same period.
- Two wheeler sales also dipped by 11.70%.
- The slump is caused by economic conditions, weak rural demand and the impending shift to higher standards.
Fate of BS IV vehicles:
- There is no bar on the operation of existing vehicles beyond the cut-off date for BSVI.
- So, the inventory of personal and commercial vehicles will continue to be sold.
What lies ahead?
- The auto industry may opt to absorb some costs reducing the burden on consumers.
- Festive season may witness a spike in sale of BS VI vehicles.
- Credit support by banks, particularly after the recapitalisation, is vital for consumers.
- Financial companies will also determine the sales in future.
Zero budget natural farming (ZBNF), a form of chemical-free agriculture can help increase farmers’ income only if certain pitfalls are accounted for.
How did the concept of ZBNF evolve?
- In the 1990s, Maharashtrian agriculturist and Padmashri recipient Subhash Palekar introduced the method.
- It was suggested as an alternative to the Green Revolution which involved chemical fertilizers and pesticides and intensive irrigation.
- Intensive methods in Green Revolution have allegedly lead to indebtedness of farmers and degradation of soil.
- The first Budget speech of the 17th Lok Sabha recognised ZBNF as a “back to the basics” approach.
- It is already being practiced in few States such as Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.
- A limited 2017 study in Andhra Pradesh claimed a sharp decline in input costs and improvement in yields.
- It is believed to help doubling our farmers’ income by 2022.
What is the methodology in ZBNF?
- ZBNF is a method of chemical free agriculture drawing from traditional Indian practices.
- The main components of the system are as follows:
- It promotes the application of ‘Jeevamrutha’ on soil, instead of chemical inputs.
- Jeevamrutha is a mixture of fresh desi cow dung, aged desi cow urine, jaggery, pulse flour, water and soil, essentially making it a fermented microbial culture.
- It adds nutrients to the soil, and acts as a catalytic agent to promote the activity of microorganisms and earthworms in the soil.
- About 200 litres of the mixture should be sprayed twice a month per acre of land.
- After three years, the system becomes self-sustaining.
- A single cow of Indian breed is sufficient for 30 acres of land.
- It is similar mixture used to treat seeds against insect and pest attack.
- It is a concoction made of neem leaves and pulp or tobacco and green chillis.
- Soil aeration
- Minimal watering
- Bunds and topsoil mulching
- Intensive irrigation
- Deep ploughing
- Vermicomposting (Unlike in organic farming, ZBNF discourages introduction of the common composting worm, the European red wiggler (Eisenia fetida), to Indian soils. Subhash Palekar claims that these worms absorb toxic metals and poison groundwater).
What is the relevance of ZBNF?
- The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data cites that almost 70% of agricultural households spend more than they earn. It goes up to 90% in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
- It adds that more than half of all farmers are in debt.
- ZBNF is crucial for realising the target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, which is dependent on investment in farming.
- There are ecological advantages too (Source: Economic Survey).
Criticism against ZBNF:
- Many farmers have reportedly reverted to conventional farming after their returns dropped after a few years.
- Some experts within NITI Aayog argue that the Green Revolution is inevitable for self-sufficiency and food security in India.
- A wholesale move to a different model need sufficient proof on rise in yield.
- Abandoning chemical fertilizers may lead to some decline in yields at least for some time, as observed in Sikkim, which transformed itself into an organic farming state.
Which are the States with big plans?
- More than 1.6 lakh farmers are practising the ZBNF in almost 1,000 villages (Source: Economic Survey). Informal sources counts up to 30 lakh farmers.
- The Karnataka State Farmers’ Association (Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha) were the pioneers in ZBNF. They had organised large scale training camps.
- ZBNF farmers generally own small plots of land, had some access to irrigation and owned at least one cow of their own.
- Andhra Pradesh plans to become India’s first State to practise 100% natural farming by 2024 as per a 2018 policy.
- It will involve phasing out chemical farming on over 80 lakh hectares of land by converting 60 lakh farmers to ZBNF methods (at a cost of ₹17,000 Cr. over the next 10 years.)
- States such as Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Karnataka and Uttarakhand have also invited Mr. Palekar to train their farmers.
Is the budgetary support enough?
- The Finance Minister did not announce any new funding to promote ZBNF.
- However, two Centrally Sponsored Schemes now allow States to use their funds to promote the ZBNF, vedic farming, natural farming, cow farming and a host of other traditional methods.
- A flagship Green Revolution scheme, RKVY-RAFTAAR (Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied sector Rejuvenation)has been given ₹3,745 Cr. this year.
- A scheme based on organic farming, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, has an allocation of ₹325 Cr.
- Andhra Pradesh claims utilisation of ₹249 Cr. from these schemes to promote ZBNF.
- Nevertheless, this forms only a fraction of the spending on Central government’s Green Revolution model subsidies (i.e., for fertilizers, pesticides and mass irrigation)
Future of ZBNF:
- NITI Aayog promotes ZBNF method, as its Vice Chairman suggested an institutional mechanism for the method.
- Multi-location studies are needed to scientifically validate the long term impact and viability of the model.
- The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is studying the ZBNF methods practised by basmati and wheat farmers in Modipuram (Uttar Pradesh), Ludhiana (Punjab), Pantnagar (Uttarakhand) and Kurukshetra (Haryana)
- It evaluates the impact on productivity, economics and soil health including soil organic carbon and soil fertility.
- Andhra Pradesh model can be used as a text book for ZBNF.
1. Kargil War
- The commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the war was held in New Delhi
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the victory in the Kargil war a “symbol of India’s might, determination and capability”.
- He also added that those defeated, i.e., Pakistan, are using pseudo-war and encouraging terror.
- The Kargil War was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control (LOC).
- It ended with a decisive Indian victory
- Operation Vijay was the name of the Indian operation to clear the infiltrators from the Kargil sector.
- The Indian Air Force’s role in acting jointly with Ground troops during the War was given the code name Operation Safed Sagar.
- The Nagaland government sets up a commission headed by retired Chief Secretary Banuo Z. Jamir to frame the modalities of creating the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland.
- The RIIN, a register of all the indigenous inhabitants of the State, is aimed at preventing the issuance of indigenous inhabitant certificates to ineligible persons.
- The commission would recommend the eligibility criteria to be an indigenous inhabitant, the documents to be acceptable as proof for being an indigenous inhabitant, the manner in which the exercise is to be carried out and any other issue relating to implementation of the RIIN.
- The panel would submit its report within three months.
- There are concerns among non Nagas that they will be harassed during the preparation of the list of indigenous citizens.
- According to a June 29 government notification, the RIIN will help identify the citizens who settled in Nagaland prior to December 1, 1963, the day it became a full-fledged State.
- Rajasthan pitches in Self Help Groups (SHGs) for supplementary nutrition programmes at Anganwadi centres
- SHGs would be encouraged to join basic healthcare schemes in rural areas as well.
4. NH 37
- It connects Imphal, the capital of Manipur to Assam
- Landslides at Lukhambi, Kotland and Nung have rendered large portions of the highway non motorable.
G. Prelims Facts
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
Q1. Consider the following statements:
- World Tourism Organisation operates under the United Nations Framework.
- It promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development andenvironmental sustainability
Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Q2. Identify the statement which is not correct:
a. Peat can be an early stage in coal formation
b. Peat forms in bogs which are a type of wetland with a high alkaline content.
c. Partly-decayed organic material builds up and eventually forms peat.
d. Northern Europe have the most peat lands harvested for fuel use.
Q3. Who is the author of ‘The Buddha and His Dhamma’, a treatise on Buddha's life and Buddhism?
a. Bhagat Singh
c. B.R. Ambedkar
d. Jawaharlal Nehru
Q4. Consider the following statements:
- Samabhanga is one of the three primary dance positions in Odissi
- Odissi is a dance form performed only by women.
Which of the given statement/s is/are correct?
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
- India’s territorial waters are crucial not only in terms of security but in terms of resources also. Discuss.(15 Marks, 250 Words)
- Critically analyse the idea of transforming statutory bodies into Constitutional bodies as a security measure for their integrity and independence.(15 Marks, 250 Words)
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