Friday, 28 November 2014



It is a comet on which recently lander 'philae' investigated. The philae is part of rosette mission by european space agency. The rosetta mission is aimed at investigating the comet nucleus. The comet is also known as 67P

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Tibetan Plateau - Role in Indian Monsoon

Tibetan plateau has considerable importance with regard to monsoon in Asia. This along with its repeated presence in news makes it a hot topic. In the past few years there have been many research findings regarding – the elevation change in Tibetan plateau, role on Indian monsoon, the change in the glaciers of Tibetan plateau etc.

How Tibetan plateau affects monsoon?

The Tibetan plateau is a vast structure extending long and wide. The heating or cooling of such a large geophysical structure leads to change in the jet streams during summer and winter. The change is the jet streams are due to 1) tilt of the earth changing with season 2) uplift of air from the Tibetan plateau. These changes in the jet stream in winter and summer results in change in wind over the peninsular region. As you would know when wind flow from the equatorial region to the subcontinent, then rainfall will occur. The rate of heating, duration of heating of Tibetan plateau has considerable influence on Monsoon.
The role of the Tibetan plateau has been given in Savindra Singh’s Geography book .In case you have a friend with geo optional, just have a glance over it.

The above psychedelic diagrams shows the flow of jet streams in winter. The lower arm disappears in summer. This results in monsoon flow. 

Why important?

We have been trying to predict the Indian monsoon correctly for years. One of the parameters (among several others) is the Tibetan plateau. So unless we clearly get a knowhow of this parameter, it is difficult to make accurate predictions.

News regarding Tibetan plateau 

News one (must read)

News two  (optional reading )

News three  (optional reading)

Monday, 3 November 2014

Unnat Bharat Abhiyan

Unnat Bharat Abhiyan

It is the government of India programme aimed at rural upliftment.

The coveted IITs and other institutions will create technological solutions to problems of India. The focus of the abhiyan will be on areas like water management, organic farming, infrastructure, rural livelihood, renewable energy and employment. The research knowledge will be converted to social capital through this programme. 


Teams will be formed in the institutes which will visit villages and create projects which will directly as well as specifically solve the worries. Once this solutions are derived, then it can be adapted to other villages. The aim is to capitalise the know how of the research community and convert it into action on ground.

Who all?
The HRD ministry and institutes as well as other departments like rural development. 
You can see the details here (click here)

Friday, 31 October 2014

Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System

What is IRNSS? What are its uses?

IRNSS stands for Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).

 It is regional satellite navigation system being developed by India. India will complete it by 2015. It is the Indian version of GPS. It will have two functions 1)civilian use – SPS (standard positioning service) 2)restricted for military use (RS). IRNSS will consist of seven satellites, three in geostationary orbit and four in inclined geosynchronous orbit, and will mainly cover the area around India.

IRNSS will have
a) 7 satellites
b) Ground segment
On the date this article is written, India is working on the launch of the satellites to complete the seven. By 2015 we would have send 7 satellites to create our positioning system.

Applications of IRNSS:

Navigation-Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Disaster Management
Vehicle tracking and fleet management
Integration with mobile phones
Accurate Timing
Mapping and Geodetic data capture
Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travellers
Visual and voice navigation for drivers

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy

The drug pricing and issues surrounding it has been in news recently. In this article two basic concepts in national pharmaceutical pricing policy are explained.

Suo-moto pricing and Pro-rata pricing

Suo moto
Under the pricing policy, companies are asked to report the price of the bulk drugs/formulations within prescribed time. If the companies fail to  do so, the NPPA can fix the price by itself (suo-moto). Eg: the price of a component goes down or if the tax decreases naturally the price of the medicines has to go down. The companies may not be very interested in lowering price. To improve and correct this lack of interest, NPPA prescribes suo-moto pricing.
photo :

Pro-rata means A method of assigning an amount to a fraction, according to its share of the whole. Here based on the ceiling price of formulations, the companies can calculate the price of the products. This enables them to calculate price of a product without always coming back to NPPA.

Read more (click here)

Monday, 27 October 2014

Supreme Court guidelines on fake encounters

These guidelines have been given to protect right to life (Art 21), and improve transparency in policing.

16 guidelines are given to prevent fake encounters. The ones of prime importance are given below.

SC said that every police encounter must be followed by immediate registration of an FIR.
If it involved death, then an inquiry should be carried out by a Magistrate as required under Section 176 of the Criminal Procedure Code. 

When it entailed only injury, it should be investigated by a Policeman from a different Police Station above the rank of the leader of the raiding party which conducted the encounter. The aim is to see that justice is done by reducing biasness and bringing in transparency.

The court ruled that no policeman involved in encounter death should be given out of turn promotion or gallantry awards by the government till the investigations establish that it was a genuine encounter.

After every encounter, the FIR should be registered and family members should be informed.

The DGP should twice report the number of encounter killings to court.

Restructure the training of police force to imbibe values. (police reforms)

Monday, 8 September 2014

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana

Jan Dhan Yojana

Why this scheme?

India has very low banking penetration. Crores of our citizens do not have a bank account. There are plenty of reasons for this.

The banks do not find it economically feasible to operate full fledged in rural area. (Money is needed to bank!)

The rural population in many places sees it out of their league( accessibility, awareness)

The informal systems have deep route and people rely on them.( Leads to loads of black money in predatory lenders)

 What is scheme about?

Universal access to banking facilities (key word)

The citizens can open zero account bank account in any bank. The private and public players are roped in for this. It provides for overdraft facility as well as both life and accident insurance with every account.

The scheme has very easy Know the customer rules.  Aadhaar card, NREGA cards, voters’ ID card etc are accepted as documentary proofs.

Providing Basic Banking Accounts with overdraft facility of Rs.5000 after six months and RuPay Debit card with inbuilt accident insurance cover of Rs. 1 lakh and RuPay Kisan Card

Financial Literacy Programme

In second phase, the micro insurance, credit guarantee etc will be included.

Bottle necks/ views

Like every scheme there will be bottlenecks and concerns about this scheme also. The main thoughts from various quarters are
1.        Will the accounts created generate enough ‘dhan’.
2.       Problem of fake accounts.
3.       Will full coverage be possible as many persons may not have an id card
4.       The insurance part lacks clarity

Your thoughts on aspects of the scheme and its bottle necks (as well as solutions) needed for exam.


It is a payment gateway platform created by National Payment Corporation of India. India is the fourth country in the world after the US, Japan and China to have its own national payment gateway, in RuPay.

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