13 – 14th  Apr’18





ISRO’s navigation satellite IRNSS-1I, on board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C41), lifts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

The 1,425-kg satellite will shortly become the eighth satellite to join the NavIC constellation of Indian regional navigation satellites.

NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation), dubbed India’s own GPS, has been designed to provide precise information on position, navigation and time related to objects or people.

The eight satellites have a civilian and restricted military/security application to aid security and disaster management and fleet monitoring on land, air and sea.

Built for a 10-year stint in space, the IRNSS-1I is expected to be ready for work in about a month’s time, after routine orbit manoeuvres and tests.

ISRO launched the first seven navigation satellites — IRNSS-1A to 1G — between July 2013 and April 2016.

Although 1I is the ninth to be built and launched for the NavIC fleet, the previous satellite, 1H, was lost in a faulty launch last August.

1I and 1H were planned as backups but became necessary after all three imported rubidium atomic clocks on 1A failed in orbit.

All seven satellites are required for accurate, 24-hour information from the fleet.

Relevance : Prelims



The Environment Ministry’s apex forest body has shot down a joint proposal by the Coal, Petroleum and Mining ministries to fully exempt themselves from Forest department permissions to scale up the density of exploratory boreholes, used to prospect for minerals, in forests.

Currently companies can dig up to 20 boreholes a square kilometre in forests without taking the Central government’s permission. The Coal Ministry consortium wanted to be able to tunnel more boreholes per square-kilometre without seeking the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC)permission.

However, agreeing that prospecting for ores and minerals were “necessary too,” the FAC eased the procedure for companies to apply for permits. Not all applications, now required the Central government’s permission. State governments could permit the commissioning of such boreholes, provided they involved forests that had a tree-canopy density of less than 40%, or what are called ‘open forests’. For more heavily forested areas, the Central government’s permissions would be required.

That apart, companies that conducted surveys would have to pay a compensatory cost that would be linked to the area under lease, and the agency would have to plant 20 tall trees per bore-hole area.

Relevance : Prelims, GS 3



The Election Commission of India told the Supreme Court that it should be given the power to make rules under the electoral law, instead of the Centre.

Rulemaking authority under the Representation of the People Act 1950 and Representation of the People Act, 1951, should be conferred on the Election Commission, instead of on the Central government, which should, however, be consulted by the Election Commission while framing any rule, the ECI said.

The rationale behind not affording similar protection to other ECs is not explicable. The element of independence under the Constitution is not exclusively for an individual alone but for the whole institution. Thus, the independence of the Commission can only be strengthened if the Election Commissioners are also provided with the same protection as that of the Chief Election Commissioner, the EC said.

It also explained that Article 324 was inadequate and requires an amendment to provide the very same protection and safeguard in the matter of removability of Election Commissioners from office as is available to the CEC.

Relevance : GS 2



The Prime Minister has announced that on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti a “Gram Swaraj Abhiyan” would be organised starting from 14th April to 5th May, 2018.

This Abhiyan is being undertaken for reaching out to poor households, spreading awareness about government welfare schemes and other people centric initiatives.

As a special initiative during the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, universal coverage under seven welfare programmes including Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in 21058 identified villages with large number of underprivileged households across the country has been contemplated.

Relevance : Prelims, GS 2


Aspirational Districts

The Aspirational District programme is an innovation in governance that covers about 15% of India’s population and is reflective of the priority of the Government to provide for the poorest of poor.

It is a well-known fact that India is on a high growth trajectory. What was urgently needed however was the enhancement of the Human Development Index and the reduction in the significant inter-state and inter-district variations in development. For this to happen, the Prime Minister felt that the aspirational districts have to be transformed, and launched the ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ programme in January 2018.

The programme hinges on expeditiously transforming 115 districts that were identified from 28 states, in a transparent manner.

There are three core aspects that frame the structure of the programme- Convergence (of Central & State Schemes), Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors), and Competition among districts.

The officers at the level of Additional Secretary have been nominated to become the ‘Central Prabhari Officers’ of each district, while States have appointed state-nodal and Prabhari officers.

An Empowered Committee under the convenorship of the CEO of NITI Aayog, has been instituted to help in the convergence of various government schemes and streamlining of efforts.

The Prabhari Officers provide feedback and recommendations basis their findings, and the Empowered Committee will then make necessary amendments on an ongoing basis based on the feedback.

The baseline ranking for the 115 aspirational districts is based on 49 indicators across five sectors that includes health and nutrition (30% weightage) through 13 indicators, education (30%) through 8 indicators, agriculture and water resources (20%) through 10 indicators, financial inclusion and skill development (10%) through 10 indicators, and basic infrastructure (10%) through 7 indicators.

50 districts are allocated across 12 Ministries. 35 districts that are in the Left Wing Extremist areas are allocated to the Ministry of Home Affairs, and 30 districts have been allocated to NITI Aayog.

NITI’s focus is to improve India in the Human Development Index ranking, raising the living standards of its citizens and ensuring inclusive growth for all. Unless these districts are brought up to the parameters that each of us expects from our own lives, India will not be able to progress at the rapid pace that would otherwise be achieved from the Governments broad range of initiatives and development strategy. With this initiative much will be achieved towards uniform development.

Relevance : Prelims, GS 2



NCERT has published the information regarding Childline (1098) – 24×7 Helpline for children and POCSO E-box on the back side of the front cover of all the course books from class 6th to class 12th.

To equip the children with the information regarding the possible modes of protection / complaints, the Ministry of Women and Child Development had requested Ministry of Human Resource Development and NCERT to publish this information.

Relevance : GS 2





Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX), the world’s first diamond futures trading bourse, has started a 30 cents diamond futures contract.


NASA is conducting a study of the world’s largest phytoplankton bloom in the North Atlantic to see how the tiny sea algae influence the climate every season. The study will track how phytoplankton’s give rise to small organic particles that leave the ocean and end up in the atmosphere, influencing cloud formation

National Film Awards

The jury of the National Film Awards announced that the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award would be conferred posthumously on actor Vinod Khanna, and the best film actress award would be given to Sridevi for her performance in ‘Mom’.


An Indian military aircraft, which played a pivotal role in the 1947-48 India-Pakistan war, has been restored to its original glory and is set to begin its flight back to India. The refurbished DC-3 Dakota will become the third aircraft to join the Indian Air Force (IAF) vintage fleet when it arrives. It will be used in aerial displays.


A code of conduct for Commonwealth countries to protect journalists’ freedom of expression and reduce their murder has been introduced in London.  Commonwealth organisations launched ‘12 principles’ on protecting the media’s right to report and carry out its activities.

Economic Freedom

India has jumped 13 places in the last one year to be at 130th spot in the latest annual Index of Economic Freedom released by a top American think-tank, The Heritage Foundation. Economic liberalisation measures, including industrial deregulation, privatisation of state-owned enterprises and reduced controls on foreign trade and investment, that began in the early 1990s, accelerated growth.


To provide seamless vehicular movement for enhancing trade, business, health, education and tourism between Indian, Myanmar and Thailand, the National Highways Authority of India has signed an agreement for upgradation of Yagyi – Kalewa section of highway in Myanmar. The project has been funded by Ministry of External Affairs.

Relevance : Prelims



Master of Roster

  • ‘Master of the Roster’ refers to the privilege of the Chief Justice to constitute Benches to hear cases.
  • This privilege was emphasised in November last year, when a Constitution Bench, led by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, declared that “the Chief Justice is the master of the roster and he alone has the prerogative to constitute the Benches of the Court and allocate cases to the Benches so constituted.”
  • It further said that “no Judge can take up the matter on this own, unless allocated by the Chief Justice of India, as he is the master of the roster.”
  • What is the position of the four judges on the ‘master of the roster’ issue? Their point is that the Chief Justice is only the “first among equals,” and not a superior.


(POCSO) e-Box

  • Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) e-Box is an online complaint box for reporting child sexual abuse.
  • It is an National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) initiative to help children report such crimes directly to the Commission.
  • The online complaint management system enables easy reporting and timely action against the offenders under the POCSO Act, 2012.
  • E-Box is very simple to operate and will help to maintain the confidentiality of the complaint.


Mission Zero Waste

  • India generates more than 53 million tons of solid wastes annually. It is a huge amount of waste to handle, however only 25 to 30 % of it is collected and processed, causing serious environmental issues.
  • Under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), Government of India is approaching, “Mission Zero Waste” aiming at sound management of the solid wastes generated in the country with special focus on Reduce, Reuse and Recycle (3Rs).
  • “Mission Zero Waste” promotes resource efficiency that allows materials to be used over and over thereby eliminating the need of landfills.
  • “Mission Zero Waste” is expected to create a momentum among all the cities, industries and other stakeholders to look at waste as the resource.
  • “Mission Zero Waste” complements the Swachh Bharat Mission of Government of India aiming at fostering creativity, innovation, green business, eco-education & consumerism.


  • The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 independent and equal sovereign states.
  • The member countries are mostly former territories of the British Empire
  • Member countries are supported by a network of more than 80 intergovernmental, civil society, cultural and professional organisations.
  • The last country to join the Commonwealth was Rwanda in 2009.
  • Commonwealth organisations are involved in diverse activities, from helping countries with trade negotiations to encouraging women’s leadership, building the small business sector, supporting youth participation at all levels of society and providing experts to write laws.

Relevance : Prelims


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