All India GS Mains Test Series (31 Tests) for CSE-2019 – Starts 24th March 2019

Starts from 24th March, 2019

31 Tests ( 11 Sectional + 16 Full Length + 4 Essay)

Fee: Rs. 28,000/- (Exclusive of Taxes)

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FEATURES OF CHROME IAS TEST SERIES

Limited Enrollments – This is to ensure that due attention is given to the candidates so as to guide them on “How to Improve Answer Writing “, which is often not the case when the number is huge. So, with this aspirants can be personally attended to.

Personal Interaction – Offline + Telephonic – We believe that it’s not enough to evaluate the script, in the current pattern when competition is tough, every stakeholder has to walk an extra mile. We intend to communicate to the aspirant via personal sessions and regularly providing the required inputs to the student. This ensures a gradual understanding of mistakes, without which one cannot improve.

UPSC Pattern – Question Papers are prepared strictly as per the current UPSC pattern.

Stress is on evaluating analytical skills of the aspirant rather than cramming skills.


Test Series Plan


Test – 1 | Date: March 24, 2019

Topics Covered: (GS Paper – I)

  • Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.
  • The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
  • Postindependence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
  • Current Affairs

Test – 2 | Date:March 31, 2019

Topics Covered: (GS Paper – II)

  • Indian Constitution – historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
  • Functions and responsibilities – of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
  • Separation of powers – between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
  • Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
  • Structure, organization and functioning – of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
  • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
  • Current Affairs

Test – 3 | Date: April 07, 2019

Topics Covered: (GS Paper – III)

  • Economic Development (Macro & Micro) – Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
  • Government Budgeting.
  • Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers
  • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices;
  • Public Distribution System– objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
  • Current Affairs

Test – 4 | Date: April 14, 2019

Topics Covered: (GS Paper – IV)

  • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.
  • Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family, society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
  • Attitude: content, structure, function; its Influence and relation with thought and behavior; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
  • Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker sections.
  • Emotional intelligence – concepts, their utilities and application in administration and governance.
  • Case Studies on above issues and Current Issues.

Test – 5 | Date: April 21, 2019

Essay Paper


Test – 6 | Date: April 28, 2019

Topics Covered: (GS Paper – I)

  • History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, and decolonization.
  • Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
  • Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
  • Political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.
  • Globalization – Effects of globalization on Indian society
  • Social Justice – Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
  • Current Affairs

Test – 7 | Date: May 5, 2019

Topics Covered: (GS Paper – II)

  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Development processes and the development industry – the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
  • Current Affairs

Test – 8 | Date: May 12, 2019

Topics Covered: (GS Paper – III)

  • Food processing and related industries in India– scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
  • Land reforms in India.
  • Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
  • Investment models.
  • Science and Technology – developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
  • Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nanotechnology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
  • Current Affairs

Test – 9 | Date: May 19, 2019

Topics Covered: (GS Paper – IV)

  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
  • Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
  • Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
  • Case Studies on above issues and Current Issues.

Test – 10 | Date: May 26, 2019

Essay Paper


Test – 11 | Date: June 7, 2019

Topics Covered: (GS Paper – I)

  • World Geography– Salient features of world’s physical geography.
  • Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent);
  • Location of Industries – factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)
  • Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.,
  • Geographical features and their location – changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
  • Current Affairs

Test – 12 | Date: June 7, 2019

Topics Covered: (GS Paper – II)

  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
  • Role of civil services in a democracy.
  • Foreign Policy & International Relations
  • India and its neighborhood – relations.
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora. International Institutions
  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
  • Current Affairs

Test – 13 | Date: June 8, 2019

Topics Covered: (GS Paper – III)

  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
  • Disaster and disaster management.
  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.
  • Current Affairs

Test 14 – Test 23 | Date: June 9 – Aug 25, 2019

(Plan will be updated after Prelims)


Test 24 – Test 25 | Date: August 31, 2019


Test 26 – Test 27 | Date: Sep 01, 2019


Test 28 – Test 29| Date: Sep 07, 2019


Test 30 – Test 31|Date: Sep 08, 2019


OBJECTIVES OF CHROME IAS TEST SERIES

It is important to understand at the first place, “What should be the motive of Test Series”? If it is to have more and more questions being repeated, then perhaps best would be to take all sources and Compile in a document which at times is so bulky but in reality has very little substance.

Criteria of joining a test series should neither be that whether few of our questions appear directly in the exam (Preliminary+Mains) nor should it be the objective of an aspirant before joining test series. The important and perhaps the only question is how have you trained your mind to respond to the main and the final event which comes after an exhaustive and well-designed test program clubbed with right feedback. This remains our never-ending endeavor at Chrome IAS Academy to provide the same.

So we believe that enrolling for test series at Chrome IAS Academy is justified as it serves the following purposes:

First is “Training of Mind”, if that is achieved half of the battle is won. And the primary purpose of the test series at Chrome IAS Academy is this.

Second important aspect of our well-crafted program is to act as a “Priming factor”. It has to prepare you for the final event and act as a close rehearsal. Though initially we started off with a Comprehensive Test module, but on demand from aspirants, this year we have come up with a Sectional Plan, so as to keep aspirants in a step wise learning model.

Third purpose of Chrome IAS Main Examination Test Series is to give you a platform to “Revisit important issues” and also topics that might have skipped your gaze. Also to implement what you have learnt over time and see where you stand as comparison to others.

Fourth and perhaps the most important aspect is the “Right Feedback” which is customized based on the assessment of the aspirant by out experts.

This program is designed for comprehensive revision and preparation for individual GS Papers (I, II, III and IV).


Note: Changes in the Test Schedule may be made due to unforeseen circumstances with or without any prior notice. The Institute shall not be responsible for any loss or liability suffered by the students arising out of such adjustments in the Schedule.


ALL THE BEST | NOTHING WORTH ; COMES EASY | WORK HARD

[ CSE – 2019/2020 ] [Optional] HISTORY MAINS TEST SERIES


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History test plan -20-20 (2)


Course and Fee Description:-

Start Date – 17th March,2019 (Sunday)
Program Fee:- 16000 (Exclusive of GST)


Topics for the MAINS Test Plan as per UPSC CSE Mains History Syllabus –

Paper – I

  1. Sources: Archaeological sources: Exploration, excavation, epigraphy, numismatics, monuments Literary sources: Indigenous: Primary and secondary; poetry, scientific literature, literature, literature in regional languages, religious literature. Foreign accounts: Greek, Chinese and Arab writers.
  2. Pre-history and Proto-history:Geographical factors; hunting and gathering (paleolithic and mesolithic); Beginning of agriculture (neolithic and chalcolithic).
  3. Indus Valley Civilization:Origin, date, extent, characteristics, decline, survival and significance, art and architecture.
  4. Megalithic Cultures:Distribution of pastoral and farming cultures outside the Indus, Development of community life, Settlements, Development of agriculture, Crafts, Pottery, and Iron industry.
  5. Aryans and Vedic Period:Expansions of Aryans in India. Vedic Period: Religious and philosophic literature; Transformation from Rig Vedic  period to the later Vedic period; Political, social and economical life; Significance of the Vedic Age; Evolution of Monarchy and Varna system.
  6. Period of Mahajanapadas:Formation of States (Mahajanapada): Republics and monarchies; Rise of urban centres; Trade routes; Economic growth; Introduction of coinage; Spread of Jainism and Buddhism; Rise of Magadha and Nandas. Iranian and Macedonian invasions and their impact.
  7. Mauryan Empire:Foundation of the Mauryan Empire, Chandragupta, Kautilya and Arthashastra; Ashoka; Concept of Dharma; Edicts; Polity, Administration; Economy; Art, architecture and sculpture; External contacts; Religion; Spread of religion; Literature.Disintegration of the empire; Sungas and Kanvas.
  8. Post – Mauryan Period (Indo-Greeks, Sakas, Kushanas, Western Kshatrapas):Contact with outside world; growth of urban centres, economy, coinage, development of religions, Mahayana, social conditions, art, architecture, culture, literature and science.
  9. Early State and Society in Eastern India, Deccan and South India:Kharavela, The Satavahanas, Tamil States of the Sangam Age; Administration, economy, land grants, coinage, trade guilds and urban centres; Buddhist centres; Sangam literature and culture; Art and architecture.
  10. Guptas, Vakatakas and Vardhanas:Polity and administration, Economic conditions, Coinage of the Guptas, Land grants, Decline of urban centres, Indian feudalism, Caste system, Position of women, Education and educational institutions; Nalanda, Vikramshila and Vallabhi, Literature, scientific literature, art and architecture.
  11. Regional States during Gupta Era:The Kadambas, Pallavas, Chalukyas of Badami; Polity and Administration, Trade guilds, Literature; growth of Vaishnava and Saiva religions. Tamil Bhakti movement, Shankaracharya; Vedanta; Institutions of temple and temple architecture; Palas, Senas, Rashtrakutas, Paramaras, Polity and administration; Cultural aspects. Arab conquest of Sind; Alberuni, The Chalukyas of Kalyana, Cholas, Hoysalas, Pandyas; Polity and Administration; local Government; Growth of art and architecture, religious sects, Institution of temple and Mathas, Agraharas, education and literature, economy and society.
  12. Themes in Early Indian Cultural History:Languages and texts, major stages in the evolution of art and architecture, major philosophical thinkers and schools,  ideas in Science and Mathematics.
  13. Early Medieval India, 750-1200:Polity: Major political developments in Northern India and the Peninsula, origin and the rise of Rajputs; The Cholas: administration, village economy and society; “Indian Feudalism”; Agrarian economy and urban settlements; Trade and commerce; Society: the status of the Brahman and the new social order; Condition of women; Indian science and technology
  14. Cultural Traditions in India, 750-1200:Philosophy: Skankaracharya and Vedanta, Ramanuja and Vishishtadvaita, Madhva and Brahma-Mimansa; Religion: Forms and features of religion, Tamil devotional cult, growth of Bhakti, Islam and its arrival in India, Sufism; Literature: Literature in Sanskrit, growth of Tamil literature, literature in the newly developing languages, Kalhan’s Rajtarangini, Alberuni’s India; Art and Architecture: Temple architecture, sculpture, painting
  15. The Thirteenth Century:Establishment of the Delhi Sultanate: The Ghurian invasions – factors behind Ghurian success; Economic, social and cultural consequences; Foundation of Delhi Sultanate and early Turkish Sultans; Consolidation: The rule of Iltutmish and Balban
  16. The Fourteenth Century:“The Khalji Revolution”; Alauddin Khalji: Conquests and territorial expansion, agrarian and economic measures; Muhammad Tughluq: Major projects, agrarian measures, bureaucracy of Muhammad Tughluq; Firuz Tughluq: Agrarian measures, achievements in civil engineering and public works, decline of the Sultanate, foreign contacts and Ibn Battuta’s account;
  17. Society, Culture and Economy in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries: Society: composition of rural society, ruling classes, town dwellers, women, religious classes, caste and slavery under the Sultanate, Bhakti movement, Sufi movement; Culture: Persian literature, literature in the regional languages of North India, literature in the languages of South India, Sultanate architecture and new structural forms, painting, evolution of a composite culture; Economy: Agricultural production, rise of urban economy and non-agricultural production, trade and commerce
  18. The Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century: Political Developments and Economy: Rise of Provincial Dynasties: Bengal, Kashmir (Zainul Abedin), Gujarat, Malwa, Bahmanids; The Vijayanagra Empire; Lodis; Mughal Empire, First phase: Babur and  Humayun; The Sur Empire: Sher Shah’s administration; Portuguese Colonial enterprise; Bhakti and Sufi Movements
  19. The Fifteenth and early Sixteenth Century – Society and Culture: Regional cultural specificities; Literary traditions; Provincial architecture; Society, culture, literature and the arts in Vijayanagara Empire.
  20. Akbar: Conquests and consolidation of the Empire; Establishment of Jagir and Mansab systems; Rajput policy; Evolution of religious and social outlook, theory of Sulh-i-kul and religious policy; Court patronage of art and technology
  21. Mughal Empire in the Seventeenth Century: Major administrative policies of Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb; The Empire and the Zamindars; Religious policies of Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb; Nature of the Mughal State; Late Seventeenth century crisis and the revolts; The Ahom Kingdom; Shivaji and the early Maratha Kingdom.
  22. Economy and Society in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: Population, agricultural production, craft production; Towns, commerce with Europe through Dutch, English and French companies : a trade revolution; Indian mercantile classes, banking, insurance and credit systems; Condition of peasants, condition of women; Evolution of the Sikh community and the Khalsa Panth
  23. Culture in the Mughal Empire: Persian histories and other literature; Hindi and other religious literature; Mughal architecture; Mughal painting; Provincial architecture and painting; Classical music; Science and technology
  24. The Eighteenth Century: Factors for the decline of the Mughal Empire; The regional principalities: Nizam’s Deccan, Bengal, Awadh; Maratha ascendancy under the Peshwas; The Maratha fiscal and financial system; Emergence of Afghan Power, Battle of Panipat: 1761; State of politics, culture and economy on the eve of the British conquest

Paper – II

  1. European Penetration into India: The Early European Settlements; The Portuguese and the Dutch; The English and the French East India Companies; Their struggle for supremacy; Carnatic Wars; Bengal -The conflict between the English and the Nawabs of Bengal; Siraj and the English; The Battle of Plassey; Significance of  Plassey.
  2. British Expansion in India:Bengal – Mir Jafar and Mir Kasim; The Battle of Buxar; Mysore; The Marathas; The three Anglo-Maratha Wars; The Punjab.
  3. Early Structure of the British Raj:The early administrative structure; From diarchy to direct control; The Regulating Act (1773); The Pitt’s India Act (1784); The Charter Act (1833); The voice of free trade and the changing character of British colonial rule; The English utilitarian and India.
  4. Economic Impact of British Colonial Rule:Land revenue settlements in British India; The Permanent Settlement; Ryotwari Settlement; Mahalwari Settlement; Economic impact of the revenue; arrangements; Commercialization of agriculture; Rise of landless agrarian labourers; Impoverishment of the rural society; Dislocation of traditional trade and commerce; De-industrialisation; Decline of traditional crafts; Drain of wealth; Economic transformation of India; Railroad and communication network including telegraph and postal services; Famine and poverty in the rural interior; European business enterprise and its limitations.
  5. Social and Cultural Developments:The state of indigenous education, its dislocation; Orientalist – Anglicist controversy, The introduction of western education in India; The rise of press, literature and public opinion; The rise of modern vernacular literature; Progress of science; Christian missionary activities in India.
  6. Social and Religious Reform movements in Bengal and Other Areas:Ram Mohan Roy, The Brahmo Movement; Devendranath Tagore; Iswarchandra Vidyasagar; The Young Bengal Movement; Dayanada Saraswati; The social reform movements in India including Sati, widow remarriage, child marriage etc.; The
    contribution of Indian renaissance to the growth of modern India; Islamic revivalism – the Feraizi and Wahabi Movements.
  7. Indian Response to British Rule:Peasant movements and tribal uprisings in the 18th and 19th centuries including the Rangpur Dhing (1783), the Kol Rebellion (1832), the Mopla Rebellion in Malabar (1841-1920), the Santal Hul (1855), Indigo Rebellion (1859-60), Deccan Uprising (1875) and the Munda Ulgulan (1899- 1900); The Great Revolt of 1857 – Origin, character, causes of failure, the consequences; The shift in the character of peasant uprisings in the post-1857 period; the peasant movements of the 1920s and 1930s.
  8. Factors leading to the birth of Indian Nationalism; Politics of Association; The Foundation of the Indian National Congress; The Safety-valve thesis relating to the birth of the Congress; Programme and objectives of Early Congress; the social composition of early Congress leadership; the Moderates and Extremists; The Partition of Bengal (1905); The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal; the economic and political aspects of Swadeshi Movement; The beginning of revolutionary extremism in India.
  9. Rise of Gandhi; Character of Gandhian nationalism; Gandhi’s popular appeal; Rowlatt Satyagraha; the Khilafat Movement; the Non-cooperation Movement; National politics from the end of the Non-cooperation movement to the beginning of the Civil Disobedience movement; the two phases of the Civil Disobedience Movement; Simon Commission; The Nehru Report; the Round Table Conferences; Nationalism and the Peasant Movements; Nationalism and Working class movements; Women and Indian youth and students in Indian politics (1885-1947); the election of 1937 and the formation of ministries; Cripps Mission; the Quit India Movement; the Wavell Plan; The Cabinet Mission.
  10. Constitutional Developments in the Colonial India between 1858 and 1935
  11. Other strands in the National Movement The Revolutionaries: Bengal, the Punjab, Maharashtra, U.P, the Madras Presidency, Outside India. The Left; The Left within the Congress: Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, the Congress Socialist Party; the Communist Party of India, other left parties.
  12. Politics of Separatism; the Muslim League; the Hindu Mahasabha; Communalism and the politics of partition; Transfer of power; Independence.
  13. Consolidation as a Nation; Nehru’s Foreign Policy; India and her neighbours (1947-1964); The linguistic reorganisation of States (1935-1947); Regionalism and regional inequality; Integration of Princely States; Princes in electoral politics; the Question of National Language.
  14. Caste and Ethnicity after 1947; Backward castes and tribes in postcolonial electoral politics; Dalit movements.
  15. Economic development and political change;Land reforms; the politics of planning and rural reconstruction; Ecology and environmental policy in post – colonial India; Progress of science.
  16. Enlightenment and Modern ideas:Major ideas of Enlightenment: Kant, Rousseau; Spread of Enlightenment in the colonies; Rise of socialist ideas (up to Marx); spread of Marxian Socialism
  17. Origins of Modern Politics: European States System; American Revolution and the Constitution; French revolution and aftermath, 1789- 1815; American Civil War with reference to Abraham Lincoln and the abolition of slavery; British Democratic Politics, 1815- 1850; Parliamentary Reformers, Free Traders, Chartists.
  18. Industrialization: English Industrial Revolution: Causes and Impact on Society; Industrialization in other countries: USA, Germany, Russia, Japan; Industrialization and Globalization.
  19. Nation-State System: Rise of Nationalism in 19th century; Nationalism: state-building in Germany and Italy; Disintegration of Empires in the face of the emergence of nationalities across the world.
  20. Imperialism and Colonialism: South and South-East Asia; Latin America and South Africa; Australia; Imperialism and free trade: Rise of neo-imperialism.
  21. Revolution and Counter-Revolution: 19th Century European revolutions, The Russian Revolution of 1917- 1921, Fascist Counter-Revolution, Italy and Germany; The Chinese Revolution of 1949
  22. World Wars: 1st and 2nd World Wars as Total Wars: Societal implications; World War I: Causes and consequences; World War II: Causes and consequence
  23. The World after World War II: Emergence of two power blocs; Emergence of Third World and non-alignment; UNO and the global disputes.
  24. Liberation from Colonial Rule: Latin America-Bolivar; Arab World-Egypt; Africa-Apartheid to Democracy; South-East Asia-Vietnam
  25. Decolonization and Underdevelopment: Factors constraining development: Latin America, Africa
  26. Unification of Europe: Post War Foundations: NATO and European Community; Consolidation and Expansion of European Community; European Union.
  27. Disintegration of Soviet Union and the Rise of the Unipolar World: Factors leading to the collapse of Soviet communism and the Soviet Union, 1985-1991; Political Changes in Eastern Europe 1989-2001; End of the cold war and US ascendancy in the World as the lone superpower.

Essential Facts (Prelims): 18 January, 2019


Rupee pact with Iran

  • The Indian pharma industry now has an opportunity to increase exports to Iran, following a rupee payment mechanism agreed upon recently by India and the Persian Gulf nation.
  • Under the agreement, Indian refiners make payments in rupee for oil imports from Iran, to designated accounts maintained with UCO Bank.
  • A portion thus received is to be used by Iran to pay for imports from India, including pharmaceuticals.
  • The rupee payment agreement came within weeks of the sanctions to cover oil imports from Iran.
  • While imposing the sanctions again, the U.S. provided a time window of exemption under which India and a few other countries could continue to import oil for some time, but of relatively less quantity.
  • Constituting mostly APIs (bulk drugs), Indian pharma exports to Iran have been declining in recent years.

Young Scientists Programme

  • For the first time, ISRO has announced the ‘Young Scientists Programme’ to encourage the scientific talent and increase scientific pool in the country.
  • Under this programme 3 students from each state and UT will be selected for ISRO programme for one month during which they will visit ISRO centres, interact with senior scientists and will have access to Research and Development facilities.

Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY)

  • Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY), the flagship scheme of the Central Government for employment generation has crossed the milestone of one crore beneficiaries.
  • PMRPY was announced in 2016 and is being implemented by Ministry of Labour and Employment through the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO).
  • Under the scheme, Government is paying full employers’ contribution of 12% (towards Employees’ Provident Fund and Employees’ Pension Scheme both), for a period of 3 years in respect of new employees who have been registered with the EPFO on or after 1st April 2016, with salary up to Rs. 15,000 per month.
  • The entire system is online and AADHAR based with no human interface in the implementation of the scheme.

UNNATI

  • India to train experts from 45 countries India will train 45 countries in nano-satellite making through a new capacity building programme.
  • The programme is named Unispace Nanosatellite Assembly and Training(UNNATI).

Samvad

ISRO has initiated ‘Samvad with students’ programme where ISRO chairman meets the students during his outstation visits and address their queries and quench the scientific thrust.


Volkswagen

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed Volkswagen India to deposit ₹100 crore with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Essential Facts (Prelims): 16 and 17 January, 2019

Essential Facts for Prelims – CSE 2019. Daily Compilation of Important Factual Information from Relevant News Sources for Civil Services Prelims Exam (UPSC)


Bru

  • Around 35,000 Bru refugees living in relief camps in Tripura.
  • Thousands of Bru refugees from Mizoram had fled to Tripura during ethnic violence in 1997.

Police Chiefs

  • The Supreme Court rejected the pleas made by five States to implement their own local laws for selection and appointment of their State police chiefs.
  • .In July 2018, the Supreme Court restrained State governments from appointing DGPs without first consulting the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
  • The State government concerned has to send UPSC the names of the probables three months before the incumbent DGP is to retire.
  • The UPSC will prepare a panel of three officers fit to be DGP and send it back.
  • The State shall “immediately” appoint one of the persons shortlisted by the UPSC.

NREGA

The National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREGA) scheme has been given an additional allocation of ₹6,084 crore to tide over the next three months. This lifts the total allocation to MGNREGA for 2018-19 to ₹61,084 crore, which is the highest ever allocation.


ECB

  • In a bid to improve ease of doing business, the Reserve Bank of India has decided to liberalise external commercial borrowing (ECB) norms, allowing all companies that are eligible for receiving foreign direct investment, to raise funds through the ECB route.
  • The RBI has decided to keep the minimum average maturity period at 3 years for all ECBs, irrespective of the amount of borrowing. Earlier, the minimum average maturity period was five years.
  • The ceiling for borrowing remains at $750 million.
  • RBI had capped funds raised via ECBs at 6.5% of GDP, at current market prices.

Exim Bank

  • The Cabinet o approved an infusion of ₹6,000 crore of capital in the Exim Bank of India.
  • The Cabinet also approved an increase in the authorised capital of Exim Bank from ₹10,000 crore to ₹20,000 crore.
  • The capital infusion would enable the bank to augment its capital adequacy and support Indian exports.

e commerce

  • The rules mandate that no entity in which an e-commerce company has stake can sell its wares on that e-commerce company’s portal.
  • Any vendor who receives 25% or more of its inputs from an e-commerce group company cannot sell on that e-commerce portal.

Gandhi Peace Prize

  • After a gap of four years, the Centre announced the awardees for the prestigious Gandhi Peace Prize for 2015 to 2018.
  • The Gandhi Peace Prize, which is given to individuals and institutions for their contribution towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods, was last conferred upon the Indian Space Research Organisation in 2014.
  • This is the first time that the awardees of four years have been announced together ever since the award was instituted in 1995.
  • As per the code of procedure on the Ministry of Culture’s website, the award should ideally be announced on Gandhi Jayanti, October 2, each year.
  • The award carries a cash prize of Rs 1 crore, a citation and a handicraft item.
  • The International Gandhi Peace Prize was instituted by the government on the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and is open to people of all nationalities.

IIP Vs ASI

  • Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is a composite indicator that measures changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products over a period of time, with respect to a chosen base period.
  • It is compiled and published monthly by the CSO with a time lag of six weeks from the reference month.
  • The all-India IIP provides a single representative figure to measure the general level of industrial activity in the economy on a monthly basis.
  • On the whole, the new series had 809 items from the manufacturing sector as against 620 from the old 2004-05 series.
  • ASI is the main source of long term industrial statistics while the IIP is a monthly indicator based on items and factories selected from ASI.
  • IIP is based on a fixed set of items and factories chosen in the base period whereas the ASI is a record-based survey of establishments registered under the Factories Act, 1948 in which the sampling frame and the sampled establishments undergo significant changes.
  • ASI captures information of new items and factories whereas the IIP does not.
  • Also, the IIP is based on a much smaller sample of factories as compared to that of ASI.
  • Growth rates in IIP are based on volume of production whereas growth rates in ASI are derived on the basis of Value Added (Output – Input).
  • Further, establishments selected in IIP are generally larger in size whereas ASI establishments cover both large and smaller units. So, the growth rates in IIP are lower as the smaller units that have a thinner base and hence show higher growth

KALIA

  • The Odisha government has come up with a support scheme whose primary targets are small farmers, cultivators and landless agricultural labourers.
  • Called KALIA, the scheme involves payments to encourage cultivation and associated activities.

Cotton

  • A small green shoot is growing on the moon in an out-of-this-world first after cotton seed germinated on board a Chinese lunar lander.
  • This is the first time humans have done biological growth experiments on the lunar surface.

Saksham

‘Saksham’, an annual high intensity one-month long people-centric mega campaign of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has been launched.


Numaligarh

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, has given its approval to the project for capacity expansion of Numaligarh Refinery in Assam from 3 MMTPA (Million Metric Tonne Per Annum) to 9 MMTPA.
  • It involves setting up of crude oil pipeline from Paradip to Numaligarh and product pipeline from Numaligarh to Siliguri.

 

Editorial Simplified:Basic Income Works And Works Well | GS-III

The contrast is bound to be made with the Congress’s promise of farm loan waivers.

  Relevance : GS Paper  III

(International Relation)


Theme of the article

India has the capacity and the need for a basic income scheme.


A ripe idea

  • The international debate on basic income has advanced considerably in the past five years.
  • Experiments have been launched in countries of different levels of per capita income, which include Canada, Finland, Kenya, Namibia, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.S., with plans being drawn up in England, Scotland, South Korea and elsewhere.

India could take the lead

India has the technological capacity, the financial resources and, above all, the need for a simple, transparent scheme to liberate the energies of the masses now mired in economic insecurity, deprivation and degradation.


Feasibility of basic income

  • Planning the phased implementation of basic income will be a serious but manageable challenge. It will require goodwill, integrity, knowledge and humility about what will be inevitable mistakes.
  • If properly planned, it is possible to introduce a comprehensive scheme even in rural or urban low-income communities, without too much cost.

Basic income vs loan waivers

  • Loan waiver will not alter structures and is bad economics.
  • If one type of loan could be declared non-repayable, why not others? It would be a dangerous precedent to declare that one type of debt and not others need not be repaid.
  • That is why a basic income would be a more equitable and economically rational way of addressing an unfolding rural tragedy.
  • The beauty of moving towards a modest basic income would be that all groups would gain.

Way forward

  • It is essential to obtain local cooperation and awareness at the outset, and the backing of key local institutions.
  • If the government is to go ahead, it should phase in the scheme gradually, rolling it out from low-income to higher-income communities, after local officials have been trained and prepared.
  • The authorities should not select particular types of individuals and give it only to them. For example, if money is given only to women, men will demand a share; it will be divisive.

Conclusion

Basic income  would not preclude special additional support for those with special needs, nor be any threat to a progressive welfare state in the long-term. It would merely be an anchor of a 21st century income distribution system.


 

Editorial Simplified: Not A Zero-Sum Deal | GS – II

Relevance : GS Paper II (International Relations)


Theme of the article

India and China can work together, bilaterally and in multilateral groupings, to build a secure Afghanistan.


Why has this issue cropped up?

The likelihood of an American pull-out from Afghanistan raises the spectre of instability in Afghanistan, South and Central Asia. If this happens, security could hinge on efforts made by regional powers to stabilise Afghanistan.


Regional powers and Afghanistan

CHINA:

  • Sharing part of a border with Afghanistan, China has a great interest in its stability.
  • China would be adversely affected by war and chaos, which could spill over into north-western China, Pakistan, and Central Asia. As all these areas are vital in its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), peace in Afghanistan is critical.
  • Over the last decade, China has gained considerable economic and diplomatic influence in Afghanistan.
  • It has joined the U.S. and Russia in several peace talks with the Taliban and is part of the four-nation Quadrilateral Coordination Group (with Afghanistan, Pakistan and the U.S.).
  • It is giving military aid to Afghanistan, with the express intent of fighting terrorism and increasing security cooperation.
  • It has invested in projects such as mining, roads and railways, and health.
  • In 2012, it brought Afghanistan into the regional diplomatic processes by giving it observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

INDIA:

  • India supports China’s role in international negotiations on Afghanistan, the activation of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group and other mechanisms of dialogue and cooperation for restoration of peace and development in Afghanistan.
  • India has certainly contributed much ‘soft power’ ranging from telecommunications to education, Bollywood movies and pop music.
  • The building for the National Assembly was built with Indian assistance to support Afghanistan’s democracy.
  • Indian reconstruction largesse, amounting to some $3 billion, has earned it goodwill and popularity.
  • But India’s lengthy absence from regional diplomacy has resulted in its limited contribution to the negotiations that are necessary to stabilise Afghanistan.

India- China cooperation in Afghanistan

  • The Afghan government would like to see India-China economic cooperation in Afghanistan that could boost progress and enhance human security.
  • Last October, in a first, India and China started a joint training project for Afghan diplomats.
  • They could expand cooperation by facilitating Afghanistan’s full membership of the SCO.
  • China’s leadership role of the SCO could give it a vantage in crafting a regional solution on Afghanistan. That should not prevent India and China from working together, bilaterally and in the SCO, to build a secure Afghanistan.

 

Editorial Simplified: Let The Grassroots Breathe | GS – II

Relevance : GS Paper II (Polity and Governance)


Theme of the article

Local bodies must not be administrative vessels for implementing programs of the Central and State governments.


Why has this issue cropped up?

One of the first decisions of the newly elected government in Rajasthan has been to scrap the minimum educational qualification criteria for candidates contesting local body elections.


What were the educational criteria?

  • The previous government had introduced amendments which required candidates contesting the zila parishad and panchayat samiti elections to have passed Class 10 and those contesting sarpanch elections to have passed Class 8.
  • Further, it disallowed those without functional toilets in their home to contest.

Supported by Supreme Court

The court held that prescription of educational qualification was justifiable for better administration and did not violate the right to equality enshrined in the Constitution.


The problems with educational criteria

  • RIGHTS: It unduly restricts a citizen’s right to contest elections and thereby challenges the basic premise of a republican democracy. Denying the right to contest effectively restricts the right of a citizen to vote for a candidate of her choice since more than half the population is restricted from contesting.
  • MARGINAL SECTIONS: Further, it disproportionately disenfranchises the more marginal sections of society: women, Dalits and poor. In a country like India with unequal access to education, it is cruel to blame citizens for the failure of the state to fulfill its constitutional obligations.
  • OTHER ELECTIONS: Such restrictions do not exist for those contesting parliamentary or Assembly elections.
  • ASSUMPTION: It is an ill-informed assumption that those with formal education will be better in running panchayats.
  • 73rd and 74th AMENDMENTS: This approach goes against the very objective of the 73rd and 74th Amendments that sought to make panchayats and municipalities representative institutions with adequate representation from Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women.

Denying local democracy

  • The undermining of local governments as representative institutions does not take place solely through the introduction of restrictions for contesting elections.
  • ELECTIONS: Over the years, many State governments have sought to defang local governments by simply delaying elections on various grounds. The continual delay in elections goes against the purpose of the 73rd and 74th Amendments.
  • SEC : In most States, tasks like delimitation of seats are still done by the State government instead of the State Election Commission (SEC).

Conclusion

India prides itself as a robust democracy with regular elections and smooth transfer of power. However, delaying elections and adding restrictions to contest prevent local governments from becoming truly representative institutions.


 

Essential Facts (Prelims): 12th January 2019

 


Gaganyaan

  • ‘Gaganyaan’ would send a manned mission to space by 2022.
  • The Human Space Flight Centre [based in Bengaluru] will carry out all activities related to the human programme. Under it will function the Gaganyaan Project.
  • Gananyaan wil be launched aboard the GSLV-MkIII.


Industrial growth

  • Industrial output growth dropped to a 17-month low of 0.5% in November.
  • The drop is on account of contraction in manufacturing sector.
  • Factory output is measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
  • The manufacturing sector constitutes 77.63% of the index.


Ocean heating

  • Ocean heating is a very important indicator of climate change.
  • A new analysis found that the oceans are heating up 40 percent faster on average than a UN panel estimated five years ago.
  • About 93% of excess heat — trapped around the Earth by greenhouse gases that come from the burning of fossil fuels — accumulates in the world’s oceans.
  • A key factor in the more accurate measurement of ocean heating is an ocean monitoring fleet called Argo, which includes nearly 4,000 floating robots that “drift throughout the world’s oceans to measure its temperature, pH, salinity and other bits of information,”.


Bhartiya Shiksha Board (BSB)

  • It will be the country’s first national school board for Vedic education.
  • It will be a fully-funded autonomous body under the HRD Ministry.
  • Apart from affiliating traditional pathshalas, BSB will also be assigned the responsibility of evolving new kinds of schools that offer a blend of Vedic and modern education.


FDI

  • Mauritius, the favourite hotspot of foreign investors to route their investments to India, has witnessed a 70 per cent decline in foreign direct investment (FDI).
  • Singapore which overtook Mauritius has turned out to be the preferred country for routing FDI with a 78 per cent jump in investments.
  • FDI equity flows routed through Mauritius declined sharply reflecting the impact of the amended DTAA (double tax avoidance agreement).
  • After the DTAA amendment, India gets taxation rights on capital gains arising from alienation of shares acquired on or after April 1, 2017, in a company resident in India with effect from financial year 2017-18.
  • Japan came third in the FDI chart .
  • FDI inflows since 2000 has been routed through Mauritius and Singapore which enjoyed special status under the DTAA signed with India in 1982 and 1994, respectively.
  • The DTAA provided for a capital gains tax exemption to resident entities of these countries on transfer of Indian securities. These agreements were amended in 2016 with the purpose of source-based taxation of capital gains on shares, preventing round tripping of funds, curbing revenue loss and preventing double non-taxation.
  • In 2017-18, Mauritius was the top source of FDI into India with $13.41 billion investments followed by Singapore.


ADB

  • Having committed $3.03 billion in loans to India in 2018, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) plans to scale up its lending to $4 billion annually.
  • ADB committed the highest ever annual lending to India in 2018.
  • The bank’s lending commitment included $557 million in loans for the private sector.


UAE

  • Among all the Gulf nations, the largest outflow of Indian workers in 2018 was to UAE, with about 1 lakh (or 35%) of the total workers being granted emigration clearances.
  • It was followed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait with 65,000-odd and 52,000-odd workers headed to these countries.
  • In 2017, Saudi Arabia had relinquished its position as being the most attractive destination among Gulf countries for Indian workers. the Nitaqat scheme for protection of local workers — the decline in expat workers, including from India is attributed to this scheme and the economic conditions.
  • Qatar stands out by being the only country in the Gulf region, where the number of workers shows an increase in 2018 as compared to the previous year.
  • there are an estimated 6 to 7.50 lakh Indian migrant workers in Qatar, constituting the largest expatriate community and nearly double the number of native Qataris.