Expected Most Important Misc Topics for UPSC/NET - 2018 (Part - 1) (Download PDF)


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For NET Education and Environment topics are important.

Coconut palm declared State tree of Goa - Facing criticism from the government’s allies in Goa for removing coconut palm from the list of trees, the BJP - led coalition Cabinet passed an amendment granting it the status of “State tree”.

  • The State government has decided to include coconut palm as tree in the Goa, Daman and Diu (Preservation of) Trees Act, 1984 to regulate its felling of coconut trees under this Act.

Nasikabatrachus Bhupathi

  • A new species of the endemic frog genus Nasikabatrachus has been discovered from the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats.

  • The newly discovered frog is named Nasikabatrachus bhupathi.

  • It has a snout - shaped nose, just like a pig’s and is a soil dwelling species of purple frog.

  • It inhabits the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, near the Srivilliputhur Grizzled Giant Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu.

New Earthworm Species Found in Kerala

  • Scientists have discovered two new primitive species of earthworm in the Western Ghats mountain ranges in Kerala.

  • They have named the new earthworm species Drawida polydiverticulata and Drawida thomasi.

  • There had been sixteen Drawida species known from the stat e with ten of them being unique.


  • President of India visited the Apiary in President’s Estate on World Honey Bee Day.

  • As a unique project, the Apiary was established, in the President’s Estate for the first time with the help of Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) as the Government is promoting the ’ Honey Mission ’ in the country.

  • At present, 200 bee boxes have been set up which will increase to 500.

  • Apiary will produce high quality honey, wax, pollen etc as well as help increase flora, fauna in Rashtrapati Bhavan through pollination.

Greater Flamingos

  • Ancient Kamalapur tank built by the Vijayanagar kings near Hampi have been lucky to get a glimpse of the greater flamingos, which have flocked, albeit in small numbers, from a close vicinity.

  • Greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is the most widespread species of the flamingo family.

  • It is found in Africa, on the Indian subcontinent, in the Middle East and southern Europe.

Varshadhare Project

  • It is a cloud seeding project flagged off by the Karnataka government to enhance the amount of precipitation from the clouds to generate more rain.

  • Special aircraft will disperse silver iodide as they fly through rain - bearing clouds to trigger and enhance the precipitation.

  • Karnataka is facing a cumulative rainfall deficiency of around 25 % till date, while the deficit across the country as a whole is 4%.

World Bio Fuel Day 2017

  • Recently Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has been made responsible for Bio Fuel Policy and celebrated the World Biofuel Day 2017 on 10th August.

  • It aims is to sensitize youths (school and college going students), farmers and other stakeholders about the benefits of biofuel and seek their involvement in Biofuel programme run by the Government.

  • Every year 10th August is observed as World Bio - Fuel Day in a bid to create awareness about non-fossil - fuels (Green Fuels).

Earth Overshoot Day 2017

  • 2017, Earth Overshoot Day fell on August 2, the earliest date since ecological overshoot began in the early 1970s.

  • It is the date when humanity annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth can regenerate over the entire year.

  • It is calculated by WWF and Global Footprint Network.

Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC)

  • Conflict of interest in appointment of GEAC members: Par panel

  • The department - related parliamentary standing committee on science and technology and environment and forest recently submitted its recommendations in its 301st report on ‘GM crop and its impact on environment’.

  • Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) was first constituted on May 28,1990.

  • It was last re - constituted on March 11,2013 for a period of three years.

Mosses as Bio-indicators

  • A Bio - indicator is a living organism that gives us an idea of the health of an ecosystem.

  • Some organisms are very sensitive to pollution in their environment.

  • Bryophyte is a collective term for mosses, hornworts and liverworts which can be used as Bio - indicators.

  • It thrives well in humid cities.

  • Causes of Floods in India:

    • Natural causes

    • Anthropogenic

Eco-Sensitive Zones

  • Karnataka State Government has decided to limit the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around Kali Tiger Reserve.

  • Eco - Sensitive Zones (ESZs) are areas notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), around Protected Areas, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.

  • The purpose of declaring ESZs is to create some kind of shock absorbers to the protected areas by regulating and managing the activities around such areas.

Afforestation Schemes:

  • “Environment Ministry Implementing Two Major Afforestation Schemes in the Country”.

  • “To achieve the targets mentioned in the National Forest Policy to maintain 33 % forest and tree cover in the country the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) is implementing two major afforestation/tree plantation schemes i. e. National Afforestation Programme (NAP) scheme and National Mission for a Green India (GIM).

Artificial Reefs to Restoring Vaan Island in Gulf of Mannar

  • Tamil Nadu govt in collaboration with IIT Madras have been restoring Vaan Island in Gulf of Mannar by deploying artificial reefs near vulnerable island.

  • It is the first attempt in India to protect and restore a sinking island.

  • Funding: The project has been funded by NAFCC of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.

  • Aim: To assist State and Union Territories that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change in meeting the cost of adaptation.

EI Nino 2014 - 16 Caused over 3 Billion Tonnes of Carbon to Get Released into the Atmosphere

  • Recently, scientist concluded that El Nino of 2014 - 16 caused over 3 billion tonnes of carbon to get released into the atmosphere, pushing carbon dioxide concentration to record levels.

  • Scientist analysed the data collected by Nasa’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory - 2 (OCO - 2) satellite, which measures level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

  • El Nino means The Little Boy, or Christ Child in Spanish.

Indus Script

  • Mathematical models were used to find that the Indus script was written from right to left.

  • However in some long seals the Boustrophedon method of writing was adopted.

  • Boustrophedon writing is the way of writing in the reverse direction in alternate line.

Paleolithic Sites

  • The study of over 7,200 stone artefacts collected from the archaeological site at Attirampakkam in the Kortallayar river basin throws light over the transition period from lower to middle Paleolithic period.

  • The Old stone age period extends from 2.6 million years ago to 10000 BC.

  • The period is divided into Lower, Middle and Upper phases.

Daman and Diu

  • Prime Minister launched various development projects worth Rs. 1000 crores in Daman & Diu recently.

  • Some of the projects launched are water treatment plant, electricity generation, solar power generation, university, gas pipeline and CNG station, flight connection under UDAN scheme.

  • Union Territory of Daman and Diu comprises two districts namely Daman and Diu.

  • After Liberation on 1961 from Portuguese Rule Daman and Diu became a part of the U. T. of Goa, Daman and Diu.


  • Rising tourist arrival puts pressure on the fragile volcanic archipelago.

  • The Galapagos Islands, part of the Republic of Ecuador, distributed on either side of the Equator in the Pacific Ocean surrounding the centre of the Western Hemisphere

  • The island inspired Charles Darwin’s Theory of evolution and was his field of study.

  • UNESCO recognised the islands as a World Heritage Site and as a biosphere reserve.

National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC) :

  • Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water resources, laid the foundation stone for setting up of NTCPWC, at IIT Chennai recently.

  • NTCPWC is being set up under the Shipping Ministry’s flagship program Sagarmala.

  • It will act as a technology arm of the Ministry of Shipping for providing engineering and technological inputs and support for Ports, Inland Waterways Authority of India and other institutions.

Sambandh Initiative

  • Western Naval Command hosted the Sambandh exercise last year.

  • Participants were from the 10 Indian Ocean Littoral countries Maldives, Myanmar, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Mauritius.

  • Training teams of the Indian Navy were sent to neighbouring countries to train other countries cadets at their home base.

Chardham Mahamarg Pariyojana

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval to the construction of 4,531 km long 2 - Lane Bi - Directional Silkyara Bend - Barkot Tunnel with escape in Uttarakhand.

  • The project will be built under Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Model which will provide all weather connectivity to Yamunotri, one of the dham on Chardham Yatra.

  • It will encourage regional socio - economic development, trade and tourism within the country.

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)

  • It been ranked the top environment policy think tanks in India and 16th at the global level.

  • The rank was given by The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • The CSE’s efforts are built around five broad programs:

    • Communication for Awareness

    • Research and Advocacy

    • Education and Training

    • Knowledge portal

    • Pollution monitoring

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC)

  • It is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament1956.

  • In 1957, it took over the work of former All India Khadi and Village Industries Board.

  • Social objective: providing employment.

  • Economic objective: producing saleable articles.

  • Creating self-reliance amongst the poor and building up of a strong rural community spirit.

  • KVIC is the nodal implementing agency for Prime Minister Employment Generation program (PMEGP) at the national level.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)

  • It is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament, viz. The Chartered Accountants Act, 1949.

  • The Institute, functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India.

  • ICAI is the second largest professional body of Chartered Accountants in the world, with a strong tradition of service to the Indian economy in public interest.

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA)

  • PFRDA is a statutory regulatory body established by an Act of Parliament in 2013.

  • The mandate of the body is to promote, develop and regulate pension sector in India.

  • PFRDA appoints the Board of Trustees that takes care of National Pension Scheme (NPS).

  • The amount collected under Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is managed by Pension Funds appointed by PFRDA.

Enforcement Directorate

  • Enforcement Directorate has registered a money laundering case against the Punjab National Bank for its fraudulent transaction of Rs. 11,500 corers in one of its branch.

  • Enforcement Directorate is a specialized financial investigation agency under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.

  • It enforces Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

  • Its headquarters is situated in New Delhi and headed by the Director of Enforcement.

Tiger Census

  • India’s tiger census has been commissioned by the union environment ministry’s National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

  • The census will see coordination with Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh in estimating the territorial spread of the animal in the subcontinent.

  • The Wildlife Institute of India, a Union Environment Ministry - funded body, has been tasked with coordinating the tiger estimation exercise.

Minmata Convention on Mercury

  • The Union Cabinet approved the proposal for ratification n of Minamata Convention on Mercury.

  • The Convention protects the most vulnerable from the harmful effects of mercury and also protects the developmental space of developing countries.

  • The objective of the convention’s implementation to protect human health and environment from the anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.

Clean Air Campaign

  • The Clean Air for Delhi was launched on February.

  • The objective of the convention’s implementation to protect human health and environment from the anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.

  • The campaign will also include enforcement of pollution - control measures for vehicles, driving discipline, inspection of power plants in Delhi.

Solar Cycles and Sun Spots

  • The amount of magnetic flux that rises up to the Sun’s surface varies with time in a cycle called the solar cycle, which lasts 11 years on average.

  • This cycle is sometimes referred to as the sunspot cycle.

  • Sunspots are regions where the solar magnetic field is very strong.

  • In visible light, sunspots appear darker than their surroundings because they are a few thousand degrees cooler than their surroundings.

National Large Solar Telescope

  • National Large Solar Telescope (NLST) is a proposed ground based 2m class optical and near infra - red (IR) observational facility in the country.

  • It is designed to address the scientific issues related to origin and dynamics of solar magnetic fields.

  • The instrument has a broad scope to support and substantiate the solar atmospheric observations from space - based ADITYA mission and ground based MAST telescope (Udaipur).

Hubble Space Telescope

  • Hubble Telescope has tracked the Neptune’s Mysterious Shrinking Storm.

  • It is the world’s first large, space - based optical telescope, named in honor of astronomer Edwin Hubble.

  • The Hubble is a joint project between NASA and the European Space Agency.

  • Sun is the energy source of this space based telescope.

Raman Effect

  • Raman Effect deals with the change in the wavelength of light that occurs when a light beam is deflected by molecules.

  • The method can provide key information easily and quickly by characterizing the chemical composition and structure of a sample.

  • Raman Effect has a wide range of application in fields such as geology, material science, forensic science, nuclear science and pharmacology.

  • The effect is named after the Indian Physicist Sir C. V. Raman who observed the same.

Government to Monitor Progress on Ease of Doing Business

  • A committee has been setup to oversee the oversight functions of the government to ensure that the government does not interfere much in the business and at the same time allowing the business to flourish in the economy.

  • The Ease of Doing Business is now the central policy of the government and is crucial for the Indian economy.

  • India is improving in the Ease of Doing Business. Before 3 years India was at 144thposition, now we are at 130th position.

  • Even at 130th position, the growth rate is more than 7 % which is appreciable.

Task Force to Weed Out Shell Companies

  • The government announced a crackdown on shell companies, used largely for tax evasion and money laundering, after it found strong evidence of misuse of these firms over the last few months during demonetisation.

  • The Centre announced the setting up of a task force, co-chaired by secretaries in the revenue department and corporate affairs ministry, to weed out the shell companies.

  • In order to create a credible deterrence a ‘whole of government approach’ will be adopted through coordinated efforts by different government departments, Enforcement Directorate etc and by leveraging technology.

Kansas Killing and Safety of Indian American

  • Recently there was a shooting in Kansas City on two Indians. This was termed as a hate crime.

  • The shooter shouted at the Indians “get out of my country” before opening the gun fire.

  • Race has been an important component in American politics and culture.

  • Gunnar Myrdal wrote a book “The American Dilemma” and there he looked at the entire racial equation.

  • Another dimension to the problem is due to immigration.

  • There are conflicts between normal residents and arriving immigrants.

  • This individual action may be due to his frustration but it is not acceptable in a civilised society.

National Science Day

  • February 28th is celebrated as National Science Day.

  • The theme for this year is “Science and Technology for specially abled persons”.

  • Most of the people are still unaware about Science Day and why is it celebrated.

  • World Science Day is observed on 10 November across the world to raise awareness of benefits of science in our daily life.

  • India needs more scientists to harness technology for the benefits of the common man.

Air Pollution – a Serious Health Hazard

  • Air pollution is again hitting the headlines with 2 reports pointing to its catastrophic effects in India.

  • The reports have pointed out that India’s poor air quality causes 1.1 million pre mature deaths every year.

  • Delhi and Patna are among the worst polluted cities in the world.

  • It is clear that the problem of air pollution has increased very seriously and over the years its intensity and seriousness has grown.

  • Climate change has a bearing on the poor air quality.

World Wildlife Day

  • World Wildlife Day is celebrated on 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.

  • At the same time, the Day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide - ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.

  • The INTERPOL estimates the wildlife trade is between 7 billion to 23 billion.

  • There is little awareness about the wildlife which is a flaw in the policy.

First Indian Ocean Rim Association Summit

  • The first summit of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) was held in Jakarta, Indonesia.

  • IORA, formerly known as Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR - ARC) was started in 1997 in Mauritius.

  • It has got 21 members. It is a very diverse group consisting of members from Africa to South East Asia.

  • 2017 is the 20th year of formation of this group which is very important landmark.

  • 80 % of India’s energy imports happen through Indian Ocean, 40 % of the world’s global trade traverse through Indian Ocean.

Campaign for Open Defecation Free Nation

  • Swachh Bharat Mission is a very ambitious programme which was launched by the Prime Minister on 2 Oct 2014 with the aim of making India open defecation free by 2019.

  • Since launch of the SBM, there has been progress in the construction of toilets.

  • In urban areas there has been progress in door to door waste collection.

  • Swachh Survekshan is a very important initiative of Ministry of Urban Development though which the government is bringing competition among cities towards creating cleaner cities and towns

First International Agro Biodiversity Congress

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first International Agro biodiversity Congress where 900 delegates from 60 countries participated.

  • The conference was organised by the Indian Society of Plant Genetic Resources and Biodiversity International, a CGIAR Research Centre headquartered in Rome, Italy.

  • The Conference will lead to discussion and knowledge sharing on issues for efficient management of gene banks, science - led innovations in genetic resources, crop diversification, issues relating to quarantine, biosafety and bio security and intellectual property rights.

  • UN can declare one year as international Year of Biodiversity.

Judicial Decisions on Pollution Crisis in Delhi

  • Delhi is facing severe Air Pollution which is creating lot of health problems especially for children and elderly.

  • There seems to be no quick solution.

  • The Supreme Court has asked the Delhi government to come out with a common minimum programme to deal with this problem.

  • It has asked the Delhi government for not doing enough in the last one year and not following the directions given by Supreme Court last year.

  • This has long term health effects. It affects our longevity, affects the body metabolism and affects even the commercial interest.

  • There are large numbers of factors which contribute including the meteorological condition.

Bharat Quick Response Cod

  • The launch of Bharat Quick Response Code to enable people to pay for things they buy without swiping plastic cards is a welcome step.

  • QR code is a two dimensional machine readable code made up of black and white squares and are used for storing URLs or other information.

  • These can be read by camera of a smartphone.

  • The QR code has been developed by National Payment Corporation of India.

  • Challenges: In a country with 98 % cash in circulation, electronic payments replacing cash will not be easy and will take time as the Government presses ahead from cash to less cash to cashless economy.

Indus Water Commission Starts Work Again

  • Indus Water Commission is likely to meet in March 2017 for their routine annual meeting.

  • The meeting had been postponed after India declared that blood and water cannot flow together in the wake of terrndia’s World: Indus Water Commission starts work again.

  • Indus Water Treaty was signed in 1960 is a river sharing agreement between India and Pakistan and has worked quite well between the two countries for the last few decades.

  • Under the Agreement, the control over the three eastern rivers - Beas, Ravi and Sutlej was given to India while control over the three western flowing rivers - Indus, Chenab and Jhelum was given to Pakistan.

Nepal’s Madhesi on the Boil Again

  • Nepal’s terai region is on the boil again.

  • This time, the residents around the Tarai region known as Madhesis are protesting the plan to hold local body elections.

  • They have been demanding an amendment to the constitution on 11 issues, including reorganization of state boundaries prior to the local body election.

  • Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had formed his government with the support of the Madhes parties and the Nepali Congress.

  • He came to power with the promise that he would amend the Constitution to address the grievances of the country’s Madhesi population and the janjaatis.

World Happiness Report, 2018

  • The World Happiness Report is a measure of happiness published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN - SDSN).

  • India’s ranks 133 out of 15 6 countries in 2018 and among the world’s least happy nations.

  • India’s rank is lower than other SAARC countries rank.

  • India has been consistently falling in the happiness index since 2014.

  • 2018 top - 10, as ever dominated by the Nordics are Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.

- Published/Last Modified on: May 30, 2018

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