Expected Most Important Topics for UPSC - 2018 (Part - 15) (Download PDF)


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Biodiversity hotspots in Goa: Three new sites recognised - Bird Life International, a conservation organisation, has recognized three new sites in Goa as hotspots for protection. The sites have been added to their list of “Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas”.

  • The inclusion of these ecological hotspots in a new book come after systematic data collection by the Goa Bird Conservation Network (GBCN).

  • The list has now added Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Navelim Wetlands and Netravali Wildlife Sanctuar.

Energy Conservation Building Code 2017

  • Recently, Minister of Power launched the Energy Conservation Building Code 2017 (ECBC 2017).

  • ECBC was initially developed by the Govt. of India for new commercial buildings on 27th May 2007.

  • ECBC sets minimum energy standards for commercial buildings having a connected load of 100kW.


  • Tamil Nadu government has planned to allow Forest Department personnel to cull the wild boar for a limited period of time.

  • Any animal which poses a threat to human and their livelihood especially farming, can be declared Vermin under Schedule V of Wildlife Protection act 1972.

  • States can send a list of wild animals to the Centre requesting it to declare them vermin for selective slaughter.

  • Wildlife Protection Act 1972, empowers every State’s Chief Wildlife Warden for culling.

Ameenpur Lake: The First ‘Biodiversity Heritage Site in India

  • Ameenpur Lake was declared a ‘Biodiversity Heritage Site ’ by Telangana government in Nov 2016 under the Biological Diversity Act 2002 and the Telangana State Biological Diversity Rules 2015.

  • It has become first water body in the country to be declared a Biodiversity Heritage Site.

  • Section 37 of the Biological Diversity Act for notification of BHS by State governments in consultation with local bodies.

Green Building Rating System:

  • To promote construction of environment - friendly building, Rajasthan government has adopted the green building rating system developed by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), which is part of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

  • Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) developed by TERI and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

US Exist from Paris Climate Deal:

  • The United States will be withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, President Donald Trump announced recently.

  • He said this move was aimed at protecting American and its citizens.

  • The US is the second - largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, right behind China.

  • The withdrawal process takes four years. But when it’s complete, the United

  • States will join a lonely club.

Yettinahole Hits a Hurdle in Coffee Land

  • The ongoing land acquisition for the Yettinahole drinking water project has hit a hurdle with some farmers unhappy with the price chart fixed by the district committee and are refusing to part with land.

  • Though the Karnataka Cabinet approved direct acquisition as a special case to speed up the process, this could mean a slowdown.

  • Yettinahole project envisages to pump about 24tmc ft of water from Yettinahole, a tributary of River Netravathi.

US, UK and France Jointly Launch Air Strikes Against Syria as Punishment for a Suspected Chemical Attack Near Damascus

  • US President announced that a joint US-British-French operation had been launched on Syria.

  • It targeted the “criminal” regime of Bashar al-Assad.

  • United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

  • Trump said the strikes would aim to deter chemical weapons use by the Syrian government, a week after a suspected chemical attack outside Damascus left more than 40 people dead.


  • As part of the on-going massive Indian Air Force exercise Gaganshakti-2018, the IAF conducted maritime air operations on the Western sea board.

  • Clear aim of air dominance and deep strike validation over the extended area of interest in the Indian Ocean Region.

  • In the long range strike concept validation, the Su-30s, airborne from a base on the eastern coast engaged multiple targets, in the western seaboard, at distances beyond 2500 Kilometer and landed at a southern base, thus covering a total distance of 4000 Km, in a single mission.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

  • Petroleum Minister launched Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana in Telangana and distributed cooking gas connections to about 1000 beneficiaries.

  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana is a flagship programme of the central government which is aimed at providing financial assistance to the below poverty line families to procure cooking gas connections.

  • There are over 94 lakh gas connections in the state at present.

  • 60 - 70 % of the rural households are expected to be covered in the coming days.

Operation Sadbhavana and Operation Samaritan

  • These operations are carried out by Indian Army in Jammu & Kashmir and North East states respectively.

  • Under this, army undertakes various civic action programmes which aimed at winning hearts of the people and integration of the people with the nation.

  • Under operation sadbhavana, recently army sponsored educational and national integration tour for Jammu and Kashmir youths.

Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojna

  • The scheme aims to formulate and implement appropriate S&T interventions for sustainable development through cluster approach.

  • It is implemented by Department of Science and Technology (DST) in few clusters of villages in Uttarakhand.

  • Key deliverable in this approach is to utilise local resources and locally available skill sets and convert them in a manner using science and technology.

  • DST has conceived to adopt a few clusters of villages in Uttarakhand.

Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat

  • Union Petroleum Ministry has launched LPG Panchayat, aimed at encouraging rural communities to turn to clean fuel.

  • The first LPG Panchayat was held in Gandhinagar, which brings LPG users of a village and officials of fuel companies together.

  • One lakh LPG Panchayats would be activated across the country under the scheme during the next one and a half years.

Need to Enact a New Comprehensive Law on Beggary

  • Recently, union minister of women and child development, emphasized on need to enact a new comprehensive law on beggary.

  • Currently, there is no central law on begging & destitution and most states have adopted the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959.

  • Based on the 2011 census, more than 400,000 destitute people across the country are classified as ” beggars, vagrants, etc.

Foreign University in Higher Education in India

  • NITI Aayog in a letter to the Department of Economic Affairs and the HRD Ministry has called for changes in prevalent laws that are restrictive in nature for private investment in higher education.

  • Section 10 (n) of AICTE Act gives AICTE the powers to take all steps to prevent commercialization of technical education.

Human Rights Watch (HRW)

  • Myanmar is committing crimes against humanity in its campaign against Muslim insurgents in Rakhine State, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday, calling for the UN Security Council to impose sanctions.

  • HRW is an international non - governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights.

Vittiya Saksharata Abhiyan (VISAKA)

  • Ministry of Human Resource Development launched Vittiya Saksharata Abhiyan (VISAKA), meaning financial literacy campaign.

  • It is to actively engage the students of Higher Education Institutions to encourage them to use a digitally enabled cashless economic system for transfer of funds.

  • Ministry of HRD also aims to make financial transactions completely digital in all higher education institutions.

Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF)

  • Maharashtra Government stopped implementation of Ready - to - use Therapeutic Food to treat malnourished children after notification from Centre Government.

  • RUTF is a medical intervention to cure Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) among children.

  • It includes readymade packed paste made of high energy fortified supplements (peanuts, oils, dried milk etc. ) being administered to the child under doctor’s supervision.

‘Health of Our Hospitals’ Index

  • Niti Aayog along with the Health ministry has started ranking district hospitals through ‘Health of our Hospitals’ index.

  • Its aims to provide comprehensive secondary health care services to the people in the district at an acceptable level of quality and to be responsive and sensitive to the needs of people and referring centers.

ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) Clinics:

  • ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a concept of weekly or fortnightly virtual clinics using teleconferencing by best specialists to reach out to underserved areas.

  • It helps in bringing specialist care and knowledge to areas where there is none.

  • India’s first ECHO clinic began in 2008 as a collaboration between the National Aids Control Organization (NACO) and Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) on managing HIV AIDS patients.

Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY)

  • The quantitative evaluation of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) was carried out eight years after its launch.

  • It is unable to reduce out - of - pocket payment for healthcare for the poor, thus illness remains one of the most prevalent causes of human deprivation in India.

  • No Revision of scheme Delay in seeking care Positive Impact.

Euthanasia: Euphemism for Killing

  • Passive euthanasia Bill ready, but ‘living will’ may be misused: Govt tells SC.

  • Centre told Supreme Court that it was vetting a draft law allowing passive euthanasia.

  • But was opposed to permitting people to make a ‘living will’ — that they should not be put on life support in case of terminal illness — as it could be misused.

  • Passive euthanasia is the law of the land.

  • The ‘Management of Patients with Terminal Illness — Withdrawal of Medical Life Support Bill’ has been drawn up in keeping with the recommendations of the Law Commission.

Namami Barak Festival

  • The first ever Namami Barak festival was celebrated on November 18th at Barak Valley in Assam.

  • Namami Barak is an attempt to pay tribute to the River Barak and to showcase of Barak’s potential and possibilities to emerge as a hub of trade and commerce.

  • The cultural heritage of the valley together with its cuisine, fauna and flora, socio - economic and civic splendor were showcased before the global audience during the festival

Hausla 2017 is Child Rights Week

  • Hausla 2017 is Child Rights Week.

  • It is being celebrated every year by the Ministry of Women and Child Development along with UNICEF support, from 16th to 20th November, 2017.

  • It is the period between Children’s Day (14th November) and the International Child Rights Day (20th November)

  • Main objective of the programme was to promote child participation and showcase their talents in other creative activities.

Mosco Declaration:

  • WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending Tuberculosis in the Sustainable Development Era: A Multi - sectoral Response was held in Mosco.

National Testing Agency:

  • Union Cabinet has recently approved creation of National Testing Agency (NTA) to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions.

  • It will be registered as a society under the Indian Societies Registration Act.

  • It will act an autonomous and self - sustained premier testing organization chaired by eminent educationist appointed by Ministry of HRD.

  • It would initially conduct those entrance examinations which are currently being conducted by the CBSE (NEET, JEE etc).

Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra Scheme:

  • The objective of this new scheme is to empower rural women through community participation.

  • Create an environment in which they realise their full potential.

  • One-stop convergence support service for empowering rural women with opportunities for skill development, digital literacy, health and nutrition and employment.

  • Student volunteers will help in awareness generation regarding various important government programmes as well as social issues.

Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report, 2017 - 18)

  • 2nd edition of the Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report, 2017 - 18) was recently released by UNESCO with the theme ‘Accountability in Education’.

  • Ensuring inclusive, equitable and good - quality education is often a collective enterprise in which all actors make concerted effort to meet their responsibilities.

  • This is because ambitious education outcomes rely on multiple actors fulfilling often shared responsibilities which cannot easily rest with single actors.

Indira Gandhi Prize:

  • Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be the recipient of this year’s Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development.

  • The award is given annually to individuals and organisations in recognition of creative efforts toward promoting international peace, development and a new international economic order, ensuring that scientific discoveries are used for the larger good of humanity, and enlarging the scope of freedom.

  • The award, comprising a cash prize of 25 lakh and a citation, was instituted by the Indira Gandhi Memorial trust in 1986.

National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP):

  • It was started in 2009 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with 50 - 50 fund sharing between the Centre and the States.

  • Ministry of Drinking water and sanitation is the nodal ministry with an emphasis on ensuring sustainability of water availability.

  • Recently, cabinet has approved the continuation and restructuring of the programme to make it more flexible and result oriented.

  • NRDWP will be continued co - terminus with the 14th Finance Commission cycle till March 2020.

North East Rural Livelihood Project:

  • It is a unique scheme proposed by the Ministry of Development of North - Eastern Region (DoNER) and is being supported by the World Bank.

  • It will primarily benefit the tribals and the lower socioeconomic groups, especially women, in the North - Eastern Region (NER).

  • The more vulnerable tribal groups like Reang in Tripura and Lepsha and Bhutias in Sikkim will also benefit from it.

- Published/Last Modified on: May 30, 2018

International Relations/Organizations, Health, Govt. Schemes/Projects, Yojana

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