Expected Most Important Topics for UPSC - 2018 (Part - 16) (Download PDF)


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Government released India Youth Development Index & Report 2017 - India has 65 % of the population less than the age of 35 years and 50 % below 25 years of age and it is expected to be youngest in the world by 2020 with median age of 29 years.

  • The National YDI value is 0.569 with wide range of variations between states e. g. Bihar (0.466) and Himachal Pradesh (0.689).

  • The Index has been constructed by The Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD).

  • Objective of tracking the trends in Youth Development across the States.

Edible Wild Banana Species Been Discovered in Andaman Island

  • Edible wild banana species has been discovered in Andaman Island, the second such species on the island in two years.

  • In 2014, Musa indandamanensis, wild banana species was discovered in a remote tropical rain forest on the Little Andaman Island.

  • The latest discovery, Musa paramjitiana found in North Andaman Island.

  • Its conservation status has been declared as = Critically Endangered’.

Clouded Leopard

  • It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and listed in CITES Appendix I.

  • The range of the clouded leopard extends from Nepal on the Indian subcontinent to southern China and throughout South - East Asia.

  • Clouded Leopard National Park is located in the Sipahijola Wildlife Sanctuary in Tripura.

  • It is the state animal of the Indian state of Meghalaya.

Indian Emerald Dragonfly

  • It is a rare variety of dragonfly known to exist only in the Travancore hills of Kerala.

  • It made a dramatic reappearance 83 years, as it was sighted in Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) during an odonata survey.

  • Odonata is an order of carnivorous insects that includes dragonflies and damselflies.

  • It lives around forest streams and micro habitat near high altitude areas.

  • It is easy to spot because it flies irregularly over the water body for nearly an hour.

  • Thus it acts as an indicator of the health of water bodies inside sanctuaries and reserves.

UN Environment Assembly

  • The third UN Environment Assemble will gather in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2017 under the overarching theme of pollution.

  • UN Environment Assembly is the world’s highest - level decision - making body on the environment.

  • Assembly has universal membership of all 193 UN Member States.

  • It is prepared throughout the year by a Committee of Permanent Representatives which is based in Nairobi.


  • The first edition of the International Symposium to Promote Innovation & Research in Energy Efficiency (INSPIRE 2017) was kicked off in Jaipur recently.

  • The five - day symposium is being organized by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) in partnership with The World Bank, and Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE).

  • NSPIRE 2017 is an International Conference that brings together various stakeholders such as policy makers, innovators, financiers, influencers to showcase best practices in the sector.

Arunachal’s Siang River Turns Black:

  • The waters of the Siang river, considered the lifeline of northern Arunachal Pradesh for centuries, has suddenly turned dark black triggering panic in the frontier state.

  • The water from the river is no longer considered fit for consumption.

  • China is being blamed for these changes. China has been planning to dig the world’s longest tunnel to change the course of Yarlung Tsangpo from Tibet towards Taklimakan desert in Xinjiang but has been denying the same at public platforms.

India ranked 14thin Climate Change Performance Index

  • India improved it’s ranking from 20th in 2017 to 14th, on account for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adopting more clean sources of energy.

  • It noted that with low per capita emissions, India’s emissions level is well - below - target; however overall emissions have increased relatively strongly over the last year, holding India’s further improvement in Index.

  • Top three positions on the Index still remain unoccupied as no country is currently on a Paris Climate Agreement - compatible pathway.

Mahendragiri Gecko:

  • A new species of gecko (lizards) belonging to the genus Hemidactylus was recently discovered from Mahendragiri hills in Andhra - Odisha border.

  • It is the second gecko to be found endemic to the Eastern Ghats area.

  • The first one House Lizard was discovered from Kanger Ghati National Park in Chattisgarh.

  • Scientists discovered that Mahendragiri geckos were not a population of geckos found in Western Ghats in Maharashtra.

  • It is the latest addition to the species list of the Eastern Ghats.

  • The discovery highlights the biodiversity importance of the region.

India’s First Wave - Powered Navigational Buoy

  • A buoy is an anchored float serving as a navigation mark, to show reefs or other hazards, or for anchorage.

  • A wave - powered navigational buoy, developed by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT).

  • This buoy for guiding ships, is powered by wave energy while conventional ones use solar power, it stores energy generated by waves in a battery.

  • It will guide ships in and out of ports, navigate through a designated channel.

Tyrannomyrmex Alii - New Ant Species in Western Ghats

  • Researchers have discovered a new species of ant in the Western Ghats, recognised as one of the world’s ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity.

  • The new species is named Tyrannomyrmex alii (or Talii).

  • The ant is named after eminent myrmecologist Musthak Ali, who is regarded as the country’s ‘ant man’.

  • The new species was found in the Periyar Tiger Reserve.

  • It belongs to Tyrannomyrmex, a rare tropical genus of ants.

New Guidelines for Compensatory Afforestation (CA)

  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) issued guidelines specifying criteria for suitability and identification of land bank for compensatory afforestation (CA).

  • It mandates that states and UTs shall create land bank for CA for speedy disposal of the forest clearance proposals under FC Act 1980.

  • The states shall also set up committee with principal chief conservator of forests, chief wildlife warden and representatives of revenue department for expediting creation of land banks in a systematic manner.

India’s sulphur dioxide (SO2) emission is highest in world

  • Report shown that global emissions continued to rise despite some signs of emissions from fossil fuels stabilizing.

  • The “emissions gap” for 2030 is 12 to 14 (gigatonne equivalent) compared with scenarios, and for the gap is three larger.

  • Emissions gap is the difference between the emissions levels in 2020 necessary to meet climate targets, and the levels expected that year if countries fulfil their promises to cut greenhouse gases.

Supreme Court Banned the Use of Furnace Oil and Pet - Coke in Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh

  • Environment Protection (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) in April 2017 had asked for the ban on use of furnace oil and pet - coke in NCR region.

  • Sulphur - heavy petcoke and other polluting fuels such as furnace oil are widely used by cement factories, dyeing units, paper mills, brick kilns and ceramics businesses.

  • India is becoming a dumping ground of pet - coke from US, which has banned its internal use because of pollution.

I Stand by My Country’s Campaign

  • The government hopes to trigger a citizen movement around the theme ‘I stand by my country’s part of a twin celebration to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Quit India movement and the 70th Independence Day.

  • As part of the programme, the government plans a multimedia campaign that will focus on inspiring the young generation and instilling in them sense of pride and responsibility.

  • The celebrations will stress that in the next five years - in an era of determination, will and struggle - a ‘New India’ will be built which is “rid of corruption and black money ” and fulfils the aspirations of its teeming.

Role of Private Hospitals in Treating Non-communicable Disease in Urban India

  • Niti Aayog and the Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare have proposed a model contract to increase the role of private hospitals in treating non - communicable diseases in urban India (especially in tier 2 & 3 cities).

  • It allows private hospitals to bid for 30 - year leases over parts of district hospital buildings and land to set up 50 - or 100 - bed hospitals in towns other than India’s eight largest metropolises.

  • Provides for an escrow account that would offset the risk to private providers posed by possible delays in reimbursement by the government.


  • Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi launched a web portal, NARI.

  • It will provide information on all government schemes for women.

  • NARI portal carries details on 350 different schemes for women and will be updated from time to time.

  • Schemes are divided into seven different categories — education, health, employment, housing and shelter, addressing violence, decision making and social support.

E – Samvad

  • The MWCD also launched the portal to provide platform for NGOs and Civil Societies to interact with the ministry.

  • Through it, NGOs and civil society can provide their feedback, suggestions, put up grievances, share best practices etc.

  • This will help in formulation of effective policies and measures for welfare of women and children.

  • This is a way for the Ministry to receive input on its schemes and programmes.

Oxfam Released a Report ‘An Economy for the 99%’

  • International NGO Oxfam released a report ‘An Economy for the 99 %’ recently.

  • Wealth of world’s top - eight billionaires (6 from USA) together is more than that of the bottom 50 % of the world’s population.

  • Bottom 50 % of world’s population has just 0.2 % of world’s wealth.

  • India’s richest 1 % holds 58 % of the country ’ s total wealth - higher than the global figure of about 50%.

Government Notified Adoption Regulations 2017

  • Government recently notified Adoption regulations 2017 framed by Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) to replace the 2015 adoption guideline.

  • Inter country and intra - country adoption procedures have been defined clearly.

  • CARA will report and facilitate all adoptions under the JJ Act, 2015 through CARINGS.

  • For safeguards, CARA would maintain adoption records &ensure post - adoption follow up.

  • CARA is a statutory body of Ministry of Women & Child Development under Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.

- Published/Last Modified on: May 30, 2018

Policy/Governance, Economy, Environment/Ecology, Govt. Schemes/Projects

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