1. Environment
    1. Invasive Species: snowflake Coral
    2. GS3: Pollution, EIA
  2. Science Tech
    1. GS2: IT / E-Governance
  3. Diplomacy & Internal Security
    1. GS3: Patankot Attack
    2. GS3: Security forces- DSC and NCC

Environment and Biodiversity

Invasive Species: snowflake Coral

Snowflake Coral

Snowflake Coral: Invasive Alien Species

  • Snowflake Coral (Carijoa riisei) is bad because Attaches itself with metal, concrete, plastic in the sea and Takes way the space, nutrition other marine species.
  • Crowds out crowd out other species like corals, sponges, algae, ascidians. Thus reducing marine biodiversity.
  • Where? It was first reported in Hawai in the early-70s and since then spread across Aus, Thailand etc.
  • In India, Gulf of Mannar, Kutch, Goa, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Thiruvanthampuram, Kanyakumari also suffering from it. hence considered “invasive” alien species.
Other news related to flora fauna and biodiversity
Pandems Pandems are the cockfights during Sankranti in Andhra Pradesh region. HC has banned them, yet online selling of birds continue, since it’s not illegal to buy/sell cocks online.
King Kong why extinct Gigantopithecus was the real life King Kong gorilla. But after climate change, while other mammals adapted to chew savannah gras, this ape only preferred fruits hence gone extinct.

GS3: Pollution control

  1. PM1: Particulate matter with diameter 1 micron or less. 1 micron = 1/1000th of a cm = 1/25000th of an inch. Since PM1 very small, they float in air for a long time, and can penetrate deep in lungs and blood capillaries, causing CVC problems. India is yet to prescribe safe limits of PM1 unlike 1st world.
  2. Since 1988, five IPSS reports published. IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Reports. 6th report to come in 2020. It is the same year, India and others will have to submit their emission reports and plans to curb it, as per Paris Agreement-2015. India’s Earth science ministry has tasked Pune’s Centre for Climate change research to do this study on impact of global warming.
  3. SC has banned registration of SUVs in Delhi. Automakers filed petition against it
  4. During December, Delhi usually faces dense fog and associated traffic problems. But this December almost fog-free because fast winds have (1) swept away fog (2) swept away moisture that helps in fog formation.
  5. German auto major Volkswagen (VW) had put cheating devices in their cars to manipulate emission data to get pollution-clearance in 1st world. Green law panel ordered them to remove such devices but company maintains they have not used such cheating devices in India.
  6. Delhi odd even rule: duplicate plates. car pooling. Sharp dip in PM10. Odd-Even rule not showing expected reduction in pollution because (1) winds too slow to carry away the dirty air (2) incoming polluted air from other states. Now A’bad planning similar- keep vehicle off during day of the week and last digit of car registration.
  7. India will shift from Bharat/Euro stage-4 to directly Bharat/Euro stage-6 by 2020. We’re not going to use Bharat-5 or Euro5 since they’re very similar to version 6. government will pay ~30k crores to upgrade refineries. More theory here
  8. Sabrimala pilgrim center in Periyar Tiger Reserve. HC bans plastic and PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) bottles since they’re causing death of sambhar deer and elephants who eat them.

Science Tech

automobile From 2019, compulsory for all two-wheelers <120cc to fit anti-lock braking system (ABS) and >125cc to fit combined braking system (CBS). ABS helps the rider to maintain stability while applying brakes, the CBS distributes the pressure on rear wheel to front wheel
defense Bahrain International Airshow: India will showcase following-
→ Tejas light combat aircraft (4+ gen.). But Pakistan’s JF-17 is likely to perform better than Tejas. So some experts feel we should not send
→ other Indian armaments to be displayed: NAG: Anti-Tank Guided Missile HELINA: Helicopter Launched NAG Missile; AKASH: Surface to Air Missile System; ASLESHA: 3D Low Level Light Weight Radar; BHARANI: 2D Low Level Light Weight Radar; HUMTAS-X: Hull Mounted Torpedo Alert System; UWACS Triton: Underwater Communication System
defense Kadmatt is an Island in Lakshadweep. INS Kadmatt is newly inducted anti-submarine ship. 90% technology is desi.
Indian-contribution Indian Science Congress (ISC) held in Mysuru, Karnataka. Theme- science & technology for indigenous development for India. Lectures on topics such (1) Lord Shiva: As a Greatest Environmentalist in the World (2) Blowing of Shankh: an indigenous tradition for fitness and wellness
medical Kidney donation guidelines by NOTTO-National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) under Health ministry. They deal with ranking system to score which patient more direly needs kidney, norms related to waiting life and inter-state issues.

GS2: IT / E-Governance

  1. ‘Anubhav’ e-portal by Department of Pension. Here retiring employee can narrate his best practices and tips for efficient work. Over the time, It is envisaged that over a period of time, this will create a wealth of institutional memory with replicable ideas and suggestions.  Even audioclips can be uploaded.
  2. River Information Services (RIS) for inland waterways for better traffic management and prevent ship collisions.
  3. PFRDA launches e-NPS service at http://www.npstrust.org so now you can register online and pay contribution to NPS anytime anywhere. At present NPS has hardly 1 crore subscribers, but this portal will increase number.

Diplomacy & Internal Security

Middle-East Saudi Arabia executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. So Iran (Shia) broke diplomatic ties with Saudi.
→ India majority muslims are Sunni and minority are Shia but they don’t have animosity between each other unlike their middle-eastern counter parts.
Neighbours Friendship bus service resumed between India and Nepal after 27 years. No special documents required. Travel route: Delhi-Uttarakhand’s Champavat District-Nepal’s Kanchanpur.
Neighbours RSS wants Akhand Bharat i.e. amalgation of India, Pak and Bangladesh. Socialist leaders want a confederation of these 3 nations. Confederation is voluntary and non-hegemonic association.
Neighbours Modi planning to reduce the number of foreign trips compared to last 2 years. However, he’ll be receiving many foreign PM/President here.
→ Nepal PM K.P.Sharma Oli concludes 8-point agreement with China. China to help in Nepal’s Energy security and reduce dependence on India.
→ Sri Lanka and Pakistan to sign FTA for services and investment.
Intl-Security North Korea tested hydrogen bomb. India concerned
→ ISIS working on driverless car and other R&D to increase terror attack.

GS3: Patankot Attack

Terror attack at the Pathankot airbase, Punjab.
→ State government wants union to give Punjab “sensitive status” so more BSF force can be deployed for protection. NSG commando Lt. Col. Niranjan died in the attack.
→ As per R&AW’s intelligence, the Pakistan Army conveyed their PM they’ll not take actions against “Kashmir-focussed groups” such such as the Lashkar-eTaiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammad. Jaish masterminded attacks at Pathankot and Mazari-Sharif consulate to avenge Afzal guru’s death.
→ Pathankot op too long to complete because NSG arrived late, while nearby army personnel were not used. The Airforce’s Garuds commandos and Defense service corps (DSC) are not meant for counter-terrorism ops. So, functional formanship principle violated- right men (army) not used for the right job (counter insurgency sweep in a large area)

GS3: Security forces- DSC and NCC

DSC Defence Security Corps (DSC) was founded in UP before independence
→ These are retired personnel with upper age limit 48.
→ 75% of them from Army, 24% from Territorial Army and 1% from Navy + airforce.
→ Ranks from Sepoy to Honorary Captain.
→ Function: To guard defence installations and civil establishments from theft and attacks like Pathankot in Punjab.
NCC National Cadet Corps (NCC) is the Tri-Services Organisation comprising the Army, Navy and Air Force wings.
→ Started in 1948. Present strength 13 lakh
→  Motto: Ekta aur Anushasan (Unity and Discipline)
→ Benefits: grooming our youth – ‘The Leaders of Tomorrow’
→ youth given weapons training, drill,  map-reading, self-defence etc to help them pursue career in uniformed services later on.