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Index

Swachh Bharat Mission

FEB & MARCH, 2015
AUGUST, 2012

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Insurance Sector In India

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Bharat Ratna Award

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SWACHH BHARAT MISSION
Throughout the world around
2.5 billion people do not have toilets to use, out of those 250 crore people
65 crore live in India alone. In order to solve this big challenge government of India has launched
“Swachh Bharat Mission” on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur
Shastri. Due to magnanimity of the problem solving it will not be easy.
Government has to face the problems associated with extremely poor hygienic conditions and most significantly government has to fight with attitude towards cleanliness.
Poor sanitation is linked to various social as well as economic factors like extreme poverty, educational level, religious affiliation and society which does not challenge the unclean behavior but there are some infrastructural challenges as well like lack of toilets, availability of pit and flush. Effort of “Swachh Bharat
Mission” is two dimensional, one from the government agencies and other from the non-governmental organizations. Government intention is to increase the peer pressure and make India “open defecation free” by 2019.
Sanitation problem has serious implications on the health. Poor sanitation results to high rate of morbidity and mortality with in India.
Poor sanitation is also responsible for lot of diseases like cholera, typhoid, pneumonia, worm infection etc.
Sanitation in India can be divided in to two groups of urban sanitation and rural sanitation. At the level of urban area three major schemes are run by the central government for the improvement of sanitation.
2

• Under JNNURM Basic services to urban poor (BSUP) and Rajiv
Awas yojana(RAY).
• National urban sanitation policy,2008. • Integrated low cost sanitation programme. BSUP work for the development of basic services for the urban poor which includes water and sanitation, while RAY work to make urban areas slum free. National urban sanitation policy attempts to make urban areas a healthy place to live and provide universal sanitation coverage for the urban areas. While the main problem in urban areas for sanitation is increasing population which existing infrastructure is not able to sustain but in rural areas problem is mainly associated with access to water and sanitation services. At present 33 percent households have toilets in rural areas which are major improvement from 9 percent in 1991.
Major programs through which this improvement has been achieved are• Central Rural Sanitation
Programme(CRSP) launched in
1986
• CRSP was restructured to create Total sanitation campaign in 1999, which was a community led programme.
• Finally Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan was launched in 2012 in order to make India nirmal by 2022.
Though lots of programs were present in both urban and rural areas but need for a better programme was felt because results from previous programs were not satisfactory. In order to make India cleaner place to live Swachh Bharat Mission was

launched important features of this program are• NBA will be restructured into the Swachh Bharat Mission with two sub-Missions Swachh Bharat Mission
(Gramin) and Swachh Bharat
Mission (Urban). Grant would be through Ministries of
Drinking Water and Sanitation
(for Gramin) and Ministry of
Urban Development (for
Urban).
• Enhance the Unit cost of the
Individual Household Latrine
(IHHL) from Rs. 10,000 to Rs.
12,000 so as to provide for water availability, including for storing, hand-washing and cleaning of toilets.
• Provision for Information,
Education
and
Communication (IEC) will be at 8 percent of total project cost. • Components of the NBA like
Solid
Liquid
Waste
Management (SLWM) and
Community
Sanitary
Complexes (CSCs) will continue. • The strategy of implementation of the Sanitation Programme will focus on behaviour change, triggering of the population with regard to toilet construction, and their use.
• States shall prepare an implementation strategy
(Annual Implementation Plan) in consultation with the
Mission. States performing as per their Plans will be incentivized. http://www.iasexamportal.com
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• The Mission will provide a list of minimal acceptable technologies for which assistance under this programme will be available.
According to the World Health
Organization, an average of Rs. 6500 per person was lost in India due to

lack of cleanliness and hygiene. The goal becoming Swachh Bharat by
2019 would be a fitting tribute to the
Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th Birth
Anniversary. Swachh Bharat will not become reality only by creating infrastructure but by providing means like water supply to maintain them.

As PM said that out of Gandhiji’s two dreams – Quit India, and Clean India, the people had helped to ensure that the first became a reality. However, the second dream “Clean India” still remained unfulfilled.

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INSURANCE SECTOR IN INDIA
Insurance sector is one the most important financial intermediary in India. This sector helps in mobilizing savings of general public to financial assets. Insurance sector also act as a stabilizer and it helps people in the situation of crisis.
Insurance penetration is very low in
India; it is well below the standards of U.S.A. Before liberalization Public sector insurance companies had the monopoly over the market. Due to lot of private sector Company’s entry post liberalization number of people with insurance cover have improved significantly but it still fall below the satisfactory levels. Indian insurance sector at present has 52 companies.
Insurance sector can be broadly divide into two sectors; life insurance and non-life insurance sector. Out of these 52 companies 24 are working in life insurance sector and 28 are working in non-life sector. Private sector entry in insurance sector was allowed in 1999. Before that sector had only public sector players like life insurance cooperation, General insurance cooperation etc.
Reforms of 1999 in insurance sector can be divided as following:• Opening of sector for private companies. • Foreign direct investment up to 26 percent was allowed in this sector.
• Insurance regulatory and development authority was created to regulate and develop this sector.
After reforms first decade of 21st century has been very good for the insurance sector in India. Insurance sector witnessed many remarkable changes after the reforms. In the case
4

of general insurance industry the premium had grown from Rs.9450 crs in 1999-2000 to Rs.25,000 crs in
2006-07. The private sector has acquired a market share of 40% and most of it came by reducing the percentage share of the public sector. Insurance sector faces new challenges of 21st century and it is in dire need for another set of reforms.
Major problems in insurance sector are:• Rising cost of insurance products. • Slowing growth and insufficient penetration throughout India.
• No new major reforms for almost a decade.
In order to remove the shortcomings of insurance sector government in 2012 announced 12point revival package for this sector.
Important among those are:• IRDA to consider 30-Day norm for clearing the product.
• All banking correspondents will be allowed to sell the insurance products.
• Reduction in service tax on first year regular premium as well as single premium policies.
• Some insurance products will be used for tax exemption.
• Exemption of premium for social security insurance schemes from service tax.
• IRDA to evolve and notify guidelines for reduction in arbitrage between UNITS and traditional products.
Now new government has promulgated the Insurance Laws
(Amendment) Ordinance 2014 to amend the Insurance Act, 1938, the

General Insurance Business
(Nationalisation) Act, 1972 and the
Insurance
Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999, in accordance with the Insurance Laws
(Amendment) Bill 2008. Important features of this ordinance are;
• Enhancement of the foreign equity cap from 26% to 49% with the safeguard of Indian
Ownership and Control is a critical aspect of the
Ordinance, which will potentially enhance capital availability. • Allowed insurance companies to raise capital through new and innovative instruments.
• Empowered IRDA to regulate key aspects of Insurance
Company operations in areas like solvency, investments, expenses and commissions, which is in keeping with global best practices of regulation.
• The Ordinance will also substantially enhance penalty provisions to ensure compliance with Insurance
Laws by companies, which is essential to uphold the consumer interest.
The demand for insurance products is likely to increase in the future mainly due to the growth of household savings, increase in purchasing power, burgeoning middle class and increase in percentage of working population and most importantly growth of the financial industry as a whole.
Insurance sector should be well equipped to deal with the challenges and opportunities which are likely to arise in the future.

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BHARAT RATNA AWARD
Throughout the history of India, we have seen lot of exceptionally brave and talented persons who have graced the Indian soil. Bharat Ratna
Award is one medium to provide proper recognition to the sacrifices and talents of those individuals. Bharat Ratna is a highest civilian award which a person can recieve in India. There is no restriction of awarding the award only to citizen and in past foreigners have also recieved this award. The provision of
Bharat Ratna was introduced in 1954.
Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was the first ever Indian to be graced by this highest award. Since then various internationally and nationally recognized personalities have received this award. Important personalities who have received this award are C Rajagopalachari
(awardee: 1954), CV Raman
(awardee: 1954), S Radhakrishnan
(awardee: 1954,), Bhagwan Das
(awardee: 1955), Visvessaraya
(awardee: 1955), Govind Ballabh
Pant (awardee: 1957), DK Karve
(awardee: 1958), BC Roy (awardee:
19612), Purshottam Das Tandon
(awardee: 1961), Rajendra Prasad
(awardee: 1962), Zakir Hussain
(awardee: 1963) and PV Kane
(awardee: 1963). This award is given for exceptional service towards advancement of Art, Literature and
Science, and in recognition of Public
Service of the highest order. Certain criteria’s are followed for this award:• Any person without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex is eligible for these awards. • It is awarded in recognition of

exceptional service/ performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour. • The recommendations for
Bharat Ratna are made by the
Prime Minister himself to the
President.
No formal recommendations for this are necessary. • The number of annual awards is restricted to a maximum of three in a particular year.
• In terms of Article 18 (1) of the
Constitution, the award cannot be used as a prefix or suffix to the recipient’s name. However award winner may use the following expression
‘Awarded Bharat Ratna by the
President’ or ‘Recipient of
Bharat Ratna Award’.
• The Award does not carry any monetary grant.
This year’s Bharat Ratna award has been given to Pandit Madan
Mohan Malaviya (posthumously) and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari
Vajpayee. The announcement to give them award was made on the birthday of both the stalwarts. Pandit Madan
Mohan Malviya was a freedom fighter and educationalist and social activist.
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was

hindu nationalist within the Indian national congress. Pandit Madan
Mohan Malaviya was an important personality in the Non-Cooperation
Movement, he even participated in the First Round Table Conference.
Malaviya ji will always be remembered for his contribution in formation of Banaras Hindu
University. He along with Annie
Besant led the foundation of this temple of education in 1916. Pandit
Malviya will be the 12th person to be honoured posthumously. Some believe that Bharat Ratna should not be awarded posthumously.
Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was prime minister of the nation between
1998 and 2004. He is credited with many national achievements like
Pokhran test and laying the foundation for making India sufficient in nuclear energy. He is also credited with building a good quality road network in the country. Mr. Vajpayee will be the seventh Prime Minister to receive the award. Former Prime
Ministers who have received the award are Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira
Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Morarji Desai,
Lal Bahadur Shastri, along with first
Governor General of free India C.
Rajagopalachari.

IAS (MAIN)
History
Solved Paper (2002-2012)
IS BN: 9 78-9 3-827 32-6 8-6
B ook Cod e: C13, ` 2 75

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NATIONAL ISSUES
Cannot ‘close doors’ to
Telangana’s plea on Krishna water disputes says SC

• The Supreme Court observed that it cannot “close its doors” on newly-formed Telangana’s plea for a fresh look at the interState sharing of Krishna river water, even as Karnataka, one of the beneficiary States, strongly objected to the reopening of the five-decade-old dispute. • Telangana has filed a fresh petition in the Supreme Court, contending that its interests were not represented before the Krishna Water Disputes
Tribunal – II. It sought total reconsideration of the Tribunal’s final award in December 2010 as it concerned only Karnataka,
Andhra
Pradesh and Maharashtra.
• It said Telangana, which came into existence only on June 2 this year, did not get an opportunity to raise its
“independent grievances”.
• In August this year, the
Supreme Court had prima facie recognised Telangana’s status as an “affected” State with a voice of its own.

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SC directed to complete
Prosecution of account holders by March 31
• The Supreme Court directed the Centre to complete prosecution of black money holders abroad under the
Income Tax Act by March 31,
2015.
• A Bench of Chief Justice H.L.
Dattu and Justices Madan B.
Lokur and A.K. Sikri gave this direction to the Centre after senior counsel Anil Divan, appearing for petitioner Ram
Jethmalani, said the defaulters and evaders whose names had been disclosed to the SIT would be off the hook if the income tax proceedings were not completed by then.
• Attorney General Mukul
Rohatgi said the Income Tax
Act had been amended to extend the period of limitation for launching prosecution.
• He said if prosecution could not be completed by the deadline, the law would be suitably amended or appropriate orders passed. He said some people had accepted that they had accounts in foreign banks and paid tax. Proceedings against others were pending.
India a moderate-performing country: report
• India has been named a moderate-performing country in combating climate change with Australia being the worst, according to a report released

at climate negotiations.
• India was ranked 31. “India climbs five places and continues to profit from the very low level of per capita emissions, but overall CO2 emissions have risen constantly over the past five years to about
40 per cent,” said the Climate
Change Performance Index
2015 report by Germanwatch and Climate Action Network
(CAN) Europe.
• Australia was the worst performing industrial country in terms of climate change in
2014. The report by two NGOs said the poor ranking was due in part to policy changes made by the current coalition government. N. Srinivasan must keep off
BCCI meetings: SC

• The Supreme Court questioned the “rationale” behind N.
Srinivasan stepping aside as
BCCI president but attending its meetings as Tamil Nadu
Cricket Association president.
• “You even attend the meeting of the working committee of the
BCCI to delay the BCCI elections. • We understand your passion for

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Kapil Sibal.
RS agree for 49% FDI in insurance • Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
Select Committee Chandan
Mitra tabled the report on the
Insurance Laws (Amendment)
Bill, 2008, recommending a hike in FDI in insurance sector from 26 to 49 per cent.
• The report, carrying dissent notes from four of the 15 members, incorporated
Congress party’s demand for a composite cap on such investments. • The dissenting parties include the Samajwadi Party, Trinamool
Congress, Communist Party of
India (Marxist) and Janata Dal
(United). These parties are opposed to further opening of the insurance sector to foreign investment. • The Union Cabinet that met late in the evening approved the incorporation of amendments suggested by a Parliamentary select panel in the Insurance
Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008.
• Following the Cabinet’s approval, the Bill is expected to come up for consideration and passage in the Rajya Sabha next week.

• Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with Prime Minister
Narendra Modi to further boost cooperation between the two strategic partners in crucial sectors like defence, energy and trade at a time when
Russian economy was facing
Western sanctions.
• Mr. Putin, who arrived, is likely to push for enhancing supply of military hardware to India as well as expansion of bilateral economic engagement in a range of areas.
• It is the first annual summit meeting between Mr. Putin and
Mr. Modi. The two leaders had met on the sidelines of the
BRICS summit in Brazil in July and during the G-20 summit in
Australia last month.
• “The bond between the people of Russia & India is very strong. Our nations have stood by each other through thick and thin,” the Prime Minister said in another tweet.
• In his talks with Mr. Modi, both in restricted and delegation level formats, Mr. Putin is likely to seek deeper economic engagement with India with an aim to minimise impact of sanctions against Russia by the
US and its Western allies over the Ukraine issue.
RS finalised its Draft report on
Insurance Bill

Modi talked with Putin, discussed defence, energy

• The Rajya Sabha Select
Committee finalised its draft

report on the Insurance Bill.
The report will be tabled in the
House, committee chairman
Chandan Mitra told.
• The Bill seeks to raise foreign direct investment in insurance joint ventures from 26 to 49 per cent. The committee has given time for notes of dissent, if any, to be submitted.
• The Communist Party of India
(Marxist) and the Trinamool
Congress are likely to oppose the report. The other two parties which may differ are the
Samajwadi Party and the Janata
Dal (United).
• The Select Committee has 15 members. It is expected that with the three BJP members, three Congress and one member each from the
AIADMK, Shiromani Akali Dal and Biju Janata Dal on board, the report will be adopted by majority vote.
States rejected Centre’s GST Bill
• The States have rejected the draft Bill for the Goods and
Services Tax (GST), dealing a major blow to the Centre’s resolve to roll it out at the earliest. • The Centre-States stalemate has put a question mark over whether the government will be able to introduce the GST
Constitution Amendment Bill during the ongoing Winter
Session of Parliament.
• Union Finance Minister Arun
Jaitley said in the Lok Sabha last month that he would introduce this Bill during the session. The
GST rollout has missed several deadlines in the absence of a
Centre-States consensus.
• At a meeting of the
Empowered Committee of

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State Finance Ministers, the
States opposed the draft Bill and its proposal to extend the
GST to petroleum goods and entry tax.
“Consensus eludes the Centre and the States on the three main issues of compensation, petrol tax and entry tax,”
Empowered
Committee
Chairman Abdul Rahim Rather told presspersons.
He said the Empowered
Committee would not support the Centre’s Bill unless it conceded the States’ three demands. The GST will subsume all excise and service taxes. The States want compensation from the Centre for the revenues they will lose over five years from the shift to the GST regime. They want a clause on the compensation to be inserted into the Bill, Mr. Rather said. The Centre’s proposed draft does not have such a provision at present. “We were surprised to know that the Centre has only agreed to one of our recommendations,” said Mr.
Rather.









NGT stays MoEF clearance for phase 1 of mini-hydel project


• The National Green Tribunal’s
(NGT) south zone has stayed the clearance given by the
Ministry of Environment and
8

Forests (MoEF) for phase 1 of a mini-hydel power project.
The project was proposed by
Sri Maruthi Power Gen (India)
Pvt. Ltd., in the reserve forests of Kaginahare and Kenchanakumari in Sakleshpur taluk. The State government had forwarded the project proposal to the MoEF, despite clear opposition from the
Forest
Department in Karnataka.
Prashanth Y., a wildlife conservation enthusiast of
Bengaluru, had moved the tribunal challenging the MoEF’s clearance for the controversial project. The NGT, in its order dated
November 20, stated, “The tribunal is satisfied that a prima facie case is made out for granting an order of interim stay of phase 1 clearance issued by
MoEF”, and posted the next hearing on the matter for
January 21, 2015. Justice M.
Chockalingam and expert member R. Nagendran gave this ruling.
The Karnataka government had sent the proposal in February
2014 for diversion of 10.6897 ha of forest land in favour of the private company to generate
18.9 MW of power.
Dipak Sarmah, the then
Principal Chief Conservator of
Forests, had recommended rejection of the proposal.
However, Forest Minister B.
Ramanath Rai and Chief
Minister Siddaramaiah are said to be in favour of the project.

Better to ‘Make in India’ primarily for India: Raghuram
Rajan
• Reserve

Bank

Governor

Raghuram Rajan cautioned the government on Prime Minister
Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ mantra, suggesting that India would have to look for regional and domestic demand for growth — to make in India primarily for India.

• Dr. Rajan said that at this stage, an exports-push strategy for growth would be ineffective; as the industrial world stagnated, many emerging markets were rethinking their export-led growth model, he said. He was delivering the
Bharat Ram Memorial Lecture.
• “There is a danger when we discuss ‘Make in India’ of assuming it means a focus on manufacturing, an attempt to follow the export-led growth path that China followed … But the world as a whole is unlikely to be able to accommodate another export-led China,” Dr.
Rajan said.
• Since the global economy was still weak, he argued, it would be much less likely to be able to absorb a substantial additional amount of imports in the foreseeable future.
• “Export-led growth will not be as easy for India as it was for the Asian economies that took that path before.”
• He also cautioned the Modi government against picking a particular sector such as manufacturing for encouragement, simply

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China.
Govt. introduced Bill in LS to amend companies law
• The government introduced a
Bill in the Lok Sabha to amend the companies law to provide stringent punishment for illegal money pooling activities, among other things.
• The Companies (Amendment)
Bill, 2014, introduced by
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, proposes as many as 14 changes in various provisions of the new companies law, which was passed by the previous
UPA regime.
• The Bill proposes punishment for illegal money pooling activities, amid rising instances of people getting duped by such fraudulent schemes.

the draft legislation petered out by the time the discussion was wrapped up.
• The Opposition strategy appeared to be to force the Bill to a Select Committee in the
Rajya Sabha, where it has the strength to do so; using the Lok
Sabha merely to voice their reservations, particularly on the end use clause which has “left a door open for discretion.”
• With the Opposition questioning the government’s haste in pushing the Bill without scrutiny, Mr. Goyal said such “alacrity” was needed owing to the Supreme Court order cancelling allocation of
204 coal blocks.
Electricity amendment Bill focuses on renewable Energy

Lok Sabha passes coal mines bill, 2014

• The government assured the
Lok Sabha that Coal India Ltd., would not be denationalised.
“We are in fact strengthening it,” said Union Minister of State for Coal Piyush Goyal while steering The Coal Mines
(Special Provisions) Bill, 2014, through the Lower House with a voice vote.
• Though some Opposition parties made out a case for referring the Bill to the
Departmental
Standing
Committee, their resistance to

• The Electricity Amendment Bill
2014, introduced in the Lok
Sabha, lays strong emphasis on promoting renewable energy generation in the country while also aiming at increasing accountability and transparency in the functioning of regulatory bodies.
• For the first time, the Bill, introduced by Power Minister
Piyush Goyal, proposes to make it mandatory for any company establishing lignite and coalbased thermal power plants, to generate renewable energy.
• While the amount of renewable energy to be generated by such plants will

be decided later, the Bill proposes it to be not less than
10 percent of the total installed capacity of a thermal plant.
• The Planning Commission had in March 2011, constituted a working group on power sector reforms. The group had recommended several amendments to the Electricity
Act 2003.
Government pushes historic
GST tax reform
• The Government took the first step towards switching to a
Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime by introducing The
Constitution
(122nd
Amendment) Bill in the Lok
Sabha amid demands for referring it to a Departmental
Standing Committee.
• Though in favour of GST,
Trinamool Congress opposed the introduction as some concerns of West Bengal were not addressed and the
AIADMK followed suit citing irregularities and lacunae.
• Introducing the Bill, Union
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley pointed out that the issue had been discussed by a Standing
Committee in the past and was non-committal on the
Opposition demand.
• Assuring MPs that he “would not rush through” the Bill, he indicated that the Government was prepared to wait till the next session to get it passed.
• Later, briefing mediapersons, he said in his “personal view” the Bill does not need to be referred to a Standing
Committee as it had already gone through the process. He added that the Government was hoping to roll it out in April
2016.

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• Flagging key issues of concern,
Mr. Jaitley said: “Service tax is entirely the Centre’s domain now. It is going to be shared with States. Places like
Maharashtra, from where onethird of the national service tax comes, will benefit.
State Cabinet approved draft
CRDA Bill
• The State Cabinet approved the draft Capital Regional
Development
Authority
(CRDA) Bill with four changes.
The Bill will be tabled in the
Assembly on December 19.
• Besides giving nod to the changes in CRDA Bill, the meeting chaired by Chief
Minister N. Chandrababu
Naidu also discussed the Debt
Redemption Scheme and the strategy to be adopted in the
Assembly.
• The Cabinet approved transfer of assets and liabilities of
Vijayawada-Guntur-TenaliMangalagiri
Urban
Development Authority to the
CRDA. The Chief Minister will be chairman of the 14-member
CRDA and the Municipal
Administration Minister vice chairman. • The CRDA will have Rs. 1000 crore as development fund and
Rs. 250 crore as working capital. A detailed master plan for the capital region will be ready in six months.
• It is learnt that the Cabinet also approved increase in retirement age of teachers in aided colleges from 58 years to
60 years and from 60 years to
62 years in the universities.
• Another important decision taken by the Cabinet is to allow intra-State sale of paddy and
10

also allow export to other States if farmers themselves pay
Central Sales Tax.
• The Cabinet which discussed various issues during the fourhour meeting approved proposals to fill 4,000 field assistant posts under MNREGA and 6,000 posts in Panchayat
Raj departments.
New maritime policy in a month says N. C. Naidu

• Chief Minister N. Chandrababu
Naidu announced that a new maritime policy to develop the
974-km coastline in the State would be unveiled in a month, saying that the move would give a fillip to industrialisation.
• He was speaking on ‘Andhra talks business’ at the CEO and investors’ conclave organised by the Fortune India, in partnership with the State government at Hotel Novotel.
Over 100 CEOs, investors and top officials attended the programme. • The session began with the launch of 2014 edition of
Fortune India 500 mega issue by Mr. Naidu, along with
Managing Director & CEO of
ABP Pvt. Ltd D.D. Purkayastha and Fortune India editor D.N.
Mukerjea.
• Mr. Naidu said the government was developing the State into a mega trade and logistic hub, benchmarked against the business-friendly countries like

Japan, South Korea, Malaysia,
Singapore and Dubai and outlined plans to transform AP into a gateway to South East
Asia.
• He said efforts were on to develop ports at Ramayapatnam, Nakkapalli,
Kalingapatnam and other locations and mega cities at
Visakhapatnam
and
Vijayawada. He also referred to fast-track growth focus in five grids viz. power, gas, water, road and fibreoptic.
• “In AP, we want internet connection of 15-20 megabyte per second in every household in three years,” he said, adding that IT development would be the backbone of industrialisation.
India successfully test fires
GSLV Mark-III

• India moved forward in rocket technology with the successful flight testing of its heaviest next generation rocket and the crew module. • Precisely at 9.30 a.m., the 630tonne
Geosynchronous
Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark
III (GSLV Mark-III), standing
43.43-metre tall, freed itself from the second launch pad and with a reverberating deep throated roar, rose into the sky.
• With a thick orange flame at its tail, the expendable rocket ascended towards the heavens with one way ticket as its design

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life span is just around five minutes. The Rs.155-crore mission has twin purposes. The main purpose is to test the rocket’s atmospheric flight stability with around four tonne luggage.
The second and incidental objective is to study the reentry characteristics of the crew module — called Crew
Module Atmospheric Re-entry
Experiment — its aero braking and validation of its end-to-end parachute system.
According to an Indian Space
Research Organisation (ISRO) official, it will be of the size of a small bedroom and can accommodate two to three people. Just over five minutes into the flight, the rocket spat out the giant cup cake shaped 3.7tonne crew module at an altitude of 126 km.

States to get relief on GST Bill
• Union Finance Minister Arun
Jaitley will seek the Cabinet’s nod for the 122nd
Constitutional Amendment Bill on the Goods and Services Tax.
• The GST will subsume into one levy all indirect taxes imposed by the Centre and the States.
These include entry tax. The
Minister also proposes to extend the GST to all petroleum products and real estate transactions. • At its last meeting, the
Empowered Committee of
State Finance Ministers had by consensus rejected the
Centre’s draft Constitutional
Amendment Bill and its proposal to bring petroleum goods and entry tax within the
GST ambit.

• The States have consistently demanded that the GST regime exclude real estate transactions and stamp duties. On these issues, the Finance Ministry’s new draft Bill does not reflect the Empowered Committee’s

position.
• The Ministry has, however, inserted into its draft Bill a provision guaranteeing compensation to States for losses of revenues owing to the transition to the GST.

Ancient university near Nalanda was founded during Kushan
Period

• Excavation near the ancient
Nalanda Institution, Art and
Culture department secretary
Anand Kishore said, showed that foundation of ‘Tiladhak
University’ was laid during the
Kushan period in first century
AD and not the Gupta period.
• This indicates that the Buddhist mahavihara found at the site may be older than the mahavihara at Nalanda and
Vikramshila, director of State
Archaeology Atul Kumar
Verma, who is leading the excavation, said.
• The site came into light when the former Bihar Chief Minister,
Nitish Kumar, toured the area in 2009. Mr. Kumar, seeing the prospect of its historical importance, had directed Art and Culture department to begin excavation.

• The site is located 33 km west of Nalanda University and the
Mahavihara in Ekangalsarai block of Nalanda district, the former Chief Minister’s native place. • Chinese Traveller Hsuan-Tsang referred to this mahavihara as
“Tilakakiye” in the 7th Century.
Literature discovered has confirmed its identity as
“Tiladhak” or “Tiladhakay.”
• However, officials said that according to Calcutta
University’s S. Sanyal, who studied four monastery seals found during excavation, the mahavihara’s name is “Sri
Prathamshipur mahaviharey bhikshu sanghas.”
India is third on black money list says report
• As India continues its pursuit

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94.76 billion (nearly Rs 6 lakh crore) illicit wealth outflows in
2012.
• Russia is on the top with USD
122.86 billion, followed by
China at the second position
(USD 249.57 billion) in terms of the quantum of black money moving out of a country for
2012 — the latest year for which these estimates have been made. Telangana decided to declare
Dec.26 as public holiday
• Government of Telangana has issued an order declaring
December 26 as a public holiday. Hitherto, it was an optional holiday only.
• Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar
Rao referred to Boxing Day
(December
26) being declared as a public holiday when he addressed the gathering after laying the foundation stone for the
‘Christian Bhavan’.
Govt. employees under Lokpal
Act have to disclose deposits in foreign banks
• Amending the rules for voluntary disclosure of assets and liabilities by government employees under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, the
Department of Personnel and
Training (DoPT) has effected some changes in the form, making it mandatory for them to disclose deposits in foreign banks. • The deadline has been extended by four months from
12









December 31. “Details of deposits in the foreign bank (s) to be given separately,” states the DoPT order, adding that government employees have to file statements of movable property separately for self, spouse and dependent child.
While investments above Rs.2 lakh have to be reported individually, amounts below that can be reported together.
Apart from cash and bank balance, government servants would now be required to also reveal details of other movable assets including furniture, fixtures, antiques, paintings and electronic equipment.
However, this only if the total current value of any particular asset in any particular category exceeds two months’ basic pay or Rs. 1 lakh.
Another order amending the previous Lokpal and Lokayuktas
(Removal of Difficulties) Order,
2014, gives six months more to the government to make further amendments to the rules formulated thereunder.
While the government intends to make all the declarations public, many government officials have expressed concern that the information on their assets could be misused.
The latest order does not have any provision ensuring secrecy of the disclosures made.

15 States ratified the National
Judicial Appointments
Commission Bill
• The
National
Judicial
Appointments Commission
(NJAC) may soon become active with Union Law Minister
D.V. Sadananda Gowda saying that 15 States had ratified the
Constitution
(121st

Amendment) Bill, 2014, giving
Constitutional status to the
Commission.

• “I have received information that 15 States have ratified the
Bill. Now the Rajya Sabha has to receive authenticated letters from the States, after which the
Bill will be sent to the President for assent,” Mr. Gowda told.
• The NJAC Bill, passed by
Parliament in August, had to be ratified by at least half the State legislatures before it got the
Constitutional status.
• The NJAC, once it came into existence, is expected to usher in transparency in judicial appointments in the highest courts and end the highest judiciary’s two-decade-old grip over appointments of judges through the collegium system. • It further would restore an equal role for the executive in higher judicial appointments. Mr.
Gowda said he could not be able to give a time frame within which the commission would start work, but said there were judicial vacancies in the
Supreme Court and the High
Courts.
• Law Ministry statistics show there are 349 vacancies of judges in 24 High Courts and three in the Supreme Court as on November 10, 2014.
• The number of pending cases as on December 31, 2013, in the 24 High Courts is 4,462,705.
In the Supreme Court, 45,108

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June 30, 2014.
• Once the commission is in place, the government has to within 30 days, intimate the vacancies of judges to the
Supreme Court and the High
Courts. Vacancies to come up within the next six months should also be intimated to the commission in advance.
• The NJAC has the Chief Justice of India (CJI) as chairperson and two senior-most judges of the Supreme Court as members, apart from the Union
Law Minister and two eminent personalities, of which one of them would be nominated from among the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, minorities, Other Backward
Classes or women.
Committee set up to make suggestions on amendments to
2006 Act
• These suggestions were placed

during a preliminary meeting.
The committee is headed by
Chief Secretary Kaushik
Mukherjee.

• Offering a ray of hope to professional course seat aspirants in the State, the committee set up by the government to look into the possible amendments to the
Karnataka
Professional
Educational Institutions
(Regulation of Admission and
Determination of Fee) Act,
2006, has suggested that more seats should go to the government’s share.
• The committee has also reportedly drawn attention to the fact that meritorious students should not be

affected by a possible high fee structure as individual colleges will have separate fee structures depending on various parameters.
• The probability of the Common
Entrance Test (CET) being restricted to admissions to government institutions and there not being a common fee structure for colleges have been among the major concerns about the Act in its present form.
• Higher Education Minister R.V.
Deshpande told that the Act does not have the provision to extend the CET for admissions to private institutions. “We have to find a way out,” he said.
• Mr. Deshpande also said the government had convened meetings with private college representatives and those from minority institutions on January
3 after which the final modalities would be decided.

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INTERNATIONAL ISSUES
Philippines braces for powerful typhoon ‘Hagupit’

• A wide swath of the
Philippines, including the capital Manila, braced for a dangerously erratic and powerful typhoon approaching from the Pacific, about a year after the country was lashed by Typhoon Haiyan that left more than 7,300 people dead.
• Typhoon Hagupit Filipino for
“smash”
strengthened overnight with its sustained winds intensifying to 215 kilometres (134 miles) per hour and gusts of 250 kph (155 mph). The local weather agency PAGASA’s forecasts show the typhoon may hit
Eastern Samar province.
• But a forecast by the U.S. military’s Joint Typhoon
Warning Centre in Hawaii said
Hagupit (pronounced HA’goo-pit) may veer northward after making landfall and possibly threaten Manila, which has population of more than 12 million people.
• “We have alerted the people of Manila and we’re ready,”
Mayor Joseph Estrada said,
14

while acknowledging “these typhoons change direction all the time”.
• It is currently 450 kilometres
(280 miles) from the country’s eastern coast in the Pacific
Ocean and moving slowly.
• If the first forecast holds,
Hagupit’s path will send it barrelling inland into central
Philippines along the same route where Typhoon Haiyan levelled villages and left more than 7,300 dead and missing in
November last year.
• Still, Hagupit’s erratic behaviour prompted the government to call an emergency meeting of mayors of metropolitan Manila to warn them to prepare. Manila is north of the path that Haiyan took.







Japan’s economy likely shrank less than expected in Q3



• Japan’s economy likely shrank less than initially estimated in the third quarter thanks to an increase in capital expenditure, underscoring views that the country only slipped into a shallow recession. • The world third-largest



economy probably shrank an annualised 0.5 percent in JulySeptember, compared with a preliminary reading of a 1.6 percent contraction, according to a Reuters survey of 24 economists. Capital expenditure is seen to have risen 0.8 percent for the quarter from a preliminary 0.2 percent fall, the poll showed.
The data could offer relief for
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who called a snap election for
December 14 after just two years in office to seek voters’ mandate on his “Abenomics” strategy to reflate the economy and his decision to postpone a second sales tax hike originally scheduled for next year.
But the expected upward revision will unlikely be strong enough to alter analysts’ view that the economy remains fragile after a sales tax increase in April dampened consumer spending. “Although the economy continues rebounding from falls after the sales tax hike, there is no change to our view that the pace of recovery will be only moderate,” said an economist at Japan Research
Institute in the survey.
Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin
Research Institute, said “the economy will likely return to growth in October-December, but there is still a high chance the economy will shrink for this fiscal year.

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• “The Cabinet Office will release the revised GDP data, and the finance ministry will announce the current account balance for October at the same time.
The current account balance probably shows a surplus of
366.3 billion yen ($3.06 billion) in October, helped by gains in income balance which includes earnings from overseas subsidies. It would follow a 963 billion yen surplus in
September.
• The nation’s leading indicator of capital spending, which will be released, is expected to fall in October for the first time in five months, but analysts said the fall will be temporary as firms’ strong earnings will help their expenditure.
FBI warns U.S. of
‘Destructive’ cyber attack

• The Federal Bureau of
Investigation warned U.S. businesses that hackers have used malicious software to launch a destructive cyber attack in the United States, following a devastating breach last week at Sony Pictures
Entertainment.
• Cyber security experts said the malicious software described in the alert appeared to describe the one that affected
Sony, which would mark first major destructive cyber attack waged against a company on
U.S. soil.

• “I believe the coordinated cyber attack with destructive payloads against a corporation in the U.S. represents a watershed event,” said Tom
Kellermann, chief cyber security officer with security software maker Trend Micro
Inc. “Geopolitics now serves as harbingers for destructive cyber attacks.”
• The five-page, confidential
“flash” FBI warning issued to businesses provided some technical details about the malicious software used in the attack. • It provided advice on how to respond to the malware and asked businesses to contact the FBI if they identified similar malware. • The report said the malware overrides all data on hard drives of computers, including the master boot record, which prevents them from booting up.
• “The overwriting of the data files will make it extremely difficult and costly, if not impossible, to recover the data using standard forensic methods,” the report said.
2014 could be hottest year on record says WMO











is on track to be one of the hottest, if not the hottest, on record, according to its preliminary estimates released during the climate talks.
This was largely due to record high global sea surface temperatures, which will very likely remain above normal until the year-end.
High sea temperatures, together with other factors, contributed to exceptionally heavy rainfall and floods in many countries and extreme drought in others.
The WMO’s provisional statement on the Status of the
Global Climate in 2014 indicated that the global average air temperature over land and sea surface for January to October was about 0.09°C above the average for the past
10 years (2004-2013).
The statement says that if
November and December maintain the same tendency, then 2014 will likely be the hottest on record, ahead of
2010, 2005 and 1998.
This confirms the underlying long-term warming trend. It is important to note that differences in the rankings of the warmest years are a matter of only a few hundredths of a degree, and that different data sets show slightly different rankings, the WMO pointed out.

Pak PM inaugurates ChinaPakistan ‘Economic Corridor’ project • The World Meteorological
Organisation (WMO) says 2014

• China and Pakistan have kicked off their multi-billion dollar
‘Economic Corridor’ project that passes through Pakistanoccupied Kashmir (PoK) by laying the foundation of a

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fenced four-lane motorway, setting in motion a mammoth project connecting the two countries. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif
performed the groundbreaking of a section of the motorway in the country’s northwest, signalling the implementation of the ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor
(CPEC) agreement.
The 60-km-long, 4-lane fenced
Hazara Motorway in Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa province will cost
$297 million and will take two years to complete.
During his China visit earlier this month, Mr. Sharif signed deals worth $45.6 billion that included projects connected with the Corridor, state-run
Xinhua news agency reported.
India has expressed its reservations to China over the project as it is laid through the
PoK.
But, China defended the project saying it will help regional development.
Sceptics in both the countries, however, point to the rising tide of extremism in Pakistan which makes its construction extremely difficult.
The tenuous political and security situation in Pakistan prompted Chinese President
Xi Jinping to cancel his trip to
Islamabad in September during which he visited the
Maldives, Sri Lanka and India.

seized swathes of territory in
Iraq and Syria.

• The Authorisation for Use of
Military Force (AUMF) bill allows the President to use military force against ISIS for up to three years.
• “But (it) limits the activities of
US Armed Forces from participating in ground combat operations except in defined circumstances,” said Senator
Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee.
• AUMF passed by a vote of 10 to 8. This AUMF would also require a report on the comprehensive strategy for this campaign after 60 days and sunset the 2001 al-Qaeda
AUMF after a period of three years enactment, unless it is reauthorized, he said.
• Earlier, Secretary of State John
Kerry appeared before the
Committee urging Senators to approve force authorization.
World’s first handcrafted herbal
Holy Koran unveiled in Dubai

US passes bill to use of military force against ISIS
• A key US Congressional committee has passed a bill authorising use of military force against the dreaded Islamist
State militant group that has
16

• The world’s first handcrafted herbal Holy Koran, made from about 200 medicinal plants, has

been unveiled.
• The Koran has been made by the Islamic arts and calligraphy company, Heddem Arts and has been crafted over 23 years from 1957 to 1979 by Turkish
Unani Doctor Hamdi Taher.
• The Koran is made of high potency herbal mixtures prepared as per Unani medical system. • “Herbal sheets of the Holy
Koran have many therapeutic properties when the reader moves his fingers on the letters or in and around the pages, the herbal mixture seeps through the pores in the fingers, providing health benefits,”
Heddem Arts said in a statement. • The herbal-cream-written
Koran includes 606 pages and weighs about 7.5 kg.
• “Patiently handcrafted over the years, every word and design in the Holy Koran is made without using any printing technology, tools or machinery because of which it is truly one of a kind,” Abdul Azeaz Bin
Hassan, Islamic religious adviser at Heddem Arts, said.
After Bullet train’s success,
China wants to develop world class nuclear technology
• After successfully competing for high-speed rail links abroad,
China now wants to develop world class nuclear technology
— a move that would not only lighten its carbon footprint, but also help it emerge as a major exporter of atomic power.
• Last week, China decided to set up an undisclosed number of shore-based nuclear power plants, lifting the bar on new ventures that was imposed in

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the aftermath of the March
2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.
The London-based World
Nuclear News website reported that days after the
Fukushima accident, China’s
State Council decided to halt approvals and licensing for new reactors until a safety plan was in place.
It also sought assurances that existing plants were adequately designed, sited, protected and managed. Li
Pumin, the spokesman of the
National Development and
Reform Commission (NDRC),
China’s top economic planner, announced that all projects will comply with the highest international security standards. Currently, China runs 21 nuclear power reactors, generating
19,095 MW of power. An additional 27 units are under construction, which would yield around 30,000 MW of electricity, when completed.
Yet, it is estimated that China would need to set up another
13 reactors, if it is to meet its
2020 target of generating 58
GW of atomic power.
The post-Fukushima drive for nuclear energy has been significantly spurred by the clean-energy target set by
President Xi Jinping, who had announced that China is focusing on peaking its emissions by 2030, before its carbon footprint begins to slide. Nuclear power generation has come into sharper focus because of some of the problems that China has recently encountered with

renewables. Last year, China, the world’s largest producer of wind energy and solar power, was unable to utilise 11 per cent of wind power capacity because of grid problems.
FIFA, Ebola among Facebook’s most discussed topics in 2014

• The list Facebook released is a testament to its global reach, given that more than 80 per cent of Facebook users live outside the U.S. and Canada.
• Worldwide topics the World
Cup soccer tournament and the Ebola outbreak occupied the top two spots. But No. 3 was the presidential election in
Brazil. Facebook says some 48 million people had 674 million interactions status updates, photos, videos, comments and likes about the highly contested event.
• That made it the most talkedabout election of 2014 even more than the congressional midterms in the U.S. “At its best, social media makes the world a smaller place and builds community on a global level,”
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, said in an interview.
• Ms. Sandberg saw it fitting that the World Cup the world’s most widely watched sporting event was also the most widely

discussed event this year. More than 350 million people had 3 billion interactions about the tournament. Cadila healthcare launches first cheaper copy of world’s topselling drug
• Cadila Healthcare said it launched the first biosimilar version of anti-inflammatory medicine adalimumab, the world’s top-selling drug, at a fifth of its U.S. price.
• The drug’s branded version is sold under the name Humira by
U.S. firm AbbVie Inc, and costs
$1,000 for a vial in the United
States. Humira had sales of
$3.26 billion in the quarter ended September, accounting for 65 per cent of AbbVie’s total revenue.
• A price of $200 a vial would still keep the drug out of reach for most people in India, where more than 70 per cent of the population lives on less than $2 a day and health insurance is scarce. • Biosimilars are cheaper copies of biotech drugs — medicines made from proteins and other large molecules. Cadila expects sales of between
Rs.100 crore ($16.16 million) and Rs.200 crore from its biosimilar of Humira in the domestic market, Deputy
Managing Director Sharvil Patel told Reuters.
• The company will launch its version under the name
Exemptia for treating diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

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China setting the stage for Silk
Road Extension
• China is setting the stage for linking Southeast Asia with its
New Silk Road initiative, through a railway corridor that would connect the country’s
Yunan province with Thailand and Laos.
• China’s visiting Prime Minister
Li Keqiang is expected to sign an agreement with Thailand on setting up two strategic dualtrack lines covering 734 km and
133 km. Once completed, these lines will connect
Bangkok with Thailand’s Nong
Khai and Rayong provinces.
• Mr. Li is in Thailand to participate in the meeting of leaders of Mekong River region countries — Cambodia, Laos,
Myanmar, Thailand and
Vietnam.
• The new railway project “will offer a new channel for bilateral trade, and also help form a potentially-lucrative tourist route starting from China’s
Yunnan province, to Laos’
Vientiane and Thailand’s
Bangkok,” said Huang Bin of
Thailand’s Kasikorn Research
Center, as quoted by Xinhua.
• Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha has earlier said that the railway tie ups with Beijing were meant to amplify China’s
Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk
Road initiatives.
• Chinese President Xi Jinping has been relentless in pushing for a Silk Road Economic Belt
— a giant project that would connect Asia with Europe along the Eurasian corridor through rail, road, fiber optic highways and energy pipelines.
• Analysts point out that the
18

growing ties between China and Thailand are not accidental. Beijing is apparently cashing on the sourness that has developed between Thailand and West following a military coup on
May 22.
• The military takeover in
Bangkok was apparently prompted by the death of 30 people in sporadic violence that encompassed protests against former Prime Minister
Yingluck Shinawatra. Gen.
Prayut is now expected to visit
Beijing next week.





Foreign office building in
Australia evacuated over suspicious package
• Australia’s Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade in the capital, Canberra, was evacuated after a suspicious package was found in the building’s canteen, police said.
• Australia is on high alert after heavily armed police stormed a Sydney cafe early and freed terrified hostages being held there at gunpoint for 16 hours.
Two hostages and the gunman were killed, police said.
Japanese auto Honda set for record car sales in 2014







around 1.8 lakh units. The company, which launched two models — mid-sized sedan City and multi-purpose vehicle
(MPV) Mobilio during the year, had sold 1.11 lakh units in 2013.
“2014 was a very successful year for Honda as it continued its growth journey for the third consecutive year,” Honda Cars
India Ltd. (HCIL) Senior VicePresident, Sales & Marketing
Jnaneswar Sen said in a statement. During January-November
2014, the company sold 1.65 lakh units, up 61.8 per cent, from 1.02 lakh units in the same period of previous year. Mr. Sen said Honda was set to end 2014 with a record sale of 1.8 lakh units. “In line with business expansion, the company also made strong progress in expanding its dealership network during the year, and crossed the milestone of 200 dealers in the country in
November 2014,” he added.
The company plans to rope in another 100 dealers by the end of the next fiscal, and take the total tally to 300 facilities by
March 2016.
Elaborating on the launches during the year, he said that the new Generation City, which was launched in January, had sold more than 71,000 units till
November 2014.

Reliance seeks immediate start of KG-D6 cost recovery dispute

• Riding on new launches,
Japanese auto major Honda is set for over 62 per cent growth in its sales in India this year at

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• With its KG-D6 cost recovery arbitration stuck for three years,
Reliance Industries has sought immediate start of the proceedings for early resolution of the dispute.
• Naming former UK judge Sir
Bernard Rix as its arbitrator in place of former Chief Justice of
India S. P. Bharucha, who quit earlier this month, RIL through its legal counsel has written to the Oil Ministry seeking start of the proceedings from next month, sources privy to the development said.
• Bharucha was earlier RIL nominee on a three—member arbitration panel, which is to decide if the oil ministry was right in disallowing over $2.3 billion of KG-D6 cost as output lagged targets.
• He, however, recused himself after the government challenged his nomination more than two—and—half years after his nomination.
• The government felt he had not disclosed all previous associations with RIL and that his arbitration could create doubts about his independence and impartiality. The company, in the letter, expressed “distress” at the attempts of the government to remove Justice
Bharucha from the panel of arbitration. • Bharucha, it said, has an impeccable reputation and it was “unfortunate” that the government chose to demonstrate, in the course of an international arbitration, that it did not have faith in a former chief justice.
SpiceJet submits a revival plan to govt.

• Troubled budget carrier
SpiceJet submitted a revival plan to the government on the basis of a proposed investment of $200 million from founding promoter Ajay Singh and USbased JP Morgan Chase.

• “It was a constructive meeting,” the airline’s Chief
Operating Officer Sanjiv
Kapoor told reporters after he submitted the plan to Civil
Aviation
Secretary
V
Somasundaran at the Ministry headquarters here.
• He was accompanied by Mr.
Singh, the original promoter who is reinvesting in the carrier.
Maintaining that there was “no outstanding” as of now with any oil marketing company, he said with 18 operational Boeing aircraft, Spicejet was currently flying 230 flights a day.
• “Spicejet has many well wishers including Ajay Singh,” the COO said. Besides Mr,
Singh, a fund managed by JP
Morgan Chase would also be one of the investors.
• The potential investors are likely to buy stake from current promoter Kalanithi Maran by infusing USD 200 million within a month to help the airline stay afloat. • The airline has already received Rs 17 crore from the investors, official sources earlier said, adding that “it has wiped off all its dues to the oil companies”. http://www.iasexamportal.com
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INDIA & THE WORLD
India signs up for a Multi-crore Project

• Union Minister for Science and
Technology Harsh Vardhan signed a multilateral agreement admitting India‘s participation in the development of the
Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT) in Hawaii.
• This project was rapidly cleared by the Union Cabinet and India has agreed to spend Rs. 1299.8 crores over the next decade for this project.
• Besides learning about the universe, India will gain the technology to manufacture fine aspherical mirror segments from the California Institute of
Technology (Caltech). This technology, say experts, will form the basis of the next generation of spy satellites.
• TMT will contain 492 hexagonal mirror segments of
82 different kinds. These will behave like a single mirror with an aperture of 30 metre diameter. 20

• This large collecting area of 650 square metres is thrice as sensitive as the Hubble Space Telescope. India’s role will primarily be to create the control systems and software that keep the mirrors aligned and collects the data. • The control system is an intricate process involving edge sensors—that detect the mutual displacement of mirrors, actuators to correct their alignment, and the segment support assembly. Le Drian and his Indian counterpart, Manohar Parrikar.
Both sides also decided to expand strategic cooperation, the official added.
• Negotiations have been going on since 2012 when India selected Dassault Rafale from among competing medium multi-role combat aircraft.
Differences cropped up between the two sides on delivery guarantees and price.
• The tender stipulates that the first 18 jets should come in “flyaway” condition from France, while the remaining 108 will be manufactured by Hindustan
Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) in India over seven years with Transfer of Technology (ToT).
• Dassault has refused to give delivery guarantees for HALmade aircraft, which the Air
Force is insisting on. With the
ToT, the cost too escalated from the initial estimate of $10 billion to almost $30 billion.
India “very important player” in climate talks says the US

India and France agreed to fasttrack Rafale deal
• Indian and France to overcome differences and fast-track ongoing negotiations for the purchase of 126 Rafale fighter jets from France, a Defence
Ministry spokesperson said.
• The decision came during discussions between visiting
French Defence Minister Yves

• Terming India as a “very important player” in the climate change negotiations, the US has said it is not involved in any agreement on climate with

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India ahead of President Barack
Obama’s Republic Day visit to
New Delhi.
“India’s obviously a very important player. We don’t have anything in the works of the kind that we were involved with China,” U.S. State
Department Special Envoy on
Climate Change Todd Stern said referring to the recent USChina climate agreement.
Expressing hope for a
“productive”
meeting between President Obama and
Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
Mr. Stern said the U.S. had done a lot of bilateral work on energy with India.
Mr. Stern noted that the USChina agreement did not come to fruition overnight. It took several months of bilateral talks to produce it and that there is no such process going on at the moment with India, he said.
He also said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will be arriving in Lima as part of a larger regional trip and will spend a few hours at the COP.
He is not expected to play any role in the negotiations and that
Kerry’s visit was slated earlier and not in response to the slow progress of talks, he said.
The draft elements text is
“mostly done” and will certainly pass on to the next Co-Chairs of the committee, he said.
Mr. Stern said the U.S. position on Intended Nationally
Determined Contributions
(INDCs) was to “not make it complicated” and just ask countries for a limited set of information like types of gasses covered, sectors of the economy and any assumptions made India advocates ‘balanced approach’ to cut global carbon
Emissions

• India strongly advocated a
“balanced approach” in the draft text of a new binding pact to cut global carbon emissions to make sure that polluting countries pay and not the poorest nations, as crucial U.N. climate talks remained deadlocked. • The negotiators from more than
190 countries, who have been in the Peruvian capital for about two weeks, have struggled to prepare the elements of the draft due to the logjam between developing countries and industrialised nations that haggle over the formula of sharing the burden for cutting emissions, and who should pay.
• Several developing nations rejected a draft decision they said did not make the distinction between what rich and poor countries were expected to do.
• The informal plenary regarding the Ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP) again met here after breaking at 4 a.m. Parties reviewed the draft text and reconvened to state their positions on it.
• Environment Minister Prakash
Javadekar delivered India’s statement, saying a “balanced approach” in the draft text was required to make sure polluting

countries pay and not the poorest countries.
• He began his statement by saying that what the likeminded developing countries, least developed countries and the Africa group is saying “must be appreciated” because they are all “speaking their heart”.
• India stuck to the consistent position that all the elements of adaptation, mitigation, finance, technology, and capacity building should be included in the intended nationally determined contributions
(INDCs).
At U.N. India may end support to Palestine

• In what could amount to a tectonic shift in the country’s foreign policy, the Modi government is looking at altering India’s supporting vote for the Palestinian cause at the
United Nations to one of abstention. • Two sources within the government confirmed that the change, which will be a fundamental departure from
India’s support to the cause of a Palestinian state, was under consideration. • “Like other foreign policy issues, the Modi government is looking at India’s voting record at the United Nations on the

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Palestinian
issue,” a government told. The change only needs an administrative nod. • Despite the growing defence and diplomatic ties with Israel, the UPA government, which junked traditional ally Iran to vote with the United States at the International Atomic
Energy Agency in 2005, had baulked at making any change in India’s support to the
Palestinians.

22

• Even former Prime Minister A.B.
Vajpayee’s government, which invited Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon to India in 2003, did not amend India’s voting record at the U.N.
• India’s stance at the U.N. has been an irritant in Indo-Israeli relations, with Tel Aviv frustrated that close bonds had not resulted in any change in the stance on Palestine.
• A senior Israeli interlocutor told

a visiting Indian External Affairs
Minister some time ago that
New Delhi treated Tel Aviv like a “mistress” – by keeping the bilateral relationship away from the public gaze.
• This re-examination of India’s voting stance will come as sweet music to Israeli ears just as it will raise concerns in West
Asian capitals about the future course of Indian foreign policy.

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ECONOMY
Mallya resigns from Mangalore
Chemicals Board (MCFL)

• In a surprise move the UB
Group Chairman Vijay Mallya has resigned from the Board of
Directors of Mangalore
Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd
(MCFL) with immediate effect.
• What prompted this move is still not known. The company has intimated this development to the stock exchanges. Soon after the announcement MCFL stock prices rose sharply on the stock markets.
• The prices moved from Rs. 80 range to around Rs. 92. The volume was as high as nine lakh shares in early morning trade.
• MCFL is amidst a takeover battle between Deepak
Petrochemicals and Fertilizers and Zuari Agro Chemicals and
Fertilizers. Mr. Mallya had sided with Zuari to ward off the takeover bid of Deepak
Fertilizers.
• Recently, Deepak’s bid to acquire 26 per cent addition stake had failed and Dr Mallya had retained control over the company. • Currently Deepak holds 32 per cent stake in the company, Zuari
16 per cent, UB Group 22 per

cent and the rest by public shareholders. Nifty touches record high
• A benchmark index of Indian equities markets was trading
208.40 points or 0.73 percent up as fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) stocks surged.
• All the sectors were trading in green and good buying was observed in FMCG, banking and healthcare sectors.
• The 30-scrip Sensitive Index
(Sensex) of the S&P Bombay
Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 28,616.93 points, was trading at 28,651.11 points
(at 09.27 a.m.) in the early session, up 208.40 points or
0.73 percent from the previous day’s close at 28,442.71 points.
• The Sensex has touched a high of 28,808.78 points and a low of 28,587.75 points in the trade so far.
• The S&P FMCG index gained by 200.87 points, bankex went up by 105.17 points and healthcare index moved up by
67.73 points.
Reliance Industries signs agreement with Mexican company for oil and gas












• Reliance Industries has signed an agreement with Mexican

state-owned company, Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) for cooperation in upstream oil and gas production as well as in refining business.
As per the Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) “RIL will cooperate with PEMEX for assessment of potential upstream oil and gas business opportunities in Mexico and jointly evaluate value added opportunities in international markets,” a company statement said. RIL and PEMEX will also share expertise and skills in the relevant areas of oil and gas industry, including for deep— water oil and gas exploration and production.
“The MoU envisages sharing of
RIL’s pioneering expertise in deep-water development and best practices in East Coast of
India and RIL’s experience in shale gas in United States,” it said. RIL will also provide technical support and share experience with PEMEX for refining value maximisation and other technical optimisation strategies. “RIL’s cooperation with PEMEX is in line with its growth strategy to explore opportunities to expand its international asset base in regimes having internationally attractive competitive terms.
“The company hopes to leverage its organisational capabilities and expertise to create long-term value for

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Exploration and Production
Business and for RIL on the whole,” it added.
Govt. relaxed FDI policy for investors in construction sector
• To help attract foreign funds in construction of townships, hospitals and hotels, the government relaxed the FDI policy for this sector by easing exit norms and reducing builtup area and capital needs.
• The revised norms relating to construction development sector has been notified by the
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). India allows 100 per cent FDI in the sector through the automatic route. • The new policy has done away with the three-year lock-in period for repatriation of investment. • “The investor will be permitted to exit on completion of the project or after development of trunk infrastructure, that is, roads, water supply, street lighting, drainage and sewerage,” a DIPP circular said.
• It is to be noted here, the official statement issued after the October 29 Cabinet meeting had mentioned that the investor can exit on completion of the project or
“after three years from the date of final investment,” subject to development of trunk infrastructure. • Under the new policy, the minimum floor area requirement has been reduced to 20,000 square metres from
50,000 square metres earlier.
• It also brought down the minimum capital requirement to $5 million from $10 million.
24

In case of development of serviced plots, the condition of minimum land of 10 hectares has been completely removed.
RBI comfortable on Current
Account Deficit: Khan

• The Reserve Bank of India
(RBI) Deputy Governor H.R.
Khan said that the central bank is reasonably comfortable with the present Current Account
Deficit (CAD) position of the country. • The central bank is “reasonably comfortable from the current account point of view because of prices of oil,” which is hovering at five-year lows, said
Mr. Khan while talking to reporters on the sidelines of
‘National Payments Excellence
Awards 2014’ function here.
• The Government recently scrapped the 80:20 rule on gold imports, mandating traders to export 20 per cent of all gold imported into the country. He said that a view has been taken in this regard after considering the CAD position into account.
• Mr. Khan also said that the RBI is having concerns on ecommerce transactions and would issue guidelines to regulate these transactions.
• National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organization for all retail payments system in the country, has institutionalized

‘National Payments Excellence
Awards 2014’ to recognize outstanding achievements in operating various payment systems. RBI keeps policy rates unchanged • As is widely expected, the
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has kept the key policy rates unchanged. • On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macro-economic situation, the
RBI has decided to keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility
(LAF) unchanged at 8.0 per cent. • It has also kept the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks unchanged at 4.0 per cent of net demand and time liabilities
(NDTL). And, it has said that it will continue to provide liquidity under overnight repos at 0.25 per cent of bank-wise
NDTL at the LAF repo rate, and liquidity under 7-day and 14day term repos of up to 0.75 per cent of NDTL of the banking system through auctions. Also, it has decided to continue with daily one-day term repos and reverse repos to smooth liquidity.
• As a result of these decisions, the reverse repo rate under the
LAF will remain unchanged at
7.0 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the bank rate at 9.0 per cent
• “The headline inflation has been receding steadily, and current readings are below the
January 2015 target of 8 per cent as well as the January 2016 target of 6 per cent,’’ the RBI said. “The inflation reading for

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November, which will become available by mid-December, is expected to show a further softening. Shome panel: Tax cash withdrawal beyond limit in a day

• A high-level official panel proposed levying of banking transaction tax on withdrawal of cash beyond a specified limit in a day to check black money, and was not in favour of the tax amnesty scheme.
• A report by the Parthasarathi
Shome Committee, appointed by the previous UPA government, suggested taxing farmers with large land holdings in addition to a host of measures to widen the net.
• “Taxpayers keep waiting for amnesty schemes to be announced and take advantage of these schemes to build their capital.
• “Amnesty schemes also cause inequity among taxpayers, and there is no proof that they improve taxpayer behaviour among evaders.
• They, therefore, should not be encouraged through amnesties,” said the report of the Tax Administration and
Reform Commission (TARC). It was the third report in the series. • Highlighting that there is no instrument at present that captures details of cash

withdrawals from bank accounts, it said such information would help the
Income Tax department widen its information base on the use of black money.
• Making a case for banking cash transaction tax (BCTT), it said:
“...IT Act should be suitably revised to include in its ambit cash withdrawals exceeding specified amounts in a day from bank accounts other than savings accounts.
Lower oil prices will boost global economy: Christine
Lagarde
• The recent decline in oil prices will help boost global economy, IMF chief Christine
Lagarde has said, as global oil prices have tumbled to multiyear low.
• “It is good news for the global economy,” Ms. Lagarde said at
The Wall Street Journal CEO
Council annual meeting.
• For the United States, low energy prices would help accelerate the economic growth to a 3.5 per cent next year from the October forecast of 3. 1 per cent, she said, adding that Europe is also expected to benefit from lower oil prices.
• Ms. Lagarde, however, noted that the Eurozone also faces a risk of the “new mediocre,” and described it as an economy marked by slow growth, low inflation and high unemployment.
• But at the same time, she asserted that reluctant political leaders need to adopt more job-friendly labour market reforms, aggressive and innovative monetary policy and

other structural reforms.
• “Where they are at the moment they need to use all available tools. They have to get on with it and do it,” Ms. Lagarde said.
• During the meeting, the
International Monetary Fund
Managing Director was highly critical of Japan for being slow on implementation of fiscal and labour market reforms.
• On Russia, Ms. Lagarde said lower prices are adding to their fragility and their vulnerability.
53% of Indians connected to internet every hour, beat global average • Fifty-three per cent of Indians are connected to the internet every waking hour, which is higher than the global average of 51 per cent, a new international study has found.
• “The continuous online connectivity is becoming a phenomenon in India with 53 per cent of respondents in the country saying they are connected to the internet every waking hour,” said the study conducted by the
London-based AT Kearney
Global Research.
• “That is higher than 51 per cent global average, 36 per cent in
China and 39 per cent in
Japan,” said the study titled
“Connected Consumers Are
Not Created Equal: A Global
Perspective.”
• The study covered 10 countries involving 10,000 respondents in July 2014.
• The results of the study found that continuous connectivity is having a big impact on online retail in the country with social networks becoming a major influencing factor.

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• “97 per cent of the respondents from India said they have a Facebook account with 77 per cent saying they logged in to the social network daily,” said the study.
• According to the study, there are three key motivations for
Indian people to be continuously connected to internet. OnePlus expects India will be its biggest market in next few months devices as possible in sync with our production capacity.
Cumulatively, till mid-October, we have already sold 500,000 devices (globally),” he added.
• This is the first time that OnePlus has entered a new market with local presence and collaboration with a local partner. • It has set up a local team in
India, led by Mr. Agarwal, for marketing and sales. The
Chinese startup is also putting together an engineering team in Bangalore in the next few months. More steps to rationalise subsidies: Jaitley

• Bullish on the multi-billion dollar opportunity in the Indian smartphone segment, Chinese handset maker OnePlus said it expects India to become its biggest market in the next few months. • At present, China is the biggest market for OnePlus, which announced its foray into India with the launch of its ‘One’ smartphone at Rs 21,999.
• “In the next few months, we expect India to be our biggest market, it will overtake China,”
OnePlus India General
Manager Vikas Agarwal said.
• In line with its global practice, users in India will receive Indiaspecific invites through
OnePlus and Amazon.in.
• The two platforms have been integrated so that invites can be used to purchase the device exclusively on eCommerce major, Amazon.in.
• “We will bring in as many
26

• Assuring India Inc. of the
National Democratic Alliance’s commitment to economic reforms, Union Finance Minister
Arun Jaitley said that the government would announce more steps to rationalise subsidies. • “I had a series of meetings with the Expenditure Management
Commission. In the next few months ... maybe earlier than that, they will come out with some interim recommendations so that we can proceed with rationalisation,” Mr. Jaitley said.
• Recalling the government’s decision to link the diesel price with the market price, the
Minister told the India
Economic Conclave, organised by the television channel ET
Now, it would help reduce the subsidy burden.
• The Centre had set up a commission to suggest steps to rationalise subsidies and bring down the fiscal deficit. Mr.
Jaitley expressed confidence that the government would be

able to push the Insurance and the Goods and Service Tax
(GST) Bills in this session of
Parliament.
• Mr. Jaitley ruled out the NDA government “tinkering” with the country’s federal structure to help push economic reforms faster. • The democratic process “has its own dynamics” and that should go on, the Minister said when asked why the government could not straightaway convene a joint session of both Houses of
Parliament to help pass key laws
(in the backdrop of the BJP not having a majority in the Rajya
Sabha).
• Mr. Jaitley said that even in the past, legislation had been passed in the Rajya Sabha on the basis of a consensus among the parties.
India’s manufacturing & services growth outpaced China in November: HSBC survey

• Manufacturing and services sectors in India expanded at a faster pace than China in
November, even as emerging market output slipped for the second consecutive month to a six-month low, a HSBC survey said. • The HSBC Emerging Markets
Index (EMI), a monthly indicator derived from PMI surveys, slipped for the second month running to 51.2,

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signalling the weakest rate of expansion since May.
The EMI remained well below its long-run trend level of 53.7 as both manufacturers and service providers in emerging markets registered slower and identical rates of output expansion in November, HSBC said. “2014 looks set to record the lowest annual average for the
Index since its inception in
November 2005,” the HSBC report added.
Data for the four largest emerging economies showed contrasting activity trends in
November. China registered growth for the seventh month running, while India posted the fastest growth since June.
•Russia and Brazil, however, registered sharper rates of decline during November.
During November, the HSBC composite index for India that maps both manufacturing and services, stood at 53.6, whereas for China it was 51.1, Brazil
(48.1) and Russia (47.6).
An index measure of above 50 indicates expansion.
“Downturns in Russia and Brazil are intensifying to worrying extents, and China’s economic growth rate continues to slow.
Only India saw an improvement in November,” Markit Chief
Economist Chris Williamson said. •









RBI has retained growth estimate at 5.5% for 2014-15
• The Reserve Bank of India
(RBI) has retained its growth estimate for 2014-15 at 5.5 per cent. • The reiteration of growth estimate is based on its



expectation of a normal monsoon. Also, the apex bank is hopeful that there will not be any adverse supply or financial shocks. While keeping the policy rates unchanged in its fifth bimonthly policy, the RBI said conditions for a turnaround “are gathering.” Nevertheless, it did concede that “activity appears to have lost some momentum in Q2, probably extending into
Q3.”
The RBI pointed to the softening of inflation, easing of commodity prices/ input costs, comfortable liquidity conditions, and rising business confidence as well as purchasing activity.
“These conditions could enable a pick-up in Q4 if coordinated policy efforts fructify in dispelling the drag on the economy emanating from structural constraints,’’ it said.
“A durable revival of investment demand continues to be held back by infrastructural constraints and lack of assured supply of key inputs, in particular coal, power, land and minerals,’’ it said.
The success of ongoing government actions in these areas wouldl be key to reviving growth and offsetting downside risks emanating from agriculture – in view of weakerthan-expected Rabi sowing – and exports – given the sluggishness in external demand, it added.
The apex bank said some easing of monetary conditions had already taken place. The weighted average call rates as well as long-term yields for government and high-quality

corporate issuances had moderated substantially since end-August, it said.
IBM signs multi-billion deal with ABN Amro

• IBM has signed a ten-year, multi-billion dollar deal to provide computer infrastructure services to Dutch bank ABN Amro running on its cloud systems, the U.S. information technology firm said. • The deal comes as IBM is trying to gain momentum in the market for Internet-delivered computing services, known as cloud computing.
• IBM will provide fully managed services for mainframe computers, servers, storage and end-user computing as well as a help desk and other technical support. SEBI (research analysts) norms to be effective from Dec. 1
• The Securities and Exchange
Board of India (SEBI) said the
SEBI (Research Analysts)
Regulations, 2014 (RA
Regulations), would come into effect from December 1.
• This was notified on September
1. “No person shall act as research analyst or research entity or hold itself out as research analyst unless he has obtained a certificate of registration from SEBI under these regulations unless an

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Kisan Vikas Patra, re-launch with very few justifications







• Despite some criticism and misgivings in certain quarters, the government has decided to re-introduce the Kisan Vikas
Patra (KVP), a savings instrument that was discontinued three years ago.
• Positioned as a savings instrument in line with other continuing ‘small savings schemes’ such as the Public
Provident Fund (PPF) and the
National Savings Certificates
(NSCs), the new KVP, like its predecessor, has certain advantages as well as disadvantages over these. Most ordinary investors will compare the new KVP with bank deposits and other debt instruments. Broad features of the new
KVP
• Interest: 8.7 per cent.
• Tenure: eight years and four months (100 months).
• Investment doubles in 100 months. • Minimum lock-in period two years and six months.
Liquidity
• Can be encashed in eight equal monthly instalments after the lock-in period
• Can be transferred to another
28









person by endorsement and delivery Can also be given as collateral for loans by banks
Minimum investment Rs.1,000.
Thereafter, in denominations of
Rs.5,000, Rs.10,000 and
Rs.50,000. There is no maximum limit.
Taxability: fully taxable
Mode of investment: cash or cheque Know your customer (KYC) norms: PAN not required but identity/address proof required Will be sold initially through post offices across the country, but later through some government-owned banks also. Taking three other relevant traits — liquidity, convenience and tax advantage — the new
KVP is reasonably liquid.
Investors can come out after the minimum lock-in period in eight equal instalments. The
KVP can also be given as collateral. Unlike PPF and NSCs, the KVP does not have a tax advantage. Interest on it is fully taxable. Bank deposits are superior to
KVP in terms of returns — three year fixed deposits offer 9 per cent and some banks even more. The argument that deposit rates are set to fall over the medium-term is no doubt valid, but one expects the banks to safeguard their depositors’ concerns by floating innovative schemes.
It is also certain that the corporate bond market will revive and be a conduit for infrastructure finance. This will matter to senior citizens and others who want a fixed, steady

return in the form of investment in infrastructure bonds.
• Bank deposits are liquid, absolutely secure and highly accessible to most middle-class investors. They have a minimum tax advantage — practically restricted to interest on savings accounts. Petroleum product prices headed for further correction
• Petroleum product prices are headed for further correction after the Organiztion of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC) decided not to resort to output cut to revive falling
Brent crude prices.
• According to experts, petrol and diesel prices may come down by Rs.2 a litre as the
Indian basket price is different and is higher than spot prices.
• A sharp division among the oil cartel members augurs well for emerging countries like India for at least the next 6 months when OPEC would meet again to take a call on restricting production. • After the proposal to cut production by 1 million barrels a day was rejected, Brent crude prices plunged to fouryear low of around $71 a barrel.
• The impact could be much more in the coming days and in the December-January period when fund houses would reduce their exposure to underperforming commodity assets and allocate funds to high yielding equities, said analysts. • “Most OPEC members decided against production cut to protect their market share. They have deep pockets to afford a price as low as $67 a barrel.

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• Even if the sales realisation comes, down OPEC members like Saudi
Arabia, Iraq, Iran and Libya have the longest holding power to continue production. Dubai will invest $32-billion to build world’s largest Airport

• To further secure its position as the world’s aviation hub,
Dubai Airports is building a whopping USD 32—billion greenfield airport at the upcoming Dubai World
Central, 30 km off the present international airport which already is the second busiest in the world.
• The proposed new airport will become the world’s largest aviation facility on completion and will have five runways which all will be simultaneously operational, all A380compatible with a length of 4.5 km each.
• “We are planning a USD 32— billion brand new airport at the
Dubai World Central at Al
Maktoum, 30 km off the present
Dubai facility.
• In the first phase, the new airport will be able to handle
120 million passengers, which will go up to 200 million by
2020, when the project is

completed,” Dubai Airports
Corporate Communications
Head Julius Baumann told PTI.
• “On completion, the new airport will be the world’s largest airport, with each concourse the size of seven football fields and have five runways which all will be simultaneously operational, all
A380-compatible,”
Mr.
Baumann said.
• The other features include 200 aircraft stands for wide bodied aircraft, four concourses connected via six airport trains to two terminals, which in turn will be linked to the city’s metro network. When complete, the mega-hub will have total annual capacity exceeding 200 million passengers and 12 million tonne of freight.
• The existing Al Maktoum
International opened its doors to passengers on October 27,
2013 and three airlines are operating from here.

Switzerland rejected plans to hoard gold, limit immigration
• Voters in Switzerland rejected plans to protect the country’s wealth by investing in gold and drastically limit immigration, according to polling firm gfs.bern. • A proposal to require the Swiss central bank to hold a fifth of its reserves in gold was opposed by 78 per cent of voters and supported by 22 per cent, projections based on tallies provided by selected voting districts indicated.
• The plan would have forced the Swiss National Bank to buy massive amounts of gold within five years and likely causing the global price for the valuable metal to jump.
• The proposal to limit immigration to 0.2 per cent of
Switzerland’s population about
16,000 immigrants a year for a country of 8 million received the backing of 26 per cent of voters, while 74 per cent opposed it. Currently, immigration is estimated at around 80,000 a year.
• The “Ecopop” initiative would also have forced Switzerland to devote a large chunk of its foreign aid to programs aimed at reducing population growth in poor countries.
• Earlier this year, Swiss voters narrowly backed a proposal by the nationalist People’s Party to reintroduce quotas for immigrants. • The outcome has proved to be a political headache for the
Swiss government as it now needs to renegotiate bilateral treaties with the European
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RIL to transfer textile business to new Joint Venture with
Chinese company
• Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement with a wholly-owned subsidiary of
China’s Shandong Ruyi
Science and Technology
Group (Ruyi) to transfer its founding textile business into a newly incorporated joint venture (JV) company.
• RIL said that it would receive cash consideration from the deal. It will own 51 per cent in the proposed joint venture, while Ruyi will own the balance. The proposed transaction is subject to requisite approvals.
• In the 1970s, Reliance entered into the textile business in a small way, and since then, it has grown to be a Fortune Global
500 company through backward vertical integration.
• The textile business of RIL operates under the brand Vimal, which was popularised by the
‘Only Vimal’ campaign. This business has a prominent presence in the domestic worsted and synthetic suiting fabric segments. • Ruyi, China’s leading textile company with revenues of $3 billion, has a global presence with a portfolio of world-renowned brands. It operates in
India under the Georgia Gullini brand in the worsted suiting segment. This business operation would be realigned with the joint venture.
• “Our joint venture will help
Reliance reposition its textile business on a high growth path.
Our
partner’s deep commitment and global reach
30

in textile business will enable this joint venture to harness the growth potential of the Indian market and emerge as a global textile player,” said RIL
Executive Director Nikhil
Meswani.
Essar group set to ink a deal to import crude from Russia

• The Essar Group will sign a long-term crude oil import deal with Russia’s Rosneft during
President Vladimir Putin’s visit to New Delhi, government and industry. • “Essar will sign an MoU
(memorandum
of understanding) with them
(Rosneft),” two Indian government sources said. “The deal will be for ten years,” an industry source familiar with the matter said.
• The Essar group operates the
405,000 barrels per day (bpd)
Vadinar refinery in Gujarat and also the 296,000 bpd Stanlow refinery in northwest England, which is operating at below its capacity. • Volumes, pricing and other details of the deal with statecontrolled Rosneft, the world’s largest listed oil firm by output, were not immediately known.
Essar depends heavily on Iran to feed its Vadinar refinery.
• In January, sources told Reuters that Russia and Iran were negotiating an oil-for-goods swap deal. Russian Economy

Minister Alexei Ulyukayev was quoted on November 30 as saying the deal with Iran might be sealed soon.
India is on growth track: IMF
• The International Monetary
Fund said the focus on governance and financial inclusion measures taken by the government were positive signs that India was back on the growth track.
• In India, the growth was stalled for sometime, but the measures taken by the new government started showing signals of growth, it said.
• “We see a positive outlook for
India. Last year, the growth rate was 4.7 per cent, and in the current year it would be around
5.6 per cent.
• With the new government’s initiatives, we believe the growth rate next year would be even more,” said Ratna Sahay,
Deputy Director (Strategy,
Planning and Coordination),
Monetary and Capital Markets
Department, IMF.
• The IMF also said, in India lack of infrastructure was a major hurdle for developmental activities, which the government needed to address for speedy growth.
• Commenting on the ‘Make in
India’ move by the government,
Ms. Ratna said, “It will create jobs, and will generate tax revenues. This will help in reducing the fiscal deficit.’’ The
IMF also said the growth outlook was good.
• However, the country needed more reforms to fuel the growth.
“Though there are positive signs, there are lot of reforms needed to bring inflation and

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GST, to get rid of subsidies on fertilizers as well as food and reduce corruption.
PSBs can issue equity with differential voting rights:
Arundhati Bhattacharya

• With the government indicating that it would not continue to fund public sector banks
(PSBs), State Bank of India
(SBI) Chairman Arundhati
Bhattacharya said they could look at issuing shares with differential voting rights to raise funds to meet the Basel-III capital adequacy norms.
• “The writing on the wall is very clear...they (PSBs) have to think of differential voting rights. It is time to lay out some kind of roadmap on how much the banks need to do and how much support it would get,” she said while talking to reporters on the sidelines of a conference. • The government allowed PSBs to raise up to Rs.1.60 lakh crore from markets by diluting government holding to 52 per cent in phases so as to meet the
Basel III norms.

• Pitching for consolidation in the banking sector, Ms.
Bhattacharya said it was important to have 3-4 major banks. According to Ms.
Bhattacharya, “it is better to merge good banks with good banks.” • “The news that the government has allowed PSBs to bring down the government stake to
52 per cent kicks off the next round of reforms... because for the first time, clear signal has been given (to PSBs) to source capital from the market.
• “The big daddy back there is not going to be around to give them capital as and when they need. If they need to be competitive and want to grow, then they definitely need to look at other places for more capital,” Ms. Bhattacharya added. •





‘Civilised’ tax regime to attract investors: Jaitly
• India will soon raise the foreign investment cap in the insurance sector and work for making the tax regime “civilised” to attract overseas investments, Finance
Minister Arun Jaitley said, while exuding confidence of achieving 6 per cent growth next fiscal.
• Mr. Jaitley was replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha on
Supplementary Demands for
Grants for an additional expenditure of over Rs. 12,500 crore. However, the actual cash outgo would be Rs. 500 crore.
India likely to improve economic growth in 2016: UN
• India’s economic growth is expected to improve to 6.3 per cent in 2016 with the country





leading economic recovery in
South Asia, according to a
United Nations report.
The UN World Economic
Situation and Prospects 2015
(WESP) report, launched, also said India is likely to make progress in implementing economic policy reforms and help provide support to business and consumer confidence. It said global economic growth is forecast to continue increasing over the next two years, despite legacies from the financial crisis continuing to weigh on growth, and the emergence of new challenges, including geopolitical conflicts such as in Ukraine, and the
Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The global economy is expected to grow 3.1 per cent in 2015 and 3.3 per cent in
2016, compared with an estimated growth of 2.6 per cent for 2014, when the pace of expansion has been moderate and uneven.
It said India, which is estimated to record a 5.4 per cent economic growth in 2014, will see GDP growth improving to
5.9 per cent next year and 6.3 per cent in 2016.
Economic growth in South Asia is also set to gradually pick up from an estimated 4.9 per cent in 2014 to 5.4 per cent in 2015 and 5.7 per cent in 2016.

Inflation declined to 4.38% in
November
• Declining for the fifth consecutive month, retail inflation dropped to 4.38 per cent in November, the lowest since the new series of data was introduced in January,

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2012, on the back of high-base effect of last year and softening of prices of food items.
• The Consumer Price Indexbased inflation or retail inflation stood at 5.52 per cent in
October, while it was 11.16 per cent in November, 2013.
Industrial production measured by IIP contracts by 4.2% in
October
• The factory output as measured by the Index of Industrial
Production (IIP) contracted by
4.2 per cent in October, on account of de-growth in the manufacturing sector and poor demand for consumer goods.
• The factory output had declined by 1.2 per cent in the same month last year. For
September, it was revised to 2.8 per cent from the provisional estimates of 2.5 per cent released last month.
• During the April-October period, the IIP rose 1.9 per cent against 0.2 per cent in same period of last fiscal.
• “The fall in manufacturing growth in October is disturbing, more so because it is broad-based and not limited to a few sectors,” FICCI
President Sidharth Birla said.
• It not only reflected slowdown in investments but also the deep rooted slackness in consumer demand which required bringing down the interest rates urgently, he added. • Industry experts expressed concern over the fact that despite being a festive month, growth of consumer goods, especially durables, has been negative in October.
• “Sixteen of the 22 industries
32

registered negative growth rates. It is disappointing more so because October is one of the peak spending months when rural incomes increase and two festivals should have prompted consumer spending.
• It does appear more was spent on gold (imports have increased),” CARE Ratings said.
Manufacturing output, which constitutes over 75 per cent of the index, contracted by 7.6 per cent in October, compared to a dip of 1.3 per cent in the same month a year ago. TCS targets to exceed 55,000 hiring this fiscal
• TCS, said it was undertaking a performance-based workforce restructuring, but it was not a
‘retrenchment’ exercise and the company might exceed its target of hiring 55,000 new professionals this fiscal.
• Without giving any specific numbers for employees to be affected by this ‘continuous’ restructuring process, the HR head of the company also said that “it is not that everyone being relieved is a bad performer.” • “It is not a special process. It is a continuous process,” TCS
EVP and Head (Global) HR
Ajoyendra Mukherjee told reporters. • His comments follow reports about TCS undertaking a significant performancerelated restructuring of its workforce, which may also lead to some employees being asked to leave the company.
• Downplaying it as a ‘regular exercise’, Mr. Mukherjee also said the company was on track

to meet its gross hiring target of
55,000 employees in the current fiscal ending March 31,
2015, and may even exceed it.
• He said that the company has a campus offer target of 35,000 people and it has already made over 31,000 offers and more than 3000 offers would be made during the fiscal. “This
(restructuring) is nothing new what we are doing.
Switzerland’s gold exports to
India marked near Rs. 1 trillion in 2014
• Amid concerns of bullion trade being used for routing of black money, Switzerland ’s gold exports to India have risen further and fast approaching
Rs. 1 trillion mark for the entire
2014.
• The Swiss gold exports to India stood at over 2.8 billion Swiss francs (over Rs. 18,000 crore) in October, up from about 2.2 billion Swiss francs in the previous month, shows the latest data from the Swiss
Customs Administration.
• This has taken the total Swiss gold exports to India since
January this year to 14.2 billion
Swiss francs (nearly Rs. 93,000 crore), as per the data compiled by Switzerland’s cross-border trade monitoring agency. • This surge in gold shipments has made India the largest destination for the yellow metal exports from Switzerland.
• There are concerns that gold trade could be a possible route for laundering of unaccounted wealth, suspected to be stashed by Indians in Swiss banks, although there has been no official word from either

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• The
Supreme
Courtconstituted SIT, however, said in its latest report on black money that a dedicated institutional mechanism needs to be put in place to examine
“mismatch between export/ import data with corresponding import/export data of other countries on at least a quarterly, if not a monthly basis.” • The SIT said that this suggestion has been made by the
Financial Action Task Force
(FATF), while citing the Data
Analysis and Research for Trade
Transparency System adopted by US, to control over/under invoicing to some extent.

• Since the global economy was still weak, he argued, it would be much less likely to be able to absorb a substantial additional amount of imports in the foreseeable future.
• “Export-led growth will not be as easy for India as it was for

the Asian economies that took that path before.”
• He also cautioned the Modi government against picking a particular sector such as manufacturing for encouragement, simply because it had worked well for
China.

SpiceJet officials meeting the DGCA

Incentivise domestic savings to boost economy: RBI Chief
• Reserve Bank Governor
Raghuram Rajan cautioned the government on Prime Minister
Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ mantra, suggesting that India would have to look for regional and domestic demand for growth — to make in India primarily for India.
• Dr. Rajan said that at this stage, an exports-push strategy for growth would be ineffective; as the industrial world stagnated, many emerging markets were rethinking their export-led growth model, he said. • “There is a danger when we discuss ‘Make in India’ of assuming it means a focus on manufacturing, an attempt to follow the export-led growth path that China followed … But the world as a whole is unlikely to be able to accommodate another export-led China,” Dr.
Rajan said.

• SpiceJet has indicated that its promoters are backing the airline that is apparently facing financial problems.
• The airline’s officials met the
Secretary, Civil Aviation, and the Director-General of Civil
Aviation to pass this message.
This is the second time this week that SpiceJet officials are meeting the DGCA.
• The low-cost carrier’s chief operating officer, Sanjiv
Kapoor, refused to comment on the meeting. On his Twitter page, he posted the message:
“@SKapoorSpiceJet:
Apologies again to all our customers affected by our temporary ongoing challenges.
We will do our best to win back your loyalty and support.”

• “The falling global crude prices will work to our benefit if we set things right soon,” said a source at SpiceJet, who wished anonymity. “We will come back soon. We will come out with an update in a day or two.” • On the other side, the Travel
Agents Association of India
(TAAI) sent out an e-mail to its members saying its airline council was in touch with the
SpiceJet management.
• “This morning, we had a conference call with Shilpa Bhatia, senior vice-president and head of sales,” TAAI said in an e-mail.
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• They have stated that there is a financial crunch, but not something that will shut down the airline.” When TAAI voiced its concerns, SpiceJet assured it that all refunds due to cancellations and waivers would be granted, looking at the situation.
CII demanded clarity and stability in tax policy
• In pre-budget consultations with Revenue Secretary
Shaktikanta Das and other officers of the Finance Ministry, the Confederation of Indian
Industry (CII) emphasised the need for the government to implement steps for reviving the economy.
• It also demanded a bunch of tax concessions. The CII demanded simplicity, clarity and stability in the tax policy regime and technology based e-governance initiatives on procedural simplification at the meeting, according to a press release. • To boost the investor sentiment, the CII demanded that the government take the
‘Make in India’ initiative to a new level and galvanise the economy to a higher and inclusive growth path.
• The CII team was led by past
President Arun Bharat Ram. He stated that the CII was deliberating in a constructive manner on the possible solutions for fundamental design issues on Goods and
Services Tax (GST) and asked for opportunities for regular interaction with the officials dealing with the reform.
• The industry chamber recommended that the
34

government remove anomalies in customs duty and halve the
Central Sales Tax rate from 2 per cent to 1 per cent to compensate for the delay in the implementation of the GST.
• It also demanded that the government extend the excise duty concessions on certain goods to March 15, 2015. In the
Union budget 2014-15, this reduction in the range of 2 per cent-6 per cent was provided up to December 31, 2014.
• It also demanded that investment allowance should be extended to the infrastructure sector to further spur investment activity in the economy. Global demand for OPEC crude in 2015 will be less
• Global demand for OPEC crude in 2015 will be less than expected and far below its current output, the group said, pointing to a hefty supply surplus without OPEC output cuts or a slowdown in the U.S. shale boom. • In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) forecast demand for the group’s oil will drop to 28.92 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2015, down 280,000 bpd from its previous expectation and over one million bpd less than it is now producing.
• The report follows OPEC’s decision last month not to prop up prices by cutting output.
Top exporter Saudi Arabia urged fellow members to combat the growth in U.S. shale, which needs relatively high prices to be economic and has been eroding OPEC’s market share. • OPEC’s November 27 decision to retain its output target of 30 million bpd sent prices plunging. Brent crude was trading below $66 a barrel, close to a five-year low and down more than 40 per cent since June.
• The report cut its forecast for growth in global demand in
2015 due to a weaker outlook for Europe and Asia, and predicted higher supply growth from shale and other non-OPEC sources, although it said this may be slowed if prices stay weak.
• “Should the current fall in crude prices continue over a longer period, it will impact the nonOPEC supply forecast for 2015, especially anticipated growth in tight crude,” OPEC’s report said, using another term for shale oil.
• For now though, OPEC’s report indicates that, with OPEC pumping 30.05 million bpd in
November, according to secondary sources cited by the report, there will be a surplus of 1.13 million bpd in 2015, and
1.83 million bpd in the first half.
WTO rules against the U.S. in steel dispute with India

• The World Trade Organization
(WTO) has ruled against the
U.S. imposing high duty on imports of certain Indian steel products, an order hailed by
India as a ‘significant victory’

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that will help domestic manufacturers and exporters.
The Appellate Body of the
WTO has ruled that the high duty imposed by the U.S. on the certain Indian steel imports was ‘inconsistent’ with various provisions of the Agreement on
Subsidies and Countervailing
Measures (ASCM).
“India has achieved a significant victory at the WTO, as the Appellate Body held that the Countervailing Duty (CVD) measures imposed by the U.S. against certain hot-rolled carbon steel flat products are inconsistent with various provisions of the ASCM,” an official statement said.
The move would definitely help domestic manufacturers, which had been suffering due to inconsistent practices by the
U.S. Department of Commerce, it added.
The implication of this ruling is that the U.S. has to amend its domestic law to be WTO compliant. “It has significant trade impact for India as out of the current 10 products on which U.S. has imposed CVD, about seven products suffer from the same inconsistency,” it said.

India sees ‘clear pick-up’ in growth momentum says OECD
• Reflecting improved prospects,
India is the only major economy seeing a ‘clear pick up in growth momentum’ while mixed trends are predicted for developed countries, according to Paris-based think tank Organisation for Economic
Co-operation
and
Development (OECD).
• The OECD said growth would









continue to lose momentum in
Europe. For other major economies, the outlook is for stable growth momentum.
The readings, for the month of
October, are based on composite leading indicator
(CLI), which is designed to anticipate turning points in economic activity relative to trend. “India is the only major economy where the CLI points to a clear pick-up in growth momentum,” OECD said in a statement. The country’s CLI rose to 99.6 in October from 99.4 in the previous month. Last month, the
OECD said the Indian economy was expected to see an average growth of 6.7 per cent over the 2015-19 period, while a further boost would depend on reform plans of the government. In October, the International
Monetary Fund and the World
Bank projected 5.6 per cent growth rate for India this year, citing renewed confidence in the market due to a series of economic reforms pursued by the new government.

Reliance Group sells multiplex business to Carnival
• Anil Ambani led Reliance
Group has sold its multiplex business to South India based
Carnival Group in the largest ever deal in this space.
• The transaction will reduce
Reliance Capital’s overall debt by Rs 700 crore and is part of
Reliance Capital’s strategy to exit minority investments.
• The deal will make Carnival the third largest multiplex operator with nationwide presence and









over 300 screens, a statement said. The firms did not disclose the exact value of the deal.
The deal struck between
Carnival Cinemas and Reliance
MediaWorks, will exclude
IMAX Wadala (Mumbai) and some other properties worth Rs
200 crore, the statement added. Reliance Capital is the parent firm of Reliance MediaWorks, which operates one of the largest cinema chains, under the brand ‘BIG Cinemas’ with over 250 screens pan-India.
Sam Ghosh, CEO, Reliance
Capital, said: “We are delighted to begin a long term relationship with the rapidly growing Carnival Group, through the sale of the multiplexes business of
Reliance Media Works to them.”
Carnival Group is targeting to achieve “1,000 screens by the year 2017”, said its chairman
Shrikant Bhasi. The proposed transaction is subject to necessary statutory and other approvals and is expected to be closed within the current financial year.

Mid-Year Economic Review projects 5.5% growth: Jaitley
• Despite the sprouting of green shoots, a robust recovery is still to fully take hold, says the MidYear Economic Analysis for the current year, tabled in
Parliament by Union Finance
Minister Arun Jaitley.
• The Review projects 2014-15 growth will be 5.5 per cent.
India faces challenges that are mostly domestic, says the
Review.
• India grew at sub-5 per cent for the last two years. Growth

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36

bounced to 5.7 per cent in the
April-June quarter before slipping again to 5.3 per cent in the July-September quarter.
We see some signs of private consumption stirring, Chief
Economic Advisor (CEA)
Arvind Subramanian told reporters after the Review was tabled. “What we are yet to see decisively is private investment picking up.”
The Review says that overindebtedness in India’s corporate sector is amongst the highest in the world. This, it says, exerts a drag on future investment and spending. The public private partnership model has been less than successful, the Review says.
“First, the backlog of stalled projects needs to be cleared more expeditiously…But even if the backlog is cleared, there is going to be a flow challenge: attracting new private investment, especially in infrastructure.” With private sector investments uncertain, Dr. Subramanian said, public investment itself could be an engine of growth over the medium-term but not in the short run as government’s revenues are likely to fall short of the budget’s ‘optimistic’ targets. The Review said too that the
Centre faces a ‘major challenge’ in achieving its fiscal deficit target of 4.1 per cent of GDP in the current year. Dr.
Subramanian, however, said the government is committed to achieving it and is considering all measures including spending cuts.

SpiceJet is all to change hands

• Embattled airline company
SpiceJet is all set to change hands. • With the Marans of Sun Group not keen on investing more,
Ajay Singh, one of the original co-promoters of SpiceJet is understood to be doing due diligence of the company with a view to acquire a fresh stake along with a couple of financial investors. • An official privy to the development said that the data room had been opened for due diligence. GreenDust.com planning to expend global presence
• Refurbished goods retailer
Reverse Logistics Corps, which operates GreenDust.com, is planning to expand its global footprint by entering Africa,
South Asia and CIS. It has already started a pilot in Dubai, the U.S., and Hong Kong.
• “We are planning to expand our presence in the emerging markets. Returns and refurbished market are a $500billion opportunity worldwide, and we want to be the Alibaba of this space,” said GreenDust founder and CEO Hitendra
Chaturvedi.
• Founded in 2008, GreenDust refurbishes damaged or defective products and sells through its online channel and

offline franchisee. The company sells products under three categories such as end of life products, factory seconds and refurbished products at a discounted price.
• “We started with consumer appliances, mobile phones, laptops and computers.
However, looking at the growth of the e-commerce sector, we believe that we can sell anything that is sold through ecommerce,” added Mr.
Chaturvedi.
• The company had recently partnered e-commerce companies such as Flipkart,
Snapdeal and Amazon to manage their reverse supply chain. The company, which expects a revenue of over
Rs.1,000 crore this year, is planning to expand its reach.
GoAir offers discount on fares, lowest at Rs 1,469 for travel next year
• The Wadia Group-promoted budget carrier GoAir said it has put 1.7 million seats up for sale, offering fares as low as Rs. 1,469 for travel next year with a fiveday booking period, to stimulate demand during the lean period.
• The special offer is available on flights across the GoAir network for a travel period between
January 1 and March 31, the airline said. The bookings under the offer can be made between December 21 and
December 25, it said.
• “The January-March quarter is traditionally a lean quarter... The purpose of introducing these fares is to make air travel affordable during the period,”
GoAir chief executive Giorgio

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De Roni told PTI in New
Delhi.
• Stating that lowering of ticket prices was not to trigger a fare war in the domestic skies, Mr.
De Roni said, “It is not an offer on lowest price or the cheapest price but to make it affordable and more attractive during the lean period.”
• GoAir is committed to offer the affordable fares that allows it to deliver a sustainable result, Mr.
De Roni said, adding “we can grow only when we are profitable and develop our network and the fleet.”
• The airline wants to be consistent with its pricing strategy, he said. The Mumbaibased airline operates across
22 destinations in the country with a fleet of 19 Airbus A320s.
SEBI barred 260 entities for suspected money laundering

• In its biggest ever crackdown for suspected tax evasion and laundering of black money through stock trading platforms, the Securities and
Exchange Board of India barred 260 entities, including individuals and companies, from the securities markets.
• While SEBI would further probe these cases, it has also decided to refer the matter to the I-T Department, the
Enforcement Directorate, the
Financial Intelligence Unit, among other agencies, for

necessary actions on their part.
• Through two separate interim orders, SEBI said that these 260 entities would be restrained from accessing the securities market and from buying, selling or dealing in securities, either directly or indirectly, with immediate effect till further directions. • It has also asked stock exchanges and the depositories to ensure that all its directions are strictly enforced. While 152 entities have been barred in one case relating to an entity, named First
Financial Services Ltd, another
108 entities have faced the action in a case related to
Radford Global Limited.
• The action comes at a time when the government has sharpened its focus on unearthing black money stashed abroad and within the country, while SEBI also recently tightened its surveillance of shell companies
• In the first case, the suspected dealings took place on the stock market for almost two years till March 31, 2014, while the second case relates to a period of little more than a year starting January, 2013.
Petroleum products brought under GST
• Apart from subsuming various
Central indirect taxes and levies and State taxes, the
Constitution (122 Amendment)
Bill, introduced in the Lok
Sabha, confers simultaneous power to Union and State legislations to legislate on
Goods and Service Tax (GST).
• All goods and services, except alcoholic liquor for human









consumption, will be brought under the purview of GST.
Petroleum and petroleum products have also been constitutionally brought under
GST.
However, it has also been provided that petroleum products shall not be subject to the levy of GST till notified at a future date on the recommendation of the GST
Council.
The present taxes levied by the
States and the Centre on petroleum and petroleum products, i.e., Sales Tax/VAT,
CST and Excise duty only, will continue to be levied in the interim period.
Responding to the concerns aired by members, Union
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took them down memory lane to 2006 when it was mooted by the UPA in its Budget and also narrated efforts made by the present government to build a consensus on what he has often billed as the “single most important tax reform after
1947.”
Stating that GST was “originally conceived by Vajpayeeji”, he pointed out that it was pushed by both the UPA Finance
Ministers. “The object behind the GST is to have a seamless transfer of goods and services across the country. Let there be no tax on tax,” Mr Jaitley said.

SEBI makes fresh bid to find
‘Sahara investors’
• In a fresh effort to locate Sahara investors eligible for refunds, regulator Securities and
Exchange Board of India
(Sebi) has asked bondholders to submit their claims by

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38

January along with necessary proof of their investments.
The latest exercise follows a similar attempt made by Sebi in August, wherein the eligible bondholders were asked to submit their refund claims to the regulator by September 30,
2014.
Sebi said it received 4,900 refund claims during that exercise from the bondholders of two Sahara companies —
Sahara India Real Estate Corp
Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara
Housing Investment Corp Ltd
(SHICL), which had raised over
Rs 24,000 crore from about three crore investors.
“In the interest of those bondholders of Saharas who could not submit their refund claims before the last date, this advertisement is being issued to enable those bondholders to submit their refund claims,”
Sebi said.
The Supreme Court had asked
Sebi to facilitate refund to the bondholders of the two

companies in connection with a long-running dispute involving raising of funds to the tune of over Rs 24,000 crore from investors across the country. Existing account enough to avail
‘Jan Dhan’ benefits: govt.

• Government said persons already having bank account need not to open a fresh one to avail benefits of the Pradhan
Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
(PMJDY).
• “A person who is already having a bank account with any bank need not have to open a separate account under
PMJDY. He/she will just have to get issued a RuPay card in his

existing account to get benefit of accidental insurance,” a
Finance Ministry statement said. • The overdraft facility can be extended in existing account, it said. Accidental insurance of
Rs 1 lakh will be available to all
RuPay card holders between
18-70 years. They will need to use their RuPay card once in 45 days of receipt of the card to get the benefit.
• The accidental claim intimation should be given to bank within
30 days from the date of accident, it added. For life insurance coverage, one person per family will get a single cover of Rs 30,000 on one card only despite having multiple accounts/cards.
• “The claim of Rs 30,000 is payable to the nominee of account holder who need to submit necessary documents to the nodal branch of the concerned bank,” the Ministry said. http://www.iasexamportal.com
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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
World’s oldest computer is even older than scientists thought

space capsule Orion for a test flight around Earth was delayed due to gusty winds at the launch site.


• Antikythera Mechanism, the world’s oldest computer, is even 100 years older than scientists previously thought, say Argentinian researchers.
• Discovered from a Roman cargo shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera, the bronze device was used to track the movements of Mercury, Venus,
Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
• The device provides a wealth of astronomical information and offers practically the only possibility for a close astronomical dating of the mechanism, the New York
Times reported.
• The device was discovered in a wooden box and consists of bronze dials, gears and cogs.
• The complex device, made up of up to 40 bronze cogs and gears, was used in ancient times to track the cycles of the solar system. On the back were two further dials displaying information about lunar cycles and eclipses.
Delay in NASA’s Orion spaceship test flight
• The launch of NASA’s deep-

• Liftoff of the United Launch
Alliance Delta 4 Heavy rocket and Orion capsule from Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station in
Florida had been targeted for
7:05 a.m. EST (1205 GMT).
• “There is high optimism that we’ll be able to launch today,” said NASA launch commentator Michael Curie.
• Launch was delayed first by a boat that wandered in the restricted zone beneath the rocket’s intended flight path and then by gusty winds at the seaside spaceport.
Google launches a new application for SMBs
• In a move to create easier online presence for the small and medium businesses
(SMBs), Google has launched a new application, Google My
Business.
• The new product is designed to work across desktop and mobile devices, and will enable
SMBs to create and update their business info on various
Google products such as







search, maps and Google plus from one place for free. The users can use the service in
Hindi and English.
Commenting on the new initiative, Google India Head
(SMB sales) Suryanarayana
Kodukulla said: “India is a strategic market for Google, and we are committed to invest in solutions that cater to the needs of SMBs in India.”
“As part of our Digitising India mission, we are introducing this new mobile-based product
Google My Business that will help Indian SMBs create and manage their Internet presence and help them connect with potential customers online,’’ he added. According to the company, globally over two million businesses use Google’s advertising platform to find potential buyers on Internet.
On growth of Internet in the country, he said, “India is the third largest Internet market.
To get the first hundred million
Internet users it took us ten years, but the second hundred million came in a span of two years that was pretty fast, more interesting thing is in the next one one-and-half years we will get the next hundred million users.” Benefits from music for the autistic: study
• Paired with an impaired language development, children with autism can have

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a profound sensitivity to music: a good melodic memory, a superior ability at timbre processing, and a distinctive emotional response to song.
Taking this cue, neuroscientists at the National Brain Research
Centre (NBRC) in Gurgaon set out to see if music can “rescue” speech deficits in children with autism. The results of neuroimaging revealed that music — and the sung word — lights up parts of the right hemisphere of their brain just as much as it do for a child without autism.
Predictably, however, there was a diminished response to the spoken word, the researchers report in the journal Autism Research.
For the study scientists mapped the brain activities of
22 children with autism as they heard spoken words, sung words and piano notes. They then compared these responses to “typical” children.
When typical children listen to spoken words they primarily activate two regions in the left hemisphere — the Inferior
Frontal Gyrus (IFG) and the
Superior Temporal Gyrus (STG)
— that are involved in language perception and understanding.

Ability of HIV to cause AIDS slowing found study

• A research study has found that
HIV – and as a consequence
40









AIDS — is slowly becoming less aggressive in parts of Africa.
These are the significant findings of a study conducted by Professor Philip Goulder and his team at the Nuffield
Department of Medicine at
Oxford University that have been published in the journal
Proceedings of National
Academy of Sciences.
Based on a study of about 2,000 pregnant women in Botswana and South Africa, the team has demonstrated that the weakening of the immunodeficiency virus is due to its rapid evolution and ability to mutate over time.
In Botswana the epidemic took off in the 1980s, a decade before it hit South Africa.
“Overall we are bringing down the ability of HIV to cause AIDS so quickly,” Prof. Goulder told
Reuters.
Scientists were aware that a gene known as HLA-B*57 in a person acted as a protection against the HIV virus. The new study finds that the virus has adapted to the gene, which therefore no longer offers protection. Artificial intelligence could eliminate human race:
Hawking
• Efforts to develop artificial intelligence to create thinking machines pose a threat to the very existence of human race, famed British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking warned. • “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” the 72-year-old cosmologist and author said

when asked about a revamp of the technology he uses to communicate, which involves a basic form of artificial intelligence (AI).
• Hawking, who has a motor neuron disease, is using a new system developed by Intel to speak. • Machine learning experts from the British company Swiftkey were also involved in its creation. Their technology learns how the professor thinks and suggests the words he might want to use next.
• Hawking says the primitive forms of artificial intelligence developed so far have already proved very useful, but he fears the consequences of creating something that can match or surpass humans.
Hayabusa2 launched to explore how earth was formed

• A Japanese space explorer was launched on a six-year roundtrip journey to blow a crater in a remote asteroid and collect samples from inside in hopes of gathering clues to the origin of earth.
• The explorer is expected to reach the asteroid in 2018 and spend about 18 months studying it before returning in
2020.
• The research includes shooting a projectile into the asteroid to blast open a crater so the explorer can collect rock samples from inside.

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• Asteroids can provide evidence not available on earth about the birth of the solar system and its evolution.
Japan’s space agency said
Hayabusa2 will explore the origin of seawater and how the planet earth was formed.
Slimmer & sleeker Google Glass soon: report
• The new version of Intelpowered Google Glass may look slimmer and sleeker than its earlier version.
• The exteriors of the new device also add a textured area to the touch-sensitive side panel where non-voice interactions are performed, according to media reports.
• The new Google Glass is expected to be unveiled next year. The Google patent describes a sleeker version of
Google Glass that should still draw plenty of public attention.
• Google Glass is presently available for $1,500, though it is speculated that the final retail version will sell for a lot less.
Shela River route closed after
Sundarbans oil spill

• The Bangladesh government has closed Shela River route to allvessels after the sinking of an oil tanker that led to a massive oil spill in the Sundarbans mangrove forest.
• Carrying 357,664 l of furnace oil, the tanker ‘OT Southern Star

7’ went down after being hit by another vessel on the Shela at Mrigmari in the Sundarbans
Chandpai range three days ago.
• The massive oil spill from the sunken tanker has put the biodiversity and ecology of the world’s biggest mangrove forest, a world heritage site since 1997, at risk.
• Forest officials suspect that all of the furnace oil in the sunken tanker has already spread into the rivers and canals of the
Sundarbans.
Mosquito coils, incense sticks contain carcinogens: expert
• Inhaling smoke emitted by mosquito coils and incense sticks is not only harmful to the lungs, but can also cause cancer, said Sundeep Salvi, director of Chest Research
Foundation, Pune.
• Dr. Salvi, who spoke on ‘Indoor pollution and asthma’ at the
48th National Conference of
Indian College of Allergy,
Asthma and Applied Immunology at JSS Hospital, claimed that research by the foundation had shown that mosquito coils and incense sticks contain carcinogens, while studies in Taiwan and China had established their link with lung cancer.
• “Burning one mosquito coil in a closed room amounts to smoking roughly
100
cigarettes,” Dr. Salvi said.
• While the emission from the burning of incense sticks, used commonly during religious occasions in India, is toxic as it contains lead, iron and manganese, he said the pesticide ‘pyrethrin’ in mosquito coils is harmful for the lungs. • The no-smoke coils, marketed

by the companies, may have less particulate matter, but they emit a high level of carbon monoxide, which is unsafe for the lungs, he added.
• Though studies are yet to be conducted on mosquito repellent mats and liquidators, he said the gaseous pollution they cause are ‘a strong irritant for the lungs’.
• Dr. Salvi said the foundation had recently conducted research in 22 villages near
Pune, which showed that 65 per cent of the households keep both the doors and windows closed while using mosquito coils, which accentuates the effect of inhaling toxic fumes.
Stem cells in eye can restore vision: scientists

• In what promises to be an alternative to corneal transplantation in treating blindness caused from damage to cornea, scientists from city-based L.V. Prasad Eye
Institute
(LVPEI) in collaboration with U.S. scientists claimed to have discovered potent stem cells in the eye that possess the ability to restore lost sight.
• The findings were published in Science Translational
Medicine. Dr. Sayan Basu,
LVPEI consultant corneal surgeon, said he along with other scientists at the laboratory of Prof. James
L.Funderburgh, Professor of

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Ophthalmology, University of
Pittsburgh School of Medicine, tested stem cells obtained from human eyes on an experimental model of corneal scarring. Satellite technology to assess coral reef health

probability of bleaching.
• Once they start bleaching, the corals expel the symbiotic organism (zooxanthellae) from which they derive food and die as a result. “Corals act as breeding and feeding ground for a variety of fishes.
• Corals are the forests of oceans,” said Dr. T. Srinivasa
Kumar, Head of the advisory service and satellite oceanography group.
Mountains of plastic waste floating in world’s oceans

• High-end satellite technology is coming to the aid of protecting earth’s largest biological structures — the coral reefs which have taken millions of years to form and are declining at alarming rates worldwide. • Coral bleaching is one of the main reasons for increased deterioration of reef health.
Corals are sensitive to changes in temperature and this aspect has come in handy for scientists to forewarn about the possibility of coral bleaching.
• When exposed to higher temperatures over an extended period of four to five weeks, the corals bleach and this in turn affects the marine ecosystem. • Scientists at the Indian National
Centre for Ocean Information
Services (INCOIS) are using satellite technology to glean data on Sea Surface
Temperatures (SST).
• Based on an average temperature for a particular period, they assess if the coral reefs are facing thermal stress and forewarn about the
42

• The results of a study by Marcus
Eriksen (the first author) from the Five Gyres Institute,
California, are published
(December 11) in the journal PLOS ONE.
• The results are based on 24 expeditions undertaken between 2007 and 2013 across all the five sub-tropical gyres — North and South
Pacific Oceans, North and
South Atlantic Oceans and the
Indian Ocean — coastal
Australia, Bay of Bengal and the
Mediterranean Sea.
Nine new frog species add to
Western Ghats inventory

• Believe it or not, nearly 269,000 tonnes of plastic comprising an estimated 5.25 trillion plastic particles are floating in the world’s oceans, including the
Bay of Bengal.
• This estimate does not take into account the amount of plastic waste found in the shorelines, on the seabed, suspended in the water column and that consumed by marine organisms.
• The plastic particles are found in three size ranges — microplastic (less than 4.75 mm), mesoplastic (4.75-200 mm) and macroplastic (above
200 mm). The microplastic particles alone are in two size classes — 0.33-1.00 mm and
1.01-4.75 mm.
• Of the 269,000 tonnes of floating plastic waste, the larger plastic items are predominant (an estimated
233,000 tonnes).

• The inventory of amphibian diverstiy in the Western Ghats has just got longer with the discovery of nine new species of bush frogs in this mountain range. • Some as tiny as a thumbnail, other brightly coloured or plain slimy, each of these creatures adds important insights into the evolutionary biodiversity of the
Western Ghats, says Kartik
Shanker of the Indian Institute of Science and co-author of a paper published in international journal Zootaxa.
• Researchers trekked through the Western Ghats during the rainy season (when bush frogs are most active) training their ear to tell tale bush frog calls and scouring tree trunks for them. http://www.iasexamportal.com
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• Bush frogs are miniature frogs distributed throughout south and southeast Asia.
• They then used genetics, geography, morphology and acoustics to separate the frogs into “lineages” (descendants of a common ancestor that lived a million or more years ago).
• There could be at least 15 new species of bush frogs waiting to be discovered adding to the over 50 species known from the
Western Ghats, said Dr.
Shanker.
India would have new comprehensive climate legislation: Javadekar

• Union minister of state for environment Prakash Javadekar said that India would have new comprehensive climate legislation in the next budget session of Parliament.
• Speaking at an event organised by The Globe Legislators
Organisation (Globe India) , Mr
Javadekar said there is the real issue of Climate finance.
• While the world has realised the dangers of climate change, the main issue is that the Green climate fund must become a reality. • From 2012, it was expected to start with $10 billion every year to reach $100 billion by 2020 and then continue with $ 100 billion per year. But today its just $9.7 billion.

• He said funds will be a key decision point in Lima and apart from that there is the issue of the Intended Nationally
Determined Contributions
(INDC)s.
• Things are very different from
Kyoto when the world was divided into the developing countries or the non annexe one and the annexe one countries which was the developed world.
• Now things had changed, he pointed out and every country has to take action and announce them. He predicted heated debates on Climate
Finance, INDCs and other key issues. • He referred to India’s targets for solar power and the scaling up of solar energy from 20 gigawatt(GW) to100 GW by
2022 for which an investment of $ 100 billion was made.
Modi, Mukesh Ambani amongst most searched personalities in
2014: Yahoo
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi and industrialist Mukesh
Ambani feature amongst the most searched personalities online this year, according to search engine Yahoo.
• According to the seventh edition of Yahoo India’s ‘Year in Review’, Prime Minister
Narendra Modi led the list of
‘High and Mighty? the Political
Top 10’ in 2014, followed by his aides Arun Jaitley (Finance and I&B Minister) and BJP
President Amit Shah.
• Home Minister Rajnath Singh,
Congress President Sonia
Gandhi, Railways Minister
Suresh Prabhu and BJP General
Secretary Ram Madhav have

also been named in the list.
• The review is based on users’ daily search habits and an editorial selection of what they read, recommended and shared most on Yahoo in India.
• “The slew of reforms and Modi’s efforts to improve diplomatic ties were of ongoing interest to
Yahoo users. ‘Make in India’ made it to the top of the list of
Biggest Financial Events of the
Year,” Yahoo said.
• Industrialist Mukesh Ambani made a second appearance at the No. 1 spot as the nation’s most influential people, followed by Tata Group boss
Cyrus Mistry and Gautam
Adani, Chief of Adani Group of
Industries.
• This year’s top finance newsmakers include Apple
CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft CEO
Satya Nadella, Infosys CEO and
MD Vishal Sikka, Flipkart’s
Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal and Snapdeal’s Rohit Bansal.
Google set to replace
‘CAPTCHAs’ with single click feature • Google is set to get rid of
CAPTCHA that forced users to confirm they are humans by typing in barely legible words and numbers, a report said.
• The service will now be replaced with a single click on sites that use Google’s reCAPTCHA service.
• The search engine giant is now introducing a new API text that will require users to just check a box that says, “I’m not a robot,” reported Tech Crunch.
• Google decided to trash the old Captchas because they weren’t that good at keeping robots at bay. The advanced

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Captchas with 99.8 per cent accuracy. New evidence of water on
Mars, NASA report
• Led by a team of scientists of
Indian-origin, NASA’s Curiosity rover has found new evidence of water on Mars, indicating that the planet most like Earth in the solar system was suitable for microbial life.
• Pictures and other data collected by NASA’s Mars rover
Curiosity show that rivers once flowed into a lake or lakes at the bottom of Gale Crate, an enormous dimple carved out by an incoming space rock.
• NASA said its interpretation of
Curiosity’s finds in Gale Crater suggests ancient Mars maintained a climate that could have produced long-lasting lakes at many locations on the
Red Planet.
• The American space agency said Mars’s Mount Sharp was built by sediments deposited in a large lake bed over tens of millions of years.
• “If our hypothesis for Mount
Sharp holds up, it challenges the notion that warm and wet conditions were transient, local, or only underground on Mars,” said Indian- American Ashwin
Vasavada, who is the Curiosity deputy project scientist at
NASA’s Jet Propulsion
Laboratory in Pasadena.
• The thickness of the rock outcrops indicates that the lake
— or lakes — must have sloshed around the bottom of 154-km
Gale Crater over the course of millions of years, though the lake probably dried up and then reappeared a number of times, the researchers said.
44

African Snail will make a comeback says experts

• The Giant African Snail, an invasive species that has established itself in large parts of the State, could re-emerge from its dormant state and pose a greater menace before the next wet spell, a consultative workshop held warned.
• The molluscs that have gone into aestivation (period of hibernation to escape summer heat and dryness) could come out in a big way during the summer showers and go on to expand their area of distribution, according to T.V.
Sajeev, Entomologist and Head,
Forest Health division, Kerala
Forest Research Institute
(KFRI), Peechi.
• Experts participating in the workshop cautioned against the use of chemicals to control the snail that has ravaged crops and posed a threat to native ecosystems in parts of the State.
• The workshop was organised by the Kerala State Council for
Science, Technology and
Environment (KSCSTE) and the
Centre for Innovation in
Science and Social Action.
• Highlighting the potential ecological damage caused by chemicals, speakers called for organic methods to check the biological invasion.
• In his presentation, Mr. Sajeev suggested nicotine-based

pesticides to keep a check on snail populations. He said studies had proved the efficacy of tobacco decoction to quell the marauding pest.
• The KFRI, he said, had initiated efforts to develop a plant extract with molluscicidal activity. “It is important to ensure that the control agent used against a pest does not become a problem in itself,” he said. Responsibility of developed
Countries Stressed: Climate
Summit

• Both India and the United
States stuck to their respective stand on the differentiation of countries according to the
Kyoto Protocol which had clear divisions for the developed countries as annexe one and developing countries as non annexe one.
• Union Minister of State for
Environment Prakash
Javadekar
said that t h i s differentiation should remain as it is.
• India is not in favour of rewriting the Protocol to change the categorisation of countries, he pointed out in a clear indication that historical responsibilities of the developed countries would continue to be a determining factor in funding adaptation and technology transfer. .
• The BASIC or Brazil, South

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Africa, India, and China group of countries will meet this week and he said the countries are all on the same page on several issues. They also agreed that the intended nationally determined contributions
(INDCs) should have a strong adaptation focus.
• “What carbon space have you released for us to grow?” Mr.
Javadekar asked, adding that adaptation needs to be an essential part of the INDCs of developed countries. BASIC also wants developed countries to make more meaningful financial contributions.
• Mr. Javadekar said India was opposed to an ex ante review process and he said countries needed the internal freedom to determine their domestic climate action needs.

however, using discarded batteries could make the approach far cheaper, according to MIT Technology
Review.
• “The most costly component in these systems is often the battery,” said Vikas Chandan, a research scientist at the lab’s

Smarter Energy Group, who led the project.
• “In this case, the most expensive part of your storage solution is coming from trash,” Mr.
Chandan said. The IBM group extracted individual storage units called cells to recombine them and form refurbished battery packs.

Bio-digester technology of
DRDO can give thrust to Swachh Bharat campaign

Discarded laptop batteries have enough life to power slums: Study

• Discarded laptop batteries still have enough life in them to power slums in India and other developing countries, a new study by IBM India has found.
• The research presented at a conference in San Jose, U.S., analysed a sample of discarded batteries and found 70 per cent had enough power to keep an LED light on for more than four hours a day for a year.
• According to researchers at
IBM India, many of the estimated 50 million lithium— ion laptop batteries discarded every year could provide electricity storage sufficient to light homes in developing countries. • It is possible to combine LED lights with solar panels and rechargeable batteries,

• A simple, low-cost technology for treating human waste – developed by the Defence
Research and Development
Organisation (DRDO) – can aid in putting an end to open defecation and manual scavenging in the country.
• The bio-digester technology of
DRDO has the potential to give a thrust to the ambitious Clean
India campaign, launched by
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
• A recent report “Progress on
Drinking Water and Sanitation, update 2014”, by WHO and
UNICEF, estimates that about
597 million people in India resort to open defecation, the highest in the world.
• The target of Swachh Bharat
Abhiyan is to provide each

household in India a toilet, both rural and urban, by 2019.
• The numbers alone are of lesser significance than the final disposal of human waste involved. At present the
DRDO’s technology is the best suited for Indian environment
– both physical and social.
• The technology, which uses bacteria to treat waste, was originally developed by the
Defence
Research
Development Establishment
(DRDE), Gwalior, to meet the sanitation requirements of soldiers serving in the high altitudes of Ladakh and
Siachen.
• The system is built to operate from minus 20 degrees to plus
50 degrees and is highly

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Test Health Apparatus
• Whenever there is an epidemics outbreak, the health apparatus is put to the test.
Most of the burden in tackling epidemics falls on the State since a majority of the population flock to the
Government Hospitals and
Primary Health Centres as not many can afford the huge costs of hospitalisation in private sector. • While the recent outbreak of
Avian Influenza or the bird flu in the neighbouring State poses little risk to men, since it does not easily infect human beings, the State Health Department has put all PHCs on Kerala border on alert. As it is a virusborne disease, it can spread quickly and infect a lot of people in a short time.
• Coimbatore is no stranger to epidemic outbreaks. Right from
Swine Flu to dengue and diarrhoea, the city has seen it all since it’s a major transmit point and also has an international airport.
• S. Somasundaram, Deputy
Director of Health Services, says while prevention measures are given importance, the department has also protocols
46

in place to contain outbreaks.
• The foremost priority was identifying the source of the outbreak such as mosquito breeding points for dengue.
These will be destroyed and awareness programme will be taken up among the public. The health department has put in place protocols for all diseases, he adds.
• Coimbatore Medical College
Hospital has created an isolation ward to treat epidemic outbreaks patients.
Further, another infectious disease ward has been created to quarantine patients with deadle disease such as Ebola, says the hospital Dean S.
Revwathy.
• The bio-technology and microbiology laboratories of the CMCH were equipped to detect most of the viral-borne disease. However, complicated cases such as ebola are sent to the National
Institute of Virology, Pune, for confirmation, she adds.
Mental health programme to focus on the elderly











• Over the last few years, a lot of the patients senior geriatrician
V.S. Natarajan has seen were in need of mental health services.
• “Financial, health and social problems – these are the issues the elderly have. With many elderly citizens living alone in both villages and cities as their

children migrate elsewhere for work, cases of depression and dementia are on the rise,” he said. To take care of the mental health needs of the elderly, an expansion of the district mental health programme
(DMHP) in Tamil Nadu has been planned, under which, psychiatrists in every district will be trained to take care of geriatric needs. Once a week, a special clinic for senior citizens will be held.
“We already have psychiatrists in 25 districts; in four others, psychiatrists are being posted and in the three others, the process has begun. Since we have the infrastructure and the resources and have a geriatric care policy in the State, we decided to link them and meet this essential need,” a senior health official said.
This apart, caregivers will also be trained, said the official.
“This is important as caregivers too need to be trained in the needs of the elderly.
This area is generally not looked into as most caregivers are family members, but we are planning to focus on this,” he said. “There has been an increase in longevity thanks to better healthcare, but the aim of the
DMHP’s geriatric care services is to improve the quality of life of senior citizens,” said State nodal officer,
C.
Ramasubramanian.

NASA’s Kepler spacecraft discovers Super-Earth
• NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft, which is carrying out a new mission, has made its

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‘super-Earth’ located 180 lightyears from Earth.

• Lead researcher Andrew
Vanderburg, a graduate student at the HarvardSmithsonian Center for
Astrophysics in Cambridge,
Massachusetts,
studied publicly available data collected by the spacecraft during a test of the new K2 mission in February 2014.
• This led to the discovery of a planet, HIP 116454b, which is
2.5 times the diameter of Earth and follows a close, nine-day orbit around a star that is smaller and cooler than our Sun, making the planet too hot for life as we know it. HIP 116454b and its star are 180 light-years from
Earth, toward the constellation
Pisces.
• The discovery was confirmed with measurements taken by the HARPS-North spectrograph of the Telescopio
Nazionale Galileo in the Canary
Islands, which captured the wobble of the star caused by the planet’s gravitational tug as it orbits.
• HARPS-N showed that the planet weighs almost 12 times as much as Earth. This makes
HIP 116454b a super-Earth, a class of planets that does not exist in our solar system. The exoplanet discovery was made after astronomers and engineers repurposed Kepler

for its new mission.
• “Last summer, the possibility of a scientifically productive mission for Kepler after its reaction wheel failure in its extended mission was not part of the conversation,” said Paul
Hertz, NASA’s astrophysics division director at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.



Microsoft pitches for ‘White-Fi’ technology to provide last mile broadband connectivity


• Microsoft is looking at starting a pilot project of its ‘White-Fi’ technology that uses the unused spectrum in frequencies used for broadcasting of television signals, and is likely to offer solution to tackle the problem of last mile broadband connectivity in the country.
• “In a country of massive change, digital divide can pose serious challenge. In all the initiatives by the government
— Digital India, Swachh Bharat or Jan-Dhan Yojna — technology has a role to play, and we want to be part of it,”
Microsoft India Chairman
Bhaskar Pramanik said, adding that at present, the company was talking to all stakeholders, including the government, for its ‘White-Fi’ technology to provide last mile connectivity.
• “We are waiting for licence to start our pilot of the technology. Where ever





spectrum is involved government permission in needed… We will start with
IIIT, Bangalore. We may start with the campus, but want to take it to rural areas to see how it works with all natural barriers,” he added.
The pilot, once started, is expected to last for about three months. Other countries where Microsoft has helped implement the technology are
Kenya, Singapore, the U.S. and
London.
The 200-600 MHz frequency is used for TV channels to carry data. In India, 93 per cent of this spectrum is not utilised.
‘White-Fi’ will use this vacant spectrum to provide connectivity.
In technology parlance, these unused spectrum spaces are called White Space, and many technology companies are looking at using this to provide free last mile internet access to users. Under the ‘Digital India’ initiative, the government plans to use the national optic fibre network project to deliver eservices to all corner of the country. INS Arihant (S2) may be of a limited utility submarine
• India’s first indigenous nuclear submarine, INS Arihant (S2), which made its first foray into the sea for mandatory trials ahead of induction into the
Navy, may in effect be a limited utility submarine, if not just a technology demonstrator.
• The ballistic missile nuclear submarine (SSBN), said to add the third dimension of the nuclear triad by giving India

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48

the vital survivable secondstrike capability, falls short of ensuring credible minimum deterrence, sources said.
Worse, the capacity of the reactor suggests that Arihant will hardly be available for operational patrol even for one-fifth of its lifespan, having to spend great amounts of time on transit to patrol areas.
“The effective fuel inventory of the submarine reactor is insufficient for longer duration deployment of the vessel far away from Indian shores, as it will necessitate frequent fuel changes that are timeconsuming,” said a Navy veteran, who was previously associated with the project.
Fuel change in a submarine reactor, he said is a protracted and cumbersome process requiring the hull of the submarine to be cut open.
The nuclear attack submarine
(SSN) that India operates on a
10-year lease from Russia, INS
Chakra (S1), for instance, is said to have reactor with a longer effective core life, granting it more time on patrol.”
T h e Arihant project — the first of the three SSBNs built by
India under its ATV [Advanced
Technology
Vessel] programme under the supervision the Prime Minister’s
Office and involving agencies and establishments such as the
DRDO, the Department of
Atomic Energy, the Submarine
Design Group of the
Directorate of Naval Design, besides companies such as L&T
— had been under wraps for decades until its high-voltage launch in 2009.
The 83-MW uranium reactor,

developed by the Bhabha
Atomic Research Centre
(BARC) with generous support from Russia, went critical in

August last year. The submarine should have entered service in
2012, as originally planned.

The pollutants causing discolouration of Taj Mahal identified

• Finally, the specific pollutants in the air that are responsible for the discolouration of the white marble of Taj Mahal have been identified. Particulate carbon and fine dust particles that are deposited on the marble are responsible for its browning. • Carbon is of two types — black carbon and light absorbing organic carbon or brown carbon. The results from a study were published a few days ago in the journal Environmental
Science & Technology.
• Besides studying air samples collected from the area, the authors used marble samples on the building to collect the pollutants. They also undertook computer modelling to study the colour change brought about by reflectance of the particles. • Both organic carbon and dust particles have the ability to preferentially absorb light in the

blue region of the spectrum.
The absorption of blue light by these pollutants in turn gives the marble surface a brown hue. • “There is one group of organic carbon which absorbs light in the blue region of the spectrum and this is called brown carbon.
• Discolouration is because of what is happening to reflectance, and reflectance is in turn influenced by these particles,” said Prof. S.N.
Tripathi from the Department of Civil Engineering and Centre for Environmental Science and
Engineering, Indian Institute of
Technology (IIT), Kanpur. He is one of the authors of the paper. • The ability of fine dust particles to produce the brown hue is a well known in North India.
According to him, it is the presence of haematite in the dust that is responsible for the brown hue.

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Coconut plucking, women take high Wages

• Even though Cuddalore district abounds in coconut trees, the price of coconuts is high. The reason trotted out for such market behaviour is the lack of manpower to pluck coconuts or the high wages the workers demand. • It has created a situation in which even the ripe coconuts are left either to rot on the trees or fall. It has become consternation for the coconut growers to find the workforce on time to harvest, not to speak of the plight of the households having a few coconut trees in their garden.
• To overcome the problem, the
M.S. Swaminatan Research
Foundation (MSSRF) has launched the “Friends of
Coconut Tree” programme for farmers and the unemployed youth. • R. Elangovan, Project Officer of the MSSRF, told that the six-day training programme organised under the aegis of the MSSRF
Village Resource Centre at
Parangipettai was intended to help the farmers and unemployed youth learn to climb trees to pluck the coconut. • To start with, 20 persons, including four women hailing from Killai, Nochikadu,
Manikkollai and Parangipettai,

joined the programme conducted recently.
• It was conducted in coordination with the Coconut
Development Board that provided the device for climbing the trees free of cost.
• It was a sort of an in-house training as the trainees would stay at the Parangipettai centre throughout the training programme. Besides mastering the tree climbing techniques, they were also taught yoga and pranayam. • Mr Elangovan said the Coconut
Development Board had made it mandatory that 30 per cent of the trainees ought to be women. It was a surprise that four women had come forward to enroll their names in the programme. Remote powered ‘solar ploughing machine’ developed by engineering students

• And the next issue is the vehicle’s availability to source it on time. In some villages, farmers book the vehicle in advance since it would be busy on rent for days together.
• These things can change — seems to be the concept of a group of engineering students from Mailam Engineering
College,
Tindivanam,
Villupuram district, Tamil Nadu which has devised a new solar powered plougher to till fields.
• Mr. I.Vetrivel, Mr.V.K.Arun, Mr.
K.Sivaraman
and
Mr.
V.Premnath comprise the group of final year electronics and communication engineering students who developed this device.
• “Basically our college is situated in an agricultural region and there are plenty of fields surrounding our campus. And many of our students come from agricultural families. As part of annual project work these four students wanted to try doing something different.
DNA reveals history of horse domestication: scientists

• Ploughing is an arduous task. It takes time and involves physical labour. More farmers now use a tractor for ploughing, than those who still depend on traditional bullocks.
• But a tractor does not come for free. The fuel charges, the driver’s wages all need to be borne by the farmer who rents it. And the charges easily work out to anything between
Rs.3,000 to Rs. 3,500 for ploughing an acre.

• Speed, smarts, and the heart of a champion: using genomic analysis, scientists have identified DNA changes that helped turn ancient horses such as those in prehistoric cave art into today’s
Secretariats and Black Beautys, researchers reported.

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• Understanding the genetic changes involved in equine domestication, which earlier research traced to the windswept steppes of Eurasia 5,500 years ago, has long been high on the wish list of evolutionary geneticists because of the important role that taming wild horses played in the development of civilization.
• Once merchants, soldiers and explorers could gallop rather than just walk, it revolutionized trade, warfare, the movement of people and the transmission of ideas.
• It also enabled the development of continentsized empires such as the
Scythians 2,500 years ago in what is now Iran. It was all made possible by 125 genes,

50

concluded the study in
Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences.
• Related to skeletal muscles, balance, coordination, and cardiac strength, they produced traits so desirable that ancient breeders selected horses for them, said geneticist
Ludovic Orlando of the Natural
History Museum of Denmark, who led the study.
• The result was generations of horses adapted for chariotry, pulling plows, and racing.
Genes active in the brain also underwent selection. Variants linked to social behavior, learning, fear response, and agreeableness are all more abundant in domesticated horses. • The discovery of the genetic basis for horse domestication was a long time coming because no wild descendants of ancient breeds survive.
• The closest is the Przewalski’s horse. By comparing domesticated species to their wild relatives, scientists figured out how organisms as different as rice, tomatoes and dogs became domesticated.
• With no truly wild horses to study, Orlando’s team examined DNA from 29 horse bones discovered in the
Siberian permafrost and dating from 16,000 and 43,000 years ago, and compared it to DNA from five modern domesticated breeds.

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(Paper -1) - 2015
BOOK DETAILS
Medium: English
Price: Rs. 1350
Pages: 1700
Publisher: Kalinjar Publications
ISBN: 9789351720355

TOPICS OF THE BOOK
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·
·
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Indian History
Indian Polity
Indian Economy
Geography
·
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·
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·
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Part I (Indian Geography)
Part II (World Geography)

General Science
Physics
Chemistry
Biology
Environment
General Knowledge

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Medium: English
Price: Rs. 850
Pages: 1000
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ISBN: 9789351720362

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SOLVED PAPER - 2014
SOLVED PAPER - 2013
SOLVED PAPER - 2012

1. Comprehension & English Language Comprehension
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PART - I: Comprehension
PART - II: English Language Comprehension

2. Interpersonal & Communication Skills & Decision Making & Problem Solving
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PART - I: Interpersonal & Communication Skills
PART - II: Decision Making & Problem Solving

3. General Mental Ability, Logical Reasoning & Analytical Ability
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PART - I: General Mental Ability
PART - II: Logical Reasoning & Analytical Ability

4. Basic Numeracy
5. Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency

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SPORTS
Indian Aces beat UAE Royals to top IPTL standings

teammate Abhijit Kunte, in the second round of the South
Indian Bank-CMS College 52nd
National Premier Chess championship at the CMS
College.
• Meanwhile,
Deepan
Chakravarthy, who was the quickest of the day with a 27move verdict over P.D.S.
Girinath, Deep Sengupta and
M.R. Lalith Babu posted wins.
Five players, with 1.5 points each, are in the lead.
Varun Kakran set a new
National record

• Indian Aces notched up its third win on the trot with a 2820 victory over the UAE Royals in the battle of two unbeaten sides in an India Premier Tennis
League match.
• After Sunday’s win, Indian
Aces topped the table after the
Manila leg to emerge early frontrunner in the high-profile tournament. • The Indian side, however, began with a loss with Ana
Ivanovic going down fighting
4-6 to Kristina Mladenovic in the first women’s singles.
• The battle of the in-form women’s singles players was a thrilling contest with Ivanovic almost making a sensational comeback from 1-5 down, before eventually losing the match. • Mixed doubles pair Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna registered a 6-3 second-set win over

Mladenovic and Nenad
Zimonjic, and Indian Aces took the advantage with Bopanna partnering the crowd-favourite
Gael Monfils to a 6-4 victory over Zimonjic and Marin Cilic in men’s doubles.
• An injury pulled Cilic out from early in the set against Monfils, but Malek Jaziri was a more than capable substitute.
Quick win for Deepan in
National Premier Chess

• Uttar Pradesh’s Varun Kakran cleared a height of 1.86 metres to set a new National record in the under-14 boys’ high jump in the Jio junior National athletics championship at
IGMC stadium here on Saturday.
• Varun eclipsed Maharashtra’s
Anil Kumar Sahoo’s 1.85 metre effort achieved in 2011.
• Kerala and Haryana athletes dominated the penultimate day with Kerala runners hogging the limelight in the relays. • The results: Boys: U-14:
High Jump: 1. Varun Kakran
(UP) 1.86m – NR (ONR & NMR
1.85), 2. Anil (Har) 1.70; 3.
Ravindra Reddy 1.56.
Chikkarangappa triumphs at CG
Open Golf 2014

• Vidit Gujrathi, the highest-rated player, was forced to a draw for the second successive day, this time by his Petroleum Board

• S. Chikkarangappa defended his title in style at the CG Open
Golf 2014, producing a final

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Bombay Presidency Golf Club course. • The Bengaluru golfer totalled
17-under-263 in the PGTI
Super Series event and also topped the Rolex Rankings.
• Om Prakash Chouhan bettered

the course record with 10under-60 in the fourth round, and was rewarded with the second spot carding 16-under264.
• Overnight leader C.
Muniyappa of Bengaluru returned a card of 15-under265 for third place.
• Chikkarangappa (67-66-64-66) started with pars on the first three holes, birdied the fourth, fifth and seventh. Muniyappa bogeyed the 11th, as the former struck form to manage birdies on 16th and 18th for the title.

East Zone reclaims ‘Deodhar Trophy’ after a long gap

wicket.
• After Bawne’s dismissal, Jadhav and local lad Suryakumar Yadav took charge. Jadhav also survived a strong appeal for legbefore off left-arm spinner
Shahbaz Nadeem and was lucky to be dropped by Kumar
Deobrat at long-on off offspinner Saurasish Lahiri.
• But once Odisha all-rounder
Biplab Samantaray bowled
Jadhav and Dinda dismissed
Yadav, East’s anxiety ended and it went on to win the match.
• Earlier, after electing to bat,
East was indebted to skipper
Manoj Tiwary — his 75 led the fight-back after early loss of wickets — and Samantaray’s quick-fire half-century.
Indians subdue the Dutch in
Champions Trophy

• East Zone proved to be a hard nut to crack and won the
Deodhar Trophy after 11 seasons. The game swung back and forth in a tantalising manner, but East struck crucial blows in the closing stages of the match to beat West by 24 runs in the final.
• East’s team work stood out in stark contrast to some poor bowling by Shardul Thakur and
Yusuf Pathan, and later some poor batting chasing a tall target of 270.
52

• West’s chase suffered as
Ashoke Dinda, getting one last chance to impress the selectors before the World Cup probables selection, induced errors from Smit Patel, Sheldon
Jackson and Ambati Rayudu.
His effort earned him the manof-the-match award.
• As the final drifted towards
East, Maharashtra’s Kedar
Jadhav and his Pune teammate
Ankit Bawne pulled their team out of the woods with a solid
74-run stand for the fourth

• After two morale-sapping defeats, India finally regained a lot of confidence by notching up a 3-2 upset win over World
Cup silver medallist and second-ranked Netherlands in its final Pool B match of the
Champions Trophy hockey tournament at the Kalinga
Stadium.
• The home team, which opened its account with three points earned from this unexpected victory, finished third in its pool and will meet Pool A’s secondplaced side Belgium in the quarterfinals. • The Netherlands frontline, especially the trio of Jeroen
Hertzberger, Sander Baart and
Rogier Hofman, showed tremendous understanding and agility to invade the Indian circle at lightning speed and came close to taking the lead on several occasions.

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• But India remained unaffected mainly due to some fabulous saves by its brave goalkeeper
P.R. Sreejesh. V.R. Raghunath and Rupinderpal Singh, who were tested on numerous instances, withstood the nervous moments.
• Against the run of play, India grabbed the lead early in the third quarter. Bubbling with energy, young Gurjinder Singh launched a long-range slap shot and S.V. Sunil deflected it in to trigger celebrations in the stands. The Dutch lost a bit of advantage as its referral challenging the goal did not yield the desired result.

for Germany, which had struggled throughout the year and came into this event with a team which had several players from the 2013 Junior World
Cup-winning squad, as it made the final after 2009.
• As expected, Pakistan used its sharpened wings to cut through the Indian defence frequently and kept hitting into the circle from the right.
IPTL & traditional tennis can coexist says Carlos Moya

Pakistan wins a thriller, makes final in Champions Trophy
• The blockbuster involving
India and Pakistan had disappointment in store for the passionate home fans as the host lost 4-3 an evenlycontested, high voltage semifinal clash of the
Champions Trophy hockey tournament at the Kalinga
Stadium.
• Incidentally, India had also lost to the same opponent in the last four of the 2012 edition in
Melbourne. The defeat also meant that the third place finish in 1982 remains India’s best ever performance in the
Champions Trophy.
• World No. 11 Pakistan, which reached the final after 16 years on the strength of Muhammad
Arslan Qadir’s brace, will take on Olympic champion and nine-time winner Germany.
The world No. 3 edged past five-time defending champion
Australia 3-2.
• It was also a big achievement

• The innovative rules and format of the International Premier
Tennis League (IPTL) may have struck a chord with the Asian fans, generally starved of toplevel action, but former World
No.1 Carlos Moya believes the
‘traditional’ sport will stick to its conventional rules, though the inaugural tournament will ‘coexist’ and thrive alongside the existing order.
Mahalakshmi in sole lead in
National under-17 girls’ chess
• Top seed M. Mahalakshmi defeated second seed G.K.
Monisha to move into the sole lead at the end of the seventh round of the National under-17 girls’ chess championship at
Patna on Saturday.
• With four rounds remaining, she has six points, half-a-point ahead of Tejaswini Sagar and
V. Varshini. In the boys’ event, fifth seed Aradhya Garg

maintained his sole lead with
6.5 points, one point in front of
V. Pranavananda.
Indians just behind Brazilians in goal-scorers’ list
• Indian players have scored 23 goals, only three less than
Brazilian imports from all teams, in the Indian Super League football tournament that has entered the knockout phase now. • Brazilian players, led by eight strikes from Chennaiyin FC’s sharp shooter Elano Blumer, have notched up 26 goals overall. • Indian players — led by FC
Goa’s Romeo Fernandes and
Chennaiyin FC’s Jeje Lalpekhlua who have found the target thrice each — have tallied 23 in all.
Trishul Chinnappa wins in
Amateur Golf Championship

• Trishul Chinnappa saw off Syed
Saqib Ahmed in a closelycontested final to win the Tata
Steel 114th Amateur Golf
Championship of India at the
KGA course.
• Chinnappa laid the foundation for his victory in the 36-hole final with a splendid effort in the first half, when he went five up. • Notwithstanding a stutter on the second 18, where his advantage had shrunk to one

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Germany wins Champions
Trophy

Germany stifled the Asian
Games silver medallist with some brilliant possession and strong marking.
• Germany, which shrugged off a below-par start to beat fine teams like England and
Australia in the knockout stage, checked Pakistan’s freeflowing style.
Boxing India not
Recognized by IOA

• Enjoying the strong backing of a partisan crowd of 7,000 in a city designed by German architect Otto Konigsberger,
Olympic champion Germany made itself at home to see
Pakistan off 2-0 in the final and lift the Champions Trophy at the
Kalinga Stadium.
• The World No.3 could not have asked for more as it ended the year by pocketing its 10th
Champions Trophy crown. It had last won the tournament in
2007. A tired and lacklustre
India was beaten 2-1 by World champion Australia in the battle for third place.
• This was the fifth Champions
Trophy final involving Germany and Pakistan, and the previous time they had met in the summit clash was way back in 1994, when Pakistan had emerged champion through penalty shoot-outs in front of home supporters in Lahore.
• In changed times, with both teams seeking to groom the youngsters in their squads in the run-up to the 2016 Rio
Olympics, the duel assumed importance for different reasons. • Thanks to the plans of master tactician Markus Weise,
54

• N. Ramachandran, President of the Indian
Olympic
Association, has categorically stated that the Indian Amateur
Boxing Federation (IABF) will be the official body and not
Boxing India (BI). He added that boxing affairs will now be handled by IOA’s ad-hoc committee. • “This matter was discussed at length at the Executive
Committee.
The
EC
unanimously agreed that the body that will be recognised by the IOA will be IABF,” said
Mr. Ramachandran at a press conference, after attending the
IOA’s executive committee and the annual general body meeting. • Explaining the rationale behind the decision,
Mr.
Ramachandran said IOA refused to give official sanction to BI because BI elections were held without consulting
IOA.

• “When the dispute first arose between IABF and Boxing
India, the IOA constituted an ad-hoc committee. It is AIBA which recognised Boxing
India and the latter’s elections.
Neither the Government of
India nor the IOA sent an observer for the elections.
• “In fact, when the IOA took up the matter with the President of the International boxing body (AIBA) and said that, in the interest of the athletes, the elections should be held under the aegis of IOA and with
AIBA’s observer present, the latter did not accept these suggestions and BI held its elections under the supervision of AIBA,” he said, adding that the IOA had received “many” complaints of irregularities during the elections.
• He said the top three athletes at the Commonwealth Games,
Asian Games and Beach Asian
Games, will receive a cash award of Rs. 3 lakh, Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. one lakh respectively.
He regretted that the government funding for
National Sports Federations has been reduced to a larger extent. 79 Indians retained for IPL 2015

• The eight IPL teams have retained 123 cricketers in all —
79 Indians and 44 overseas players — for the 2015 season.

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• According to a BCCI press release, five Indian cricketers were traded. The window to extend player contracts on existing terms closed.
• The released players will have the option to put their names up for the player auction for the
2015 season.
• The BCCI-IPL has said that teams have a total salary purse of Rs.63 crore for the 2015 season, a 5% increase over the
2014 season purse, and that the salaries of the players retained will be deducted from this amount. AIBA bans boxer L. Sarita Devi
• Indian woman boxer L. Sarita
Devi was handed a one-year ban by the International Boxing
Association (AIBA) for refusing to accept her bronze medal at the Asian Games but the punishment is unlikely to hurt her career too badly as she would be available to compete in the 2016 Olympic qualifiers.
• Sarita, who had refused to accept the medal to protest her controversial semifinal bout loss, has been banned retrospectively from October 1,
2014 to October 1, 2015 and fined 1000 swiss francs.
• Although her repeated apologies failed in getting her
AIBA’s pardon, even this ban is quite a relief for the lightweight (60kg) boxer, who is currently nursing a broken right wrist.
Bindra wins bronze in National
Shooting championship
• India’s sole individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra bagged the 50-metre rifle prone bronze medal, but the

gold went to Hariom Singh in the 58th National Shooting
Championships in Pune.

• Competing in the men’s 50metre rifle prone event after a gap of almost a decade, Bindra shot 183.8 to finish third on the podium at the Balewadi
Shooting Range.
• Fellow Olympic medallist
Gagan Narang finished fourth in the eight-man final, after having finished third in qualifying, marginally ahead of
Bindra, who qualified in fourth position. No FIH event till Pakistan players are punished, decided
Hockey India
• Taking strong exception to
FIH’s “weak” censure to
Pakistani players for their obscene behaviour after beating India in the Champions
Trophy semifinal, Hockey India decided that it would not host any event sanctioned by the world body until strong punishment is handed out to the offenders.
• The Pakistani players made obscene gestures towards
Indian fans and media after their win last night but no action was taken against them by the
International
Hockey
Federation (FIH) after their coach Shahnaz Sheikh offered an apology.
• “It was a shameless and condemnable incident but the

FIH took a very weak and feeble decision. It is not acceptable to us.
• We have made it clear to FIH that such sort of behaviour from sportspersons is not acceptable to Indians,” HI president Narinder Batra told
PTI from New Delhi.
Tendulkar named for ICC World
Cup 2015 ambassador

• Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar was named the ICC World Cup ambassador for the second successive edition. “The
International Cricket Council today announced Sachin
Tendulkar as the World Cup
2015 Ambassador.
• It will be the second successive time that the India maestro will be the Ambassador of ICC’s pinnacle tournament, after he fulfilled the role in the previous event in 2011,” the ICC said in a statement.
• In his role as ambassador,
Tendulkar will promote and support a variety of ICC initiatives to enhance the profile of the tournament, which is the third biggest sporting event in the world and will take place in Australia and
New Zealand from February 14 to March 29.
• Tendulkar retired from international cricket last year after representing India in 200
Tests, 463 ODIs and one

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Twenty20 International. In a career spanning 24 years, the
41-year-old scored a total of
34,357 international runs and
100 centuries.
Gouramangi Singh is Bharat
FC’s new catch for 2015

• Defender Gouramangi Singh has been roped in by new Ileague team, Bharat FC to firm up its squad for the 2015 season which will kick off next month. • Bharat FC, which will compete in its inaugural I-League season starting on January 17, snapped up Gouramangi from Chennaiyin FC on a season-long contract. • “I and Stanly have worked at the national team and I know how good he is. I have also been speaking regularly to
Stuart and his vision for the team is really exciting.
• I am excited about my role here,” said Gouramangi, who joined the Kalyani groupowned team during its preseason training camp at the
BharatiVidyapeeth football ground on Tuesday.
• “I want to transfer my experience of having played in the I-League, help build the team well and win lots of football matches,” he added.
The 28-year-old, who was a
India regular before Wim
Koevermans became India
56

coach, comes to Bharat FC on the back of an impressive showing in the Indian Super
League.
• The centre-back made 11 appearances for Chennaiyin
FC, driving them to the semifinals of the competition.
One of the most accomplished players in India, Gouramangi who is a graduate of the Tata
Football Academy, began his professional football career with Dempo SC in the 20042005 season making 40 appearances and scoring one goal. Srikanth is No. 4 in World
Badminton ranking
• Young Kidambi Srikanth continued his meteoric rise in world badminton as he ended the season by becoming only the third Indian male shuttler to break into the top-five, reaching a career-high fourth after hovering in the 40s in the beginning of the year.
• The 21-year-old Indian, who clinched the China Super
Series Premier before reaching the semifinals of back-to-back tournaments in Hong Kong and
Dubai, jumped two places to join the elite club which comprises Prakash Padukone and national chief coach Pullela
Gopichand, who were World
No. 1 and 4 respectively in the past. • “When I started the year, I was in the 40s. Probably somewhere around 45. So I didn’t expect that I will reach world number four. But I am really happy with my performance this season, it has been a great year,” Srikanth told PTI.

Use of bouncer is the right of a fast bowler says Rackemann

• “He was struck on top of the nose and he went crashing down holding his face.
Actually, his face was split right down the middle,” remembered the burly former
Australian fast bowler, Carl
Rackemann.
• He was recalling a Sheffield
Shield contest between
Queensland and West Australia at the lively ’Gabba in the early
90s. Mike Veletta, the batsman who was hit by the Rackemann lifter, was wearing a helmet without a grill.
• Rackemann, now 54, said,
“Those were days when many batsmen wore helmets that did not have the grill. They felt the grill affected their overall vision.
Mike (Veletta) went to hook a bouncer and he missed.”
• The former Queensland paceman said, “I was really concerned for him. It was really bad. I feared the worst. He was taken in an ambulance.
Thankfully, they, at the hospital, were able to stitch his face back. It was a scary moment.”
• A feared and respected paceman in his time — he hustled batsmen with disconcerting lift

Rackemann’s international career was blighted by injuries.
He picked up 39 wickets in 12
Tests at 29.15. In the ODI’s,

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Rackemann scalped 82 batsmen in 52 matches at an economy rate of 3.94.
Elano Blumer gets the Golden
Boot in Indian Super League
• Chennaiyin FC’s Elano Blumer and FC Goa’s goalkeeper Jan
Seda (FC Goa) topped the list for Golden Boot and Golden
Glove awards respectively as

the inaugural Indian Super
League concluded.

• Elano scored eight goals in 11 matches, apart from one assist, according to official website www.indiansuperleague.com. • ‘Be Safe’ wins Indian 2000
Guineas (Gr. I)
• Mr. M.A.M.Ramaswamy’s Be
Safe (Suraj Narredu up) won the ABV Nucleus Indian 2000
Guineas (Gr. I), the stellar attraction of the races held. The winner is trained by M.Narredu.

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LIST OF AWARDS & HONORS
List of Awards & Honors 2014

• A mitabh Bachchan - India’s
Bachc
Global Icon of the Year
• A mu l
( Mi l k
Pr o duct
Brand) - High Performance
Brand Award 2013
• Anand Ku mar - Ramanujan
Mathematics Award 2014
• Chandi Prasad Bhatt Gandhi Peace Prize (2013)
• Cristiano Rona ldo - world’s b est soccer player for the
2012/2013 season (FIFA)
• Gabriela Isler – Miss Universe
2013
• Govind M ishra - Sarawasti
Samman (2013)
• Gulzar - Dadasaheb Phalke
Award 2013
• Jeev Mil kha Si n gh - Asian
Tour‘s Player of the Decade
• Jhumpa Lahiri - Baileys Prize
Jhu
2014(Shortlisted)
• Koyal Rana - Miss India 2014
Koy
• La x m i ( an acid attack victim im) victim - International Women of Courage Award, US
• Malala Yo usafzai - Children’s
Nobel Prize (Nominated)
• M e b Keflezi ghi - First U S
Keflezi
male athlete to win the Boston
Marathon
• M eera Ch a ndras ekh ar Robert Foster Cherry Award for
Teaching 2014
• MS Dho ni - UK’s 2014 Asian
Dho
Award
58

• Nadine A ngerer - B est women’s football player in the world (2013)
• Pope Francis - Time Person
Fran
of the year 2013
• Pranab M ukherj ee - Award ukherj of Honor from Rotary
International
• Prof C N R Rao - Bh arat Ratna
• Rajesh Gopakumar - 23rd G opakum umar
D Birla Award for scientific research (2013)
• Ratan T ata - Knight Grand
Cross
• Richard Quest - UN WTO
A war d fo r
Lifetime
Achievement 2013
• Sachin T endu l kar - B harat
Ratna
• Sankha Gho s h - Su nil
Gangopadhyay Memo rial
Award (2013)
• Shigeru Ban - Pritzker
Architecture Prize 2014
• Shubhr anshu Choud hary Shubhr
Choud
Digital activism award
• Sikk i m - National Tourism
Award
• Sourav G anguly - Honorary
Docto r of Lette rs (D.Litt) degree by BESUp
• TCS - Top Employer in Euro
• Vish wanath Tripathi - Vyas
Samman Awards (2013)
• Yushi ( T aiw anese poet) aiw
Thiruvalluvar award
Pravasi Bharatiya Samman
Awards 2014




















M s. Sena tor Lisa M aria Sin
Kurian Varghese - Leading
Vasdev
C hanch lani hanch Entrepreneur and philanthropist based in Canada akris R amakris hna M ission - Fiji
Sanya
Bikas C handra Sanya l Renowned educationist in
France
Satnarai nsing
Rabi n
Satnarai
Rabi
Balde wsingh - Significant contribution to p romoting better understanding of India in The Netherlands
Sasindr an M u thuvel - First
Member of Parliament of Indian origin in Papua New Guinea
Shiha budeen V ava K unju Contributor to welfare of Indian community in K ingdom of
Saudi Arabia nd M s.
Ela
G a nd h i
Contributions in promoting ties between India and cause of freedom in South Africa South
Africa, and the
Dr. Sh am s heer V aya lil aya ram
Pa ramb ath - Con tribution in field of healthcare business and fo r promoting better understanding of India in UAE
Lakhm
Shailesh Lakhm an V ara First Indian origin Govt. minister for Conservative Party in UK
Dr. Parthasar athy Chiram el
Parthasar
Chira
Pillai - Contributions in field of scienc relations between India and USA
Ren
Dr. Ren u Khator - one of the first persons of Indian origin to head, and fostering closer a higher system and a research university in America. President and Chancellor of The
University of Houston.

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61st National Fil Awards m Winners List

• Best Fil m ( Hindi ) : Jolly LLB
Fil
Hindi
• Best Actres s : Geeta njali
Actres
Thapa (Liar’s Dice, Hindi)
• Best Actor : Raj Kuma r
(Shahid, Hindi) & Suraj
Venjaramoodu (Perariyathavar,
Malyalam)
• Support i ng
Ac t o r
(F e m ale) : Aid a Elkashef,
Ship of Theseus and Amruta
Subash, Astu
• Best Direct i o n : H ansal
Mehta for Shahid (Hindi)
• Special Me ntion : Gaur i
Gadgil and Sanjana Rai for
‘Yellow’ (Marathi)
• Special E ffects : Ja l idiya
Udh
Fict i o n
(N o n
• Short
F e ature)
:
Mandrake!
Mandrake! (Hindi)
• Non Feat ure Fil m on Social
Feat
Fil
Is sues : Gulabi Gang (Hindi,
Bundelkhandi)
• Enviro nm ental
Fi l m ncludi i ncludi ng Agri culture :
Foresting
Life
(Hindi,
Assamese)
• Non
:
Fea t ure
Fi l m
Rangbhoomi (Hindi)
• Best Bo o k o n C i n e m a :
Cinema Ga Cinema (Telgu) by
Nandagopal
• Sound Design : Bishwadeep
Chatterjee, Madras Cafe
• Choreogr a phy : Gan e sh
Aachary a, Havan Karenge
(Bha ag Milkha Bhaag)

• Special J ury A w ard :
Yellow (Marathi) & Miss Lovely
(Hindi)
• Best Chi l dren’s Fi l m :
Kaphal (Hindi)
Best Fi l m on E nviro n me nt

C o n servati o n/ P reservation
: Perariyathavar (Malyalam)
• Best Fil m on So cial Is sues
Fil
: T u h ya Dha r m a Koncha
(M arath i )
• Nargis D utt A ward for Best
Fea t ure Fi l m o n Natio n al ratio Inte gratio n : Thalaimuraigal
(Tamil)
P opular
Fi l m
• Best op holeso p r oviding w holeso m e ntertain E ntertain m e nt : Bhaag
Milkha Bhaag (Hindi)
• Indira Gandhi A w ard f o r
B est D ebut F il m of a
Directo
Directo r : Fandr y (Marathi)
• Best Featu re Fil m : Ship of
Featu Fil
Theseus
• Pla yback Singer : B ela
Shinde Khura Khura
Best Feature Films in Local

Featu Film lms nguage
La nguage s (in alphabeti cal orde r ) :
• Best Feature Film in Assamese :
‘ Aje yo ’
• Best Feature Film in Bengali :
‘ B akitar By aktigoto’
• Best Feature Film in English :
‘ The Co f fin M aker’
• Best Feature Film in Hindi :
‘ Jolly LLB’
• Best Feature Film in Kannada :
‘ D ec e m ber 1’
• Best Feature Film in Konkani :
‘ B aga Be ach’
• Best Feature Film in Malayalam:
Kaatha
‘ North 2 4 Kaatham ’
• Best Featu re Film in Marathi :
Div
‘A c ha Divaz M azha’
• Best Feature Film in Tamil :
‘ T h anga
• Best Feature Film in Telugu :
‘Na Ban
‘Naa Ban garu Talli ‘

List of 2014
Pulitzer Prize winners

Journalism o Public Se r vice : The
Guardian U s And The
Washington Post
Repor
o Breaking Ne ws Repor ting The Boston Globe Staff o Investiga t ive R eporti n g eporti
Chris Hamby Of The Center For
Public Integrity, Washington,
D.C.
Reportin o Ex planatory Reportin g - Eli
Saslow Of The Washington Post o Local Re p orting - Will
Hobson And Michael Laforgia
Of The Tampa Bay Times o National Reporti ng - David
Reporti
Phil ipps Of The Gazette,
Colorado Springs, Co o Internati o nal R e port i ng Jason Szep And Andrew R.C.
Marshall Of Reuters o Feature W riting - No Award o C om m en t ary - Stephen
Henderson Of The Detroit Free
Press
o Criticism - Inga Saffron Of The
Criticis
Philadelphia Inquirer o Editorial Writi n g - The
Editorial Staff Of The
Oregonian, Portland
Cartoo
• Editorial Cartoo ning - Kevin
Siers Of The Charlotte
Observer
o Breaking ew N ew s
Photo
Photo graphy - Tyler Hicks Of
The New York Times o Feature Ph otography - Josh otogra Haner Of The New York Times
Books, Drama And Music o Fiction - “The Goldfinch” By
Donna Tartt (Little, Brown) o Drama - “The Flick” By Annie
Dra
Baker

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Join Online Coaching For IAS Pre & Mains Exams http://iasexamportal.com/civilservices/courses List of Awards & Honors o History - “The Internal Enemy:
Slavery And War In Virginia,
Taylor (W.W. Norton) 17721832" By Alan o Biography - “Margaret Fuller:
A New American Life” By
Megan Marshall (Houghton
Mifflin Harcourt) o Poetry - “3 Sections” By Vijay
Seshadri (Graywolf Press) o General Nonfict ion - “Toms
River: A Story Of Science And
Salvation” By Dan Fagin (Bantam Books) o Music - “Become Ocean” By
John Luther Ad ams (Taiga
Press/Theodore Front Musical
Literature)
Fil Fare m Awards 2014 Winners List

• Best Fi l m - Bhaag Mil kha
Bhaag
• Best Actor - Farhan Akhtar
(Bhaag Milkha Bhaag)
• Best Debut Actor - Dhanush
Deb
(Raanjhanaa)
• Best Actre ss - Deepika
Padukone (Goliyon Ki Raslila
RamLeela)
• Best Debut Actress - Vaani
Deb Actres
Kapoo r
(Shuddh
Desi
Romance)
• Best Director - Rakeysh Om
Direct
rakash Mehra (Bhaag Milkha
Bhaag)
• Best Debut Direc tor - Ritesh
Deb
Batra (The Lunchbox)
• Best Fi l m ( Critics) - Ritesh
Batra (The Lunchbox)
60

• Best Actor (Critics) Rajkumar Rao (Shahid)
• Best Actre s s (Criti cs ) Shilpa Shukla (BA Pass)
Scree
• Best Scree nplay - Abhishek
Kap oor, Chetan Bhagat,
Supratik Sen and Pubali
Chaudari (Kai PoChe)
• Best Story - Subhash Kapoor
(Jolly LLB)
• Best Actor (Sup porti n g
(Sup
Role) - Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Role
(The Lunchbox)
• Best Actre s s ( Su ppor ting
Su
R o le) - Supriya Pathak Kapur
(Goliyon Ki Raslila- Ram Leela) hieve • Lifet i me
A c hieve m e nt
A ward - Tanuja
• Best M usi c - Jeet Ganguly, usi Mithoon a nd A nkit Tiwari
(Aashiqui 2)
• Best Lyrics - Prasoon Joshi for
Zinda (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag)
• Best Playback S inger M ale
Play
- Arijit Singh ( Tum hi ho,
Aashiqui)
Play back
S inger
• Best
Play
F e m al e - Monali Thakur
(Sawaar loon, Lootera)
Burm
• RD Burman A ward - Sidharth rman Mahadevan
• Best C horeogr aphy - Samir and Arsh Tanna - Lahu muh lag gaya (Goliyon Ki R aasleel RamLeela)
• Best V FX - Tata E lxis
(Dhoom:3)
• Best Bac k groun d Sco re groun Sco
Hitesh Sonik (Kai Po Che)
• Best Acti o n - Th o mas
Struthers and Guru Bachchan
(D Day)
• Best Cin em atogra phy atogra
Kamaljit Negi (Madras Cafe)
• Best Editi ng - Aarif Sheikh
Editi
(D-Day)
• Trendsett e r of the y ea r Chennai Express
• Best Prod uction Desig n Prod
Desig
A cropolis Design ( Bhaag
Milkha Bhaag)
• Best Cos tum e - Dolly tum Ahluwalia (Bhaag Milkha
Bhaag)
• Best S ou nd De s ign ou
Bishwadeep Chatterjee and
Nihar Ranjan Samar (Madras
Cafe)
Complete L ist o 71st Golden f Globe Awards Winners 2014

• Best motion picture, drama : 12 Years A Slave
• Best motion picture, musical or comedy :
American Hustle
• Best director for motion picture : Alfonso Cuaron,
Gravity
• Best actor in a motion picture, drama : Matthew
McConaughey, Dallas Buyers
Club
• Best actress in a motion picture, drama : Cate
Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
• Best actor in a motion picture, comedy : Leonardo
DiCaprio, Wolf of Wall Street
• Best actress in a motion picture, comedy : Amy
Adams, American Hustle
• Best supporting actor in a motion picture : Jared Leto,
Dallas Buyers Club
• Best supporting actress in a motion picture : Jennifer
Lawrence
• Best screenplay : Spike
Jonze, Her
• Best foreign language film
: The Great Beauty
• Best original score : Alex
Ebert, All is Lost
• Best original song from a

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Freedom otion picture :
Ordinary Love, from Mandela:
Long Walk to
Best animated feature film
: Frozen B
Best actor in a TV series, drama : Bryan Cranston
Best actress in a TV series, drama : Robin Wright, House of Cards
Best actor in a TV series, comedy : Andy Samberg,
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Best actress in a TV series,
Comedy : Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

• Best TV series, comedy or musical : Brooklyn 99
• Best supporting actor in a
TV series, mini-series or TV movie : Jon Voight, Ray
Donovan
• Best mini-series or TV
Behind
the movie :
Candelabra
• Best actor in a mini-series or TV movie : Michael
Douglas,
Behind the Candelabra
• Best actress in a miniseries or TV movie :
Elisabeth Moss

Oscar Awards 2014 winners List

• Best
M ak eup a nd rstylin Ha i rstylin g - Dallas Buyers
Club (A druitha Lee, Robin
Mathews)
Origi
• Best Origi nal S core - Gravity
(Steven Price)
• Best Origi nal S ong - Let It
Origi
Go - Frozen
• Best Prod uction Desig n Prod
Desig
The Great Gatsby (Catherine
Martin, Beverley Dunn)
• Best Animated S hort Fi lm Anim imated Mr. Hublot (La urent Witz,
Alexandre Espigares)
Shor Fil
• Best Live Action Shor t Fil m
- Helium (Anders Walter, Kim
Magnusson)
• Best S ou nd Ed iting ou
Gravity (Glenn Freemantle)
Sou
• Best Sou nd M ixing - Gravit
( Skip Liev sa y, Niv Adiri,
Christopher Benstead, Chris
Munro)
Visu Effect
• Best Visu al Effects - Gravity
(Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence,
Dave Shirk, Neil Corbould)
• Best Origi nal Scr een play Origi
Scr
12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)
Her (Spike Jonze)
Padma Awards Winners List for the year 2014

• Best Pictu r e - 12 Yea rs a
Slave
• Best Actor i n a L ead i ng
Ro le - Matthew McConaughey
(Dallas Buyers Club)
• Best Actre ss in a Le ading
R o le - Cate Blanchett (Blue
Jasmine)
• Best Actor in a S uppo rting uppo R ole - Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers
Club)
in a Actre s s
• Best
Su p porting R ole - L upita
Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
• Best A n im ated F e atur e atur
Frozen (Chris Buck, Jennifer
Lee, Peter Del Vecho)

• Best Cin em atogra phy atogra
Gravity (E mmanuel Lubezki)
• Best Costume De sign - The
Costu
tum
Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin)
• Best Direct i ng - Gravity
(Alfonso Cuarón)
• Best Docum entary F eature
Docum
Fi l m - 20 Feet from Stardom
(Nominees to be determined)
• Best D o c u m ent ary S hort ent Fi l m - The Lady in Number 6:
Music Saved My Life (Malcolm
Clarke, Nicholas Reed)
• Best Fi l m Editin g - Gravity
Editin
(Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger)
• Best Forei gn La nguag e nguag Fil
Fil m - The Great Beauty (Italy)

Padma Vibhushan o Dr. Raghunath A. Mashelkar,
Science and Engineering,
Maharashtra
o Shri B.K.S. Iyengar, OthersYoga, Maharashtra
Padma Bhushan o Prof. Gula m Moh a mme d
Sheikh, Art - Painting, Gujarat o Begum Parveen Sultana, Art Classical Singing, Maharashtra o Shri T.H. Vinayakram, Art Ghatam Artist, Tamil Nadu o Shri Kamala Haasan, Art-Cinema, Tamil Nadu o Justice Dalveer Bhandari, Public Affairs, Delhi o Prof. Padmanabhan Balaram,
Science and Engineering,
Karnataka

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Join Online Coaching For IAS Pre & Mains Exams http://iasexamportal.com/civilservices/courses List of Awards & Honors o Prof. Jyeshtharaj Joshi, Science and Engineering, Maharashtra o Dr. Madappa Mahadevappa,
Science and Engineering,
Karnataka
o Dr. Thirumalachari Ramasami,
Science and Engineering,
Delhi
o Dr. Vinod Prakash Sharma,
Science and Engineering,
Delhi
o Dr. Radhakrishnan Koppillil,
Science and Engineering,
Karnataka
o Dr. Mrity un jay Athreya,
Literature and Education, Delhi o Ms. Anita Desai, Literature and
Education, Delhi o Dr. Dhirubhai Thaker, Literature and Education, Gujarat o Shri Vaira muthu Ra masamy
Thev a r , Literature and
Education, Tamil Nadu o Shri Ruskin Bond, Literature and
Education, Uttarakhand, o Shri Pullela Gopichand, Sports
- Badminton, Andhra Pradesh o Shri Leander Paes, Sports Tennis, Maharashtra o Shri Vijayendra Nath Kaul, Civil
Service, Delhi o Late Justice Jagdish Sharan
Verma, Public Affairs, Uttar
Pradesh
o Late Dr. Anumolu Ramakrishna,
Science and Engineeri ng,
Andhra Pradesh o Prof. Anisuzzaman, Literature and Education, Bangladesh o Prof. Lloyd I. R udolph,
Literature and Education, USA o Prof. Susanne H. Rudolph,
Literature and Education, USA o Dr. ( Smt.) Neela m Kler ,
Medicine - Neonatology, Delhi
Padma Shri o Shri Mohammad Ali Baig, Art Theatre, Andhra Pradesh o Ms. Nayana Apte Joshi, Art,
Maharashtra
o Shri Musafir Ram Bhardwaj, Art
- Instrumental Music - Pauna
62

Manjha, Himachal Pradesh o Ms. Sabitri Chatterjee, Art - Film,
West Bengal o Prof. Biman Bihari Das, Art Sculptor, Delhi o Shri Sunil Das, Art - Painting,
West Bengal o Smt. Elam Endira Devi, Art Manipuri Dance, Manipur o Shri Vijay Ghate, Art Instrumental Music - Tabla,
Maharashtra
o Smt Rani Karnaa, Art - Kathak,
West Bengal o Shri Bansi Kaul, Art - Theatre,
Jammu and Kashmir o Ustad Moinuddin Kha , Art Instru mental Music-Sarangi
Player, Rajasthan o Ms. Geeta Mahalik, Art - Odishi
Dance, Delhi o Shri Paresh Maity, Art - Painting,
Delhi
o Shri Ram Mohan, Art - Film
Animation, Maharashtra o Shri Sudarsan Pattnaik, Art Sand Artist, Orissa o Shri Paresh Rawal, Art - Cinema and Theatre, Maharashtra o Shri Wendell A ug ustine
Rodricks, Art - Fashio n
Designing, Goa o Prof.
Kalamandala m
Sathyabh ama, Art - Mohini
Attam, Kerala o Shri Anuj (Ramanuj) Sharma, Art
- Performing Art, Chhattisgarh o Shri Santosh Sivan, Art - Film,
Tamil Nadu o Ms. Supriya Devi, Art-Bengali
Cinema, West Bengal o Ms. Sooni Taraporevala, ArtScript Writing, Maharashtra o Ms. Vidya Balan, Art-Cinema,
Maharashtra
o Smt. Durga Jain, Social Work,
Maharashtra
o Dr. Rama Rao Anumolu, Social
Work, Andhra Pradesh o Dr. Brahm Dutt, Social Work,
Haryana
o Shri Mukul Chandra Goswami,
Social Work, Assam

o Shri J.L. Kaul, Social Work, Delhi o Shri Mathurbhai Madhabhai
Savani, Social Work, Gujarat o Shri Tashi Tondup, Public
Affairs, Jammu and Kashmir o Dr. Hasmukh Chamanlal Shah,
Public Affairs, Gujarat o Shri Sekhar Basu, Science and
Engineering, Maharashtra o Shri Madhavan Chandradathan,
Science and Engineering,
Kerala
o Prof.
Sushanta Kumar
Dattagupta, Science and
Engineering, West Bengal o Dr. Ravi Bhushan Gr over,
Science and Engineering,
Maharashtra
o Prof. Eluvathingal Dev assy
Jemmis,
Science and Engineering, Karnataka o Shri Ramkrishna V. H osur,
Science and Engineering,
Maharashtra
o Dr. Ajay Kumar Parida, Science and Engineering, Tamil Nadu o Dr. Malap aka Yajneswara
Satyanarayana Prasad, Science and Engineering, And hra
Pradesh
o Shri Kiran Kumar Alur Seelin,
Science and Engineering,
Gujarat
o Dr. Brahma Singh, Science and
Engineering, Delhi o Prof. Vinod K uma r Si ngh,
Science and Engin eering,
Madhya Pradesh o Dr. Govindan Sundararajan,
Science and Engineering,
Andhra Pradesh o Ramaswamy R. Iyer, Science and Engineering, Delhi o Dr. Jayanta Kumar G hosh,
Science and Engineering, West
Bengal
o Shri Ravi Kumar Narra, Trade and
Industry, Andhra Pradesh o Shri Rajesh Saraiya, Trade and
Industry, Maharashtra o Ms. Mallika Srinivasan, Trade and Industry, Tamil Nadu

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Trade
and
I ndustry,
Maharashtra
o Dr. Kiritkumar Mansukhlal
Acharya, Medicine - Dermatology, Gujarat o Dr. Balram Bhargava, Medicine
- Cardiology, Uttar Pradesh o Prof. (Dr.) Indra Chakravarty,
Medicine - Health and H ygiene, West Bengal o Dr. R amak ant Krishnaji
Deshpande, Medicine - Oncology, Maharashtra o Prof. (Dr.) Pawan Raj Goyal,
Medicine - Chest Disease,
Haryana
o Prof. Amod Gupta, Medicine Opthalmology, Haryana o Prof. (Dr.) Daya Kishore Hazra,
Medicine, Uttar Pradesh o Prof. (Dr.) Thenumgal Poulose
Jacob, Medicine - Vascular Surgery, Tamil Nadu o Prof. (Dr.) Shashank R. Joshi,
Medicine - End ocrinology,
Maharashtra
o Prof.
Haki m
Sye d
Khaleefathullah, Medicine Unani Medicine, Tamil Nadu o Dr. Milind Vasant Kirtane, Medic ine - E NT Surgeory,
Maharashtra
o Dr. Lalit Kumar, Medicine - oncology, Delhi o Dr. Mohan Mishra, Medicine,
Bihar
o Dr. M. Subhadra Nair, Medicine
- Gyneacology, Kerala o Dr. Ashok Panagariya, Medicine
- Neurology, Rajasthan o Dr. Narendra Kumar Pandey,
Medicine - Surgery, Haryana o Dr. Sunil Pradhan, Medicine Neurology, Uttar Pradesh o Dr. Ashok Rajgopal, Medicine Orthopaedics, Delhi o Dr. Kamini A. Rao, Medicine R eproductive
Medicine,
Karnataka o Dr. Sarbeswar Sahariah, Medicine - Surgery, Andhra Pradesh o Prof. Om Prakash Upadhyaya,
Medicine, Punjab

o Prof. (Dr.) Mahesh Verma, Medicine - Dental Science, Delhi o Dr. J.S. Titiyal, MedicineOpthalmology, Delhi o Dr. Nitish Naik, Medicine- Cardiology, Delhi o Dr. Surbrat K umar Acharya,
Medicine- Gastroentrology,
Delhi
o Dr. Rajesh Kumar Grover, Medicine-Oncology,Delhi o Dr. Naheed Abidi, Literature and Education, Uttar Pradesh o Prof. Ashok Chakradhar, Literature and Education, Delhi o Shri
Chha kchhuak
Chhuanvawram, Literature and
Education, Mizoram o Shri Keki N. Daruwalla, Literature and Education, Delhi o Prof. Ganesh Narayandas Devi,
Literature and Education,
Gujarat
o Prof. Kolakaluri Enoch, Literature and Edu cation, Andhra
Pradesh
o Prof. (Dr.) Ved Kumari Ghai,
Litera ture and E ducation,
Jammu and Kashmir o Smt. Manorama Jafa, Literature and Education, Delhi o Prof. Rehana Khatoon, Literature and Education, Delhi o Dr. Waikhom Gojen Meeitei, Literature and E ducation,
Manipur

o Shri Vishnu Nar ay anan
Namboothiri, Literature and
Education, Kerala o Prof. Dinesh Singh, Literature and Education, Delhi o Dr. (Mrs.) P. Kilemsungla, Literature and Education, Nagaland o Ms. Anjum Chopra, Sports Cricket, Delhi o Ms. Sunil Dabas, Sports Kabbad i, Haryana o Shri
Love
Raj
Singh
Dharmshaktu, Sports - Mountaineering, Delhi o Ms. Dipika Rebecca Pallikal,
Sports - Squash, Tamil Nadu o Shri H. Boniface Prabhu, Sports
- Wheelchair Tennis, Karnataka o Shri Yuvra j Singh, Sports Cricket, Haryana o Smt. Mamta Sodha, Sports Mountaineering, Haryana o Ms Parveen Talha, Civil Service,
Uttar Pradesh o Late Dr. Narendra Achy ut
Dabholkar, S ocial W ork,
Maharashtra
o Shri Ashok Kumar Mago, Trade and Industry, USA o Dr. Siddharth Mukherjee, Medicine-Oncology, USA o Dr. Vamsi Mootha, Medicine Biomedical Research, USA o Dr. Sengaku Mayeda, Literature and Education, Japan (ANI)

list of Nobel Prize Winners 2014
PhysicsJohn O'Ke efe;
Isamu Akasaki; Eric Betzig;
Kailash Sa tyarthi;
May-Britt Moser; Patrick Modiano
Jean Tirole
2014 Hiroshi Amano; Ste fan Hell;
Malala Yousafzai
Shuji Na kamura William Moerner Edvard Moser

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IN THE NEWS
Tabare Vazquez

· Tabare Vazquez has won the second round of the presidential election in
Uruguay and will be taking office on March 1, 2015.
· It will be the Left-wing Broad
Front’s third consecutive term in government and also the largest margin of victory in a runoff.
· Meanwhile, outgoing president
Jose
Mujica, whose management had the approval of 65 per cent of the citizens according to a poll last week, said he would now have the task of being the coordinator within the ruling coalition.

so far as integrity is concerned, it goes without saying that you all would uphold it,” was the first message from Anil Kumar
Sinha to his officers, after he took over as Director of the
Central Bureau of Investigation at the agency headquarters.
· The CBI Director holds an MA in Psychology and M.Phil in
Strategic Studies. He has been the recipient of several awards.
· Mr. Sinha, who belongs to Bihar and was inducted as an IPS officer into his home cadre in
1979, is recipient of Police
Medal for Meritorious Services in the year 2000 and
President’s Police Medal for
Distinguished Services in 2006.

64

Shinzo Abe

Arun Majumdar

Anil Kumar Sinha

· “Do your duty without fear and

said.
· An IIT-Bombay alumnus, Mr.
Majumdar is a material scientist, engineer, who was President
Barack Obama’s nominee for the Under Secretary of Energy between November 30, 2011 and May 15, 2012.

· A top Indian-American scientist from Stanford
University has been appointed as one of the Science Envoys of the U.S.
· Arun Majumdar, a professor at the prestigious university, along with three others Peter Hotez,
Jane Lubchenco and Geri
Richmond would serve as U.S.
Envoys beginning January next year, the State Department

· Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe won a comfortable reelection in a snap poll that he had billed as a referendum on his economic policies.
· But a low turnout from unenthusiastic voters beset by a heavy snowfall across much of the country could cast doubt on the endorsement he will claim for “Abenomics” — his signature plan to fix the country’s flaccid economy.
· Media exit polls shortly after voting showed his ruling Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) and its junior partner Komeito had swept the ballot, with an unassailable two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament that will give them the power to override the upper house.
· “Voter turnout is likely to be a

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Minister Abe,” said Masaru
Kohno, a Politics Professor at
Waseda University in Tokyo.

M.C. Sampath

Anerood Jugnauth

· But he never shied away from expressing a forthright opinion on issues that mattered. And as a coordinator of editorials, willing to put in long hours, he was considered the safest pair of hands any Editor could wish for. S. Narayanan

· Mauritius President named veteran politician Sir Anerood
Jugnauth as Prime Minister, after the 84-year-old won a landslide taking nearly three-quarters of the seats in Parliament.
· Mr. Jugnauth, a former
President and Prime Minister, was handed his letter of appointment at a meeting at
State House, a statement from the office of President Kailash
Purryag said.
· Mr. Jugnauth’s centre-right
Alliance Lepep swept 47 out of 62 seats in the Indian Ocean nation’s Parliament, after voters rejected the ruling party’s bid to boost presidential powers.
· Debate over constitutional reform — notably over a divisive proposal to strengthen presidential powers — made
Wednesday’s poll one of the most crucial since the islands gained independence from
Britain in 1968.
· Mr. Jugnauth, previously PM between 1982 and 1995 and again between 2000 and 2003, has promised he will boost the economy. · M.C. Sampath, retired Senior
Associate Editor of The Hindu, passed away here on Saturday evening after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. He was
78.
· He retired from The Hindu in
2012 after serving the newspaper for 50 years, not counting the five years during which he was the part-time correspondent in
Chengalpattu.
· Joining the organisation in June
1961 as a Staff Reporter, he rose to become an Editorial writer and a Senior Associate Editor.
He was also in charge of the
Book Reviews for some years.
For long years, he was writing the Religion column in the newspaper. · In his later years with the newspaper, as the seniormost member of the editorial team,
Mr. Sampath assisted the Editor in managing the editorials for the day, finally seeing them off on the page after scrutiny.
· MCS was an old school journalist who was meticulous in his commitment to accuracy, contextualising and fairness.
· As an editorial writer, he was clear-headed, sceptical about big claims, nuanced, and able to deal with complexity skilfully and to present a persuasive argument with ease.

· S. Narayanan (89), chairman of
India Motor Parts & Accessories
Ltd (IMPAL), part of the TVS group, passed away.
· He was a doyen of the automobile industry having spent over seven decades in it.
He single-handedly nurtured the spare parts industry in the country and held top posts in many industry associations.
· Narayanan was on the Board of
IMPAL since 1965, served as its managing director from 196979 and as Chairman from 2002.
He was instrumental in the company’s expansion all over
India.
· He is survived by wife
Choodamani Narayanan and two sons — industrialist N. S.
Ramji and N. Krishnan,
Managing Director of IMPAL — and daughter-in-law Dr. Nalini
Krishnan of The Hindu.
Dineshwar Sharma

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Dr. Radhakrishnan

· Dineshwar Sharma, a Biharborn, Kerala-cadre Indian
Police Service officer of the
1979 batch, will be the new chief of the Intelligence
Bureau. Mr. Sharma, and Ashok
Prasad, another Bihar-born IPS officer currently in the IB, were the front runners for the post.
· Mr. Sharma, who succeeds
Syed Asif Ibrahim, who retires on December 31, has a wide range of experience — from handling separatism and insurgencies to domestic and regional politics.
· He has served in Nagaland,
Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and
Lucknow in various capacities.
The unassuming officer is known among his colleagues as
“quiet, bright and savvy.”

66

· Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research
Organisation (ISRO) is one of the 2014 top ten scientists chosen by the prestigious journal Nature. This is the first time in the recent past that the journal has chosen an Indian working in India.
· He is listed along with other people like
Andrea
Accomazzo, the Rosetta flight operations director, European
Space Agency. The reasons for choosing Dr. Radhakrishnan are pretty simple and straightforward.

· When India’s Mangalyaan successfully settled into Mars orbit on September 24, 2014, the country became the first and only nation to have done so on its maiden attempt. India also became the first Asian country to reach Mars.
· The space organisation crossed two other major milestones this year. In January, the space organisation achieved spectacular success with the spaceflight of an
Indian cryogenic engine and stage. · India has been striving hard for some years to indigenously develop a cryogenic engine to improve the reliability of GSLV rockets and to take the rocket to greater heights.
· The recent launch of the heaviest and tallest GSLV Mark
III and the successful re-entry of the unmanned crew module were the other landmark achievements. http://www.iasexamportal.com
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Join Online Coaching For IAS Pre & Mains Exams http://iasexamportal.com/civilservices/courses Selected Articles from Various Newspapers & Journals

SELECTED ARTICLES FROM VARIOUS NEWSPAPERS & JOURNALS

Development as a people’s movement
Development was a key issue in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. In his very first speech after taking over as
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi asserted that his government is committed to carrying on development as a people’s movement. This, he has asserted, will draw upon India’s democratic, demographic and demand dividends. But are we genuinely moving towards organising development as a people’s movement while building on these strengths? To cater to India’s massive population of consumers, people should have adequate purchasing power, such as that enjoyed by people employed in the industries or services sector. Unfortunately, as the malnourishment statistics indicate, a vast majority of Indians are poor, with barely 10 per cent employed in the organised sector. We are being convinced that vigorous economic growth is generating substantial employment. But this is not so.
When our economy was growing at 3 per cent per year, employment in the organised sector was growing at 2 per cent per year.
As the economy began to grow at 78 per cent per year, the rate of growth of employment in the organised sector actually declined to 1 per cent per year since most of the economic growth was based on technological progress, including automation. At the same time, the increasing pressure of the organised sector on land, water, forest and mineral resources has adversely impacted employment in farming, animal husbandry and fisheries sectors.
People who are being pushed out of

these occupations are now crowding in urban centres. This is in turn leading to a decline in the productivity of the organised industries and services sector. Evidently, the ship of our development is sadly adrift.
Undoubtedly, people aspire for development. But what is development? Joseph Stiglitz, a recipient of the Nobel Prize in
Economics and one-time chairman of
Bill Clinton’s Economic Advisory
Council, offers an insightful analysis, asserting that development should result in an enhancement of the totality of a nation’s four-fold capital stocks: the capital of material goods, natural capital such as soil, water, forests and fish, human capital including health, education and employment, and social capital comprising mutual trust and social harmony. Our current pattern of economic development is by no means a balanced process resulting in the overall enhancement of the totality of these stocks.
Thus, for instance, mining in
Goa has severely damaged the State’s water resources and caused high levels of air and water pollution. The ever-increasing content of metals in drinking water reservoirs has adversely impacted health. When thousands of trucks were plying ore on the roads of Goa, the resulting chaos in traffic and accidents seriously disrupted social harmony.
Evidently, the single-minded focus on industrial growth is not leading to sustainable, harmonious development, but merely nurturing a money-centred violent economy.
In Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts of Maharashtra, both of which are Naxal-torn, there are hopeful examples emerging of how development may be nurtured as a

people’s movement. A number of tribal and other traditional forestdwelling communities of these districts now have management rights over Community Forest
Resources under the Forest Rights
Act. The state retains ownership over such resources, and these cannot be diverted to other purposes. But now these resources are being managed holistically with a fuller involvement of the people. The citizens of
Pachgaon, for instance, have, through two full-day meetings of their entire Gram Sabha, decided upon
40-odd regulations. Tendu leaves are a major forest produce, but their harvest entails extensive lopping and setting of forest fires.
So, Pachgaon has decided to forego this income and instead focus on marketing the edible tendu fruit.
By stopping the collection of tendu leaves, the trees are healthier and both fruit yield and income from its marketing have gone up. Incomes from bamboo harvest have also gone up manifold, and for the first time the people are moving out of the earlier precarious existence. Notably, they have on their own initiated protecting part of these forests as newly constituted sacred groves. Such community management of forest resources is the only sane way to combat extremism, and I have every hope that the new government, with its commitment to making development a people’s movement, will wholeheartedly support these initiatives. Furthermore, Goa could revive its currently stagnating mining business through novel peopleoriented initiatives such as the proposal from the tribals in Caurem village in Goa’s Quepem taluka.
There, extensive community lands

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Join Online Coaching For IAS Pre & Mains Exams http://iasexamportal.com/civilservices/courses Selected Articles from Various Newspapers & Journals that harbour a large sacred grove — lands that ought to have been assigned as Community Forest
Resources — have been encroached upon by palpable illegal mining, which has damaged water resources, affected farming, and created social dissonance. The mines are currently closed because of the illegalities, and the Gram Sabha has unanimously resolved that if they are to be restarted, this should be done through the agency of their multi-purpose cooperative society.
⇒ An imaginative deal
The 160-member World Trade
Organization (WTO) wrote history last week when its General Council approved its first major global trade deal since its inception nearly two decades ago. The WTO got into a logjam when New Delhi put its foot down, and refused to sign the trade facilitation agreement unless a solution was found to the food stockpiling issue. The resultant impasse had even put a question mark over the very future of the
WTO. Sensing the disastrous consequences of a WTO failure,
Washington swiftly went into a bilateral huddle with India. Once the two sides agreed on a solution to the contentious issue, the decks were cleared for the WTO to ink its maiden trade agreement. Quarantining the public food stockpiling issue has ensured that the members’ commitment for a multilateral trading system remains intact. India and others felt that the
Bali agreement put at risk their food security policies.
The WTO General Council has now agreed to keep the negotiations for a permanent solution on public stockholding for security consideration independent of the outcomes on talks on other issues. It
68

has also decided to let the peace clause, agreed in Bali, to remain in force until a permanent solution is found. The agreement clearly addresses India’s concerns. The
WTO has set for itself an accelerated time frame of December 2015 to arrive at a lasting solution to the issue. A stricter deadline reflects a sense of seriousness in not letting the issue linger indefinitely. In a way, it also assures the developed world that its concerns over the tradedistorting food subsidies remain a priority focus. With the General
Council adopting the Protocol of
Amendment, the process of implementation of the Trade
Facilitation Agreement has finally begun. Essentially, it is aimed at modernising the trade infrastructure and easing regulations to smoothen global trade.
Since the Doha Round, the
WTO has been struggling to be relevant in the midst of diverse interest blocs. It is hoping to shore up its image with the less-ambitious but procedurally significant trade facilitation agreement. The public stockholding issue almost spoiled the party for the WTO but now there is no need to redo Bali. Significantly, the WTO General Council has also given itself a deadline of July 2015 to agree on a work programme to implement the Bali Ministerial
Decisions. If it reveals a prudential compromise, the historic deal also underscores the acute anxiety among members to work towards strengthening the multilateral trading system. Surely, the deal must spur member-nations to discover ways and means to deliver fast on the Bali decisions. The moot question, however, is: will the deal embolden the WTO attempt liberalising the more sensitive areas of trade as was intended by the Doha Round?

⇒ No closure for Bhopal
For thousands of residents of
Bhopal, the disaster began the night they choked on the air which smelt of burnt chillies, and it hasn’t ended yet. The survivors got a pittance as compensation, thanks to an out-ofcourt settlement by the Indian government, and the late Warren
Anderson, then chief executive officer of Union Carbide India Limited
(UCIL), was not extradited for trial in
India. Justice seemed remote then, and 30 years later even more so.
Bhopal will be remembered for the horrors of industrial negligence and the havoc caused by methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals, and equally so for its aftermath of apathy and criminal callousness.
Recently, survivors appealed against a court ruling to reverse the decision that a U.S. firm could not be sued for ongoing contamination from the chemical plant. According to official estimates, 3,787 persons died and over 550,000 were injured, while unofficial estimates put the death toll much higher. The affected population continues to suffer from severe long-term health impact. The plant, which has tonnes of toxic waste, is yet to be cleaned up, and various agencies are still wrangling over whose responsibility it is and who will pay. UCIL’s plant manufacturing the pesticides Sevin and Temik was dumping waste on 6.4 hectares on the premises. Tests of the groundwater and waste dumps have shown the presence of mercury and other toxic substances, and chemical contamination has made water in the tubewells around the plant unfit for drinking. According to the law of the land, UCIL was fully responsible for the wastes and for the clean-up. The question of criminal liability was never really settled, though in the minds of the people there was no

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UCIL employees and its former chairperson Keshub Mahindra were convicted of causing death by criminal negligence and sentenced to two years in prison in 2010, but they were released on bail. If anything, the disaster should have taught some important lessons in environmental protection and law, compensation and criminal liability, but it didn’t.
Bhopal was not a tragedy, it was a disaster waiting to happen.
What is tragic is the predictability of events even after the gas leak: the lack of sensitivity and concern for the survivors, not even bothering to clean up the mounds of toxic waste, not attending seriously to the health issues, and making people run around for years for their rights. It is farcical that the government should enhance compensation for the survivors after having shortchanged them in the first place. Thirty years on, it is time for some serious reflection on the sensitivity of the state to such disasters. ⇒ An economic blueprint for Mr. Modi
Topping UPA’s robust growth would mean bettering the performance of the preceding UPA government. It was by no means insignificant. The UPA period saw the highest GDP growth rates in
India’s history. The annual growth rates of close to 9 per cent between
2005-06 and 2007-08 have been exceeded only once — in 1987-88, when growth shot up because the previous year had seen an unprecedented drought. During
UPA’s decade in power, national

income almost doubled; income per head went up 69 per cent. These figures are supported by the rise in consumer durable ownership shown by National Sample Survey. The boom witnessed under the UPA’s tenure has ended; growth in the past two years has been under 5 per cent a year. Industrial growth has collapsed. Even to achieve respectable growth, the NDA government will have to do something, which politicians like to call reforms. But they will be nothing like the reforms of 1991-93. The economy was hobbled with such controls then that all Narasimha Rao had to do was to remove them.
“Nara-indra” Modi has no such easy option. He needs to think out of the box. One idea he had was “Make in
India”. Make what? There is an excellent new website; the government certainly knows how to make them. It opens with a contrived lion made of racks and pinions. It lists
25 sectors — 14 in industry, five in services, four in transport, and two vague ones, namely space and biotechnology — which are little different from what the old government would have prioritised.
It gives pride of place to the DelhiMumbai industrial corridor. For the rest, it summarises industrial policy, which repeats all the convolutions of the UPA era. It is remarkable how little it has changed. There is a longing for revolution, but there is no idea of where to go next and how. To begin with, is manufacturing worth bothering about? Before the industrial revolution, India was the world’s most industrialised nation; after the revolution, it fell far behind. That has left a longing for lost glory. But the

share of manufacturing in GDP has been falling everywhere. The only exception is China, which achieved outstanding growth in the past quarter century through industrialisation. The Chinese story is complex, but some of its components are well-known.
Beginning in the 1970s, China set up an efficient steel industry, which has kept its costs of engineering and construction low. It built world-class railways, highways and ports, which took its manufactures cheaply across the country and the world.
India’s Achilles’ heel is electricity: it is expensive and uncertain. My solution for it is twofold.
First, the Centre owns a quarter of power generation capacity, and supplies fuel for over two-thirds of the power. It should give power only to State electricity boards that charge a single price for their power, which must cover long-term costs of generation. State governments must corporatise state electricity boards; if they want to give any consumer subsidies, they must finance them from State budgets. The same principle of long-term viability pricing must be applied to the
Centre’s coal, oil and power enterprises. Second, the Centre must buy floating thermal power plants like those in the West Indies, anchor them in ports, and use them to supply power to those States whose governments corporatise their electricity boards. Finally, the Centre must abolish all imposts on coal and oil products and create a national energy exchange where they are freely bought and sold; that will minimise the costs of energy. If it must impose taxes, they must be the same per Btu for all forms of energy and only on energy consumed by final users. The financial industry is overregulated and consequently

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An economist can theorise and imagine endlessly. But policy is not a product of dreams; it emerges from a bargaining process in which an economist is only one participant. My list would give an idea of how one starts with a problem and applies economic principles to it to draw policy conclusions. Policy is made by policymakers, brought into the public sphere by media, administered by civil servants, enjoyed or suffered by common people and reshaped by democratic processes. Those who are elected may think they have arrived and only have to wave a magic wand; those who have elected them may soar with hope. But good policy requires a robust process of which elections are a small part. The new government still has to design the process, let alone implement it.
⇒ Insecure and insular in urban India
It is easy to see how in the past
20 years the idea of private ownership has had a huge debilitating impact on urban life. The city has changed from being a congenial space of shared amenities and relationships to a fearful nightmare of private strongholds and walled compounds
— insecure, insular and isolated. As the boundaries of the city have expanded to take in more people, the real boundaries around residents have closed in. In Gurgaon outside
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Delhi, Vastrapur in Ahmedabad, or
Whitefield in Bengaluru, the gated community coaxes the home owner into believing in the security of living among people like each other. The house comes now with greater realms of private facilities: private parking, private entertainment, private office, private pool, private barbecue … when the home acts as a virtual city, there is no need to go out.
In the 1970s, with little use for a car, my parents opted to share the expense of a car and driver with four other homes in the neighbourhood.
Such efficient allocation ensured that the shared car was fully employed during the day within selected time slots. Five houses came together to share one car; today, each of those houses has four to five cars, mostly clogging the driveway. At the time, the local market had several lending libraries with the latest books. The system of short-term borrowing ensured that every book was happily thumbed by many interested readers, as were magazines and later, videos.
The larger thrust of the shared life also extended to living spaces within and outside the home. The absence of multiple TVs and fridges allowed the family to share time together; as did the community park, where people met in the evening.
Throughout the world, cities are attempting to create optimal conditions for shared interactive lifestyles. Suburbs in Washington and
Boston encourage carpooling by creating special fast lanes into the city. In a new scheme in Orlando, tight-knit town houses open out into a common garden, allowing an easy mingling of all residents. Offices in
Bogotá hire shared taxis to ferry their staff into the city.
Other initiatives such as cohousing in Denmark support

communities planned and managed by the residents who share responsibilities of child care, recreation and security along with social activities. Some new Chinese cities discourage any form of private ownership — whether house or car
— so people live close to places of work in rental housing. Stockholm’s suburban ordinance even allows private gardens to be used publicly.
Families without their own lawns are encouraged to use someone else’s as their own. The world’s most liveable cities are without doubt those that encourage such shared patterns in civic regulations.
Governments abroad have also made conscious and consistent efforts to eradicate the visible hierarchy of their cities, ensuring that everyone lives together, works and shares a common pool of services and facilities. Senators in Washington live in standard suburban homes and commute every morning like ordinary citizens. In the Netherlands, Queen
Beatrix could be seen choosing vegetables in the local market. Warren
Buffett, one of America’s richest men, still maintains his old family home in
Omaha, and is often seen playing with his grandkids on the sidewalk.
Naturally, a government that still follows antiquated regulations and by-laws is hardly capable of offering thoughtful solutions in this direction.
Equally, it is a shameful sign of our times that builders profiting from construction, continue to lavish all their efforts where none is needed.
As money and good times roll in, developers begin a steady and relentless marketing of luxury villas and townships, privatising the city further with high electrified boundaries and yet more isolation.
Why is it then that these fortress walls in suburban Delhi,
Bengaluru and Pune foster such seclusion and despair, but the

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— despite the stigma of slum living
— are welcoming and unrestrained?
In a society that has traditionally lived on the ideal of dependence, a return to a more egalitarian shared existence is a certain possibility.
Now, more than ever, with the threat of smart cities looming large, the creation of a civic model needs careful stating, design and evaluation. Beginning with the redesign of the middle-class home, its relation to its neighbours, the value of community over privacy, shared transport over the private car, the compaction of distance between home, workplace and recreation, the abolishing of gated complexes, the inclusion of common greens, the reduction of private commerce, the conversion of roads to parks and walking tracks, can all be directed in the thrust for a different type of city.
If private builders wish to apply any such ideas in their projects, the government should allow them a slate clean of all local restrictions to make it possible.
⇒ Rethink the death penalty
As India continues to stand in favour of the death penalty, it is increasingly finding itself in the margins of world politics and international standards on this issue.
On a UN General Assembly resolution to establish a moratorium on death penalty, a vast majority of the countries have voted in favour of abolishing the penalty. Although the resolution does not have binding value, it does carry considerable moral and political weight. Amnesty
International reported that 114 of the UN’s 193 member-states voted in favour of the resolution and 36 voted against it, while 34 abstained.

Around 140 countries worldwide have abolished the death penalty in law or practice, and the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is strongly against it. The
International Criminal Court envisages life imprisonment even for crimes against humanity such as genocide. Customary international law does not prohibit the death penalty currently, but global opinion is rapidly moving towards an abolition. Given this global trend, India gave the following reasons for its retentionist position: (a) the sovereign right to determine its own laws; (b) the death penalty is exercised in the
“rarest of rare” cases; and (c) India guarantees ‘rule of law’ and the necessary procedural safeguards for a fair trial. But this justification is grossly inadequate. Abolition is now firmly entrenched in the human rights discourse and no longer limited to national criminal justice policy, making the ‘sovereignty defence’ much weaker. As far as the “rarest of rare” jurisprudence is concerned, the
Supreme Court in Sangeeth (2013) agrees that this principle laid down in Bachan Singh (1980) has received erroneous and inconsistent interpretations in most judgments since Machhi Singh (1983).
The court concedes that the test has become arbitrary and judgecentric rather than principle-centric.
In an interview to Frontline, Justice
A.P. Shah said: “Clearly, the two prisoners in Ravji’s case who were wrongly sentenced to death were executed as a result of these flawed judgments, constituting the gravest known miscarriages of justice...” As far as the ‘due process of law’ is concerned, the stealthy killings of
Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru, as well as the undue delay in handling mercy petitions, deftly spelt out in
Shatrughan Chauhan (2014), reflect

flawed executive action that cannot always be corrected by judicial intervention. Even if public opinion in India currently favours the death penalty, the move towards a more enlightened approach can be initiated in Parliament. As India endeavours to play a stronger role in world politics, it is time to rethink its stand on the death penalty with more clarity. ⇒ A welcome U-turn
In making it clear that his government intends to move quickly on the 2011 Protocol to the existing
1974 Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh, Prime Minister
Narendra Modi has made an important and necessary correction to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s neighbourhood vision. While in opposition, the BJP had refused to lend support to the constitutional amendment required for implementing the Protocol as it involved ceding territory to another nation. Led by its Assam unit, the BJP was then of the view that it would compromise the country’s territorial integrity as India would cede more land to Bangladesh than it would get. In reality, the exchange involves enclaves that are non-contiguous, and deep inside Indian or
Bangladesh territory. There are 111
Indian enclaves totalling about
17,160 acres, or 70 sq km, in
Bangladesh; India has 51
Bangladeshi enclaves, totalling
7,110.02 acres, or about 28 sq km.
India does not govern the Indian enclaves in Bangladesh, and vice versa. As a result, these islands of
“alien” populations have had no access to the development, job opportunities, laws or rights of either the country to which they belong or the one that surrounds them.
Instead, they have become a law

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“adverse” possession, that is,
Bangladesh land contiguous with the border, inhabited by its citizens and de facto under its control, but falling on the Indian side of the border, and vice versa. Under this, India will get formal control of about 2,777 acres, or 11 sq km, and Bangladesh 2,267 acres, or 9 sq km.
With the BJP now ready for it, the constitutional amendment can be passed quickly. The Cabinet must then ratify the Protocol before implementation can begin. The
Protocol is essential to completing an unfinished task left over from history, that of properly demarcating the border between India and
Bangladesh. Prime Minister Modi sought to hard-sell the land swap to his party as an instrument of internal security and a means to prevent illegal migration, perceived by the
BJP as two sides of the same coin.
As important is the humanitarian aspect, as the Protocol can bring a huge improvement in the lives of thousands of people. When it is implemented, the 14,000 or so residents of the Bangladeshi enclaves in India will have the option of becoming Indian citizens. In addition, at least some of the 37,000 or so Indians in the enclaves in
Bangladesh are expected to cross over. Both New Delhi and Dhaka must ensure that any population transfers, and consequent changes to the demography on either side, are handled in a just, equitable, evenhanded and non-discriminatory manner. ⇒ SAARC’s make or break moment The most tangible outcome of the 18th session of the South Asian
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Association for Regional Cooperation
(SAARC) summit was the agonising wait for the “will they, won’t they” lastminute ice-breaker at a Nepalese resort between Prime Minister
Narendra Modi and Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif, leaders of the two nuclear-armed nations. It resulted in a rather contrived handshake and the exchange of bonhomie. Inevitably, this raises some serious questions about the future of the 30-year-old regional cooperation organisation.
Will it ever come of age or, as it seems more likely, will it die prematurely?
Although the gesture sent a huge sigh of relief across the subcontinent living in the shadows of a looming, if not inadequately perceived, nuclear
Armageddon, it has all but dashed the hopes of a quarter of the world’s humanity to live in peace and prosperity. While individual SAARC countries, especially their affluent sections, may have done well, the region as a whole continues to be mired in poverty, disease, illiteracy, ignorance and religious, ethnic and communal hatred — the deeplyimprinted signatures of our colonial heritage that the newly elected national governments had promised to remove at the time of
Independence. Instead of the eradication of most of these unwelcome tendencies and characteristics, it is disappointing to see their resurgence in most countries of the region. “If India is perceived to behave like a hegemon and Pakistan as obstructionist in
India’s ambitions to play a legitimate role in world affairs, SAARC may atrophy into smaller sub-regional groupings” The intractable problem of
Kashmir — which the British left as a parting gift to the two estranged nations — gave the ruling elites of

India and Pakistan the excuse to engage in a hostile arms race and deflect their attention from the most pressing problems they needed to address after gaining freedom from colonial rule. Of course, it may be a bit unfair to blame the British for everything — even in Kashmir — that went wrong after they left.
However, the fact that military command/control remained in the hands of British generals in both countries for some time, even after
Independence, does create suspicions in this regard.
Undoubtedly, India’s record in complicating, and its unwillingness to amicably resolving, the issue in a spirit of good neighbourliness is much murkier than Pakistan’s, where the dominant role of its military and intelligence agencies in strategic decision-making has been the main cause of a lack of trust between the two countries, often leading to cross-border proxy wars and violence. In recent years, however, there has been discernible progress in the civilian government’s attempt to reclaim lost space in policymaking, especially in the fields of security and foreign affairs. Pakistan’s transition to democracy is still a work in progress, rather than a mission accomplished. A decrease in tensions with India and some tangible progress on a mutually acceptable solution to the Kashmir problem could greatly ease
Pakistan’s journey towards a stable democratic polity. Such a development could also allay Indian fears about Pakistani irredentist misadventures and terrorist attacks, such as were witnessed in Mumbai six years ago and with its anniversary coinciding with the inauguration of the SAARC summit in Kathmandu,

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When SAARC was established three decades ago in Dhaka, Bangladesh, it was hoped that these problems could be better addressed at a regional level, helping countries to progress and protect themselves from positive and negative externalities and foster regional interdependence. It is true that in the last 30 years, SAARC has hardly achieved the kind of dynamism that similar organisations have produced in Europe, Latin America, East and
Southeast Asia by creating wellintegrated and connected regions.
But this has been mainly because of the continuing spat between the two largest countries in the region and their reluctance to bury the hatchet and move on.
However, even the slow pace with which SAARC has moved is preferable to there being no regional framework to work under. In an age when the destinations of global capital and technology are determined by the degree of integration of the region where they are located, including the availability of infrastructure and access to a pool of skilled labour with low transfer costs and ancillary industries, regional cooperation becomes a positive sum, win-win game. Notwithstanding its other failures, the 18th SAARC summit did support a historic accord for electricity sharing through a regional grid, which should greatly relieve shortages in many a member country.
Both India and Pakistan have displayed increasing impatience with the imperfections of the SAARC

process, which is undisputedly moving at a snail’s pace, largely because of their arrogance and intransigence. If India is perceived to behave like a hegemon and
Pakistan as obstructionist in India’s ambitions to play a legitimate role in world affairs commensurate with its achievements and capabilities,
SAARC may atrophy into smaller subregional groupings, which would be much less beneficial to the region as a whole. It would be a pity if this happens and the baby is thrown out with the bathwater. That would mean that South Asia would never be able to overcome its socio-economic dystopia and become part of the
Asian century spearheaded by China and East Asia. Therefore, it is imperative that the two countries get their bilateral act together and let the underdogs in the entire region reap the benefits of regional cooperation.
In a way, India and Pakistan are facing a moment of truth, akin to
(or the reverse of) the 1947
Independence moment in their history. As many retrospective histories of that moment have shown, those who had to take the decision whether to divide or to keep India united, seem to have done so in a rather hasty manner, without fully weighing the pros and cons of
Partition. Similarly, any decision to dismantle or dilute SAARC for the expediency or convenience of the two countries may prove costly and irreversible. ⇒ Understanding inflation targeting Inflation targeting is back in the news and this is welcome. I have always held the view that the dominant objective of monetary policy is the maintenance of price stability. Inflation targeting gives precision to the concept of price stability. In any monetary policy

framework, a key ingredient is an enunciation of its objectives. This aspect has assumed increased significance in the context of the stress being laid on the autonomy of central banks. Autonomy goes with accountability, and accountability in turn requires a clear statement of goals. The case of price stability as the major objective of economic policy rests on the assumption that volatility in prices creates uncertainties in decision-making.
Rising prices adversely affect savings while making speculative investments more attractive. These apart, there is a crucial social dimension, particularly in developing countries.
Inflation adversely affects those who have no hedges against it, and this includes all poorer sections of the community. This is indeed a very strong argument in favour of the maintenance of price stability in emerging economies.
A crucial question that arises in this context is whether the pursuit of the objective of price stability by monetary authorities undermines the ability of the economy to attain other objectives such as growth. In short, the question is whether there is a trade-off between inflation and growth. There is a general consensus that over the medium and the long term, there is no such trade-off and an environment of low inflation is most conducive to faster economic growth. However, there could be such a possibility in the short term. By injecting greater demand and thereby generating higher inflation, higher growth may be achieved.
However, to sustain this growth, the authorities may have to generate higher and higher inflation. This will end up as a self-defeating exercise.
What then is the tolerable level of inflation? At very low levels of inflation, there may not be any

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Interestingly, the Chakravarty
Committee, of which I was a member, regarded the acceptable rise in prices as 4 per cent. Several studies in the Indian context have estimated that the threshold level of inflation may be around 6 per cent.
Does the focus on inflation targeting by monetary authorities mean a neglect of other objectives such as growth and financial stability?
Hardly so. What inflation targeting demands is that when inflation exceeds the threshold level, the primary focus of monetary policy must be to bring it back to the desired level. It is sometimes claimed that the financial crisis of 2008 in the United
States and western Europe sounded the death knell for inflation targeting.
There is continuing debate on whether the crisis was precipitated by monetary policy failure or regulatory failure. Countries like
Canada and Australia, which were committed to inflation targeting, were not caught in the crisis.
Can the Reserve Bank of India
(RBI) or for that matter any central bank effectively implement an inflation mandate? Do they have enough instruments to achieve the goal? The ability of the central banks to control inflation when such inflation stems from excess demand is normally conceded. It is when inflation is triggered by supply shocks that some doubts are raised. Such supply shocks are most common in countries like
India where agricultural production is subject to the vagaries of nature.
Even when inflation is triggered by food inflation, monetary policy and fiscal policy have a role to play. If food
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inflation lasts long, it gets generalised.
Wages rise leading to a general cost push inflation. If head line inflation exceeds the acceptable level, monetary policy must act at least to ensure that the return on financial assets is positive in real terms. In a situation of supply shocks, it may take longer for monetary policy to bring down inflation. The recent experience with inflation in our country is a good example of this. That is why the inflation mandate must provide for a range and a time frame for adjustment which should not be too short. Nevertheless, monetary policy must act irrespective of what triggered inflation. Obviously, supply side management is needed in situations of supply stock and that should be the responsibility of the government. The second issue relates to an appropriate price index which should be used to monitor inflation.
In India, we have monitored inflation by mostly looking at the wholesale price index. That was because of the easy availability of this index. Until recently, we have had no composite retail price index. Since the objective of inflation targeting is to minimise the impact of price rise on people, the appropriate index will be retail inflation. The third issue relates to institutional arrangements within the monetary authority to take policy decisions consistent with an inflation mandate. In several countries, a technical monetary policy committee is constituted with members drawn from the central bank, from the government and from outside experts. My preference would be to constitute a committee of the board of the RBI to do this. This is what was done when the Board for Financial
Supervision was set up. While constituting the central board of the
RBI, this aspect of the work of the bank must also be kept in view.
Inflation targeting re-emphasises the

primacy of price stability as the objective of monetary policy. Given the rigidities in the economy and the lags in policy impact, it must be operated with flexibility.
⇒ Unanswered questions
The key takeaway from the meeting that Prime Minister
Narendra Modi had with State Chief
Ministers to discuss the contours of the new body that will replace the
Planning Commission was this: that power and planning should be decentralised and States should be empowered to plan, design and manage schemes based on what fits them best. This is a point on which consensus appeared to have emerged even as the Chief Ministers diverged along party lines over whether the existing body should be revamped or be replaced with a new one. The decision to offer a greater say to States in planning and managing schemes seems to have been born from Mr. Modi’s own experience as Gujarat Chief Minister when he made presentations to the
Plan panel and felt the need for a better platform to articulate the views of his State. In line with this consensus, Chief Ministers would be included in the body on a rotational basis to give it a federal character.
Mr. Modi’s remark on ‘bottom to top’ planning is a comment on how New
Delhi cannot tailor the development plans of States as each State has unique needs and problems. A second point that appeared to have gained recognition was that expertise and knowledge resided as much outside the government, if not more so, and that these needed to be tapped by roping in the private sector into the new body.
There is, however, not much clarity on the traditional role of the
Planning Commission, including its

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Commission was doing? Sunday’s meeting also failed to tackle the issue of who will allocate and transfer funds from the Centre to the States for Centrally-sponsored and Plan schemes, with Finance Minister Arun
Jaitley stating that further consultations would be held on this issue. The Planning Commission has also been a veritable think-tank producing studies and policy reports that different Ministries relied upon in their decision-making. The body was staffed largely by academics and bureaucrats at the top, and an attempt to enlist expertise from the business sector did not go very far. If the new body has to be a public-private think-tank, as the Prime Minister seems to want it to be, it should have the ability to attract top-drawer talent and also network with research bodies and universities in India and abroad.
Interestingly, unlike the existing
Planning Commission, the new body is likely to have a statutory role, giving greater weight to its functions and powers. At this stage, many unanswered questions remain, and a great deal more of conceptual thought needs to go into the making of the new body that is to come into being by the end of January.
⇒ New satellite takes wing
India has a new bird in the sky
— the communication satellite
GSAT-16 that was successfully launched aboard Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket in the early hours of Sunday.
GSAT-16 has 48 transponders, the largest number thus far on a communication satellite built by the

Indian Space Research Organisation.
It will join a constellation of 10 satellites that form the Indian
National Satellite (INSAT) system. Its transponders, operating in various frequency bands, will provide much-needed augmentation of the existing 188 transponders on the
INSAT system that broadcast television programmes, provide educational and tele-medicine services, carry telephone conversations, and relay data.
In addition, close to 95 transponders have been leased on foreign satellites, principally to meet the needs of Direct-To-Home (DTH) television channels. Vikram Sarabhai, who founded the country’s space programme, had the farsightedness in the 1960s itself to recognise how important communication satellites and the services they provide would be to a developing nation. It was a vision that his successors turned into reality, with the first of the indigenously-built INSAT satellites being launched in July
1992.
After the Polar Satellite Launch
Vehicle (PSLV) became available in the mid-1990s, the country has not had to look abroad to launch its remote sensing satellites. That transition has yet to happen with communication satellites. The current
Geosynchronous Satellite Launch
Vehicle (GSLV) has hitherto been trouble-prone, and the version equipped with an indigenous cryogenic stage replacing an imported Russian one made its first successful flight only in January this year. Even if the GSLV becomes a reliable launcher like the PSLV, it can only carry communication satellites weighing up to about 2.2 tonnes.
ISRO has already launched considerably heavier communication satellites on the Ariane 5, including

the GSAT-16 that weighs close to 3.2 tonnes. Launching these satellites abroad is expensive. The price tag for the GSAT-16 comes to about
Rs.900 crore. Of this, the foreign launch costs come to around Rs.560 crore — not including insurance. Had the next-generation GSLV Mark III, which can take four-tonne communication satellites, been operational, that launch might have cost only about half as much. But the cryogenic engine for the upper stage of the Mark III is still being developed.
The rocket’s first experimental launch, scheduled for later this month, will therefore be a suborbital one to test its flight characteristics through the atmosphere. ISRO expects to have the Mark III’s cryogenic engine and stage ready in two years’ time. The sooner that happens, the better.
⇒ Moving ahead on railway stations In its first Railway budget, the
BJP-led NDA government had focussed on passenger amenities and inviting private participation in the modernisation of infrastructure. While putting Meghalaya on the Railway map recently, Prime Minister
Narendra Modi spelt out a scheme to privatise and modernise railway stations. He said 10 to 12 stations will be taken up under the programme to significantly upgrade passenger amenities and make them akin to airport terminal buildings. The thought is not new, nor is the attempt to upgrade major stations. Similarly, the plan to leverage the extensive extent of railway land available has been talked about for years, without much progress being made.
Commercial utilisation of railway land could be very profitable, but needs to be done with caution to prevent exploitation or corruption. Now that the government has decided to allow
100 per cent FDI in Railway projects,

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Minister, the reform-minded Suresh
Prabhu, should work on the details to roll out the programme.
The first step will have to be the identification of stations across the country, deciding on what exactly the private sector or partner can do, and the sensitive issue of levying user charges. In any scheme of privatising public space, the question of user charges comes in, and it needs to be addressed in conjunction with the extent of investment and the kind of facilities provided in these stations.
When Mr. Modi spoke of trains running underground and commercial buildings coming on top of that space, the reference must be to the metro rail and stations in major metropolitan centres. What is more pressing is raising standards and facilities at existing railway stations in key cities such as New Delhi,
Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata,
Hyderabad,
Bengaluru,
Thiruvananthapuram, Ahmedabad,
Allahabad and Patna, to name a few centres. These are the stations that are old and call for urgent modernisation. In a limited way, the zonal railways have been enhancing amenities such as display boards, seating arrangements and catering facilities, providing in some stations even Wi-Fi. There is so much scope for a significant leap forward in the matter of amenities: these should include retiring rooms, waiting rooms, toilets, electric cars and wheel chairs for the aged and physically challenged, and, above all, maintaining cleanliness. Even where the Indian Railways has tried to provide some of these facilities, there is just no upkeep or maintenance. The area of cleanliness and maintenance is one to which the Railways need to pay immediate attention. The earlier the Railways
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start finalising this scheme and implementing it, the better. It should not be allowed to go the way of earlier plans.
⇒ Good intent not enough for good policy
The Indian Civil Liability for
Nuclear Damage Act (CLNDA) of
2010 is a good example of how good intentions alone do not lead to good policy. After obtaining a historic waiver from the Nuclear
Suppliers Group in 2008, which enabled India to engage in international civil nuclear commerce and acquire new technology for Gen
3 nuclear power plants, India adopted the CLNDA whose ambiguous provisions have adversely impacted expansion of nuclear power generation capacity.
These provisions may be well intentioned but the open-ended liability law makes all vendors, domestic and international, reluctant to engage with the Nuclear Power
Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL).
Since 2010, NPCIL has been unable to launch any new nuclear power project (Kudankulam 1&2 predate the CLNDA) and faces difficulties even in sourcing spares domestically for its indigenously designed
Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors
(PHWR).
This reluctance has negative consequences because to sustain annual growth rates of 9 per cent till
2035, India’s power generation has to grow 6 to 7 times. From 225 GW of installed capacity today, covering thermal, hydel and renewables, it has to reach 1,200 GW by 2035. Nuclear generation accounting for 4.8 GW today could rise to 80 GW, which is consistent with India’s three-phase nuclear programme and the quest for long-term energy security. To meet this target, seven more indigenously

designed PHWRs are expected to come on stream by 2017 taking capacity to 9 GW.
In the second stage, with 10
Light Water Reactors set up with international collaborations (the
United States, France and Russia), another 10 PHWRs and the proven prototype Fast Breeder Reactor,
Indian nuclear generation should reach 30 GW, ready to transition to the third stage, based on the thorium generated U-233 cycle. However, the nuclear installed capacity remains static though capacity utilisation has gone up, thanks to imported uranium fuel. A peculiarity about international nuclear liability law is the concept of
“channelling.” In order to encourage its private sector to enter the nuclear power sector, the U.S. introduced
“economic channelling” through the
Price Anderson Act (1957) under which victims can initiate lawsuits against the power plant operator and other parties (designer, equipment vendors, etc.), consistent with tort law. However, in order to make it easier for victims to claim compensation in case of an accident, the operator bears the entire financial liability burden and is obliged to take out omnibus insurance, to indemnify the vendors. The operator nevertheless enjoys right of recourse against designers, vendors, constructors, etc. In 1979, following the Three Mile Island accident, the victims sued the operator, the designer and the constructor. While settlement was done by the operator, the operator had sued the designer and this suit was settled out of court.
Operators accepted economic channelling but with a financial ceiling and a limited time frame within which liability claims would be admissible. For the victim, the advantage was strict liability (the victim does not need to prove negligence), a single forum and a

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Incidentally, while the U.S. has been a strong promoter of “legal channelling” abroad, domestically, it has maintained “economic channelling” which retains applicability of tort law albeit in a modified manner.
There are two contentious provisions in the CLNDA. Section 17 allows the operator (NPCIL at present) to have right of recourse for nuclear damage against a supplier on three counts — if it is provided in the contract, if it is on account of equipment having “latent or patent defects” or provision of “substandard services”, or if there has been intent to cause damage. The first and third counts are consistent with international regimes; the second provision raises questions. These terms are neither defined nor is there guidance as to what standards would apply in an Indian court. Further, analysis of reactor incidents has indicated that it is impossible to identify a particular component or equipment as the defective one which could lead to unending litigation. However, in order to safeguard the victims’ interests, the operator’s right of recourse only kicks in after payments for nuclear damage have been made. In other words, the
CLNDA retains the strict and exclusive liability principles associated with
“channelling.” Section 46 provides that the provisions of the CLNDA are
“in addition to, and not in derogation of, any other law,” which has the

effect of making the supplier subject to Indian laws that apply to any industrial accident including criminal liability, tort law, etc, leaving potential liability open-ended and insurance difficult to manage. Under the
CLNDA, a set of Rules was promulgated in 2011. Rule 24 was intended to address these concerns but failed to do so and generated further questions. It limits the operator’s right of recourse vis-à-vis the supplier, both monetarily and in terms of a time frame. However, while it is clear that Rule 24 applies to the first part of Section 17, there are questions about its applicability to the second part.
To resolve this, the Modi government will need to follow certain guidelines. First, the problem needs to be identified as first and foremost, a domestic vendor problem and not misconstrued as addressing foreign vendors’ concerns. Second, it has to be addressed in an open and transparent manner involving all stakeholders including civil society and media, and not by stealth or clever fixes which end up in embarrassing dead-ends. The two principles of safeguarding victims’ interests, in terms of both strict and exclusive jurisdiction, and prompt redress of damage claims, have already been accepted and are not undermined by any redistribution of rights and obligations between the operator and the suppliers. Given the slow pace of litigation in India,
“channelling” would be beneficial to victims but cannot coexist with general applicability of tort law.
Therefore, just as Rule 24 constrains parts of Section 17, definitions of new terms and rules have to be developed to ensure that supplier liability is neither open-ended nor infinite. Second, cascading

insurance premiums should not render nuclear power economically unviable. Finally, we need to think in the long term. Tomorrow, the nuclear power sector could be opened up to private operators as is the case with other power generation. As the repository of power reactor technology, NPCIL will then be the design provider and would hardly like to be faced with the CLNDA as it currently stands.
Good intentions need a vision to translate into good policy.
⇒ Moving forward on insurance The
Insurance
Laws
(Amendment) Bill, which aims to increase the flow of foreign investment into the capital-starved insurance industry, is now just a step away from getting into the statute books. The Bill was first introduced in Parliament way back in 2008 but failed to receive support from parties across the political spectrum, including from the BJP, which now heads the government. The Rajya
Sabha select committee, which went into the provisions in detail and whose report was tabled in
Parliament on Wednesday, has recommended a 49 per cent composite cap on foreign investment while retaining the condition that management and control of the company has to remain in Indian hands. With the
Cabinet quickly adopting the amendments suggested by the select committee, the stage is now set for the Bill to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha where despite the
Congress’s support the Bill is not likely to have easy passage.
Political games aside, the adoption of the Bill is expected to open the tap for the flow of foreign

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Backed by a higher level of ownership, foreign companies would also be willing to share technical expertise with their Indian partners.
The 49 per cent cap will include both foreign direct investment (FDI) and foreign portfolio investment. Though this might disappoint those who would have liked the entire limit to be appropriated for FDI, the fact is that there are not too many companies that are profitable and mature to list on the stock markets. The scope for
FII investment is therefore limited. As the committee has rightly observed, incremental foreign investment should ideally be used to increase the capital base rather than to buy out local promoters who might want to liquidate a part of their stake.
Segments such as health insurance require sharp focus, and the market is also big given that the social security system is weak in the country. The committee has done well in not agreeing to lower the limit of paidup capital from Rs.100 crore for health insurance players; a lower threshold would have made it easy for nonserious players to enter the sector.
Expansion of the insurance industry is also important for the development of the infrastructure sector as the industry is typically a provider of funds for long-term investment. This augurs well for the BJP government’s focus on developing infrastructure.
⇒ Testing times for IndiaRussia ties
With 20 agreements worth billions of dollars signed in one day,
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India was a productive one. The deals touched most of the fields India and Russia cooperate on, from oil, energy and infrastructure to military training, even as the two countries set a bilateral trade target of $30 billion
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between them by the year 2025. What is more, the opening of India’s roughdiamond procurement policy by
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will mean Mumbai can dream of becoming a worldwide hub for the industry. Finally, President Putin’s offer of 12 nuclear reactors is the clearest and most welcome indicator yet that Russia does not share the concerns of other suppliers about
India’s liability laws. However, there is no denying that the old lustre of the India-Russia friendship has dimmed somewhat, and many of the affirmations in the “Druzba-Dosti” joint statement of friendship they issued seem problematic. The problems seem evident: Russia has watched with displeasure as India has diversified its military imports, especially when it comes to helicopter and aircraft purchases.
The slide is not recent, and last year a senior Russian official had made the country’s displeasure clear when he demanded India treat Russia as an
“old partner”, calling the decision to buy fighter aircraft and missiles from
France, the U.S. and Israel “illogical and unfair”. For its part, India was outraged by the Russian decision to lift its embargo on defence sales to
Pakistan, and the first-ever RussiaPakistan framework agreement that was finalised last month. Given that
India still maintains about 70 per cent of its defence inventory from Russian hardware, and is one of Russia’s biggest buyers, the unhappiness on both sides may not change the equations of dependence between them, but it must be addressed. In this context, it is significant that Mr.
Modi said the relationship with Russia would remain India’s “closest relationship” and it would be the
“most important defence partner”. It is increasingly important for New
Delhi and Moscow to reassure each other in spheres other than the commercial ones of defence, energy

and trade. Given Russia’s growing isolation from the West, and India’s growing closeness to the U.S. —
President Barack Obama’s visit is coming up in January 2015 — their relationship is bound to be challenged in many ways.
⇒ For better signage on the cyber highway
The IT Act’s vagueness and comprehensiveness are troubling at many levels. Instances of Section
66A’s use have been infrequent but arbitrary. Several prominent examples date from 2012, such as a Jadavpur
University professor arrested for disseminating a cartoon of Ms.
Mamata Banerjee, a businessman in
Puducherry charged for a supposedly offensive tweet against a politician, and the arrest of two young women in Maharashtra over comments related to Bal Thackeray’s funeral. Last year, the IT Cell of the Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP) compared the ostensibly draconian nature of Section 66A to the Emergency, with several leaders urging that it be amended or watered down. Just last week, the Supreme
Court requested clarity on Section
66A from the Centre, pointing to the inadequacy of the law and the arbitrariness of its use. The government, in its reply, defended the law: “even a single unlawful/ illegal message or image has a potential to tear the social fabric and destroy peace and tranquility.”
The inadequacies of India’s
Internet regime are not relegated to this one particularly contentious piece of legislation. In reality, the
Indian state, Indian society, and the
Indian economy confront a series of interrelated dilemmas pertaining to the future of the Internet. The manner in which these dilemmas are addressed will be crucial to determining India’s future as an open society, a secure state, and a

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The term “cyber” — whether used on its own or as a prefix — simultaneously insulates these matters from other aspects of public policy while encompassing a startlingly wide variety of issues related to personal and national security, economic development, and global governance. As an increasingly integral part of our dayto-day lives, the Internet is an extension of the offline world, with all its faults and features. And the faults lie not in the cloud, but in ourselves. The Internet is also here to stay.
Mobile technologies have already proliferated widely across the country, a revolution whose implications have yet to be fully internalised. And despite constraints on mobile and broadband infrastructure, Internet use in India continues to expand. The digital revolution is now an integral part of every Indian’s existence — even the poorest of the poor. At the bottom of the pyramid, digital technologies are enabling financial inclusion, improving basic education, and effecting revolutionary changes in the distribution of welfare and social services. At the top, such technologies are advancing commerce, travel, market access, and research and development in unprecedented ways. A stable and open Internet will be inextricably linked to the Indian economy’s ability to grow, innovate, and compete in a global environment. A further misconception — one that is

surprisingly widespread in the corridors of power — is that the
Internet remains an inherently public space. Yet, as more and more personal information is saved and communicated online, the Internet can no longer be treated in that manner. Users increasingly have their private correspondence, their finances, their personal histories, and their photographs on servers, not on their person. As such, users expect
— even if they are not necessarily entitled to — a level of privacy that governments and businesses do not always grant them. Personal violations by other users — incidents of hacking
— are treated with opprobrium and are subject to legal action. But there remains a disconnect between
Internet users’ perceptions of their own privacy and the ability, authority, and willingness of governments and online businesses to encroach upon it. Finally, some still believe that the Internet can be — or should be
— a completely open and anarchic space. The harsh reality is that, much like the offline world, the Internet is potentially dangerous. For all their unquestionable benefits, digital information and communication technologies can facilitate exploitation, criminality, hate speech, and threats to national security — just as other modes of communication do so in the offline world. The revelation just days ago that Mehdi Masroor
Biswas, a Bengaluru-based engineer, was behind the pro-Islamic State
Twitter handle @shamiwitness only further reinforces the notion that the
Internet cannot remain completely anarchic and ungoverned — untouched by the hand of the state.
India is at present poorly equipped to deal with some of the dilemmas thrown up by these realities.
Inadequate laws are but one part of the picture. The IT Act was amended in the wake of the 26/11 attacks in

Mumbai, and it was pushed forward with minimal debate and in a climate of insecurity. The end result is so poor as to be simultaneously meaningless and omnipotent, and thus erodes the credibility of our laws and our democracy. The Indian state is also expanding its capability to monitor communications online — steps that are necessary in the light of the very real threats to civil and national security in India — but with little public discussion as to its implications, and even less thought being given to appropriate oversight.
The Centralised Monitoring System
(CMS) is one such entity, but in fact several different agencies and ministries have the authority to monitor communications online.
Fortunately, there are possible solutions at hand to address these challenges. India’s laws on freedom of expression online — specifically
Section 66A — need to be brought in line with the “reasonable restrictions” on free speech contained in our own Constitution.
Simultaneously, efforts must be made to bridge the gap between public perceptions of Internet use and existing laws. This requires a better understanding by legislators, jurists, and members of the media of the inadequacies of existing legal frameworks. Second, the notion that there is a trade-off between security and freedom must be put to rest.
Given the potential for virulent hate speech and digital communications that compromise national security, there will be a continuing need for
Indian security, intelligence, and police forces to monitor online communications and take action when necessary in the form of removing content and prosecuting serious violators. Finally, India’s economy — dependent as it is on services and entrepreneurship — will need all the help it can get from the development of a vibrant online

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MakeMyTrip, Rediff — are essentially variants of other online services that have been geared toward the Indian market, while other innovations have essentially involved lowering costs. If
India is to compete globally, and if it is to generate tens of thousands of small businesses to ensure employment and growth, incentives and an infrastructure for radical innovation are necessary. The momentum is there in the form of the government’s Digital India campaign, but a closer marriage with Make in
India — one that results in a meaningful innovation policy — will undoubtedly be required.
⇒ A step toward humanization
Finally, a ritualistic burial is to be given to Section 309 of the Indian
Penal Code, 1860, the ‘living-dead’ law that has haunted India’s criminal justice system for decades. Taking a step towards a more humane law, the
Union government has decided to repeal Section
309
with overwhelming favour from a majority of the States. Under Section 309, an attempt to commit suicide is punishable with simple imprisonment up to one year and/or a fine.
Anachronistic in its approach, this law dealt with those in agony by holding up medical help through procedural delays and then penalising them rather than rehabilitating them through counselling and care. Over the years, this law has seen a tumultuous journey of contestations, to and fro, between retention and suspension. In an early attempt to repeal it, the Rajya Sabha had passed the IPC (Amendment) Bill, 1978, but the Bill lapsed as the Lok Sabha was
80

dissolved in 1979. Later, the Supreme
Court, in P. Rathinam (1994), stated that the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution included the “right not to live a forced life”, thus holding the provision unconstitutional. But subsequently, in Gian Kaur (1996), a five-judge bench overruled P.
Rathinam, upholding the validity of
Section 309. Gian Kaur stated that sanctity of life was a significant aspect of Article 21, and “by no stretch of imagination can extinction of life be read to be included in protection of life”. Similarly, the Law Commission of India in its 42nd Report (1971) recommended the repeal of Section
309, while in the 156th Report (1997) recommended retention, based on
Gian Kaur.
The Commission’s 210th Report
(2008) again recommended a repeal of the law, which was favourably reiterated in Parliament and decided upon recently. Globally, a significant historical factor aiding the penal law against suicide was perhaps the condemnation of suicide by institutional Christianity. St. Augustine called suicide “an unrepentable sin”, while for St. Aquinas, suicide was
“unnatural”. This ethic found its way into English common law in the mid13th century, and suicide remained an offence in England until 1961. No wonder that the 42nd Report of the
Law Commission relied, inter alia, on
Manusmriti, that holds suicide circumstantially permissible, to recommend the repeal. In resisting the repeal, Bihar urged caution, saying suicide-bombers would no longer be covered and deterred by law. This is however a minor concern because there are several anti-terror laws to deal with such situations.
Madhya Pradesh believed that the repeal would dilute Section 306 dealing with abetment to suicide. But this claim overlooks the Gian Kaur decision that stated that “Section 306 enacted a distinct offence which is

capable of existence independent of Section 309”.
New wars on the Cold War relic
While the Indian Ocean Zone of Peace (IOZOP), in its original form, appears relevant in the present context, the innumerable problems
India has faced on account of the resolution and the U.N. Adhoc
Committee on the Indian Ocean must be recalled before we take any formal initiative in this regard. Sri
Lanka, our comrade in arms in the
IOZOP initiative, has played games with us even in the happier days of
India-Sri Lanka relations and when
China was not in the picture. The new narrative in the Indo-Pacific may not be congenial to depending on Sri Lanka or any other neighbour to deliver on the IOZOP in accordance with our interests. The idea of IOZOP goes back to the days of the 1964 Cairo Conference of the
Non-Aligned Movement, which had expressed concern over the efforts of the imperialists to establish bases in the Indian Ocean and declared that the Indian Ocean should not be a battleground for the big powers.
The Lusaka Declaration (1970) refined the idea further and it led to the UNGA resolution, which proposed the IOZOP strictly in the context of the raging Cold War at that time. The UNGA resolution said:
“the Indian Ocean, within limits to be determined, together with the air space above and the ocean floor adjacent thereto, is hereby designated for all times as a zone of peace”. It went on to define the zone of peace not as one where there was an absence of war or of a state of peace and tranquillity, but specifically about the great powers halting and eliminating all bases,

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Ships would have the right to unimpeded use of the zone, except warships posing a threat to the littoral and hinterland states of the region.
Till the end of the Cold War,
India stuck to the purist interpretation of the zone as an area free of foreign military presence, particularly bases and other facilities, conceived in the context of great power rivalry.
Implicitly, India did not object to the movement of warships, as long as they did not threaten the regional states.
Indira Gandhi reiterated this position at a press conference in Moscow, making the Soviet presence legitimate, even though there were reports that the Soviet Union was seeking to establish bases in Somalia and elsewhere. After a meeting of the littoral and hinterland states in 1979,
India became acutely aware of a hidden agenda on the part of Sri
Lanka and others to draw attention to the increasing strength of India, posing a threat to the smaller states in the region. Sri Lanka was not loath to have an American presence in the
Indian Ocean as a stabilising factor.
A fallout of the debate in the
Indian Ocean Committee was that
India and Australia had become antagonistic to each other. Australia began complaining about the growth of the Indian Navy and also countered
India at disarmament forums, particularly at the Comprehensive
Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) negotiations.
At one point, K. Subrahmanyam maintained that the confrontation in the Indian Ocean should be treated as being triangular rather than bipolar as he felt that the military presence of the super powers was directed against the autonomy of the Non-

Aligned countries. China had taken a position of tactical support to the zone, as its presence in the Indian
Ocean was not in focus. As a proclaimed supporter of the developing countries, China expressed solidarity for the littoral and hinterland states in seeking to eliminate foreign military presence.
The focus on the Indian capabilities, which emerged in this context, was also a welcome development for
China. It claimed legitimacy for itself as a permanent member of the
Security Council and as an Asian power. After the end of the Cold War, the dynamics in the Committee underwent a sea change, with India itself shifting the focus of the zone of peace from the elimination of foreign military presence to one of cooperation between the major powers and the littoral and hinterland states. The debate became increasingly an embarrassed ritualisation of the demilitarisation effort. India’s joint exercises in the
Ocean with multiple partners legitimised the presence of various navies including that of the U.S. The
Adhoc Committee soldiered on without a particular focus, merely recalling the old resolution and emphasising the need for the permanent members and major maritime users to join in an effort to bring about a balance in the Indian
Ocean. From an arena of the Cold
War, the Committee became ritualistic without a clear focus or agenda. Naturally, new threats, such as piracy, terrorism, drug trafficking, etc were brought in, making it a forum to combat non-state actors rather than the great powers.
Revisiting the zone of peace concept, which has led to the long debates since 1971 may prove hazardous in the present context,

because the rivalry that is taking shape in the region is between the
U.S. and its allies, and China. With the kind of support China demonstrated in Kathmandu among the South
Asian Association for Regional
Cooperation (SAARC) countries, it is possible that the zone of peace idea will turn into a move to counter the
U.S. as a foreign presence and to seek some balance between India and China in the Indian Ocean.
China might well gain a status similar to India and strengthen its capabilities there. International focus on India’s naval acquisitions, present and future, may well become counterproductive. According to
Admiral Arun Prakash, there are not many navies, worldwide, which have seen, in recent years, or are likely to see such significant accretions to their order-of-battle.
A strategy of enhancing cooperation between the littoral and hinterland states and external powers without the reference to the
IOZOP may have a greater chance of success. India has special strengths in combating piracy, alleviating natural disasters and trafficking. The involvement of the U.S. in fighting terrorism may be of an advantage.
China has already taken note of
India’s inclinations in the Asia-Pacific and offered cooperation to avoid the “Asia Pivot” and to adopt an alternative Chinese vision. An opportunity exists for us to develop a third plan of engagement between the regional countries and external forces for fruitful cooperation in the
Indo-Pacific.
⇒ How to talk climate change in Paris
The United States and China, the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, have recently

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U.S. has agreed to emit 26-28 per cent less carbon in 2025 than it did in 2005 while China will peak its emissions by 2030 and increase the share of non-fossil fuels in its primary energy mix to 20 per cent by 2030.
The U.S.-China agreement came soon after a proposal by the European
Union (EU) — the third largest emitter
— to reduce its emissions to 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030, conditional on whether other countries would make similar commitments at the Paris summit in
December 2015. The EU also proposes to raise its share of renewable sources to 27 per cent in total energy consumption by 2030.
Announcing a $3-billion contribution to the U.N.-backed climate change mitigation fund, the U.S. President,
Barack Obama said that the U.S.China agreement showed the way forward. A closer look at what the agreement really means shows that, first, it does not lay out a road map for meeting the targets. Second, it is bilateral and voluntary. Thus, there are no penalties if either the U.S. or
China misses the targets. The fact that Japan, Australia, Canada and
Russia are doing less than what they had promised to do under the Kyoto
Protocol is a case in point. The 26-28 per cent reduction, now agreed upon, from 2005 levels is less than the 30 per cent reduction from the
2005 levels the U.S. had promised earlier in compliance with the
Copenhagen Accord. Third, it allows
China unlimited emission expansion until 2030. China had already set itself a goal of raising the share of renewables in its energy use to 15 per cent by 2020. Raising it by an additional 5 per cent in the next 10 years is more or less a continuation of an existing policy. The U.N.’s
82

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) says a 2°C pathway
— seen by most scientists as necessary in preventing catastrophic climate effects — requires annual greenhouse gas cuts of 40-70 per cent by 2050, compared to levels in 2010 and to zero or below by 2100. Thus the pledges by the three biggest emitters for 2025 and 2030 are not sufficient for limiting climate change to 2°C above the preindustrial average temperature and much less than what they can or should do.
India has already committed itself to a 20-25 per cent reduction in intensity of carbon emissions
(tonnes of carbon dioxide divided by GDP) below 2005 levels by 2020.
But the U.S.-China agreement may put renewed pressure on India to do more.
Does India really need to do more? And what can it do to deflect the focus away from it and back to the three largest emitters who indeed need to do more if climate change is to be limited to less than
2°C? Country-wise estimates for annual emissions of the largest six emitters vary depending on the source and the year. But in 2012, they were estimated to be roughly
8,500 million metric tons (MMT) for
China, 5,400 MMT for the U.S., 3,800
MMT for the EU, 1,900 MMT for
India, 1,800 MMT for Russia, and
1,300 MMT for Japan. These figures reveal two striking facts. First, India may be the fourth largest emitter, but its emissions are less than a fourth of
China, about a third of the U.S., and about half of the EU. Second, they are roughly equal to those of Russia and not a lot higher than those of
Japan. Russia and Japan are also among the industrialised countries which went back on the

commitments they made under the
Kyoto Protocol. Yet, the U.S.-China agreement is expected to shift the focus to India and not to Russia and
Japan. Nothing can be more wrong.
India’s emissions, even if it grows robustly, are expected to be about
4,000-5,000 MMT by 2030 — still well below the emissions pledged either by the U.S. or China under the agreement. In fact, they will continue to be so for a long time to come and perhaps forever as China’s greenhouse gas emissions have been estimated by the International
Energy Agency to further rise by 20 per cent by 2030 from 2012 levels.
India may be the fourth largest emitter, but it is a relatively small emitter despite having a large population. Its cumulative emissions have been low: less than a third of
China and a tenth of the U.S. Its per capita emissions are roughly a tenth of the U.S., less than a sixth of the EU, less than a fourth of China, and about a seventh of Russia. Thus, there is absolutely no case for India to agree to cut its emissions at the 2015 summit in Paris. On the contrary, there is a strong case for it to press the three biggest emitters to do more as there is still a huge gap between what the three top emitters have pledged and what is required by science and their historical responsibilities (the cumulative emissions). Though there is absolutely no case for India to curb its emissions, it is in its self-interest to increase the share of renewables in its primary energy mix — which can also be justified as its contribution towards controlling climate change and provide it greater energy security. Given our low per-capita energy consumption, we do need to go out of our way to shore up energy efficiency across the board and also purposefully boost green energy.
What should India’s strategy be then

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First, India should insist that there should be no reference to its annual emissions reduction till it achieves stabilisation as developed countries did and China proposes to do. Unlike China, India has a young population and it can grow till after
2050 when its urban transition and industrialisation will be almost complete and its annual emissions will stabilise. Thus, India may propose to peak its emissions in 2050. Second,
India may commit itself to a 25-30 per cent reduction in intensity of carbon emissions below 2005 levels by 2025, higher than the already promised 2025 per cent reduction in intensity below 2005 levels by 2020. Third,
India may propose to raise its share of renewable sources to 20 per cent
— the same as China — in its total energy consumption by 2030. This seems achievable as India will have access to the same technologies as
China. The newly reconstituted
National Council on Climate Change chaired by the Prime Minister can accept this target and announce it as
India’s objective both domestically and internationally. He may also announce India’s plans to ramp up solar power capacity fivefold to
1,00,000 MW by 2030. Third, India should take the lead in securing timelines and commitments on finance and technology, both crucial to addressing climate change. This would help keep intact its support among vulnerable developing countries and the small island states, which have been demanding that more concrete action be taken rather than efforts to just reduce emissions.
Finally, India must put renewed pressure on the three biggest emitters to cut their annual greenhouse gas emissions by 40-70 per cent by 2050, compared to levels in 2010.

⇒ The cost of convenience
Despite several committees constituted by the Union government highlighting the many problems posed by thin, non-biodegradable, single-use plastic bags, and a body of evidence also indicating their illeffects, the government emphatically stated recently that there would be
“no ban on manufacture and use of plastic bags” in the country. But such a ban is already in place in a few
States. Unfortunately, the other viable alternative of levying charges or raising taxes to curb its use was overlooked. The stand taken by the government is in stark contrast to the
European Union’s decision. In a commendable move, EU memberstates decided last month to cut the number of lightweight plastic bags consumed per person in a year. The member-countries would either limit the number of bags used to 90 per person a year by 2019 and 40 bags by 2025, or charge for all bags by
2018. Even in a country where plastic manufacturers constitute a powerful lot, in September this year California decided to ban single-use plastic bags from July 2015; though many cities have a similar ban, California is the first State in the U.S. to do so.
Several countries that have either banned it or made it chargeable have seen a precipitous drop within a short time in the number of thin bags used.
For instance, in 2002, Ireland witnessed a 95 per cent reduction in plastic bag litter once tax on such material was levied.
For a few minutes of convenience, people mindlessly turn to single-use plastic bags, apparently oblivious to its persistence in the environment, both on land and in the oceans, for hundreds of years.
Besides ending up in landfills or as litter in all possible places, they very often clog drainage systems and even prevent the recharge of

groundwater aquifers. The bigger ramification is the death of cattle and a huge number of marine animals every year due to plastic bag ingestion. The production process is energy-intensive. It is for these reasons that in 2012 the Supreme
Court observed that in the absence of tough measures, the “next generation will be threatened with something more serious than the atom bomb”. It is strange and surprising that in a country where reuse and recycling are part of the ethos, the rampant use of disposable plastic bags has become second nature. At a time when solid waste management even for biodegradable waste is nonexistent, it is naive to think of ever managing single-use bag waste.
⇒ A significant achievement
It has been a glorious year for the Indian Space Research
Organisation. The successful launch of Mangalyaan into Mars orbit on
September 24 on its maiden attempt was the crowning glory. On
December 18, the space organisation followed it up with another stupendous success with the first experimental launch of a GSLV Mark
III vehicle and the safe splashdown of an unmanned crew module in the
Bay of Bengal off the Andaman and
Nicobar Islands after re-entry into the atmosphere. These two achievements best exemplify the maturing of the Indian space programme and its capability to take the country’s space missions to greater heights. The experimental flight of Geosynchronous Satellite
Launch Vehicle Mark III carrying a
Crew module Atmospheric Reentry
Experiment (CARE) as its payload is remarkable for a few reasons. Unlike
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launches, GSLV launch history has been trouble-prone. Making it all the

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GSLV Mark III vehicle is heavier, taller and more advanced than others. The rocket has the capability to put into orbit communication satellites that are as heavy as 4 tonnes — twice as heavy as the ones that are currently carried by GSLV rockets. Once the new vehicle becomes fully operational,
India may well stop relying on other countries to launch satellites weighing up to 4 tonnes. The space organisation is confident of launching in two years a developmental flight of this vehicle with a fully operational cryogenic engine. Thirty long years after Rakesh Sharma became the first
Indian to travel into space aboard a
Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, India has now come a step closer to realising its long-held dream of sending humans into space, with the successful test flight of GSLV Mark III and the safe splashdown of the unmanned crew module. The capsule performed as expected after re-entry into the atmosphere and, remarkably, decelerated to 7 metres a second before splashing into the
Bay of Bengal. This is the first time
India had ever tested the deployment of parachutes for deceleration. But more than understanding the re-entry characteristics of the crew module, the primary objective of the current mission was to test the new design of the rocket, particularly at the time of lift-off and passage through the atmosphere. The fact that there was little deviation from the flight path during its entire course till it reached an altitude of 126 km, was proof that the two large solid boosters fired simultaneously at take-off. Also, the vehicle withstood the atmospheric loading as it travelled through the atmosphere. Tall and heavy rockets encounter greater atmospheric loading than smaller vehicles.

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⇒ Rise in global inequality
The findings from the latest
International Labour Organisation report on real wages point to a mix of proactive initiatives and policy paralysis in different contexts. The study notes that continuing deceleration in the growth of global real wages and discriminatory pay gaps based on gender and nationality could sharpen household income inequalities. A most striking finding is that labour productivity growth outstripped increases in real wage between 1999 and 2013 in the advanced economies.
The
consequent flattening of wage rises in these countries in the last two years is therefore no surprise. Globally in
2013, wages adjusted for inflation grew on average 0.2 per cent less a month than in the year before, to 2 per cent. Dashing hopes of a return to the pre-crisis rates of 3 per cent in
2007 are significant regional variations in wage increases. The world average for the preceding two years drops by nearly a half if the progress achieved by China is discounted. The nearly 6 per cent growth in real wages for Asia and
Eastern Europe, vis-à-vis the less than
1 per cent increase in Latin America and the Caribbean, point to sharp regional variations.
The distribution of wages also significantly influences differing levels of inequality. Wage gaps and job losses accounted for a 90 and
140 per cent increase in inequality in
Spain and the United States respectively. These are countries among advanced economies with the maximum increase in inequality between the top and bottom 10 per cent of the population. Conversely, more equitable paid employment accounted for 87 and 72 per cent reduction in inequality between the high-end and low-end segments in
Argentina and Brazil respectively.

Admittedly, an increase in wages would impact on the cost of production, profitability and competitiveness of firms. But at the macro-level, wage stagnation also feeds into a decrease in domestic consumption, investment and exports. Clearly, the current ‘cut off your nose to spite your face’ approach to policy-making has to give way to more constructive means of mitigating inequalities to sustain economic growth. Based on its effectiveness in the developing and advanced countries, the ILO recommends that a minimum wage floor should be set in a manner that balances the needs of workers and their families with broader economic factors. Collective bargaining is the other key institution that has a proven record of narrowing wage inequalities, subject of course to the extent to which employees are covered under such bodies.
Moreover, the cumulative cost of inequality to growth is by no means insignificant. This has been borne out by studies of educational attainments among the economically disadvantaged sections.
⇒ Cautionary signals
The Mid-Year Economic
Review for 2014-15 is realistic in its projection of 5.5 per cent growth during this fiscal. Economic data released last week on industrial output, trade deficit and inflation clearly show that the growth impulse is still weak and that the economy is yet to attain a steady state. The 4.2 per cent fall in industrial output recorded in October has raised doubts over the strength of the ongoing economic recovery.
October, being a festival-season month, ought to have seen a rise in manufacturing to meet demand for goods, but output, especially of

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— machinery imports were up by
20.32 per cent — indicating that the dip in industrial output in October may be an aberration and that
November could throw up better numbers. Corroborating this assessment is the fact that the auto industry had a good month in
November with car sales rising by 9.52 per cent. But in the same month, the trade deficit widened to an 18-month high due to a surge in gold imports driven by lower duties, a fall in international prices and festival season demand. Notably, the deficit widened despite a contraction in the crude oil import bill by $1.26 billion, or 9.73 per cent.
Though export growth recovered to 7.27 per cent in
November after a fall during
October, from hereon the going is likely to be tough for exporters given the uncertain global environment caused by falling oil prices.
Petroleum products exports, which account for a fifth of India’s total exports, dipped by 14.15 per cent in November, reflecting the difficult market conditions abroad. Though it is not time to worry yet, the government and the Reserve Bank of
India need to monitor the trade data closely and prepare to take corrective action on gold. What should worry policymakers is the fact that fresh investment, which is critical to the revival of growth, is just not happening. The Review notes that there is likely to be a revenue shortfall of Rs.1.05 lakh crore during this fiscal due to overestimation in the Budget and slow revival. Indeed, meeting the fiscal deficit target of
4.1 per cent is going to be rather tricky in this backdrop. In the short term, therefore, it is difficult to see

public investment as a saviour. It may at best be an option to consider in the medium term, and that is assuming there are no setbacks in the next year or two. The only way forward now is to encourage and support private investment — for which the government and the RBI need to work together.
⇒ The entrepreneurs of violence On December 16, 2014, 145 people, including 132 children, were executed by the Tehrik-eTaliban Pakistan (TTP) in a terrorist attack on an Army Public School in
Peshawar. Operation Zarb-e-Azb is a massive counterinsurgency operation that was launched by the
Pakistani Army in June 2014 to wipe out the Taliban from North Waziristan a week after the TTP’s attack on
Jinnah International Airport in
Karachi, which killed over 36 people including the attackers. It involves
30,000 men, armoured battalions, air support and drones. The operation came in the wake of repeated failure of talks between the Taliban and the
Pakistan government. With the
Pakistan government feeling as if the
Taliban was dodging the talks by sending TTP sympathisers and not actual TTP ranks, the airport attack was the last straw. Between June and December, approximately
1,200 reported insurgents have been killed in the region and approximately a million civilians have been displaced.
To understand the TTP attack in Peshawar, we need to first understand the structure of the TTP.
It is an umbrella organisation of at least 13 groups started in 2007 by
Baitullah Mehsud. Last year, the leadership of the TTP came to
Maulana Fazlullah, also called the

‘FM [radio] Mullah’, a man who has violently opposed education for children, most clearly evinced in his instructions for the shooting of
Malala Yousafzai. When Fazlullah assumed the TTP’s leadership, four splinter groups emerged (alongside the pre-existing TTP Punjab) — the
Ahrar-ul-Hind (February 2014), the
TTP South Waziristan (May 2014), the TTP Jamaat-ul Ahrar (August
2014), and the TTP Sajna (May
2014). The groups emerged because of sharp differences on insurgent strategy between Fazlullah and other competing insurgent chiefs within the TTP, including the remaining members of the Mehsud clan. First, as I have already described, competition between insurgent groups for dominance in one piece of territory, leads to higher levels of violence. Memorable (not in a good way) violence of the type undertaken by the TTP serves the purpose of helping the group develop a brand identity, i.e., it is easily distinguishable from other similar looking groups. Having an easily distinguishable identity from a pool of similar groups allows the TTP to have an upper hand while amassing recruits. So, insurgent strategy and ideology helps in
“branding” and “banding” for an insurgent group.
Second, we cannot look at the
TTP’s actions in isolation.
Counterinsurgency, by definition, is based on force as a default strategy.
However, when deals with insurgents fail, the state’s tendency to use force becomes more pronounced and in some ways, is seen as more legitimate by state actors. However, counterinsurgency also dislocates entire populations, who, if not adequately resettled and policed, serve as new recruiting grounds for insurgent groups.
The

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North Waziristan have been swift, sustained and brutal. With ranks of the
TTP wiped out and the outfit splintering, the Peshawar attacks need to be seen as the TTP’s way of reasserting military dominance and territorial control; only, they shifted the target. Instead of a hard military target, a soft target was picked.
Third, what is telling is that, overall, the counterinsurgency operations have been effective in terms of putting the TTP out of commission to the extent that they currently find it difficult to attack a hard military target.
Fourth, typically when counterinsurgency operations are on the verge of destroying an insurgent group and are heavily coercive, the insurgent group asks for talks or a ceasefire. A cessation of hostilities allows for both sides to regroup, rearm, recruit, and move men, money and materials around. This is more important for insurgent groups than the state because the state does not immediately need the breathing room as much as the insurgent groups do. When a group becomes intricately bound to its own ideology there is very little wiggle room left for that group strategically. This is because for an insurgent group to have any local credibility, the group’s strategy needs to be commensurate with its ideology. The TTP’s ideology binds it to a regressive ideal, for sure, but it also does not lend itself well to negotiation and pacting as a strategy. To negotiate is to lose face.
With previous TTP leaders some talks were possible.
His strategy has been simple.
Whatever policy the Pakistan government attempts, decry it, stop it, attack it. So, he has, for instance, opposed everything — from women’s education to polio vaccines
86

— by calling these western implants that do not belong in Pakistani society, which must be governed by full sharia.
In many ways, if Fazlullah is the one who picked the Army Public School in Peshawar as the target, it falls in line with his thinking. In both India and Pakistan, the Army is one of the few modern institutions where military ranks matter more than entrenched feudal hierarchies. The
Army also hangs on to colonial traditions because many regiments were set up during the British Raj.
These colonial traditions have in cases become regimental traditions. Finally, the Army runs schools to facilitate personnel transfers without cost to the family. Many civilian schools refuse to take admissions in midsession. For a serving soldier who is transferred in mid-session, the easiest solution is to shift his child from one
Army school to another.
The only outcome that can be guaranteed at this point is that counterinsurgency operations will not cease against the TTP, neither will the focus be deflected to other matters.
This has been made clear by the
Pakistani Army chief, General Raheel
Sharif, and by most of the political establishment. If the Pakistan government were to think carefully about this process, alongside coercive counterinsurgency they would also open dialogues with the more approachable and perhaps moderate Taliban splinter groups — those that do not accept Fazlullah as their ‘amir’ or chief and have deviated sufficiently from conventional Taliban ideology to not be constrained if it comes to meaningful dialogue.
⇒ Honouring complex legacies
By conferring the highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, on former Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee and Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, who was president of the Indian
National Congress more than once

before Independence but was better known as the founder of the
Banaras Hindu University, the country has recognised the contributions made by these leaders to public life and India’s political evolution. The decision of the
Bharatiya Janata Party government is also indicative of a certain resoluteness to emphasise its own political tradition — Mr. Vajpayee was the first BJP Prime Minister of
India, for 13 days in 1996, and again, from 1998 to 2004; Malaviya was among the founding leaders of the
Hindu Mahasabha in the early 20th century. Mr. Vajpayee, now ailing, still retains appeal that cuts across political divisions because he was particularly mindful of seeking a larger consensus on national issues.
As Prime Minister his tenure was eventful, marked by a war with
Pakistan, a series of terror attacks including the hijacking of IC-814 and the Parliament attack, and
India’s decision to go publicly nuclear. Through all this, Mr.
Vajpayee’s statesmanship and his ability to demonstrate strength and large-heartedness simultaneously, only got better. Freedom-fighter, journalist, educationist and social activist, Malaviya belonged to the
Hindu nationalist stream within the
Indian National Congress. He was fiercely opposed to Congress participation in the Khilafat movement and disfavoured separate electorates for different communities proposed by the British government.
An important figure in the NonCooperation Movement, he was a delegate in the First Round Table
Conference in 1930. But Malaviya’s living legacy is the BHU that he founded in 1916 in the city of
Varanasi with the help and support of Annie Besant.

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Previous ‘Bharat Ratna’ awards have had their share of controversies, and accusations that many dispensations have used it to further their own political interests and negate those of opponents are not unfounded. The fact that Dr. B.R.
Ambedkar was conferred the Bharat
Ratna only in 1990 when a government in which his followers had influence was in power is a telling example. Historical figures often leave mixed and complex legacies, and Mr. Vajpayee and Malaviya are no exceptions. Honouring a personality is not necessarily an endorsement of all of his politics, or being blind to his failures and shortcomings. It is also not about jettisoning disagreements in our public space. It would be unfortunate if the highest civilian award of the country becomes a matter of political disagreement rather than of collective celebration and endorsement of those who have contributed in significant measure to the making of India as a diverse and multifaceted nation.
⇒ Justice in slow motion
Even for a country known for its tardy judicial processes, the fact that the L.N. Mishra assassination case remained in the trial stage for nearly
40 years after the Union Railway
Minister was killed in January 1975 is an unconscionable blot on the criminal justice system. It is somewhat typical of the administration of justice in the country, but longer than normal, as even long and protracted proceedings move on from trial to appellate stage within a decade and a half. Undue delay, it is often noted, amounts to denial of justice. The accused have to bear the burden of a pending criminal case for years, often from their youth to a ripe old age. The victims and their families

are left with a sense of dejection.
Delay may also lead to unjust acquittals as many key witnesses are unlikely to be available or have a sufficiently good memory to testify with confidence after the passage of many years. In the Mishra case, four men have been sentenced to life imprisonment, but they are already too old and infirm to suffer rigorous imprisonment. There really cannot be any acceptable justification for the 35-year delay since the trial was transferred from Bihar to Delhi in
1979.
The Law Commission, which has gone into the issue more than once, has pointed out that the judiciary alone is not to blame for processual delays, as the fault equally lies with tardy investigators and prosecutors. There are other factors like lack of manpower and insufficient use of technology. The panel has suggested remedial measures, both administrative and legislative. One should not forget that some trials, invariably those involving public functionaries, have been expedited at the intervention of the higher judiciary. A perception had gained ground that the languid criminal justice system helped the political class delay and undermine prosecution for corruption. It was to remedy this that the Supreme Court fixed a time limit of one year after framing of charges for the completion of trials related to legislators. The time has now come for the judiciary to extend the principle to all criminal cases. A reasonable time limit, one that would not compromise on due process, may have to be fixed. Even now,
Section 309 of the Criminal
Procedure Code says once examination of witnesses begins, the court shall proceed on a day-to-day

basis until all witnesses are examined. This provision has to be enforced. As suggested by a Law
Commission report to the Supreme
Court in 2012, the law relating to superintendence of the lower judiciary by the High Courts may be amended to provide recourse for those affected by judicial delays to approach the High Court for expediting trials.
⇒ Making ‘Make in India’ happen The theory behind “Make in
India” is as simple as it is compelling.
India must become a manufacturing powerhouse in order to gainfully employ its demographic dividend; there is no choice here. Fortunately, we have many natural advantages including a big labour pool and a large domestic market. In addition, with China’s competitive advantage in manufacturing eroding, India has the opportunity to take some share of global manufacturing away from
China. All we have to do to improve the ease of doing business in India are these —stop tax terrorism, improve infrastructure, reform labour laws, invest in skills development, make it easier to acquire land, implement Goods and Services Tax
(GST) and fast track approvals. Voila, we will take our rightful place as the world’s factory alongside China. To become a manufacturing powerhouse, India needs a manufacturing strategy, otherwise known as industrial policy. The idea of an industrial policy is out of vogue these days. It is seen as ineffective at best and even retrograde, running contrary to the idea of free trade. This is patent nonsense. Japan, Korea,
China, Germany have all prospered by having a clear industrial policy and vigorously implementing it. The U.S., the United Kingdom, France and Italy have seen themselves deindustrialise

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Electronics, which included reducing import tariffs on hardware and software to zero, setting up software technology parks with tax incentives, and improving connectivity. Policy has always mattered and when it comes to manufacturing competitiveness,
India must have a clear industrial policy that spells out priority sectors and how we will build competitive advantage in a way that is consistent with our obligations to the World
Trade Organization (WTO).
India’s industrial policy must recognise where we have important competitive advantages. India is quite uncompetitive at low skill manufacturing. On the other hand, it is good at making complex things which require skilled labour and frugal engineering. Despite all its shortcomings, India remains a very competitive manufacturing location for sophisticated things such as construction machinery, cars and automotive components and diesel engines. We must focus on building competitive advantage and global scale in sectors where we have a large domestic market and certain inherent capabilities. Strategy is all about making choices. Here, five priority industries come to mind. Defence, because we are the world’s leading arms importer. Localising what we buy as a condition for all defence deals along with a willingness to allow majority foreign ownership can turbocharge our local defence industry. The second critical industry is electronics hardware. India imports
$45 billion of mobile phones, computers and communications hardware; by 2020, this is projected
88

to grow to $300 billion and exceed our oil import bill. This is unsustainable. We have to create policy incentives to create a local electronic hardware manufacturing ecosystem. Since most component suppliers, Original Equipment
Manufacturers and Original Design
Manufacturers are Chinese, this will necessarily imply incentivising
Chinese companies to establish factories in India. The size of our domestic market should make this possible. Concerns about security are misplaced; all our personal computers, cellphones and a lot of switches and routers are already made in China, so we are conceding nothing. The third industry is construction. India will invest a trillion dollars over the coming years in improving infrastructure. We need to create incentives that not only spur investment in manufacturing materials such as cement and steel but also construction equipment, locomotives, power generation equipment and so on. Everything we install should be made in India. The fourth is health care. India’s generic pharmaceutical industry is world class. We must not concede on intellectual property rights that neutralise our advantage. India is also exceedingly good at frugal innovation in medical devices such as low cost X-ray and ECG machines.
We have a real shot at being a world leader in innovation and manufacturing in this space.
To become a manufacturing nation, India has to quickly move beyond rhetoric to create a clear strategy and favourable policy environment for manufacturing to take off. The government has chosen to quietly dismantle the sclerotic
National
Manufacturing
Competitiveness Council (NMCC) but it needs to foster a more vibrant think tank in its place. A close dialogue and partnership between government and the private sector, both domestic and foreign, is critical.
Indian companies along with
Chinese, Japanese, German,
American and Swedish companies are all vital partners and we must create an environment that is open and welcoming. For this, the right leadership of this vital mission is critical. There is a clear and shortlived window of opportunity to become a manufacturing nation. We must not squander it.
⇒ Fencing the farmer out
On Monday, the Bharatiya Janata
Party government cleared the proposed ordinance to amend the
Right to Fair Compensation and
Transparency in Land Acquisition,
Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act
2013. This amendment, insofar as has been made known to the public, creates a separate category of projects which shall be “fast tracked.” The items covered under this category include industrial corridors, defence and defence production, rural infrastructure including electrification, housing for the poor including affordable housing, and infrastructure projects including projects taken up under
Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode. The immediate and likely impact of this amendment is that land can now be acquired for these projects without having to exhaust the pre-acquisition processes that had been put in place, namely the
Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and the determination of prior informed consent from affected families. A cursory analysis of this amendment shows why the same is not just problematic but is also a serious step backward. First, there is a reason why the consent and SIA process had been hardcoded into the DNA of the law.
Acquisition had become a tool for the use of brutal force by the state.

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Acquisition was almost always forceful, leading invariably to riots and protests (often violent in nature). By requiring the state to seek the consent of 70 to 80 per cent of the affected families, the law empowered those who were to be directly impacted against the arbitrary exercise of the power by the state.Second, the unamended law was enacted after unprecedented nationwide consultations which took place over two years. Two all-party meetings were convened. The Bill was subject to 12 hour debates in both Houses in which over 60 members took part. Third, under the unamended Act, the only exemptions to the consent and the
SIA clause were the 13 laws given in the Fourth Schedule to the Act itself.
Mindful of the fact that some projects were of greater national importance than others, the framers had already created this separate class of projects which included acquisition for the purposes of railways, national highways, atomic energy, electricity, etc. Acquisition for defence and national security had also been protected under the urgency clause.
And even these 13 laws had to be amended within one year, i.e. by
December 31, 2014 to ensure that compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement clauses were brought on a par with the new law (vide section 105 of the unamended law).
With regard to this particular amendment, the government is attempting to make a virtue out of a necessity prescribed by their predecessors. Fourth, crafting a set of categories which includes vague items such as infrastructure projects
(including PPP projects) solely for the purpose of exempting them from consent requires enormous application of mind. The exemptions given in the unamended law were the result of sustained public consultation. In the case of the

ordinance, exemptions have been created without any explanation as to why these activities or sectors are being placed in a class of their own.
Such lawmaking practices veer dangerously close to arbitrariness in administrative decision-making.
Supporters of the amendment will undoubtedly argue that the law does not dilute the provisions of compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement but instead only makes the process for acquiring the land easier. What they fail to realise is the gap between the bargaining power of the state and the lowest common denominator is a very wide chasm.
The SIA process gave these people
(often farmers) the right to negotiate fairer rates of compensation while determining if the project was truly in the public interest. It had also removed the scope for the subjective use of discretion by the
Collector and other representatives of the government. Now, with the
SIA process being waived, the
Collector can once again determine what constitutes a public purpose and how soon can land be acquired.
It was this unchecked authority that was at the heart of the multiple abuses of the law chronicled over the last 70 years. Discretion had been replaced by verifiable systems and processes to check capricious decision-making. Now, this safeguard stands eroded.
Also, the new law didn’t introduce the concepts of rehabilitation and resettlement. It merely put in place a process that ensured compliance and enforcement. The Supreme Court of
India had already mandated rehabilitation and resettlement even before the new law was enacted.
Another fear is that this new ordinance will effectively undo the

implicit limits that had been placed on the acquisition of agricultural or multi-crop land by the unamended
Act (done to ensure continued food security for our citizens).
However, the amendments seem to allow such acquisitions without restrictions. This gives rise to worrying questions as to who is the natural constituency of the party in power. The government should have instead used this opportunity to strengthen the legal regime governing land titles in States where it is now in power (since land is primarily a state subject).
Knowledge asymmetry and an active land mafia lead to the purchase of land being a risky proposition (and hence making acquisition more attractive). In the name of economic reforms and development, the government has taken a significant step backward in
India’s march to land justice. An ordinance pushed through in this manner violates all democratic norms and is the shape of things to come in the Modi sarkar. Given this cloakand-dagger approach becoming the norm for lawmaking in our country, we can only hope that in this era of acronym-anchored governance,
‘Modi’ does not come to stand for
‘Murder of Democratic India’.
⇒ Impropriety of ordinance
By promulgating ordinances within days of the winter session of
Parliament coming to a close, the
Narendra Modi government has shown that it is not averse to repeating what his party would have considered a constitutional impropriety, had it been done by a
Congress government. The power to issue ordinances is normally to be exercised to bring in urgent legislative measures when Parliament

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Join Online Coaching For IAS Pre & Mains Exams http://iasexamportal.com/civilservices/courses Selected Articles from Various Newspapers & Journals is in recess. It is not one to be resorted to merely because the government of the day lacks a majority in the
Upper House or is unable to break a deadlock in Parliament. However, it is seen that inefficient floor management, fear of facing a House in which the incumbent party does not have a majority, and a reluctance to make pragmatic concessions across the floor in the interest of sticking to its legislative agenda are the main reasons for prolonged deadlocks. It is a situation rich in irony as the BJP had often questioned the
United Progressive Alliance government’s promulgation of ordinances in close proximity to a parliamentary session. As in the case of the impasse in the Rajya Sabha that occasioned the ordinances recently issued to make legislative changes in the coal and insurance sectors, logjams are often the result of the

90

government’s aversion to resolving issues raised by the Opposition. The
Bharatiya Janata Party’s justification for exercising the President’s legislative power is that it had to avoid any further delay in the e-auction of coal blocks; and that raising the cap on foreign direct investment in insurance from 26 per cent to 49 brooked no further delay. And it has now approved yet another ordinance to amend the land acquisition law when there appears to be no urgent need to do so.
On the flip side, it is a fact that the combined opposition, which outnumbers the ruling party and its allies in the Rajya Sabha, was determined to stall the proceedings until the demand that the Prime
Minister himself make a statement on the ongoing ‘reconversion’ drive organised by affiliates of the Sangh

Parivar was met. Mr. Modi could have intervened at least once to clear the air on allegations that his government was conniving at the controversial ghar vapsi programmes across the country. For a government committed to undoing the ‘policy paralysis’ of the previous regime and revitalising economic reforms and good governance, his regime has shown notable reluctance to rein in fringe Hindutva elements that do not seem to care for the government’s growth and development objectives.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s claim that the promulgation of the ordinances signify the government’s commitment to reform is questionable. An easier way to demonstrate its commitment to reform would have been to create conditions conducive to getting the
Bills passed in the House.

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CYBERSPACE
Cyberspace word was introduced by William Gibson in
Cotton and Oliver. It is defined as “A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts… A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Lines of light
.
ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data.
Like city lights, receding..” In simple
.”
terms it can be defined as “the notional environment in which communication over computer networks occurs.” Cyberspace serves as a platform for people to interact, share ideas and aspirations, play games, engage in political discussion and so on inexpensively. It has broken down the barriers between the peoples and nations.
Once things happening in a country or a small city used to be confined to that particular city or country and hardly known to others for a quiet long time. But now the scenario has totally changed with the news spreading within a blink of eye.
Text messages were used to organize massive protests which ultimately became orange revolution which lead up to 2004 presidential elections in
Ukraine. In 2005 in Lebanon, e-mail and text messaging were used by activists to coordinate and bring a million demonstrators into the streets to demand that the Syrian government end nearly three

decades of military presence in
Lebanon by withdrawing its 14,000 troops. Result of 2009 Iran presidential elections flooded not only the streets of Iran with protesters but internet, twitter opposing the election results. Egypt spring 2012 gained its momentum through the aid of cyberspace. This role played by social media in Egypt revolution has been applauded across the world as success of cyberspace in bringing active civic participation, mobilizing popular protest for democracy. In all these protests cyberspace was used as a bridge to bring people, their ideas together and provide much needed space for communication.
Is cyberspace a new place for protest? Are these protests for peace or for terror. Many terrorist and extremist organizations utilize cyberspace for spreading its own agenda. ISIS flooding internet with video clips of its brutal acts and people closely following these videos and photos as a kind of reality show is contributing as a great deal to the organization’s popularity. A few
Indian youth inspired by these left
India to join ISIS. A software engineer based in Bangalore with fake twitter account used to gather information about ISIS and translate from Arabic to English and post it on internet.
Cyberspace is slowly turning to a cyber warfare. In order to counter the threat which Cyber space poses government has designed a cyber security policy main features of the policy are:-

• This policy aims at facilitating creation of secure computing environment and enabling adequate trust and confidence in electronic transactions and also guiding stakeholders actions for protection of cyber space.
• Computers Security Policies,
Standard Operating Procedures and guidelines were formulated and circulated to all
Ministries / Departments for implementation. • The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERTIn) issues alerts and advisories regarding latest cyber threats and countermeasures on regular basis.
• The National Cyber Security
Policy document outlines a road-map to create a framework for comprehensive, collaborative and collective response to deal with the issue of cyber security at all levels within the country.
• Adopt a suitable posturing that can signal our resolve to make determined efforts to effectively monitor, deter & deal with cyber crime and cyber attacks.
• Facilitating monitoring key trends at the national level such as trends in cyber security compliance, cyber attacks, cyber crime and cyber infrastructure growth.
• Focused actions at the level of
Govt., public-private partner-

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Cyber space does not only provide problems related to political unrest, it also poses major challenge

92

in economic front. With more and more people coming into cyber space this challenge is increasing day by day. Indian National cyber security policy is a good step in the right direction but there is still a lot to be done in order to contain the challenges cyber space pose.
International coordination along with proper awareness to youth in the country is required to remove this

menace. Cyber space does not only pose a challenge it also provides an opportunity for the Government to interact with its citizen. They can help in every stage from policy formulation to policy implementation. New government has taken steps in the right direction like initiatives of myGov.in but still a lot can be achieved. http://www.iasexamportal.com
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REGIONAL RURAL BANKS
Majority of Indian population reside in rural areas but they have very few formal channels of money supply. Due to reliance on informal channel of money like money lenders, rural population faces high hardship.
Over the time government has created few formal channels of finance especially for the rural area. Regional rural banks are one of the most important channels of money supply in rural India. The Banking Commission
(1972) recommended for a particular institution for rural credit system and finally Government of India established Regional Rural Banks as a separate institution for rural credit.
Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) were established in 1975 under the provisions of the Regional Rural Banks Act,
1976. They were formed with some specific objectives like;
• Develop the rural economy and to create a supplementary channel to the ‘Cooperative
Credit Structure’.
• To enlarge institutional credit for the rural and agriculture sector. • The RRBs mobilise deposits primarily from rural/semi urban areas.
• Provide loans and advances mostly to small and marginal farmers, agricultural labourers, rural artisans and other segments of priority sector.
There are three stake holders in regional rural banks. The Government of India, the concerned State Government and the sponsored bank.
The share capital of RRBs is in the proportion of 50%, 15% and 35%, re-

spectively for Government of India,
Concerned State Government and the sponsored bank. RRB’s operational area is limited to districts which are notified.
Over the years lot of RRB’s has come up, many of them are small banks and face challenges because of that. The RBI in 2001 constituted a
Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr V S Vyas to look into the performance and viability of RRB’s in rural credit system. Dr. V S Vyas committee recommended for the consolidation of RRB’s. First phase of consolidation of RRB’s was started in 2005 and the second phase in 2012. As a result of this two phase consolidation, number of the RRBs have come down from 196 to 64 on 2013. This consolidation process was done to provide benefits like; better customer service, better infrastructure, common publicity and marketing efforts etc. Amalgamation process also helped in increasing the credit limits of a RRB and it also helped in increasing the number of branches for RRB. The number of branches of RRBs increased to
17856 which covered 635 districts throughout the country.
Still there are some pressing challenges before the RRB’s like;
• High risk due to exposure only to the target group.
• Mounting losses due to non-viable level of operations in branches located at resourcepoor areas.
• Burden of government subsidy schemes and inadequate knowledge of customers lead-

ing to low quality assets.
• Serious undermining of the
Board by compulsions to look up to sponsor banks, GOI,
NABARD and RBI for most decisions.
• Under skilled staff and very less orientation towards profit maximization.
New government has accepted the amendment in the Regional Rural
Banks (RRBs) Act, 1976. Proposed amendment will lead to increase of authorized and issued capital which in turn will strengthen the capital base of RRB’s. Amendment will also fix the term of the non-official directors appointed by the Central Government, which should not exceeding two years. The proposed amendments will ensure financial stability of
RRBs which will enable them to play a greater role in financial inclusion and meet the credit requirements of rural areas and the Boards of RRBs will be strengthened. Still various other reforms are needed to ensure that
RRB’s function to their potential and provide the benefit to the rural population. Reforms like keeping the noninterest cost of credit to small borrowers as low as possible, due preference to the micro-credit scheme and encouragement to the formation of self-help group, A uniform pattern of interest rate structure etc. are necessary. If new amendments along with other reforms are executed properly then it will help in providing the credit facility to the rural population at a very low cost and it also help in proper functioning of the Regional Rural banks. http://www.iasexamportal.com
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THE MAURYAN EMPIRE
• The Mauryan empire was the first and one of the greatest empires that were established on the Indian soil. The growth of Magadha culminated in the emergence, of the Mauryan
Empire.
Chandragupta
Maurya, who founded the empire (321 BCE), extended control as far northwest as
Afghanistan and Baluchistan, and his grandson Ashoka, arguably the most famous ruler of early India, conquered Kalinga (presentday coastal Orissa).
Chandragupta Maurya was the first ruler who unified entire India under one political unit.
• When historians began reconstructing early Indian history in the nineteenth century, the emergence of the Mauryan Empire was regarded as a major landmark. Also, some of the archaeological finds associated with the Mauryas, including were concluding stone sculpture, sidered were considered to be examples of the spectacular art typical of empires.
94

Asokan inscriptions very different from that of most other rulers, suggesting that
Asoka was more powerful and industrious, as also more humble than later rulers who adopted grandiose titles. So,we can say that there are many sources to know about the
Maryan Empire, they are:

Secular Literary Sources
• Arthasastra:
It
was authored by
Kautilya(Chanakya
or
Vishnugupta) divided into 15
Adhikarnas (parts). Of which, the first five deal with tantra or internal administration of the state, eight deal with avapa or its relations with neighboring stales, and the last two are miscellaneous in character.
• It is the most important literary source for the
Mauryas. It is a treatise on government and economic policy. The Arthashastra gives us detailed information about the administrative system of the Mauryan empire. • The treatise lays down

various rules that should be formulated for a ruling monarch. It laid down strategies for a well-planned state economy. The work is concerned with all the topics that deal with the internal administration and foreign relations. • Indica: It was written by
Megasthenes but it is not available now. Megasthenes was the ambassador of
Seleucus Nikator in the court of Chandragupta Maurya.
His Indica is the foremost among all the foreigners’ accounts for Mauryans.
Indica has survived only as quotations in the texts of classical Greek writers, and
Latin writers. It refers to
Mauryan administration, 7caste system, absence of slavery and usury in India, etc. It has to be treated with great caution.
• Megasthenes mentions a committee with six subcommittees for coordinating military activity. Of these, one looked after the navy, the second managed transport and provisions, the third as responsible for foot-

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The activities of the second sub-committee were rather varied: arranging for bullock carts to carry equipment, procuring food for soldiers and fodder for animals, and recruiting servants and artisans to look after the soldiers. James Prinsep of the EICO in 1837. Majority of them are in the nature of Asoka’s proclamations to the public at large. Three languages but four scripts were used in these edicts (Prakrit in
Brahmi in mainland India,
Prakrit in Kharoshti in the
North-west, Greek and
Aramaic languages and their scripts in Afghanistan).

Religious Literary Sources

• Other
Inscriptions:
Nagarjuna
Hill
cave
Inscription of Dasaratha,
Jungadh Rock Inscription of
Rudradaman.

• Puranas: They give us chronology and lists of
Mauryan Kings.
• Buddhist
Literature:
Jatakas reveal a general picture of socio-economic conditions of Mauryan period. Digha Nikaya helps in determining the influence of Buddhist ideas on
Mauryan polity. Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa describe the part played by Asoka in spreading Buddhism to Sri
Lanka.
ain
Literature:
• Jain
Parisistaparvan talks about the conversion of Chandragupta Maurya to
Jainism.

Archaeological Sources
• Asokan Edicts: There are
14 Major and 3 Minor Rock
Edicts, 7 Major and 3 Minor
Pillar Edicts, and 3 Cave
Edicts located at several places in the Indian subcontinent.
Their
decipheration was done by

• Material
Remains:
Potterya use of Northern
Black Polished Ware
(NBPW). Wooden palaces and halls are the other material remains.
Political History
King

Length of reign-years Date

BC

Chandragupta

24

321-297

Bindusara
Ashoka

25
44

297-272
272-228

Dasaratha
Samprati

8
9

228-220
220-211

Salisuka
Devavarman

13
7

211-198
198-191

Bhrihadratha

8

191-183

• There were five major political centres in the empire the capital Patliputra and the provincial centres of
Taxila, Ujjayini, Tosali and
Suvarnagiri, all mentioned in
Asokan inscriptions.

Chandragupta Maurya
(321-297 BC)

defeated Seleucus Nikator, who surrendered a vast territory. Megasthenese was a Greek ambassador sent to the court of Chandragupta
Maurya by Seleucus.
• He occupied the region north of the Narmada (d) But
305 BC saw him in the campaign against Seleucus
Nikator with the treaty of
303 B. C. concluding the war in favour of the Mauryas. By the treaty, Chandragupta made a gift of 500 elephants to Seleucus and obtained the trans-Indus region (the territory across the Indus).
• Chandragupta became a Jain and went to Sravanbelgola with Bhadrabahu, where he died by slow starvation
(Sale/than).
Under
Chandragupta Maurya, for the first time, the whole of northern India was united.
Trade flourished, agriculture was regulated, weights and measures were standardized and money came into use.
• The
Junagarh
rock inscription of Rudradaman says that a dam on the
Sudarshana
lake for irrigation was constructed by Pushyagupta, a provincial governor of
Chandragupta Maurya. Later
Yavanaraja
Tushapha excavated canals for irrigation during Ashoka’s reign. • In 305 BC Chandragupta

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Bindusara (297-272 BC)
• Bindusara extended the kingdom further and conquered the south as far as Mysore. Bindusar asked
Antiochus I of Syria to send some sweet wine, dried figs, and a Sophist. Antiocus I sent wine and figs but politely replied that
Greek
philosophers are not for sale. Bindusar patronized
Ajivikus.
• Bindusara, known to the
Greeks as “Amitrochates”
(derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Amitraghata’ or slayer of foes), is said to have carried his arms to the
Deccan, extending Mauryan control in the peninsu-lar region of India as far south as Mysore.
• From Divayayadana we come to know that
Bindusara appointed his eldest son Sumana (also named Susima) as his viceroy at Taxila and
Ashoka at Ujjain. It also tells us that a revolt broke out at
Taxila and when it could not be suppressed by Susima,
Ashoka was sent to restore peace. Asoka (268-232 BC)
• According to the Buddhist tradition, Asoka usurped the throne alter killing his 99 brothers and spared Tissa, the youngest one. Radhagupta a Minister of
Bindusar helped him in
96

fratricidal struggle.
• In 1837 James Prinsep deciphered an inscription referring to a king called
“Devanampiya Piyadas-si”.
Later, many more similar inscriptions were discovered. Initially these records could not be attributed to Asoka. But in
1915 was discovered Maski inscription which speaks of
Asoka Piyadassi.
• There was a struggle for the throne among the princes on the death of Bindusara. This war of succession accounts for the interregnum of four years (272-268 BC), and only after securing his position on the throne, Asoka had himself formally crowned in
268 BC.
• Under Asoka. the Mauryan
Empire reached its climax.
For the first time, the whole of the subcontinent, leaving out the extreme south, was under imperial control.
Asoka (ought the Kalinga war in 261 BC in the 9th years of his coronation. The king was moved by massacre in this war and therefore abandoned the policy of physical occupation in favour of policy of cultural conquest. In oilier words,
Bherighosha was replaced by Dhammaghosha.
• Ashoka is the first king in the
Indian history who has left his records engraved on stones. The inscriptions on











rocks are called Rock
Edicts, and those on Pillars,
Pillar Edicts. The Ashokan inscriptions are found in
India, Nepal, Pakistan and
Afghanistan. Altogether, they appear at 47 places.
However, the name of
Ashoka occurs only in copies of Minor Rock Edict I found at three places in Karnataka and one in Madhya Pradesh.
Ashoka name is mentioned in only four places- Gurjara,
Udgolan, Maski, and Nittur.
The inscriptions of Ashoka were written in four different scripts. In Afghanistan area they were written in Greek and Aramaic languages and scripts, and in Pakistan area, in Prakrit language and
Kharosthi script. Inscriptions from all other areas are in
Prakrit language, written in
Brahmi script.
Asoka sent missionaries to the kingdoms of the Cholas and the Pandyas, and five
States ruled by Greek kings.
We also know that he sent missionaries to Ceylon and
Suvarnabhumi (Burma) and also parts of South East Asia.
According to tradition,
Asoka built the city of
Srinagar. The Mauryans had closed connections with the area of modern Nepal. One of Asoka’s daughters married a noble from Nepal.
The Ceylone ruler, Tissa, modelled himself on Asoka.
The most important event of

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Asoka’s reign seems to have been his victorious war with
Kalinga (260 BC). Bhabru inscription, states that after a period of 2 1/2 years he became an ardent supporter of Buddhism under the influence of a Buddhist monk, Upagupta.
• The find of Ashokan inscriptions at Girnar hills in
Junagarh district (in Gujarat) and at Sopara (Thane district,
Maharashtra) shows that these areas formed part of the Mauryan empire.
• Ashoka’s inscriptions have been found at Maski
Yerragudi and Chitaldurga in
Karnataka. Rock Edict II and
XIII of Ashoka mentions that his immediate neighbouring states were those of Cholas,
Pandyas, Satyaputras and
Keralaputras.

Sudarshana Lake
• The Sudarshana Lake was an artificial reservoir. We know about it from a rock inscription of
Junagarh(second century
BC) in Sanskrit, composed to record the achievements of the Shaka ruler Rudradaman.
The inscription mentions that the lake, with embankments and water channels, was built by a local governor during the rule of the
Maurya. However, a terrible storm broke the embankments and water gushed, out of the lake.

Rudradaman, who was then ruling in the area, claimed to have got the lake repaired using his own resources, without imposing any tax on his subjects. The famous inscription of Rudradaman found at Junagarh mentions that one of Chandragupta’s governors, Pushyagupta, was responsible for building a dam on Sudarshana lake near Girnar in Kathiawad.
From an inscription of
Skandagupta we come to know that this very dam was repaired during his reign almost 800 years after it was built. Asoka’s Dhamma
• Asoka’s Dhamma cannot be regarded as sectarian faith.
Its broad objective was to preserve the social order it ordained that people should obey their parents, pay respect to Brahmanas and
Buddhist monks and show mercy to slave and servants.
Asoka’s Dhamma was neither a new religion nor a new philosophy. Rather it was a way of life, conduct and a set of principles to be practised by the people at large. • The message of Dhamma was propagated in Aramaic and
Greek in the north-western borderland of the subcontinent. On the other hand, the emperor chose to issue a large number of

edicts in Prakrit in Brahmi script for areas in the Deccan which must have been better acquainted with Dravidian languages. • The Kandahar Greek edict, the contents of which have considerable similarities with and correspondence to
REs XII and XIII, enlists the virtues to be inculcated by people for practising
Eu’sebeia, i. e. Dhamma.
• Though Ashoka accepted
Buddhism as his main faith, it would be wrong to think that he forced Buddhist ideals on his subjects. He showed respect to all sects and faiths and believed in unity among ethical and moral values of all sects.
• In Rock Edict VII he says,
“All sects desire both self control and purity of mind”.
In Rock Edict XII he pronounces his policy of equal respect to all religious sects more clearly. He says, that he “honours all sects and both ascetics and laymen, with gifts and various forms of recognition.”
• Pillar Edict II Ashoka himself puts the question: “What is
Dhamma?”
Then he enumerates the two basic attributes or constituents of
Dhamma less evil and many good deeds. He says such evils as rage, cruelty, anger, pride and envy are to be avoided and many good

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1.

2.

3.

4.

deeds like kindness, liberality, truthfulness, gentleness, self control; purity of heart, attachment to morality, inner and outer purity etc. “ are to be pursued vigorously.
While different Major Rock
Edicts talk about different aspects of the Dhamma, the
Major Rock Edict XI contains an elaborate explanation of the Dhamma. The following are the main features of the
Dhamma:
Prohibition of animal sacrifices and festive gatherings (M. R. E-I), and avoiding expensive and meaningless ceremonies and rituals (M. R. E-IX);
Efficient organisation of administ-ration (M. R. E-VI) in the direction of social welfare (M. R. E-II);
Consideration and nonviolence to animals and courtesy to relations (M. R.
E-IV) and liberality to
Brahmins, Sramanas, etc. (M.
R. E-III);
Humane treatment of servants by masters and of prisoners by the government
(M. R. E-V) it also mentions the appointments of
Dhamma-Mahamatras;

5. Tolerance among all the sects (M. R. E-VII &II) (6)
Replacement of ‘Bherighosa’
(sound of wardrums)
‘Dhammaghosa’ (sound of peace) i.e. conquest through
98

Dhamma instead of rough war (M. R. E-XIII);
6. Maintenance of constant contact with the rural people through the system of
Dhammayatras (M. R. EVIII).

Mauryan Administration
The King

• The Mauryan government was a centralised bureaucracy of which the nucleus was the king. Asoka declared: “All men are my children” (Rock Edict VI).
The king was head of the state. He had judicial,

legislative and executive powers. The king issued what were known as sasana or ordinances. The edicts of
Ashoka are examples of those sasanas.
• The king was assisted in adminis-tration by a Council of Ministers
(Mantriparishad). Besides, there were some officers known as Adhyakshas
(superintendents).
• The Mauryan empire was divided into provinces. The important provinces were directly under Kumaras
(princes).

The empire was divided into probably five provinces.
Area

Province

Capital

Northern province
Western province
Eastern province
Southernmost province
Central province

Uttarapatha
Avantipatha
Prachyapatha
Dakshinapatha
Magdha,

Taxila
Ujjain
Toshali (Kalinga)
Surarnagiri
Pataliputra (It was also the headquarters of the entire kingdom)

• Provinces were subdivided into the districts, each of these was further divided into groups of villages and the last unit of administration was the village. The
Arthashastra mentions a wide range of scales in salary, the highest being
48,000 papas -and the lowest
60 panas.
Important officials
Amatyas
Sannidhata
Samaharta
Durgapala

Mantri Parishad
The king was assisted by Mantri
Parishad, whose members included (i) The Yuvaraj, the crown prince (ii) The Purohita, the chief priest
(iii) The
Senapati,
the commander-in-chief of the army a few other ministers.

The Secretaries
Chief treasury officer
The collector general of Revenue
Governor of fort

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Antapala
Akshapatala
Vachabhumika
Dhamma-mahamatras

Lipikaras
Kumaras

Governor of the frontier
Accountant General
Officer in charge of the rest houses, groves and wells etc.
A new post created by Asoka, empowered with the dual functions of propagating
Dhamma and taking care of the common folk for their material well-being.
Scribes Prativedikas Reporters.
The viceroys in charge of a province.
Generally they were of regular though the exceptions were also there. In order to check the growing power of the viceroys the
They were the modern district magistrates and in charge of district. They were to make tours once in every 5 years to inspect the entire administration of the areas under control. They were the later day Patwaris. They were responsible for surveying and assessing the land. In rural areas they were the judicial officers. A subordinate revenue officer of the district level. He was responsible for the secretarial work of accounting.
Responsible for accounts.
The tax collecting officer directly under the control of the Pradesika.

Pradesikas

Rajukas

Yukta

Gopa
Sthanika
27 Adhyakshas

Some of them are:
Sitaadhyaksha
Panyaadhyaksha
Samsthadhyaksha
Pauthavadhyaksha
Navadhyaksha

Supervised agriculture.
Superintendent of commerce.
Superintendent of market.
Superintendent of weight and measures.
Superintendent of Ships.

Sulkadhyaksha
Akaradhyaksha
Lohadhyaksha

Collector of tolls.
Superintendent of mines.
Superintendent of Iron.

• The state controlled almost all economic activities. Tax collected from peasants varied from 5 to 1/6 of the
Produce. The state also provided irrigation facilities and charged water-tax. Tolls were also levied on commodities brought to town for sale and they were collected at gate. The slate enjoyed monopoly in mining, sale of liquor, manufacture of arms etc

City Administration
• A number of cities such as
Pataliputra. Taxila, Ujjain,
Toshali,
Suvarnagiri,
Champa, Isila, and Kausambi are mentioned in the edicts of Ashoka. The Arthashastra has a full chapter on the administration of cities.
Megasthenese has described in detail the administration of Pataliputra and it can be safely presumed that similar administrative system was followed in most of the
Mauryan cities.
• Megasthenese tells us that the city of Pataliputra was administered by a city council comprising 30 members, which were divided into five members each of six boards. Each of these boards had specific responsibility towards the administration of city.

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First board

Second board
Third board
Fourth board

Fifth board
Sixth board

concerned with the industrial and artistic produce. Its duties included fixing of wages, check the adulteration etc. dealt with the affairs of the visitors, especially foreigners who came to Pataliputra. concerned with the registration of birth and death. regulated trade and commerce, kept a vigil on the manufactured goods and sales of commodities. responsible for the supervision of manufacture of goods. “ collected taxes as per the value of sold goods. • The officer incharge of the city was known as
Nagaraka. The tax was normally one-tenth of the sold goods

Village administration
• Gramika Head of a village.
He was generally elected by the people. He was not a paid servant. Gramvriddhas
Village elders (To assist the
Gramika in his work). Every village had its own
Panchayat to settle the disputes. The village was the smallest unit of administration. The head of the village was called gramika who was assisted in village administration by
“village elders”. The villages enjoyed considerable autonomy. Most of the disputes of the village were settled by gramika with the help of village assembly.

Army
• The most striking feature of
100

Mauryan administration was maintanence of a huge army.
They also maintained a
Navy.
According to Megasthenes the administration of Army was carried by a board of 30 officers divided into six committees, each committee consisting of 5 members.
They are:
(i) Army
(ii) Cavalry
(iii) Elephants
(iv) Chariots
(v) Navy
(vi) Transport

Society and Culture
• Megasthenese speaks of
Mauryan
society as comprising seven castes
Megasthenese could not properly comprehend the
Indian society and failed to distinguish between jati,
Varna and the occupation.
Megasthenes’ Division: He mentions seven classes:

(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)
(f)

Philosophers
Cultivators
Soldiers
Herdsmen
Artisans
Magistates and

(g) Councillors.
The above division seems to be economic rather than social. • The urban way of life developed. The residential accommodation, its wealth etc. were entered into official records and rules and regulation were well defined and strictly implemented.
• The chaturvarna system continued to govern the society. • A married woman had her own property in the form of bride-gift (streedhana) and jewels. These were at her disposal in case of widowhood. The widows had a very honourable place in the society. There are frequent references to women enjoying freedom and engaged in gainful occupation. • Megasthenese has stated that slavery did not exist in India.
However, forced labour and bonded labour did exist on a very limited scale but were not treated so harshly as the slaves in the western world.

Economy
• Land

Revenue:

Main

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6th of the produce directly collected by the king’s officials. Industrial Crafts
• The Mauryan state created a machinery which governed vast areas directly and to enforce the rules and regulations in respect of agriculture, industry, commerce, animal husbandry, etc.
• The vastness of India’s agricultural and mineral resources and the extraordinary skill of her craftsmen have been mentioned with admiration by Megasthenese and other
Greek writers. The state also owned agricultural farms, cattle farms, dairy farms etc.
• Industry was organised in various guilds. The trade was regulated by the state.
“India supplied the western countries with indigo, various medicinal substances, cotton and silk
Growth of Crafts:
(a) Metallurgy
(b) Wood-working
(c) Stone-cutting
(d) Textile-manufacturing
(e) Pottery.
The Mauryan State exercise monopoly over certain industrial activities like mining, armour and weapon-making, brewing of liquor, ship-building etc.

• Foreign trade was carried on by land as well as by sea.
The trade had to get a license to trade. The state controlled and regulated the weights and measures. The chief of a guild was called Jesthaka.
The guilds settled the disputes of their members. A few guilds issued their own coins. The guilds also made donations to educational institutions, learned
Brahmans and to the destitute. • The land tax was one-fourth to one-sixth of the produce.
Toll tax was levied on all items which were brought for sale in the market. Tax evasion was considered a very serious crime and offenders were severely punished. The income from the king’s own land or estate was known as sita.
• Brahmans children and handicapped people were exempted from paying taxes.
Also no tax was levied in areas where new trade routes or new irrigation project or new agricultural land were being developed.
• During Mauryan rule, though there was banking system in
India. Yet usury was customary and the rate of interest was 15% per annum on borrowing money. In less secure transactions (like sea
Voyages etc) the rate of interest could be as high as
60 % per annum. During

Mauryan period, the punch marked coins (mostly of silver) were the common units of transactions.
Tamralipti m the Gangetic delta was the most prosperous port on the East
Coast of India.

Art and Architecture
• The main examples of the
Mauryan art and architecture that have survived are:
(i) Remains of the royal palaces and the city of Pataliputra
(ii) Ashokan pillars and capitals
(iii) Rock cut Chaitya caves in the
Barabar and Nagarjuni hills
(iv) Individual
Mauryan
sculptures and terracotta figurines • The famous city of
Pataliputra (modern Patna) was described in detail by
Megasthenese, reference of which is found in the writings of Strabo. Arrian and other Greek writers. It was enclosed by a wooden wall and had 64 gates. The
Mauryan wooden palace survived for about 700 years because, at the end of the fourth century A. D. when FaHien saw it, it was astounding. The burnt wooden structure and ashes have been found from
Kumrahar.
• The Mauryas introduced stone masonry on large scale. The pillars and the capitals were made of sand stone, near Chunar in

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Mirzapur district. Fragments of stone pillars and slumps indicating the existence of an 80-pillared hall have been discovered at Kumarhar on outskirts of Patna. The pillars represent the Masterpiece of
Mauryan sculpture. Each pillar is made of single piece of sandstone. Only their capitals which are beautiful pieces of sculpture in form of lion or bulls are joined with pillar on the top.
• Single Lion capital at
Rampurva and Lauriya
Nandangarh.
• Single bull capital at
Rampurva.
• Four lion capital at Sarnath and Sanchi.
• A carved elephant at Dhauli and engraved elephant at
Kalsi.
• Seven rock-cut caves in the
Barabar and Nagarjuni hills show that the tradition of rock-cut caves in India began with the Mauryas. These caves were caused to be excavated by Ashoka and his grandson Dasaratha for the abode of Ajivika monks.
• Some Yaksha and Yaskshini figures have been found from Mathura, Pawaya and
Patna. They are large sized statues representing folk art of the period. The Yakshi figure from Didarganj, near
Patna shows a healthy female figure with fully developed body holding chorine in her hand. 102

Later Mauryas
(232-184 BC)
• Asoka’s death was followed by the divisions of the
Mauryan Empire into two parts - Western and Eastern.
• The western part came to be ruled by Kunala (probably one of the sons of Asoka) and then for a short while by
Samprati. It was later threatened by the Bactrian
Greeks in the North-west and by the Satava-hanas in the norther Deccan.
• The eastern part of the empire, with Pataliputra as the capital came to be rules successively by Dasaratha
(probably one of the grandsons of Asoka),
Samprati (who succeeded both Kunala and Dasaratha in the western and eastern parts respectively), Salisuka,
Devavarman, Satadhanvan and finally Brihadratha. The last Mauryan ruler, Brihadratha, was assasinated in 184 BC by his
Commanderin-chief,
Pushyamitra Sunga, who established his own Sunga dynasty. Causes of Decline
• The Mauryan Empire lasted a little over a century and broke up fitly years after the death of Asoka. Slowly, the various princes of the empire began to break away and set up independent kingdoms. In 185 BC. the

Mauryan king was overthrown by Pushyamitra
Shunga, an ambitious
Commander-in-Chief of armed forces. He started the
Shunga dynasty in Magadha.
The Mauryan Empire ushered in a dream that was to survive and echo again and again in centuries to come.
Some probable causes of decline of the Mauryan
Empire:
1. Brahmanical reaction
2. Financial crisis
3. Oppressive rule
4. Neglect of north-west frontier. 5. Weak successors
6. Pacific policy of Asoka
7. New knowledge in outlying areas-Dissemination of knowledge of manufacturing
Iron

OBJECTIVE QUESTIONS
1. The Buddhist sources like
Mahavamsa and Dipavamsa describe Chandra-gupta
Maurya a scion of the
Kshatriya clan of the Moriyas branch of Sakyas who lived in (a) Kusinara
(b) Pava
(c) Pipphalivana
(d) Alakappa
2. According to which of the following sources it seems that Chandragupta took advantage of the disturbances caused by the invasion of Alexander and his sudden death in 323

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B. C. in Babylon
(a) Jain sources
(b) Buddhist sources
(c) Greek sources
(d) Both (a) and (c)
3. According to which source was Chandragupta’s father killed in a battle and he was brought up by his maternal uncle and that. Chanakya. found the signs of royalty in the child Chandragupta
(a) Jain sources
(b) Buddhist sources
(c) Greek sources
(d) Archaeological sources
4. Who of the following writes
‘India after the death of
Alexander, had shaken, as it were, the yoke of servitude from its neck and put his
Governors to death. The architect of this liberation was Sandrocottas’?
(a) Plutarch
(b) Justin
(c) Marshall
(d) Strabo
5. Which of the following books describe that with the help of
Chanakya,
Chandragupta defeated the
Nanda king and captured him? (a)
(b)
(c)
(d)

Arthashastra
Parisistiparvan
Mudrarakshasa
Indica

6. Which of the Ashokan rock edicts mention that his immediate neighbouring states were those of Cholas.
Pandyas, Satyaputras and
Keralaputras?
(a) Rock Edict I
(b) Rock Edict II

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

(c) Rock Edict XIII
(d) Both (b) and (c)
From Divyavadana we come to know that Bindusara appointed his eldest son
Sumana as his viceroy of
Taxila and Ashoka at
(a) Kashmir
(b) Varanasi
(c) Kalinga
(d) Ujjain
Who of the following mentions that Ptolemy
Philadelphus of Egypt sent
Dionysius as his ambassador to Bindusara’s court?
(a) Ptolemy(b) Strabo
(c) Plutarch
(d) Pliny
According
to which tradition, Ashoka was very cruel in his early life and captured the throne after killing his 99 brothers:
(a) Jain Tradition
(b) Buddhist Tradition
(c) Vaishnav Tradition
(d) None of the above
Who of the following kings is the first king in the Indian history, who has left his records engraved on stones‘? (a) Chandragupta Maurya
(b) Bindusara
(c) Ashoka
(d) None of the above
Which of the following Rock edicts describe vividly the horrors and miseries of this war (Kalinga) and its impact on Ashoka?
(a) Rock Edict X
(b) Rock Edict XI
(c) Rock Edict XII
(d) Rock Edict XIII

12. Who of the following officers were appointed by Ashoka, who were vested with the authority of not only rewarding people but also punishing. them if required?
(a) Nagaraka
(b) Pradeshikas
(c) Kumaras
(d) Rajjukas
13. The Greek writers don’t give details of the war but state that a treaty (between
Seleucus and Chandragupta) was concluded in which
Seleucus conceded the territories (a) Kandhar
(b) Kabul
(c) Herat and Baluchistan
(d) All of the above
14. Who of the following writes
Sandrocottas who had by that time mounted the throne overran and subdued the whole of India with an army of 6,00,000'?
(a) Justin
(b) Plutarch
(c) Pluto
(d) Strabo
15. Chandragupta established a vast empire, extended from
Afghanistan in the west to
Assam in the east and from
Kashmir in north to
Karnataka in south, with the exception of
(a) Ujjain (b) Kalinga
(c) Koshala
(d) None of these
16. Which of the following historians say that Chanakya outlived Chandragupta and continued as a minister of
Bindusara?

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17.

18.

19.

20.

21.

(a) Hemachandra
(b) Taranath
(c) Megasthenese
(d) Both (a) and (b)
In which of the following edicts did Ashoka say that he had full faith in Buddha,
Dhamma and Sangha?
(a) Maski edict
(b) Gurjara edict
(c) Bhabru edict
(d) None of these
In which of the following
Rock Edicts did Ashoka say,
‘All sects desire both selfcontrol and purity of mind’?
(a) Rock Edict VI
(b) Rock Edict VII
(c) Rock Edict VIII
(d) Rock Edict IX
Which among the following officials were appointed by
Ashoka,
whose sole responsibility was to propagate Dhamma among the people?
(a) Rajjukas
(b) Dharmadhikarana
(c) Dharmamahamatras
(d) None of the above
Of the foreign kings, which were the kingdoms to receive the message of
Buddhism, and are mentiond in the inscriptions of
Ashoka?
(a) Antiochus Theos of Syria
(b) Ptolemy of Egypt
(c) Antigonus of Macedonia
(d) All of the above
Which of the following Rock
Edicts is a moving document which could have been written only by a human being as noble and as great as Ashoka?

104

22.

23.

24.

25.

26.

(a) Rock Edict VII
(b) Rock Edict VIII
(c) Rock Edict X
(d) Rock Edict XIII
The only king in the history of human kind who apologised to his conquered subjects for having waged war against them and caused them misery and sufferings was (a) Alexander
(b) Ptolemy
(c) Ashoka
(d) Chandragupta Maurya
After the death of Ashoka, the empire was divided into an eastern and a western part. The western part was governed by
(a) Kunal
(b) Samprati
(c) Dasarath
(d) Both (a) and (b)
Who among the following officers were perhaps the subordinate officer incharge of the revenues of the king?
(a) Pradeshika
(b) Rajjuka
(c) Yukta
(d) None of these
A group of officials worked in each district. Who among the following was the head of district administration and toured entire district every five years to inspect the administration of areas under his control?
(a) Gramika
(b) Yukta
(c) Pradeshika
(d) Nagraka
The Arthashastra mentions a wide range of scales in

27.

28.

29.

30.

31.

salary, the highest being 48.
000 panas and the lowest
(a) 10 panas
(b) 20 panas
(c) 60 panas
(d) 48 panas
Megasthenese tells us that the city of Pataliputra was administered by a city council comprising
(a) 20 members
(b) 30 members
(c) 15 members
(d) 25 members
Who of the following laid down penalties against officials in charge of work shops and prison who misbehaved with women?
(a) Megasthenese
(b) Kautilya
(c) Vavupurana
(d) None of these
Which of the following were specially protected by the state and offences against them were severely punished?
(a) The Artisans
(b) Craftsmen
(c) Priest
(d) Both (a) and (b)
Which of the following inscriptions mention that one of the carved gateways was denated by the guilds of ivory workers?
(a) Kalshi inscription
(b) Sarnath inscription
(c) Bhabru inscription
(d) Sanchi Stupa inscription
Which of the following inscriptions mention that two weaver’s guild gave permanent endowments for the maintenance of a temple?

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(a) Bharti inscription
(b) Nagarjuna hills cave inscription (c) H a t h i g u m p h a inscription (d) Nasik Cave inscription
32. Who says ‘A full treasury is a guarantee of the prosperity of the state’ and it is the most important duty of the king to keep the treasury full at all the times for all works’?
(a) Narada
(b) Brihaspati
(c) Kautilya
(d) Manu
33. W ho of the following describe the palace in these terms, ‘whey the greatest of all kings’ of India resided,
‘was marvel of workman ship with which neither
Memnomian Susa with all it costly splendour, nor
Ekbatan with all its magnificence, can vie’

(a) Megasthenese
(b) Strabo
(c) Arrian
(d) Ptolemy
34. Seven rock-cut caves in th
Barabar and Nagarjuni hills shop that the tradition of rock cut caves in India began with the
(a) Satavahanas
(b) Mauryas
(c) Guptas
(d) None of these
35. The caves were caused to be excavated by Ashoka and his grandson Dasaratha for the abode of
(a) Buddhist monks
(b) Jain monks
(c) Hindu monks
(d) Ajivika monks
36. Which of the following place’s figure shows a healthy female figure with fully developed body holding chowrie in her hand? (a)
(b)
(c)
(d)

Kalshi near Dehradoon
Didarganj near Patna
Chunar near Mirzapur
None of the above

ANSWERS
1. (c)
3. (b)

2. (d)
4. (b)

5. (b)
7. (d)
9. (b)
11. (d)
13. (d)
15. (b)
17. (c)
19. (c)
21. (d)
23. (d)
25. (c)
27. (b)
29. (d)
31. (d)
33. (c)
35. (d)

6. (d)
8. (d)
10. (c)
12. (d)
14. (b)
16. (d)
18. (b)
20. (d)
22. (c)
24. (c)
26. (c)
28. (b)
30. (d)
32. (c)
34. (b)
36. (b)

POST-MAURYAN
• One major change in this period was the transition from the proto-historical to the historical over a large part of India. For example, in the south the early megalithic culture representing a tribal stage was succeeded by the early historical which accommodated elements of culture from north India. The provincial governors soon

asserted their independence and numerous independent principalities came into existence. There were numerous dynasties established in very short span of time,We can say that this period saw instability.

Sungas (184 – 75 BC)
• The
Mauryas
were succeeded by the Sungas and they ruled for l12 years

from 187 B. C. to 75 B. C.
The first event of Pushyamitra
Sunga’s reign was his war with Vidarbha which was ruled by Yajnasena, a relative of a minister in the
Mauryan Court.
• Agnimitra, son of
Pushyamitra
defeat.
Yajnasena and brought
Vidarbha back to the fold of empire. Pushyamitra had to face invasion of the Yavanas

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• Malvikagnimitram refers to the defeat of Yavanas on the bank of river Sindhu in the hands of Vasumitra.
• According to Divyavadana,
Pushyamitra persecuted
Buddhists. But in the light of the fact that stupas at Sanchi and Bharhut were enlarged and provided with gates etc. during the reign of
Pushyamitra, this allegation does not seem to be true. The
Buddhists’ anger may have been due to the killing of the king by Pushyamitra.
• Pushyamitra was succeeded by Agnimitra in about 148 B.
C. , after a reign of 36 years.
Agnimitra had gained experience in statecraft as the governor of Vidisa under his father. No events of his reign are known, nor any coin or inscription of his reign are extant.
• Agnimitra was succeeded by
Jethamitra and after him came on the throne
Vasumitra, son of Agnimitra.
One of the rulers among the later king was Bhagabhadra in whose court Heliodorus, the ambassador of Antialkidas, stayed. The last, king was Devabhuti.

Kanvas (75 – 28 BC)
• Sunga dynasty was replaced by another Brahmin dynasty.
Vasudev, the minister of the
106

last Sunga ruler murdered his king and founded the Kanva dynasty. Patliputra was the capital of this dynasty.
• The last Kanva king Susarman was killed by the Satavahan ruler Pulamayi I. So, Kanvas dynasty declined due to expansion of Satavahanas in the Deccan, while in north
India foreign invaders were the cause of decline of the
Kanvas.

Ganasanghas
• We know about these
Gansanghas (republics) through their coins on which their names are found. Some of these were Arjunayanas,
Malavas,
Audumbaras.
Kunindas, Yaudheyas etc.
Most of these, later on became tributaries of the
Guptas and vanished altogether after the fourth century A. D.
• Satavahanas of Deccan (2 nd cent. BC – 2 nd cent. AD)
• The Satavahanas appeared in the Deccan as the successors of the Mauryas and ruled in unbroken continuity for 460 years. They are mentioned in the Puranas as Andhras.
Satavahana is a Prakrit form of saptavahana which means the solar origin of the dynasty. Satakarni is the surname borne by them. The
Andhras are an ancient people and are mentioned in the Ailareva Brahmana also.
• Before the emergence of the









Satavahanas in Maharashtra and Cholas, Cheras and
Pandyas in southern India, the region was settled by megalithic people.
The Greek writer Pilny mentions that the Andhras were powerful people who possessed a large number of villages and thirty towns, an army of one lakh infantry, two thousand cavalry and one thousand elephants.
The founder of this dynasty is known as Simuka and he ruled from 235 B. C. to 213
B. C. He was succeeded by his brother Krishna.
The third king Sri Satakarni I was Simuka’s son. He conquered large areas and performed some Vedic sacrifices including two asvamedhayajna and rajasuya. His reign is well known from the Nanaghat inscription of his wife
Naganika. It appears that he conquered western Malwa,
Vidarbha and Anupa
(Narmada Valley). He is also referred to as the lord of
Dakshinapatha. His name also occur s on one of the gateways of Sanchi stupa. It is well known that substantial donations were made by the Satavahanas for the renovation and decoration of Sanchi stupas and monasteries.
The next important king was
Gautamiputa Satakani. Three kings ruled in beaween of

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Malwa from the Sungas.
After Satakarni II, the expansion of Satavahana
Empire received a set back and Nahapana seems to have conquered part of Satavahana territory. A large number of coins of
Nahapana has been found in
Nasik area.
• The Satavahanas became powerful again during the reign of Gautamiputa
Satakani. His achievements are recorded in glowing terms in the Nasik inscription of Queen-mother, Gautami
Balasri.
• This inscription was engraved after his death and in the nineteenth year of the reign of his son and successor Pulmayi II. In this inscription he has been described as one who destroyed the Shakas.
Yavanas and Pahlavas. He overthrew Nahapana and restruck large number of his silver coins. He also recovered northern
Maharashtra,
Konkan.
Vidarbha, Saurashtra and
Malwa from the Shakas.
• Satakarni dedicated a cave in Nasik in the eighteenth year of his reign and granted some land to ascetics in the twenty-fourth year.
Gautamiputa Satakani is the first king bearing matronym and this practice was

followed by nearly all his successors. collateral branch of the
Satavahanas.

• Gautamiputa was succeeded by his son Vasisthiputra Sri
Pulmayi in about A. D. 1300 and ruled for about twentyfour years. The coins and inscription of Pulmayi have been found in Andhra
Pradesh. This shows that
Andhra had become a part of Satavahana Empire in the second century A. D.
• Pulmayi married the daughter of Shaka ruler
Rudradaman. But this Shaka king defeated the next
Satavahana ruler twice and took from him Aparant
(Konkan) and Anupa
(Narmada valley). The old stupa at Amaravati was repaired and enlarged.
• Sriyajna Satakani (A. D. 165195) was perhaps the last of the great Satavahana rulers.
His inscriptions have been found in Andhra Pradesh,
Maharashtra and Madhya
Pradesh. He regained the land that the Shakas had conquered from his predecessors.
• Hala, the seventeenth king, composed Gathasaptasati
(also called the Sattasi), an anthology of 700 erotic verses in Maharashtri or
Paisachi Prakrit.
• The Satavahana empire was partitioned among five minor dynasties. The northern provinces came under the sway of a

• In the west the Abhiras established themselves around Nasik;
• The Satavahana empire collapsed when Abhiras seized Maharashtra and
Ikshvakus and Pallavas appropriated the eastern provinces. Meghavahanas of Kalinga
• Kalinga rose to power under
Kharavela, the third ruler of the Cheta dynasty. The only source of information about this king is the Hathigumpha inscription on the Udaigiri hills near Bhuvaneshwar. The
Kharavela inscription is considered to be one of the most unique historical records. It gives a biographical account of the king’s life and his achievements, not in general terms but year-wise.
• The inscription, for example, says that after having received his training in writing, mathematics, law and finance, necessary for a crown prince, Kharavela ascended the throne in his twenty-fourth year.
• Kharavela invaded the kingdom of Magadha in the eight and twelfth years of his reign. During the second campaign, Kharavela carried home an image of the Jain tirthankara from Magadha which had been previously

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Magadha. The wealth he got during this campaign was used to built a magnificent temple at Bhuvaneshwar.

Foreign Invasions
• One of the most important events of the reign of
Pushyamitra Sunga was the invasion of Yavanas from the west. Patanjali, a contemporary of Pushyamitra, mentions this invasion. Kalidasa also mentions about Vasumitra’s conflict with Yavanas, in his
Malavikagnimitram
• Inability of the Central Asian tribes like Sakas and
Kushans
to sustain themselves in their own lands and their inability to move into China due to the
Great Wall built by Shih
Huang Ti in 220 B. C. and hence their invasion of
Bactria. The Greeks, thus pressed by the Central Asian tribes, were forced to invade India.
• Inability of the successors of
Asoka as well as the Sungas and Kanvas (successors of
Mauryas) to offer stiff resistance to the foreign invaders was also a main reason of establishment of these foreign rule.

Indo-Greeks or Yavanas
(2nd cent. BC)
• The Indo – Greeks (Yavanas) were the first ones to
108

establish foreign supremacy on Indian soil; they were succeeded by several central Asian tribes who invaded India and established their political authority. • About 250 B. C. Diodotus, the governor of Bactria revolted against the Greeks and proclaimed his independence.
Some
important Indo-Greek kings were Euthydemus,
Demetrius. Eucratides and
Menander.
• Among all the Indo-Greek rulers, Menander (165-145 B.
C.) was the most illustrious.
His capital was Shakala
(modern Sialkot) in Pakistan.
His territory extended from
Afghanistan to Uttar Pradesh in east and Gujarat in the west. • Menander was converted to
Buddhism by the Buddhist monk Nagasena.
• Menander asked Nagasena many questions related to philosophy and Buddhism which together with Nagasena’s answers rare recorded in Milindapanho or the Questions of Milinda.
• They were the first to issue gold coins in India and also the first to issue coins which can he atributed to the kings with definiteness. Before this the coins in India did not carry names or portraits of the kings. Also they were the first rulers who issued gold

coins. Introduction of
Hellenistic art features in the north-western India, facilitating the rise of
Gandhara Art.

Sakas (1st Cent. BC to 4th
Cent. AD)
• Sakas also known as
Scything, a people of Central
Asian
origin who established kindgoms in the north-western and western parts of the subcontinent, derived revenues from longdistance trade. They replaced the Indo-Greeks in
India.
• After the construction of the great wall of China in the third century century B. C. the tribes like Hiung-nu, Wusun and Yueh-chi had no option but to move towards south and west. The first migrants were Yueh-chi who displaced Shakas who in turn invaded Bactria and Parthia and then entered India through the Bolan Pass.
• The Sakas were divided in five branches and established themselves in various parts of northwestern and northern India.
• The earliest of them ruled north western India, with
Moga being the first Saka ruler in India. But the most important was the one which ruled in Western India till the
4th century AD. There were two families, the Kshaharatas and the Kardamakas.

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Bhumaka and Nahapana belonged to the Kshaharatas, while Chashtana started the
Kardamaka family.
• The most prominent ruler of western India was Nahapana whose reference is found in various inscriptions found in
Maharashtra and in the records of the Satavahanas.
• The most famous Saka ruler in India was Chashtana’s grandson, Rudradaman I
(130-150 AD), who was famous not only for his military conquests
(particularly against the
Satavananas) but also for his public works (he repaired the famous Sudarsan lake of the Mauryan period) and his patronage of Sanskrit (he issued the first-ever long inscription in chaste.
• The dynasty came to an end with the defeat of the last king in the hands of
Chandragupta II of the Gupta dynasty, in about A. D. 390.

Parthians (1st cent.
BC – 1st cent. AD)
• The Parthians also known as
Pahlavas were Iranian people. The earliest king of this dynasty was Vonones who captured power in
Arachosia and Seistan and adopted the title of “great king of kings”.
• Gondophernes was the greatest of the Parthian rulers. He ruled from A. D.
19-45.
Soon after Gondophernes, the Pahlava rule in India ended and the
Kushanas moved in.
• Excavations at Begram in
Afghanistan have brought to light a large number of coins of Gondophernes but none of his successors.

Kushanas (1st cent.
AD – 3rd cent. AD)
• The Kushana Empire was certainly among the most powerful political entities of the Classical world (others being the Roman empire in the West, the Arsacid or the
Imperial Parthian empire in
Iran and China under the Ran dynasty). • A sea-change in the Kushana studies is in the offing with the recent discovery of a
Bactrian inscription. The inscription carved on a whitish limestone, which had been originally found from Rabatak in Afghanistan, was issued by Kanishka in the first year of his reign. The
Rabatak inscription informs us about the construction of what would be the fifth devakula in the Kushana empire, the other four being located at Mat (near
Mathura), Surkhkotal (in
Afghanistan), Airtam (in
Tazakistan) and DalverdjinTepe.
• Colossal statues of Kushana rulers have been found installed in a shrine at Mat near Mathura
(Uttar

Pradesh). Similar statues have been found in a shrine in Afghanistan as well. Some historians feel this indicates that the Kushanas considered themselves godlike. Many
Kushana rulers also adopted the title devaptetra, or “son of god”, possibly inspired by Chinese rulers who called themselves sons of heaven. • The Yueh-chi were divided into two groups - Little Yuehchi which migrated to Tibet and great Yueh-chi which finally came to India.
Further great Yuehhi were divided into five branches.
According to the Chinese sources, the first great Yuehchi king was Kujula
Kadphises also known as
Kadphises I who united all the five groups and established his authority over Afghanistan. He called himself ‘great king’. He is also called dharmathida and sachandharmathida (steadfast in true faith) which is taken to suggest that he was a Buddhist.
• Kadphises I was succeeded by his son Wema Kadphises or Kadphises II who extended Kushana territory upto Punjab, or perhaps even in the Ganga-Yumuna doab. Wima Kadphises consolidated and promoted trade particularly through the famous Silk Route between
China and the Roman

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Empire.
• Kadphises II was succeeded by the most famous of all the
Kushan rulers was Kanishka, who is famous for starting the Saka Era supposedly in
78 AD (Vikram Era began in
58 BC after the victory of the
Ujjain king, Vikarmaditya over Sakas) and for his pattronage of Mahayana
Buddhism. One of his capital was probably Peshawar or
Purushapura in Pakistan.
Kaniskha ruled from A. D. 78101. After him came
Vasishka,
Huvishka,
Vasudeva and others.
Kanishka’s court was adorned by the presence of such scholars as Parsva,
Vasumitra, Ashvaghosha,
Charaka, and Nagarjuna.
• The last great Kushana ruler was Vasudeva I. Kushanas declined after Vasudeva, and were replaced in India by the Nagas and in NorthWestern India by the Sasanid rulers of Persia. The loss of
Bactria to the Sasanid ruler,
Shapur I, in 262 AD virtually signalled the beginning of the end of the mighty Kushana
Empire.

Administration
• The disintegration of the empire also led to a change in the institutions which sustained it. While in some cities of north India the existence of autonomous urban governments is
110

revealed by the coins they struck, elsewhere the slow formation of regional bureaucracy instead of a centralized bureaucracy is indicated by the available evidence. However, the administrative structure on the whole remain same as of the Mauryan Period,but with some minor changes.
• Officials of the rank of meridaskh and apracharaja are mentioned in the epigraphs of the Indo-Greek period; in the ScythoParthian and Kushana periods were introduced the kshatrapas and mahakshatrapas. •



Economic Condition
• The period following the decline of the Mauryan
Empire is often labelled as one of the ‘dark’ periods of
Indian history - a description which assumes political centralization to be the sole criterion of civilization.
Otherwise, the period presents some significant developments in the socioeconomic and cultural history of the country. The period witnessed all round development in the fields of agriculture, industry and trade. Agriculture was the main occupation of a large section of the people.
• The literature refers to eighteen type of guilds.
Guilds became an important





institution in the economy.
The guilds implemented well defined rules of work and controlled the quality of the finished product and its prices to safeguard both the artisans and the customers.
The guilds also acted as a banker, financier and a trustee. These functions were carried out by a different category of merchants known as sresthies in north
India and chettis in south
India.
Loans were given on security of gold and other things.
Money was lent for interest on promising rates to be renewed every year. The
Nasik cave inscription refers to the interest rates on money deposited to guilds.
The usual rate of interest was between 12% and 15% per annum. The opening of the remote parts of the country and the discovery of new channels of communication. The discovery by Hippalus of the monsoon sea-route to India from West Asia around 45
AD and the establishment of the ‘Silk-route’ from China to
Europe through India and sea-route to South East Asia from India.
The discovery of monsoon facilitated to reduce the distance between the western ports of India to the ports of Alexandria in Egypt.

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India’s trade with Rome increased enormously by sea as well as by land route which is generally known as the silk route. This connected the world from China to
Rome and served as a transmitter of not only the trading commodity but the culture, idea and religions etc. About the trading commodities, the author of
Periplus of Erythrean Sea, accounts of
Roman
historians like Pliny, Ptolemy etc. Indian literature, both in
Tamil and Sanskrit, refer to the trading establishments and items of trade like Indian spices, sandalwood and other variety of woods, pearls, textiles of various types, sea products, metals, semi-precious stones and animals. Arikamedu was an important
Roman settlement and trading station. It was located close to a port and was excavated in 1945.
The Roman, historian, Pliny, laments that Indian trade was a serious drain on the wealth of Rome, when 550 million sesterce went to
India each year on luxury items. The increasing organisation of trade with through guilds, increased monetization of trade with the increase in the number of coins, etc.

• Trade seems to have been conducted in luxury items and not in necessary goods
• Favourable balance of trade for India as is evident from the complaints of Roman writers like Pliny that bullion was flowing out of their country to India.
• Maritime trade and activities during his reign are indicated by depiction of ship with a fish and conch on his coins.
• Several cities which had appeared around the sixth century BC continued and in fact reached their most prosperous phase.
Relations with the outside world • The diplomatic relationship between India and the West are recorded in the Rock
Edict XIII of Ashoka also, in which five Greek rulers are specifically named and it is claimed that on account of the activities of Ashoka’s missionaries his dhamma spread to these countries.
• People from India and the
West visited each other’s country. The contacts are recorded in detail in the works of
Strabo’s
Geography, Arrian’s Indica,
Pliny the elder’s Natural
History, the Periplus of
Erythraen sea and Ptolemy’s
Geography.
• A number of Indian kings sent embassies to Rome. The best

known Indian embassy was sent to Rome about 25 B. C.
It took about four years to reach Rome. It presented animals and other gifts to the
Roman king, Augustus.
• In the field of religion both influenced each other as is shown in the philosophical development of GreecoRoman world. Christianity reached India as early as first century A. D. through these commercial and cultural contacts.

Social Conditions
• The most significant development on the varna system is the increase in the number of mixed jatis. The influx of various ethnic groups in large numbers necessitated some restructuring in social thought and organization which were in any case reshaping themselves because of the emergence of new historical centres within the country.
• The tendency of the law makers was to assign a low rank to the new entrants, but this did not materially affect the process of assimilation.
In reality, the wielders of political power, the Yavanas, the Sakas and
Kushanas were as much beyond ‘pure’ kshatriya status as their Indian counterparts, the
Satavahanas.

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• The Buddhist texts show that jatis were not rigidly tied to craft in those days. They tell of a Kshatriya working successively as a potter, basket-maker, reed-worker, garland-maker and cook and also of a Settle (Vaishya) working as a tailor and a potter without loss of prestige in both cases.
• According to Manusmriti, the origin of the numerous mixed (sankara) varnas is in the marriage between different varnas. These were called anuloma
e.g.,
marriage between the male of higher varna and female of lower varna, or pratiloma
- marriage between male of lower varna and female of higher varna.

Types of marriages
• Endogamy refers to marriage within a unit - this could be a kin group, caste, or a group living in the same locality. • Ecogamy refers to marriage outside the unit.
• Polygyny is the practice of a man having several wives.
• Polyandry is the practice of a woman having several husbands. Family Life
• The joint family system characterised the society.
Family was considered as the unit of the social system.
Obedience to parents and
112

elders was held as the highest duty for children.
• Marriage between the members of the same jatis was also preferred though intermarriage between different jatis was prevalent.
The marriage in the same gotra and pravara was restricted. • Eight forms of marriage are mentioned in the Dharmasastras. These are brahma, daiva, arsha, prajapatya, asura, gandharva, rakshasa, and paisacha. Among these the last one is condemned by all the Dharmasatras.
• Two classes of women students are mentionedBrahmavadin or lifelong student of sacred texts and
Sadyodyaha who pursued their studies till their marriage. • We find the reference to the practice of Sati also.

Succession of wealth
• For men, the Manrusmriti declares, there are seven means of acquiring wealth: inheritance, finding, purchase, conquest, investment, work, and acceptance of gifts from good people.
• Unfortunately, a large number of Dharmasastras reject the right of women to inherit but Yajnavalkya lays down a list of priority in inheritance which places

wife followed by the daughters, immediately after sons. • For women, there are six means of acquiring wealth: what was given in front of the fire (marriage) or the bridal procession, or as a token of affection and what she got from her brother, mother or father. She could also acquire wealth through any subsequent gift and whatever her “affectionate” husband might give her.

Religions
• The period witnessed an efflorescence of new ideas leading to the rise of new philosophical schools and religious sects.
i.e.,
Vaishnavism,
Saivism,
Buddhism and Jainism.

Vedic Religion
• Vedic religion changed a lot through all these centuries.
This was the time when the
Vedic religion assumed features which today are recognised as Hinduism.
• This new religious development was based on the philosophy of the
Upanishads with its concept of the absolute or universal soul. This concept also helped to develop the idea of the Trinity of Gods at this time -Brahma as the creator,
Vishnu as the preserver, and
Shiva (also known as Rudra and Mahesh) as the God who

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• One form of Vaishnavism is
Bhagavatism. The supreme deity of Bhagavatism was
Vasudeva Krishna, son of
Devaki, of the Vrishni family. The famous Besnagar
(district Vidisa, Madhya
Pradesh)
inscription mentions that Heliodorus, the Greek ambassador of
King Antialcidas, called himself. Bhagavata and erected a Garudadhavja in honour of Vasudeva at
Besnagar.
• The philosophy of
Bhagvatism is described in the Bhagavad-Gita.
• Other early inscriptions related to Bhagavatism came from Ghosundi
(Rajasthan), Mathura (Uttar
Pradesh)
and
Nasik
(Maharashtra).

Saivism
• Saivism seems to have evolved from the Vedic God
Rudra and the Harappan deity known as Pasupati. The worship of
Shiva
incorporated a number of fertility cults such as those of phallic emblem (lingam), the bull (Nandi) etc. and was also associated with Shakti cult. The most common cult object of the Saivas is lingam, the earliest specimens of which have been found in the Harappan period. • One of the important schools of Saivism was Pasupata sect, founded by Lakulin or
Lakulis around second century B.C.
• Saivism also attracted the foreigners. Wema
Kadphises, the second king of the Kushana dynasty was a Saiva. The reverse of some of his coins depict the figures of Shiva with a long trident and bull and the legend refers to him as a devotee of Shiva.

Buddhism
• The group of foreign invaders accepted Buddhism in large numbers. One of these the Greek king
Menander lived in the
Buddhist tradition as raja
Milinda.
• Greatest name among the foreign patrons of Buddhism is that of Kaniskha. His fame in the Buddhist world is only second to that of Ashoka.
During his time Buddhism spread to central Asia,
China, South East Asia and
West.
• Like Ashoka, Kanishka called a Buddhist council the fourth council in Kashmir under the joint presidentship of Vasumitra and Ashvaghosha. The convening of this council led to the division of Buddhism into

two broad sects - the
Hinayana and the Mahayana.
While the Hinayana followed the older order and philosophy of Buddhism, the
Mahayana introduced many new elements in the older order. • Buddha began to be worshipped in the icon form with elaborate rituals instead of symbols. To
Hinayanists, Buddha was a great teacher and the
Mahayanists considered him as God. The introduction of a belief in the Bodhisttavas being those “who were in the process of obtaining but had not yet obtained Buddhahood”.
• Hinayanists believed in the salvation of individual as the goal of life while
Mahayanists believed in the salvation of all beings.
Sanskrit was adopted as the language of the religious literature and a new cannon was developed differing from the old in many essential respects.

Jainism
• Jainism also flourished during this period. The group of Jain monks began to settle in different parts of the country. One group from
Magadha moved towards west and settled in
Saurashtra while the other group settled in Kalinga where it enjoyed royal

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under

king

• In south India their main concentration was in
Karnataka and in Tamil
Nadu. Sravanabelagola in modern Karnataka became the great centre of Jainism.



Christianity
• It was in the first century A.
D. that Christianity was introduced in India by the traders from the west. The coming of Christianity is associated with the legend of St. Thomas who according to the Catholic
Church of Edessa, came twice on mission of India.





Language and Literature
• In the field of language and literature, this period saw the development of Dravidian languages and literature in the South. In the north there was progress in the Sanskrit language and literature and various forms of Prakrit with a distinctive literature of its own.
• The most remarkable compilations of the period are the two great Epics, the
Ramayana
and the Mahabharata. Some of the
Dharmasastra works were also composed in this period. • Smritis define the religious duties, usage, laws and social customs. In general, the smritis may be regarded
114





as the expanded and contemporary version of the
Dharmasutras
which covered the period from about sixth century to third century, B. C.
The Manava Dharmasastra or
Manusmriti is also the most well known and has its hold even today all over India.
This was composed in about the first century B. C.
Some other important smritis are Naradasmriti,
V i s h n u s m r i t i ,
Yajnavalkyasmriti, Brihus patismriti and
Karyayanasmriti.
The most outstanding work in the field of grammar.
Mahabhasya written by
Patanjali in the second century BC, is a commentary on Panini’s Asthadh-yavi.
After Patanjali the centre of
Sanskrit grammar learning shifted to the Deccan where the Katantra school flourished in the first century
A. D. Sarvavarman a scholar of great repute in the court of the Satavahana King Hala composed the grammar of
Katantra.
An important literary figure of the period was
Asvaghosha. He was not only a play writer and a poet but a great Buddhist philosopher. He wrote
S a u n d r a n a n d a ,
Buddhacharita, Vajrasuchi and a number of other

works.
• Buddacharita is a complete life of Buddha written in the form of Mahakavya. This work has been translated into many languages of the world. • Fragments of Asvaghosha’s plays have been recovered from Turfan in central Asia.
• Bhasa’s Svapnavasavadatta is another famous Sanskrit play of the period.
• The art of dance and drama had already been codified by Panini’s time and mentioned by Kautilya and
Patanjali. All these early forms of art contributed to the development of Natyashastra written by
Bharata.

Art and Architecture
• Sanchi, Amaravati, Bharhut and Sarnath stupas are the best examples of Buddhist art and architecture that flourished during this period. • The most wonderful ancient buildings in the state of
Bhopal are at Sanchi
Kanakhera, a small village under row of a hill some 20 miles north-east of Bhopal.
Sanchi was “discovered” in
1818, three of its four gateways were still standing, the fourth was lying on the spot where it has fallen and the mound was in good condition. Even so, it was suggested that the gateway

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London; finally a number of factors helped to keep
Sanchi as it was, and so it stands. • The early stupas at Sanchi and Bharhut were plain except for the stone railings, which resembled a bamboo or wooden fence, and the gateways, which were richly carved and installed at the four cardinal points.
Worshippers
entered through the eastern gateway and walked around the mound in a clockwise direction keeping the mound on the right, imitating the sun’s course through the sky.
Later, the mound of the stupas came to be elaborately carved with niches and sculptures as an
Amaravati, and Shahjiki-Dheri in Peshawar
(Pakistan).
• The relics were generally kept in a casket in a smaller chamber in the centre of the base of the stupa. The stupa has a fenced path called pradakshinapatha. • Another form of architecture is represented by rock-cut caves. These rock-cut caves are of two types. The one with a stupa and worshipping hall called chaitya and monastery called vihara.
• The famous cave of Karle consists of a fairly complicated structure, all

cut into the rock. The ceilings of a few of these caves show an imitation of a barrel vault with wooden ribs. This indicates the impact of wooden construction in stone. Sculpture
• The post-Mauryan period is an age of great sculptural activity. Bharhut, Sanchi,
Bodh Gaya, Mathura,
Amaravati, Gandhara were the important centres of art activities. • The Mathura and Gandhara schools flourished during the
Kushana period.
• The Mathura school has the distinction of having produced the first image of the Buddha: Mathura also produced many fine specimens of sculptures that include, image of Brahainanical, Jain and
Buddhist deities and the life size sculptures of yakshas, yakshini and portraits of kings. Science and Technology
• Indian astronomers developed much more elaborate astronomical system after modifying and adopting the more accurate values by counting the periods of revolution of the sun, the moon, the five planets and two nodes known as Rahu and Ketu.
Eclipses were also predicted with accuracy. All these

observations have been described by Varahamihira in ‘Pancha Siddhantika which gives the summary of five schools of astronomy present in his time.
• One of the most remarkable structures that has been excavated is a complex of four water tanks at shringaverapura which shows a very advanced level of hydrolic engineering. The tanks are built of millions of bricks and water brought from the river Ganga through a canal.
• Ayurveda has its origin in
Atharva Veda. The school at
Varanasi specialised in surgery and Sushruta
Samhita is an encyclopaedia of surgery compiled by the great surgeon Sushruta.

OBJECTIVE QUESTIONS
1. The first event of Pushyamitra
Sunga’s reign was his war with Vidarbha which was ruled by
(a) Sarvavarman
(b) Nagasena
(c) Asvamitra
(d) Yojnasena
2. Which of the following kings performed the Ashvamedha sacrifice? (a) Vasumitra
(b) Pushyamitra Sunga
(c) Bhadrak
(d) None of these
3. Malvikagnimitram refers to the defeat of Yavanas on the bank of river Sindhu in the hands of

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4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

(a) Pushyamitra Sunga
(b) Agnimitra
(c) Vasumitra
(d) None of these
Which of the following monuments were enlarged and provided the gate etc. during the reign of
Pushyamitra?
(a) Stupas of Sanchi
(b) Stupas of Bharhut
(c) Stupas of Sarnath
(d) Both (a) and (b)
Apart from some important dynasties ruling in postMauryan north India we have number of republics ruling over smaller states. Some of these were
(a) Arjunayas
(b) Malwas and Audumbaras
(c) Kunindas and Yaudheyas
(d) All of the above
Who of the following mentions that the Andhras were powerful people who possessed a large number of villages and thirty towns?
(a) Strabo (b) Plutarch
(c) Pliny (d) Justin
Who of the following kings performed the
Ashvamedhayajna?
(a) Krishna
(b) Simuka
(c) Satakani I
(d) None of these
Who of the following kings was also referred to as the lord of Dakshina-patha?
(a) Gautamiputa Satakani
(b) Pulmavi II
(c) Satakani I
(d) Satakani II

116

9. Gautamiputra Satakami’s achieve-ments are recorded in glowing terms in the
(a) Nashik inscription
(b) H a t h i g u m p h a inscription (c) Varanasi inscription
(d) None of these
10. Who of the following is the first king bearing matronym and this practice was followed by nearly all his successors? (a) Pulumavi II
(b) Satakami II
(c) Gautamiputa Satakani
(d) Krishna
11. Who of the following kings married the daughter of Saka ruler Rudradaman?
(a) Vasisthiputra Pulumavi
(b) Satakani I
(c) Satakani II
(c) Yajna Satakani
12. Which of the following were the first ones to establish foreign supremacy on Indian soil? (a) The Kushanas
(b) The Shakas
(c) The Indo-Greeks
(d) None of these
13. Which of the following rulers were the first ones, whose coins carried the portraits of kings and, their names (in the history of India)
(a) Indo-Greeks
(b) The Shakas
(c) The Parthians
(d) The Kushanas
14. At which of the following places, excavations have brought to light a large number of coins of Gondophernes?

15.

16.

17.

18.

(a) Ghaligai(b)Sarai Khala
(c) Kapisa (b) Begram
Rudradamana’s
rule extended over a vast territory including the areas of (a) Gujarat and Sindh
(b) Saurashtra and north
Konkan
(c) Malwa and parts of
Rajasthan
(d) All of the above
On which of the following ruler’s coins, Shiva holding a trident and bull are shown?
(a) Nahapana
(b) Kujula Kadphises
(c) Wema Kadphises
(d) None of these
Which of the following
Smritis is not only the oldest work of this class, but is also the most well known and has its hold even today all over
India?
(a) Narada Smriti
(b) Vishnu Smriti
(c) Manu Smriti
(d) All of the above
Fragments of Asvaghosha’s play have been recovered from Turfan in Central Asia.
Which of the following plays is another famous Sanskrit play of this period
(a) Mudrarakshasa
(b) Malvikagnimitram
(c) Svapnavasavadatta
(d) None of these

ANSWERS
1. (d)
4. (d)
7. (c)
10. (c)
13. (a)
16. (c)

2. (d)
5. (d)
8. (c)
11. (a)
14. (d)
17. (c)

3. (c)
6. (c)
9. (a)
12. (c)
15. (d)
18. (c)

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MODEL PAPER G.S. PAPER I
1. Under the Guptas period in eastern India there was and intermediate level of administration between
Vishaya (districts) and villages identify that
(a) Bhukti
(b) Pradesa
(c) Vithi
(d) Ahara
2. Which of the following statements is not correct about the status of women during AD. 800-1200?
(a) Women were generally considered mentally inferior and they had to obey their husbands blindly. (b) The Matsya Purana authorizes the husband to beat his errant wife with a rope
(c) Smriti writers say that girls were to be given away by their parents between the age of six and eight or between the eight year and attainment of puberty
(d) Remarrige of widow is universally favoured by law makers
3. Which one of the following was not one of the popular methods of land revenues assessment under the Delhi
Sultans?

(a) Sharing the crop
(b) Method of measurement
(c) Kankut
(d) Qabuliat or contract
4. Which one of the following statements is not correct about the religious policy under the Delhi Sultante?
(a) Hindus have to pay pilgrimage tax for visiting their holy places and fairs as also for bathing in their sacred tanks or rivers.
(b) Hindus were not permitted (c) In the reign of Sikandar
Lodhi a nrahmin named
Bodhan was put to death for the offence of saying that there was truth in itinduism as slos
Islam
(d) Muhammad Tuglaq, though rational and liberal, did not permit to build new temples
5. According to Islamic practice, one used to expand the Laco and the other used to deliver judgement. Who were they respectively
(a) Mufti and Qazi
(b) Qazi and Mufti
(c) Qazi and Sadar
(d)Qazi and mufti
6. Who were the tarafdars?
(a) Military commanders stationaed in different

directions in the
Bahmani kingdom.
(b) Provincial governors under the Bahmani
Sulatns
(c) Revenue officials of the districts in the Bahmani splinter states
(d) Officials in charge of enforcement of islamic law in the Bahmani kingdom and later in its splinter states
7. Who among the following wer saints of the nirguna schools? 1. Dadu dayal2. Nanak
3. Raidasa 4. Kabir
5. Sundardasa 6.
Dharnidasa
Select the answer form the codes given below;
(a) 1, 2, 3, and 4 (b)
2, 3, 4 and 5
(c) 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6
(d)All of them
8. Which of the following foreign travelers vistited the
Vijayanagar empire during the time of Krishana Devea
Raya?
1. Nicolo de conti
2.Domingo paes
3. Ferna o Nuniz 4.
Marco-polo
5. Duarte edwardo barbosa
Select the answer from given codes

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(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 2 and 5
(c) 1, 2, and 5
(d) All the them
9. What was Jajmani system of the Mughal period?
(a) A revenue system in which revenues of different units of land were assigned to official in lieu of salaries
(b) An administrative system in which ranks in terms of numbers were assigned to nobles, military commanders and other prominent people for placing them in the official hierarchy
(c) A reciprocal system that existed in rural India between the peasantry and other occupational groups (d) A commercial system that developed in urban
India for facilitating c o m m e r c i a l transactions on a large scale 10. Mughal architecture was marked by
1. Combination of the
Persian elements of grandeur and originality with Indian elements of grace and decoration
2. Uniformity in the structural principles and architectural character all over the empire
3. Construction of tombs in the centre of large parks on high platforms
4. Construction of a double-dome, the outer and the inner one
5. Cupolas standing on slender pillars at the
118

corners, magnificent palace- halls,
Select the answer codes given below
(a) All the them
(b) 1, 2, 3 and 5
(c) 2, 3, 4 and 5
(d) 1, 3, 4 and 5
11. Akbar’s enlightened religions policy was based on his philosophy of sulh-ikul which meant
(a) Universal tolerance
(b) Universal peace
(c) E n l i g h t e n e d benevolence (d) Unity of godhead
12. Which of the following statements about the revenue reforms of Sher Shah Sur are true? 1. Assessment of land revenue on the basis of measurement of land
2. Introduction of a new unit of measurement called illahi gaz
3. Classification of land in to three categories on the basis of their yield ie. Good, bad and middle 4. Calculation of average produce three kinds of land and fixing 1/3 rd of it as land revenue
5. Issues of title deeds to peasants and acquisition of acceptance deed’s from them Choose the answer from the codes below:
(a) All to them
(b) 1, 2, 3 and 4
(c) 1, 3, 4 and 5
(d) 1, 2 ,3 and 5
13. Peshkashi zamindars in
Mughal period were

(a) Territorial zamindars who rendered military service to the king
(b) Territorial zamindars who rendered military service to the state
(c) Primary zamindars who maintained law and order (d) Intermediary zamindars who collected taxes of the state
14. Which of the following statements about Vasco da gama are true?
1. He discovered the new and all sea route from
Europe to india
2. He reached the port of cochin on may 17, 1498.
3. He was given a hostile reception by the ruler of cochin 4. He made a second trip to India in 1502
Select the answer from the cods below:
(a) 1 and 2(b) 2 and 4
(c) 1 and 4
(d) 1 and 3
15. Aurangzeb discontinued the practice of inscribing kalma on the coins because
(a) It was a practice borrowed from Turks
(b) It would have been dishonored by coming under the feet of the people (c) It hampered the smooth functioning of ht escheat system (d) It was an irreligion’s practice 16. Mughal school of painting is characterized by
1. Miniature painting
2. Keen appreciation of nature http://www.iasexamportal.com
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17.

18.

19.

20.

3. Courtly and aristocratic in content
4. Spiritual and mystic
Select the correct statement from codes given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1, 2, and 3
(d) All of above
Which of the following were the main item of export of india durning ht mughal priod? 1. Cotton textiles
2. Indigo and saltpeter
3. Opium and pepper
4. Raw silk and sugar
Select the answer from the codes below
(a) Only 1 and 2
(b) Only 2 and 3
(c) Only 3 an
The only type of Jagir which could not be transferred was the (a) Khidmati Jagir
(b) Watan Jagir
(c) Milkiyar jagir
(d) Tan Jagir
Who were the harkarasof the
Mughal period?
(a) Enforcers of public moral (b) News writers and reporters (c) Secret letter writers and informers (d) Spies and special couriers Pick out the main features of the Mansab system of the
Mughals form among the following 1. All sawar rank holders are necessarily holders of zat ranks aj well, but not vice-versa

21.

22.

23.

24.

2. The zat rank was always preceded by the sawar rank 3. The zat rank was normally either
4. the contingents of the big Mansabdars were usually formed by adding those of the smaller are
Select the correct from codes given below
(a) 1, 2, 3 and 4
(b) All of them
(c) 2, 3 and 4
(d) 1, 3 and 4
Which of the following is not a Sanskrit work?
(a) Lalitavistara
(b) Divyavadana
(c) Milind panto
(d) Mahavastu
Who might have issued the largest number of copper coins in the post-mauryan period? (a) Satavahanas
(b) Sakas (c) Kushanas
(d) Indo-greeks
Where do we have life-like portrait images of the pallava kings and queens?
(a) Kailasnath temple at
Kanchi
(b) Vrihadesvara temple at tirrutani (c) V a i k u n t h a p e r u m a l temple at Kanchi
(d) Isvara temple at mahabalipuram During whose time did hiuedn Tsang visit Kanchipuram the capital of the pallavas?
(a) Narasimhvarmna I
(b) Narasimhavarmna II
(c) Mahendravarman I
(d) Mahendravermin II

25. Which of the following revenue systems were
Akbar’s own innovation?
1. Batai 2. Kankut
3. Nasaq 4. Zabti
5. Dahsala
Select the answer from the codes below
(a) 1 and 4
(b) 2 and 5
(c) 3 and 4
(d) 4 and 5
26. What was a Tanab in the
Mughal Period?
(a) A revenue circle of the smallest size
(b) A uniform medium size unit of measurement
(c) A measuring instrument made of bamboo sticks joined by iron rings
(d) A register containing information about cultivators, their lands and assessed revenue
27. How many mughal provinces were there under Akbar and
Aurangzeb respectively?
(a) 15 and 21
(b) 17 and 19
(c) 14 and 20
(d) 16 and 19
28. Which was the second capital of Vijaynagar empire
(a) Kampili
(b) Kandavidu
(c) Penukonda
(d) Addanki
29. Who said ‘God is the breath of all breath’ ?
(a) Nanak (b) Kabir
(c) Mirabai
(d) Chaitanya
30. Who founded the Varakari sect in Maharastra?
(a) Namdeva
(b) Tukaram
(c) Eknatha
(d) Ramdas

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31. Consider the following statements: 1. Gran pantanal of mato
Grosso state in Brazil is the world’s largest and most pristine wetland.
2. A geyser is a spring that throws forth intermittent jects of heated water and steam.
Which of the above statements is/are correct? (a) only 1
(b) only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
32. Consider the following statements: 1. Ecosystem is an example of biosphere.
2. Ecosystem of any given space-time-unit represents the sum of all living organisms and physical environment.
3. Ecology is a science that studies the interdependent, mutually reactive and interconnected relationships between the organisms and their physical environment on the one hand and among the organisms on the other hand.
Which of the above statements is/are correct? (a) only 1 and 2
(b) only 2 and 3
(c) only 1 and 3
(d) All the above
33. Consider the following statements: 1. India is one of the mega biodiversity centres in the world and has three
120

of the world’s 18 biodiversity hotspots located in western ghats, Eastern
Himalayas and western
Himalayas.
2. The thar desert and the
Himalayas are two regions rich in biodiversity in India.
Which of the above statements is/are correct? (a) only 1
(b) only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
34. Consider the following statements in context of the
Red List of threatened
Animals (IUCN):
1. India ranks second in terms of the number of threatened mammals.
2. India is sixth in terms of countries with the most threatened birds.
Which of the above statements is/are correct? (a) only 1
(b) only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
35. Consider the following statements: 1. Beta diver refers to diversity within a particulars area, community or ecosystem and is measured by counting the number of taxa within the ecosystem.
2. Gama diversity is a measure of the over all diversity for different ecosystem within a region. Which of the above statements is/are correct? (a) only 1
(b) only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
36. Consider the following statements: 1. Chilean winter rainfall valdivian forests is a biodiversity hotspot in
South America.
2. T u m b e s - C h o c o Magdolena is a biodiversity hotspot in
Europe.
Which of the above statements is/are correct? (a) only 1 (b) only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
37. Consider the following statements in context of the
Ramsar list of wetlands:
1. Deepor Beel wetland is located in Assam.
2. Tsomoriri wetland is located in Sikkim.
3. Kanjli wetland is located in Punjab.
Which of the above statements is/are correct? (a) only 1 and 2
(b) only 1 and 3
(c) only 2 and 3
(d) All the above
38. Consider the following statements: 1. 2nd February celebrated as world wetland Day.
2. It marks the date of the adoption of the convention on wetlands on 2nd February 1981,in the Iranian city of
Ramsar.

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Which of the above statements is/are correct? (a) only 1 (b) only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
39. Consider the following statements: 1. Samun is a warm local wind of Saudi Arabia.
2. Levanter is a cold local wind of France.
3. Khamsin is a warm local wind of Egypt.
Which of the above statements is/are correct? (a) only 1 and 3
(b) only 1 and 2
(c) only 2 and 3
(d) All the above
40. Consider the following statements: 1. Jet Streams are narrow meandering bands of swift winds that are embedded in the prevailing westerlies and en circle the global.
2. In the mid-latitudes Jet
Streams below from west to east in the upper troposphere near the tropopause. Which of the above statements is/are correct? (a) only 1
(b) only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) All the above
41. Consider the following statements: 1. The pressure of the air falls when its temperature rises.
2. The temperature of air falls when its pressure falls. Which of the above statements is/are correct? (a) only 1
(b) only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
42. Consider the following statements: 1 Air pressure at sea level is higher than it is at the top of a mountain.
2. 90 percent of atmospheric mass is concentrated below 32 km. Which of the above statements is/are correct? (a) only 1
(b) only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
43. Consider the following statements: 1. The difference between the mean temperature of any place and the mean temperature of its parallel is called the temperature anomaly.
2. The anomaly is said to be negative when the temperature at a place is less than the expected temperature of the latitude.
Which of the above statements is/are correct? (a) only 1
(b) only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
44. Consider the following statements: 1. An air mass is a large body of air where physical properties like

temperature and moisture content are relatively uniform horizontally. 2. Most of the major weather changes in the middle and higher latitudes are a result of advance and interaction between the air masses.
Which of the above statements is/are correct? (a) only 1
(b) only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
45. Consider the following statements: 1. Asia covers about 30 percent of the world’s landmas. 2. Red sea and Bering straits separates it from
North America.
3. Ural mountain and Black sea separates it from
Europe.
Which of the above statements is/are correct? (a) only 1 and 2
(b) only 1 and 3
(c) only 2 and 3
(d) All the above
46. Consider the following statements about NHRC.
(National Human Rights
Commission)
1. NHRC is a constitutional body. 2. It is established on
October 12 1993.
Which of the above statement is/are true?
(a) Both 1 & 2
(b) Only 1
(c) Only 2
(d) neither 1 nor 2

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47. Consider the following statements 1. Chairperson of the
NHRC appointed by the chief Justice of India.
2. NHRC (National Human
Rights Commission) chairperson holds office for a term of five years.
3. Currently
K.G.
Balaksishnan is the chairperson of NHRC.
Which of the above statement is/are?
(a) All of the above
(b) 1 & 2
(c) 1 & 3
(d) Only 2 & 3
48. Consider the following statements about Rights to information. 1. Sweedon was the first country in the world to introduce the right to information. 2. Government of India enacted RTI Act in 2005.
3. The RTI is available to the Indian citizens only.
Which of the above statement is/are?
(a) All of the above
(b) 1 & 2
(c) 2 & 3
(d) 1 & 3
49. Consider the following statements about Right to
Education (RTE)
1. 86th constitution Amendment is related to
RTE.
2. It makes compulsory for private aided and unaided schools to take
25 percent children belonging to the schedule castes & tribes
& other backward classes. 122

3. The school management committee to have 50 percent women members. Which of the above statement is/are?
(a) All of the above
(b) 1 & 2
(c) 2 & 3
(d) 1 & 3
50. Consider the following statements about 42nd constitution Amendment.
1. High court cannot pronounce invalid any control law.
2. The Supreme Court shall not pronounce a state law as unconstitutional unless a central law has been challenged.
Which of the above statements is/are?
(a) Only 1.(b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 & 2
(d) neither 1 nor 2
51. Consider the following statements 1. In the Minerva mills case the Supreme Court stated that only limited powers of the parliament to amend the constitution without altering the basic structure. 2. The Indian constitution has recognized the doctrine of separation of powers in its absolute form.
Which of the above statements is/are?
(a) Only 2
(b) Only 1
(c) Neither 1 nor 2
(d) both 1 & 2
52. Consider the following statements 1. The Central Industrial
Security Force (CISF) is responsible for the protection of the industries from any damage or security.
2. The National Security
Guard is a contingency development force to tackle all facets of terrorism. Which of the above statements is/are?
(a) Only 1
(b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 & 2
(d) neither 1 nor 2
53. Consider the following statements 1. The ministry of environment & forest is the nodal ministry for tackling the situation during natural calamities. 2. The
National
Investigation Agency came into existence in
2008.
Which of the above statements is/are?
(a) Both 1 & 2
(b) Only 1
(c) Neither 1 nor 2
(d) Only 2
54. Consider the following statements about NDC:
1. National Development
Council (NDC) was born on August 1952.
2. National Development is an statutory body
(NDC).
Which of the above statements is/are?
(a) Only 1
(b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 & 2
(d) neither 1 nor 2

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55. Sixth schedule to the constitution refers to the administration of tribal areas in the states. Which state is not in the list?
(a) Assam
(b) Manipur
(c) Mizoram
(d) Meghalaya.
56. Consider the following statements: 1. Article 30 of the constitution is related to the minorities.
2. Hindus are a religious minority within the state of J & K, Mizoram,
Meghalaya
&
Lakshadweep.
Which of the above statements is/are?
(a) Only 1
(b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 & 2
(d) neither 1 nor 2
57. Consider the following statements 1. Article 330 provides reservation for SCs &
STs in the state Vidhan
Sabha.
2. Article 332 provides reservation for SCs &
STs in the Lok Sabha.
Which of the above statements is/are?
(a) Only 1
(b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 & 2
(d) neither 1 nor 2
58. Consider the following statements about sehedule casete com
1. The
National
Commission for Scheduled castes has been constituted under
Article 338 of the constitution. 59.

60.

61.

62.

63.

2. Currently P.L. puni is the chairman of S.C. commission. Which of the above statements is/are?
(a) Both 1 & 2
(b) Only 1
(c) Only 2
(d) neither 1 nor 2
Consider the following statements 1. The
National
commission for protection of child rights was set up in 2007.
2. India is not the signatory to the UN child rights charter (1999)
Which of the above statements is/are?
(a) Only 2
(b) Only 1
(c) Neither 1 nor 2
(d) both 1 & 2
A condition when the government grants pardon, in general way to criminals
& imprisoned is called
(a) Apartheid
(b) Arbitration
(c) Armistice
(d) Amnesty
A situation of agreement between two or more nation who were at war is called
(a) Chauvinisms
(b) Consuls
(c) Armistice
(d) Confederacy.
Profits of the economic development shall be shared by all and not appropriated by a few is called
(a) Distributive Justice
(b) Democratic Justice
(c) Pluralism
(d) Ratification.
Limiting the membership of

council of ministers to fifteen percent of the total membership is related to
(a) 89th constitution Amendment
(b) 90th constitution Amendment
(c) 91st constitution Amendment
(d) 92nd constitution Amendment
64. Consider the following statements Rajya Sabha
1. The
Rajya
Sabha consists of a maximum of 250 members
2. The president nominates
14 members in Rajya
Sabha
Which of the above statements is/are?
(a) Both 1 & 2
(b) Only 1
(c) Neither 1 nor 2
(d) Only 2
65. Consider the following statements about the special powers of the speaker of the
Lok Sabha.
1. If the speaker is a member of any committee he is the exofficir chairman of such a committee.
2. Whether a bill is money bill or not, is certified only by the speaker and his cisiom is final & binding. Which of the above statements is/are?
(a) Only 1
(b) Only 2
(c) Neither 1 nor 2
(d) both 1 & 2
66. Consider the following statements with regards to
“Hindu Rate of Growth”

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(1) It is in the range of 3-4 percent. (2) It is related to the predominance of agricultural sector in
India.
(3) It is related to the fimid character of the Hindu as a race.
Select the correct answer from the codes given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
67. Consider the following statements: (1) Rs.1000 per month honorarium is given to cook-cum-helper under mid day meal scheme.
(2) T r a n s p o r t a t i o n assistance is given for 11 special category states.
Which of the statement given above is/are correct? (a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
68. Consider the following statement: (1) India launched a Rolling plan after the Third Five year plan.
(2) The congress Government launched the Rolling plan in the backdrop of a severe economic crisis.
Which of the above statement is/are correct?
(a) 1 only (b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
69. Consider the following statements: 124

(1) NABARD refinance the
Regional Rural Banks.
(2) It takes Loans from
World Bank, IMF etc.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a) 1 only (b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
70. For the Indian economy depreciation of rupee with respect to dollar will
(a) Increase the foreign debt-service burden.
(b) Decrease the foreign debt- service burden.
(c) Not affect the foreign debt-service burden.
(d) First decrease and then increase the foreign debt-service burden.
71. Consider the following statements: (1) Priyadarshini project is rural women’s employments and livelihood programme.
(2) It is implemented in
Bihar and UP.
Which of the statement given above is/are correct? (a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
72. Consider the following statements: (1) The first five year plan successfully achieved the targeted GDP growth rate. (2) The second five year plan could not achieve the targeted GDP growth rate. Which of the above statement is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
73. Consider the following statements: (1) Pradhan Mantri Adarsh
Gram Yojana was launched with an allocation of Rs.100
Crore.
(2) Initially it targeted 1000 village with 50% and above SC population.
Which of the statement given above is/are correct? (a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
74. Consider the following statements: (1) Indian economy could not achieve the targeted
GDP growth rate during the tenth five year plan.
(2) Both the savings and investment rates achieved during the tenth five year plan were beyond the targeted.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a) 1 only (b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 and 2
75. Consider the following statements: (1) National Agriculture
Insurance Scheme was launched since Rabi
1999-2000.
(2) It is being implements in
22 states and 2 UTs.
Which of the statements given above is/are not correct? http://www.iasexamportal.com
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76.

77.

78.

79.

80.

81.

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Tropical forest situated in
India mostly in state:
(a) Jammu & Kashmir
(b) Madhya Pradesh
(c) Kerla and Assam
(d) Uttar Pradesh and Bihar
Transitional zone between two different vegetations of aregion is called:
(a) Ecotone
(b) Ecodine
(c) Ecoline
(d) Ecodomb
If the decomposers become ectinct, the most severally affected would be:
(a) Cycling of minerals
(b) Damage of nitrogen fixation (c) Bio magnification occur
(d) Carnivores will be starved. Nitrates are transformed into nitrogen by
(a) Ammonifying bacteria
(b) Nitrifying bacteria
(c) Denitrifying Bacteria
(d) Both (a) and (b)
Importance of ecosystem lies in: (a) Cycling of minerals
(b) How of energy
(c) Both (a) and (b)
(d) None of these
Which of the following is an example of mutualism between two plant species?
(a) Two types of fungi uving together (b) Root modules of a leguminous plant with bacteria (c) Single called flagellates inhabithing the digestive

82.

83.

84.

85.

86.

tract of wood-eating termites (d) Aphid and dairy rats.
Flow of energy in the biosphere is
(a) Unid irectional
(b) Multi directional
(c) Diffuse
(d) Linear
The Lion lies at the apex of food chain because
(a) Lion has maximum biomass (b) Lion feeds on a number of herbivorus which feeds on a number of plants (c) Lion is omnivorus
(d) Lion not maximum energy The relationship between edge and fungi in lichen is:
(a) Symbios’s
(b) Parasitism
(c) Convenint
(d) Commensalism
In which year UNESCO launched a research programme called man and biosphere? (a) 1971 (b) 1972
(c) 1993 (d) 1994
i)The Group of Ministers
(GoM) has cleared the draft bill for the creation of a state of Telangana by bifurcating
Andhra Pradesh. ii) The rural tele-density of
India is one of the highest in the world at present.
Which of the above statement/statements is/are true? (a) Only i
(b) Only ii
(c) Both i and ii
(d) Neither i nor ii

87. i)The U.N. Security Council has authorized increased military action by France and
African troops to try to end near-anarchy in the Central
African Republic. ii)The ADIZ is not a territorial claim, but a pre-defined area beyond a country’s territorial airspace within which it tracks or monitors aircraft.
Which of the above statement/statements is/are true? (a) Only i
(b) Only ii
(c) Both i and ii
(d) Neither i nor ii
88. i)India is the most preferred destination this winter season with more than 76 per cent respondents willing to take their year-end holidays within the country. ii)Personal income tax, corporate taxes and wealth tax, are kinds of indirect taxes. Which of the above statement/statements is/are
NOT true?
(a) Only i
(b) Only ii
(c) Both i and ii
(d) Neither i nor ii
89. i)A Rs. 100-crore nano park, complete with an incubation centre and an institute for nano science, will be set up in the city of Hyderabad. ii)The National Tiger
Conservation Authority is the coordinating agency of an elaborate assessment to examine the status of tigers in the states of Kerala,

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Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Which of the above statement/statements is/are true? (a) Only i
(b) Only ii
(c) Both i and ii
(d) Neither i nor ii
90. i)Late Nelson Mandela, has been awarded the 2013 UN
Human Rights Prize, in recognition of his outstanding achievement in human rights. ii) The prize is awarded every three years .
Which of the above statement/statements is/are true? (a) Only i
(b) Only ii
(c) Both i and ii
(d) Neither i nor ii
91. i)As per the guidelines for
Phase-III of FM Radio
Broadcasting — issued on
July 25, 2011 — all cities with a population of more than one lakh could have an
FM radio station. ii)A cyclonic storm named
Madi is to hit Indian states of Karnataka and Kerela in the near future according to the Indian Meteorological
Department .
Which of the above statement/statements is/are true? (a) Only i
(b) Only ii
(c) Both i and ii
(d) Neither i nor ii
92. i)Thailand Prime Minister
Yingluck Shinawatra has
126

recently dissolved Parliament in the face of mass demonstrations against her government that showed no sign of being called off. ii)North Korea is the second country to have expanded its
Air Defence Identification
Zone (ADIZ) in an apparent response to
China’s
November 23 decision to set up its first such zone over disputed parts of the East
China Sea.
Which of the above statement/statements is/are true? (a) Only i
(b) Only ii
(c) Both i and ii
(d) Neither i nor ii
93. i)The trade deal reached at the Bali
Ministerial
Conference is bound to benefit India’s exports and shift the focus away from preferential trade arrangements. ii)Air India has finalised a deal to sell its five widebody Boeing 777 aircraft to
Etihad Airways by signing an agreement with the Abu
Dhabi-based carrier.
Which of the above statement/statements is/are true? (a) Only i
(b) Only ii
(c) Both i and ii
(d) Neither i nor ii
94. i)In view of its growing cyber security concerns,
India has decided to challenge the
U.S.
government’s control over

the Internet and ensure that the trio of the U.S., Russia and China does not ignore
India’s concerns while developing an international regime for
Internet
governance. ii)Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) is the first drug that has demonstrated safety and efficacy to treat certain types of HCV infection without the need for co-administration of interferon. Which of the above statement/statements is/are false? (a) Only i
(b) Only ii
(c) Both i and ii
(d) Neither i nor ii
95. i)Fonetwish, an app developed by Singaporebased mobile solutions provider U2opia, is a USSDbased solution, which works on any mobile phone without an
Internet
connection. ii)Nelson Mandela who was a Bharat Ratna awardee in
1990, is the second nonIndian to receive the honour.
Which of the above statement/statements is/are false? (a) Only i
(b) Only ii
(c) Both i and ii
(d) Neither i nor ii
96. i)Feminisation of poverty refers to women representing a disproportionate share of the world’s poor. ii)It was Delhi that polled

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— an option available for the first time to voters to reject all the candidates.
Which of the above statement/statements is/are true? (a) Only i
(b) Only ii
(c) Both i and ii
(d) Neither i nor ii
97. i)The new South Korean zone covers a submerged reef that
South Korea controls but that
China also claims, and it enlarged parts of airspace also included in the Chinese zone. ii)U.S. Secretary of Defense
Chuck Hagel recently met
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and stressed on the importance of keeping the ground supply routes out of
Afghanistan open.
Which of the above statement/statements is/are true? (a) Only i
(b) Only ii
(c) Both i and ii
(d) Neither i nor ii
98. i)In a major sign of transformation of manufacturing-dominated Chinese economy, annual output of its service sector may exceed that of the manufacturing sector for the first time ever in 2013. ii)Banks need to maintain cash reserve ratio or statutory liquidity ratio on
FCNR deposits.
Which of the above

statement/statements is/are
NOT true?
(a) Only i
(b) Only ii
(c) Both i and ii
(d) Neither i nor ii
99. i)Scientists have found evidence of an ancient freshwater lake on Mars well suited to support microbial life. ii)Scientists have produced hydrogen by accelerating a natural process found in rocks deep below the Earth’s surface, a short-cut that may herald the wider use of what is a clean fuel.
Which of the above statement/statements is/are false? (a) Only i
(b) Only ii
(c) Both i and ii
(d) Neither i nor ii
100.i)Human Rights Day is observed across the World on 10 December . ii)Jaimini Bhagwati has taken over as the country’s next High Commissioner to the UK.
Which of the above statement/statements is/are false? (a) Only i
(b) Only ii
(c) Both i and ii
(d) Neither i nor ii

Answers with Explantions
1. (c) Vithi was an intermediate level 2. (d) In 800 AD to 1200 the status of women are very bad and not all law makers

3.

4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.

14.
15.
16.

17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.

support the remarriage of widows (d) contract system in not so famous or popular under
Delhi sultans
(d) option (d) is incorrect
(a) they were multi and dazi
(b) tarafdars were provincial governers (d) all given saints were from
Nirguna school
(b)
(c) A reciprocal system that existed in rural india.
(a) All features are included in mughal Architecture
(b) it meance universal peace
(c) statement (i) and (v) are not true
(a) they were territorial zamindara rendered military service to the state
(c) option (ii) and (iii) are not true
(b) option (b) is correct
(c) Spiritual and mistic character are not found in mughal painting
(d) all items are exported form india
(b) Watan Jagir could not transfar (d) Harkaras were spies and special couriers
(d) (i) (iii) and (iv) statements are correct
(c)
(c)
(a)
(a)
(d)
(c)
(a)

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28.
29.
30.
31.
32.
33.

34.
35.

36.

37.

38.

39.
40.
41.
42.

43.
44.
45.

(c)
(b)
(b)
(c)
(b) Biosphere is an example of ecosystem.
(b) India is one of the mega biodiversity centers in the world and has two of the world’s 18 biodiversity hotspots located in the western Ghats and in the eastern Himalayas
(c)
(b) Beta diversity is species diversity between ecosystems; this involves comparing the number of taxa that are unique to each of the ecosystems.
(a)
Tumbes-chocoMagdalena is biodiversity hotspot in South America.
(b) Tsomoriri wetland is located in Jammu and
Kashmir.
(a) It marks the date of the adoption of the convention on wetlands on 2nd
February, 1971 , in the
Iranian City of Ramsar.
(c) Samun is a warm local wind of Iran
(c)
(c)
(a)
90 percent of atmospheric mass is concentrated below 16 km.
(c)
(c)
(b) Red Sea and Suez Canal, separate it from Africa, while
Bering Strait separates it from North America.

128

46. (c) NHRC is a statutory body.
47. (d) NHRC chairperson appointed by president.
48. (a)
49. (a)
50. (c)
51. (b) Constitution has not recognized the doctrine of separation of powers.
52. (c)
53. (d) Ministry of home affairs is the modal Agency.
54. (a) NDC is a statutory body.
55. (b) 4 states are, Assam,
Meghalaya, Tripura &
Mizoram.
56. (c)
57. (d) Article 330 Reservations for SC, ST, IN Lok Sabha, 332
58. (a)
59. (b) India is signatory to the
UN child rights
60. (d)
61.(c)
62. (a)
63.(c)
64. (b) President nominates 12 members in Rajya Sabha.
65. (d)
66. (b) [The Hindu rate of growth refuse to low annual growth rate of socialist economy of
India before 1991. Which stagnated around 3.5% from
1950 to 1980]
67. (c) [Midday meal scheme is the popular name for school meal prog. In India which started in the 1960’s].
68. (d)
69. (a) [NABARD does not take loan from IMF. It takes loans from World Bank and Asian
Development Bank].
70. (a)

71. (c) [The program is being implemented by NABARD on pilot Basis in 7 district of country (5 in UP and2 in
Bihar)].
72. (c)
73. (c) [PMAGY: is a rural development prog.
Launched by central govt. in the financial year 20092010]
74. (c)
75. (b) [National Agricultural
Insurance Scheme was launched in 25 states and 2
UT’s]
76. (c)
77. (a) Ecotone is transitional zone between different vegetation of a region.
78. (a) Decomposers mostly help in cycling of minerals
79. (c) Denitrifying Bacteria transformed Nitrates into
Nitrogen.
80. (c) In any ecosystem both cycling and flow of energy occurs. 81. (b) Root nodules with bacteria is a fine example of mutualism. 82. (a)
83.(b)
84. (c) Relationship is called convenient. 85. (a) In 1971 UNESCO launched programme man and biosphere.
86. (a)
87.(c)
88. (b)
89.(b)
90. (d)
91.(a)
92. (a)
93.(c)
94. (d)
95.(b)
96. (a)
97.(c)
98. (b)
99.(d)
100.(b)

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What candidate will get:
1. All the relevant and required materials of subjects mention in the GS syllabus like:
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100% IAS Exam Syllabus Covered with MCQs.
History of India and Indian National Movement.
Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
Indian Polity and Governance - Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights
Issues, etc.
Economic and Social Development -Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics,
Social Sector initiatives, etc.
General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialisation
General Science.
Current Affairs.

2. Home assignment: where Multiple Choice Questions of the learned chapters will be given for self evaluation.
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...Conveyor belt From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search This article is about industrial conveyor belts. For information on the global flow of sea currents, see Thermohaline circulation. Point of contact between a power transmission belt and its pulley. A conveyor belt uses a wide belt and pulleys and is supported by rollers or a flat pan along its path. These conveyor structures contain belts for moving bulk sulfur from railcars to storage piles and from the piles to ships. A conveyor belt (or belt conveyor) consists of two or more pulleys, with a continuous loop of material - the conveyor belt - that rotates about them. One or both of the pulleys are powered, moving the belt and the material on the belt forward. The powered pulley is called the drive pulley while the unpowered pulley is called the idler. There are two main industrial classes of belt conveyors; Those in general material handling such as those moving boxes along inside a factory and bulk material handling such as those used to transport industrial and agricultural materials, such as grain, coal, ores, etc. generally in outdoor locations. Generally companies providing general material handling type belt conveyors do not provide the conveyors for bulk material handling. In addition there are a number of commercial applications of belt conveyors such as those in grocery stores. The belt consists of one or more layers of material. They can be made out of rubber. Many......

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... Name_________________________ Snell’s Law—PhET Simulation 1. Go to the PhET website. http://phet.colorado.edu/ 2. Choose “play with simulations.” Next, chose >Physics, >Light and Radiation, and choose >Bending Light. 3. Learn how to turn on the laser. Play with moving the angle to change the angle of incidence. Figure out how to use the protractor to measure angle of incidence and angle of refraction. Use the light intensity meter to figure out how to measure the percent of the ray that is refracted and reflected. Play with how a ray looks different than a wave. 4. Use the “Reset All” button. Align the protractor. Set up an angle of incidence of 60°. • What is the angle of refraction? ________ • What is the angle of reflection?_______ • What is the intensity of the refracted ray?________ • What is the intensity of the reflected ray?_______ 5. Change the upper medium to glass. Change the bottom medium to air. • Use the protractor to measure the critical angle._____ (Remember to measure from the normal, not the boundary.) _______ • What is the intensity of the reflected ray? ________ • Now use the shown indexes of refraction with Snell’s Law to check your measured critical angle. Show all work below. 5. Hit the “Reset All” button. 6. Make the top medium glass and the bottom medium water. • Using the protractor, measure the critical angle for light going from glass into water._____ • Use the......

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...A file system (filesystem) is means to organize data expected to be retained after a program terminates by providing procedures to store, retrieve and update data, as well as manage the available space on the device(s) which contain it. A file system organizes data in an efficient manner and is tuned to the specific characteristics of the device. There is usually a tight coupling between the operating system and the file system. Some filesystems provide mechanisms to control access to the data and metadata. Insuring reliability is a major responsibility of a filesystem. Some filesystems provide a means for multiple programs to update data in the same file nearly at the same time. Without a filesystem programs would not be able to access data by file name or directory and would need to be able to directly access data regions on a storage device. File systems are used on data storage devices such as magnetic storage disks or optical discs to maintain the physical location of the computer files. They may provide access to data on a file server by acting as clients for a network protocol (e.g., NFS, SMB, or 9P clients), or they may be virtual and exist only as an access method for virtual data (e.g., procfs). This is distinguished from a directory service and registry. Types of file systems Disk file systems A disk file system takes advantages of the ability to randomly address data on a disk storage media in a short amount of time. Additional considerations include......

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...16 Major Firms May Have Received Early Data From Thomson Reuters September 5, 2:25 PM ET |ByMatt Taibbi Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog#ixzz2fI9gEBD3  Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook Readers may recall an ugly story that broke earlier this summer, when New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman rebuked the news/business information firm Thomson Reuters for selling access to key economic survey data two seconds early to high-frequency algorithmic traders. The story strongly suggested that some Thomson Reuters customers were using their two-second head start (an eternity in the modern world of computerized trading) to front-run the markets. "The early release of market-moving survey data undermines fair play in the markets," Schneiderman said, back in the second week of July. Thomson Reuters suspended the practice of selling two-second head starts after Schneiderman insisted upon a change. Still, the firm defiantly refused to declare the change permanent and insisted that it had the right to "legally distribute non-governmental data" to "fee-paying subscribers." It turns out that there's more to the story. Back in June, journalist Simone Foxman at the global economic site Quartz reported that in addition to the two-second head start some Thomson Reuters customers were getting on the release of the University of Michigan Survey of Consumers, other customers may have been getting their data even......

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...as and a-level business Get help and support Visit our website for information, guidance, support and resources at aqa.org.uk/7132 You can talk directly to the Business subject team E: business-studies@aqa.org.uk T: 01483 477 863 AS (7131) A-level (7132) Specifications For teaching from September 2015 onwards For AS exams in May/June 2016 onwards For A-level exams in May/June 2017 onwards Version 1.0 19 August 2014 aqa.org.uk G00395 Copyright © 2014 AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. AQA retains the copyright on all its publications, including the specifications. However, schools and colleges registered with AQA are permitted to copy material from these specifications for their own internal use. AQA Education (AQA) is a registered charity (number 1073334) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (company number 3644723). Our registered address is AQA, Devas Street, Manchester M15 6EX. AS Business (7131) and A-level Business (7132). AS exams May/June 2016 onwards. A-level exams May/June 2017 onwards. Version 1.0 Contents 1 Introduction 5 1.1 Why choose AQA for AS and A-level Business 1.2 Support and resources to help you teach 2 Specification at a glance 2.1 Subject content 2.2 AS 2.3 A-level 5 6 8 8 8 9 3 Subject content 10 Strategic decision making (A-level only) 3.1 What is business? 3.2 Managers, leadership and decision making 3.3 Decision......

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...ĐỀ TÀI: GIAO TIẾP TRONG MÔI TRƯỜNG CÔNG TY LỜI MỞ ĐẦU Con người luôn phải hòa nhập, gắn mình và tồn tại trong một môi trường xã hội để giao tiếp với người khác, khẳng định được cái riêng của mình. Giao tiếp ứng xử là cách phổ biến nhất trong hoạt động sống, vì trong mọi trường hợp ai cũng phải làm việc và mưu cầu thông qua, với người khác. Chúng ta giao tiếp, trao đổi với bạn bè về các vấn đề xã hội, công việc, học tập; giao tiếp với vợ chồng về con cái, cuộc sống, chi tiêu trong gia đình và những dự định về tương lai. Tuy nhiên trong môi trường công ty, việc giao tiếp và trao đổi là cả một nghệ thuật, nó không chỉ là sự kết hợp khéo léo trong giao tiếp mà là cả sự điều hòa ở bản thân mỗi người. Làm sao để tạo cho mình một môi trường thật thoải mái trong suốt tám giờ đồng hồ làm việc? Tuy nhiên cơ sở lâu dài của việc xây dựng các quy tắc giao tiếp, ứng xử trong nội bộ doanh nghiệp còn tuỳ thuộc vào văn hóa tổ chức và các cơ chế cạnh tranh về lợi ích mà doanh nghiệp đã áp dụng như thế nào. Việc sử dụng người như thế nào, coi cái gì là quan trọng trong đối nhân xử thế của các nhà lãnh đạo doanh nghiệp là tác nhân trực tiếp để hình thành nên mối quan hệ bằng hữu, thân ái tin cậy nhau trong nội bộ tổ chức. Suy cho cùng giao tiếp ứng xử không những là những câu nói, cử chỉ mang tính xã giao, mà phải chứa đựng trong bản chất và mục tiêu của nó là sự thúc đẩy hợp tác hướng vào công việc. I. Giao tiếp nội bộ: Trong mọi nhóm, tổ chức, doanh......

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...Sub: Malegam Committee Recommendations Have One Fatal Flaw & Raise Many Difficult Questions – An Immediate Corrective Action Is Needed THIS IS AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL CONCERNED WITH THIS MATTER From: Dr. Ramesh Bellamkonda Managing Director BSS Microfinance Private Limited, Bangalore. (The Opinions Expressed Here Are Solely Those Of The Author) One Fatal Flaw In Malegam Committee Recommendations: 1. Summary Recommendation 10, (11.12 (c)), that says “Field staff should not be allowed to make recovery at the place of residence or work of the borrower and all recoveries should only be made at the Group level at a central place to be designated” is a recommendation that is absolutely fatal to microfinance. If adopted, this will be a “Death Sentence”, nothing short. If this recommendation is adopted by the regulator, a ll that a borrower has to do to not repay, is to stop coming to the central designated place of collection of repayment. If the MFI staff go to borrowers‟ homes or work places in such a circumstance, the MFI staff would have violated the applicable regulations and the borrowers or others around them can call the police and have such MFI staff arrested. In a relatively short time, people will figure out how to not repay MFI loans. Some borrowers or their families or their neighbours or third parties will surely want to exercise this o ption. Once exercised by some people here and there, this would have an extremely contagious effect on just about...

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...INDIA, CHINA AND AMERICA INSTITUTE 1549 CLAIRMONT ROAD, SUITE 202 ● DECATUR, GA 30033 USA WWW.ICAINSTITUTE.ORG An Exploration of Human Resource Management Information Systems Security Humayun Zafar, Jan G. Clark & Myung S. Ko Journal of Emerging Knowledge on Emerging Markets Volume 3 November 2011 1 Zafar et al.: An Exploration of Human Resource Management Information Systems S Produced by The Berkeley Electronic Press, 2011 2011 JOURNAL OF EMERGING KNOWLEDGE ON EMERGING MARKETS ● WWW.ICAINSTITUTE.ORG PAGE 489 An Exploration of Human Resource Management Information Systems Security Humayun Zafar Kennesaw State University Jan G. Clark The University of Texas at San Antonio Myung S. Ko The University of Texas at San Antonio Journal of Emerging Knowledge on Emerging Markets Volume 3 November 2011 uman resource (HR) information systems are employed extensively by modern day firms. They are designed to support the HR functions such as attracting job applicants (Stone, Lukaszewski, & Isenhour, 2005) automating training and development, managing employee performance, and administering benefits systems (Burkhard, Schooley, Dawson, & Horan, 2010; Strohmeier, 2007). HR information systems can help meet employee needs, streamline operating procedures, reduce operating expenses, and also increase information accuracy and accessibility. They also aid in improving the professional standing of HR professionals in the organization......

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