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Friday, September 27, 2013

UPSCPORTAL : "(Audio Notes) Current Affairs Daily : 26 September 2013 "Topic : Army funding & India Strategic Interest"" plus 9 more

UPSCPORTAL : "(Audio Notes) Current Affairs Daily : 26 September 2013 "Topic : Army funding & India Strategic Interest"" plus 9 more

Link to UPSCPORTAL - India's Largest Community for IAS, CSAT, Civil Services Aspirants. - India's Largest Online Community for IAS, CSAT, UPSC, Civil Services Aspirants.

(Audio Notes) Current Affairs Daily : 26 September 2013 "Topic : Army funding & India Strategic Interest"

Posted: 27 Sep 2013 06:11 AM PDT

Current Affairs Daily Voice Notes

Spotlight/News Analysis (26 September):

  • Topic of Discussion: Army funding & India Strategic Interest
  • Expert Panel: Major General Ashok Mehta (Defence Analyst), Rahul Jalali (Senior Journalist)

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Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 17 August 2013

Posted: 27 Sep 2013 06:04 AM PDT

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 17 August 2013

'No immediate threat to India from Ug99 wheat rust'

  • India does not face any immediate threat from the Ug99 wheat rust disease that hits the stem of a wheat plant. Nevertheless it has to be prepared.
  • With wheat production steadily on the rise, the country is poised to enhance its output to a record level of 100 million tonnes in 2015,
  • India is the second largest wheat producer and consumer in the world. In 2012-13, the country produced 92.46 million tonnes of wheat. This is 13.2 per cent of the world's production.
  • India had three varieties — Super 152, Super 172 and Baj — that were resistant to stem rust. Besides, 37 more varieties were in the pipeline.
  • These preparations were under way to thwart any threat from the Ug99 wheat —a devastating strain of black wheat stem rust disease — that reached the borders of Iran in 2009.
  • So far the Indian sub-continent had been safe.
  • If the disease were to hit Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, it would hurt wheat availability around the globe. The spread of the wind-blown disease would depend on the west-east air flow pattern, Professor Coffman said.
  • The silver lining was that India was one of the biggest sources of providing plant material for developing rust resistant varieties for the world,
  • One of the methods to control the disease is to replace the susceptible varieties with resistant ones.
  • After the disease hit wheat crop in North America and travelled to Canada in 1953, huge tracts of wheat were replaced with corn. In 1999, a new race of the causative agent of stem rust, the Ug99, was detected in Uganda followed by Kenya in 2003 and Yemen in 2007.
  • The virulent race, if not contained, may migrate to the Middle-East and Central Asia, it is feared.
  • Norman E. Borlaug's introduction of high-yielding wheat in India, President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate a global technical workshop on progress and challenging in protecting world's wheat supply. It will be jointly organised by the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) and the Indian Council of Agriculture Research.

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Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 23 August 2013

Posted: 27 Sep 2013 05:58 AM PDT

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 23 August 2013

Nuclear deterrence is overrated

  • The Indian Navy has figured in three recent, global news items.
  • The launch of the indigenously developed aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant , expected to be operational by 2018, makes India only the fifth country after the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom and France to have such capability.
  • The diesel-electric submarine INS Sindhurakshak caught fire and exploded, causing the tragic death of 18 crew. In the early hours of August 10, the reactor on the nuclear powered submarine INS Arihant ("slayer of enemies"), with underwater ballistic launch capability, went critical.
  • Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife, Gursharan Kaur, launched the 6,000-tonneArihant in Visakhapatnam on July 26, 2009. In time, it was said, with a fleet of five nuclear-powered submarines and three to four aircraft carrier battle groups, a 35-squadron air force and land-based weapons systems, India would emerge as a major force in the Indian Ocean, from the Middle East to Southeast Asia.
  • The strategic rationale is to acquire and consolidate the three legs of land, air and sea-based nuclear weapons to underpin the policy of nuclear deterrence. Unfortunately, however, the whole concept of nuclear deterrence is deeply flawed.

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Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 27 September 2013

Posted: 27 Sep 2013 05:55 AM PDT

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 27 September 2013

GAAR rules notified

  • The government has notified the controversial anti-avoidance tax rules, which will be implemented from April, 2016, and apply to business arrangements with a tax benefit exceeding Rs.3 crore.
  • The General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR) provisions will come into force from April 1, 2016, the Central Board of Direct
  • Nuclear waste could supply 800 years of power
  • In a drab one-story building here, set between an indoor tennis club and a home appliance showroom, dozens of engineers, physicists and nuclear experts are chasing a radical dream of Bill Gates: a new kind of nuclear reactor that would be fuelled by today's nuclear waste, supply all the electricity in the United States for the next 800 years and, possibly, cut the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation around the world.
  • The people developing the reactor work for a startup, TerraPower, led by Mr. Gates and a fellow Microsoft billionaire, Nathan Myhrvold. So far, it has raised tens of millions of dollars for the project, but building a prototype reactor could cost $5 billion — a reason Mr. Gates is looking for a home for the demonstration plant in rich and energy-hungry China.
  • Today's nuclear reactors run on concentrations of three to five per cent uranium 235, an enriched fuel that leaves behind a pure, mostly natural waste, uranium 238. (A uranium bomb runs on more than 90 per cent uranium 235.)
  • In today's reactors, some uranium 238 is converted to plutonium that is used as a small, supplemental fuel, but most of the plutonium is left behind as waste.
  • In contrast, the TerraPower reactor makes more plutonium from the uranium 238 for use as fuel, and so would run almost entirely on uranium 238.
  • It would need only a small amount of uranium 235, which would help kick-start the reaction.
  • The result, TerraPower's supporters hope, is that countries would not need to enrich uranium in the quantities they do now, undercutting arguments that they have to have vast stores on hand for a civilian programme.
  • TerraPower's concept would also blunt the logic behind a second route to a bomb: recovering plutonium from spent reactor fuel, which is how most nuclear weapons are built. Since so much uranium 238 is available, there would be no reason to use that plutonium, TerraPower says.
  • The engineers working for Gates acknowledge the enormous challenges but say they are convinced that he and they are chasing the solution not only to energy and weapons proliferation but also to climate change and poverty.
  • "If you could pick just one thing to lower the price of — to reduce poverty — by far you would pick energy," Mr. Gates said as he introduced the reactor idea in a speech in 2010. nuclear fuel.
  • TerraPower is not alone in pursuing a reactor that will turn waste uranium into energy, and if such a concept can be commercialised, Mr. Gates might not be the first to do it. General Atomics, which has decades of experience in nuclear power, is pursuing what it calls an "energy multiplier" reactor module on the same general principal.

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Tips to Remember During Preparation for Civil Services Mains

Posted: 27 Sep 2013 05:40 AM PDT

Tips to remember during preparation for Civil Services Mains

For the people who are going to write the mains exam this year , you need to pull up your socks and gear up for what's coming next!!! Even though there has been a huge gap between preliminary examination and Mains examination this year (given that the mains exam is starting from December 1st 2013); there is a factor of uncertainty entangled with the process of preparation, thanks to the whole new pattern of Civil Services Main Exam.

The Main exam will consist of the following papers :- Essay, Modern Indian Language, English,  General Studies-I, General Studies-II, General Studies-III, General Studies-IV, Optional Subject Paper –I, Optional Subject Paper –II. The importance laid on General Studies paper is evident with a total of 1000 marks being allotted to it. But this does not mean optional paper can be ignored.

Optional paper may be reduced from 2 to 1, but it also lays greater importance on the 250 marks now. Say a person who scores in the range of 180-200, has a better scope of clearing the exam than someone who scores in the range of 100-150. While deciding for Optional paper always try and avoid herd behavior, it will lead you to nowhere; instead choose a subject that interests you and you can easily relate to. It will be helpful in the long run, no matter that it is not the subject you studied in your graduation days. You have to be comfortable enough to deal with various tricky questions that come down on your way.

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Today's Important News: 27 September 2013

Posted: 27 Sep 2013 05:24 AM PDT

(Current Affairs MCQ) Test Your Skills - 25 September 2013

Posted: 27 Sep 2013 03:50 AM PDT

Attempts allowed:Unlimited
Pass rate:75 %
Backwards navigation:Allowed

These MCQ's Are Based On "THE HINDU" 26 September 2013

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(Discussion) IAS Mains - PUB AD - "To transform RTI regime and access to information regime requires several legal............."

Posted: 27 Sep 2013 02:57 AM PDT

Public Administration

Chapter: Organisations
Topic: Citizen's Charters, Right to Information, Social audit

Discussion Topic: "To transform RTI regime and access to information regime requires several legal ,administrative and judicial issues to be addressed adequately. Discuss."

Important Instructions:

  • Time Duration: 15 Min.

  • Maximum Word Limit: 200

  • Maximum Marks: 20

For Any Query Related to Public Administration or This Programme call Course Director - +91 7827687693 (10 AM to 7 PM)

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(Sample Material) IAS Mains GS Online Coaching : Paper 2 - Indian Heritage and Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society "Culture - Art Forms (Music)"

Posted: 27 Sep 2013 02:54 AM PDT

Sample Material of Our IAS Mains GS Online Coaching Programme

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(Sample Material) IAS Mains Essay Writing Online Coaching: Panchayati Raj in India

Posted: 27 Sep 2013 02:42 AM PDT

Sample Material of Our IAS Mains GS Online Coaching Programme

Subject: Essay Writing
Topic: Panchayati Raj in India

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