Current Affair Analysis

17th & 18th February 2019 Current Affairs Analysis -IASToppers

Earth’s crust; National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST); NCST Leadership Award; Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS); What is Eco Circuit? Swadesh Darshan Scheme; Tourist Circuit; PRASHAD scheme; Model Building Bye laws; Sarojini Mahishi Report; Body waves; Surface waves; Finance Commission; Kerch Strait; Sea of Azov; International Court of Justice (ICJ); Hina Jaiswal; Department of Management, Strategy, Policy and Compliance (DMSPC); Blackbuck; Indo-Sweden Security Protection Agreement; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
February 25, 2019


Polity & Governance

  • PR bodies to ask Finance Commission for share of funds
  • Foundation Day of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

Government Schemes & Policies

  • DEPWD organises regional conference on Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation scheme (DDRS)
  • Kannadigas to get primacy in C and D category jobs


  • Policy bias against rainfed agriculture
  • Govt issues guidelines to set up EV charging stations

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

  • ‘Eco Circuit: Pathanamthitta – Gavi – Vagamon – Thekkady’ project

Bilateral & International Relations

  • International Court of Justice begins hearing in Kulbhushan Jadhav case
  • EU to sanction eight Russians for Azov Sea standoff

Science & Technology

  • Scientists discover massive mountains under Earth’s crust

Key Facts for Prelims

  • Hina Jaiswal
  • Department of Management, Strategy, Policy and Compliance (DMSPC)
  • Blackbuck
  • Indo-Sweden Security Protection Agreement

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Polity & Governance

PR bodies to ask Finance Commission for share of funds

Panchayat Raj institutions and urban local bodies would make a case with the 15th Central Finance Commission to enhance the quantum of funds to the local bodies.

Finance Commission of India 2019

  • 14th Finance Commission directed entire funding to gram panchayats.
  • To release the share of funds that the zilla and mandal parishads used to get directly till the 14th Finance Commission discontinued the practice and diverted them to the gram panchayats.

Key Fact:

  • The First Finance Commission was established by the President of India in 1951 under Article 280 of the Indian Constitution.
  • The most recent was constituted in November 2017 and is chaired by N. K.Singh.

About Finance Commission:

  • Article 280 of the Constitution of India provides for FC as a quasi-judicial body.
  • The Finance Commission formed every five years to give suggestions on centre-state financial relations.


  • It consists of a chairman and four other members to be appointed by the president.
  • The Chairman or members are eligible for reappointment.


  • The Chairman of a finance commission is selected from people with experience of public affairs. The other four members are selected from people who:
  1. Are, or have been, or are qualified, as judges of a high court.
  2. Have knowledge of government finances or accounts.
  3. Have had experience in administration and financial expertise.
  4. Have special knowledge of economics.

Functions of Finance Commission:

  • The Finance Commission constituted to give recommendations on the transfer of resources from the centre to states for period of five years.
  • Each Finance Commission is required to make recommendations on:
  1. Sharing of central taxes with states,
  2. Distribution of central grants to states,
  3. Measures to improve the finances of states to supplement the resources of panchayats and municipalities and
  4. Any other matter referred to it.

Need of Finance Commission:

  • The Indian federal system allows for the division of power and responsibilities between the centre and states. Correspondingly, the taxation powers are also broadly divided between the centre and states
  • To address the imbalances among the states and between the centre and the states, it recommends the extent of central funds to be shared with states.

Formula used for distribution:

  • The share in central taxes is distributed among states based on a formula. Previous Finance Commissions have considered various factors to determine the criteria such as the population and income needs of states, their area and infrastructure, etc.  Further, the weightage assigned to each criterion has varied with each Finance Commission.

The criteria used by the 11th to 14thFinance Commissions are:

  • Population is an indicator of the expenditure needs of a state. Over the years, Finance Commissions have used population data of the 1971 Census. The 14th Finance Commission used the 2011 population data, in addition to the 1971 data.  The 15th Finance Commission has been mandated to use data from the 2011 Census.
  • Area is used as a criterion as a state with larger area has to incur additional administrative costs to deliver services.
  • Income distance is the difference between the per capita income of a state with the average per capita income of all states. States with lower per capita income may be given a higher share to maintain equity among states.
  • Forest cover indicates that states with large forest covers bear the cost of not having area available for other economic activities. Therefore, the rationale is that these states may be given a higher share.


  • Besides the taxes devolved to states, another source of transfers from the centre to states is grants-in-aid.
  • As per the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, grants-in-aid constitute 12% of the central transfers to states.
  • The 14th Finance Commission had recommended grants to states for three purposes: (i) disaster relief, (ii) local bodies, and (iii) revenue deficit.
[Ref: The Hindu]


Foundation Day of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) celebrated fifteen years on 19th February, 2019.

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) 2

  • The theme of the Foundation Day was “Constitution and Tribes”.
  • On this occasion, the Commission has launched a book titled “Janjatiya Swadhinta Sangram” in Hindi.


  • The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) was set up on 19th February, 2004 through Constitution (89th Amendment) Act.

NCST Leadership Award:

  • On this occasion, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes has also institute a national award named as “NCST Leadership Award” which will be conferred for significant services towards Scheduled Tribes in the country.
  • The awards will be given in 3 categories i.e. (i) Educational Institutions/ Universities, (ii) Public Sector Undertakings/Banks and (iii) Public Service rendered by an Individual, NGO or Civil Society.
  • The award was presented in the form of a citation, a medal along with an “Uttriya”.

Awardees of NCST Leadership Award:

This year, the first award will be conferred on the followings:

  • Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, Bhubaneswar: In recognition of their significant contribution towards education of tribal children in Odisha and neighbouring states from kindergarten to post graduate level
  • Central Coalfields Ltd., Ranchi: In recognition of their significant contribution in the field of sport promotion among Scheduled Tribe children in Jharkhand.
  • Dr. Pronob Kumar Sircar, Tribal Welfare Officer in Andaman Adim Janjati Vikas Samiti (AAJVS): In recognition of his significant contribution towards Particularly Vulnerable Tribes Groups i.e. Oonges, Shompens, Andamanese and Jarwas in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

About National Commission for Scheduled Castes:

  • It is a constitutional body established with a view to provide safeguards against the exploitation of Scheduled Castes.
  • To promote and protect their social, educational, economic and cultural interests, special provisions were made in the Constitution.

Composition of the commission:

  • The Commission consists of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and three other members.
  • They are appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
  • Their conditions of service and tenure of office are also determined by the president. The commission presents an annual report to the president.

Functions of the commission:

  • To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Castes under this Constitution or under any other law for the time being in force or under any order of the Government and to evaluate the working of such safeguards;
  • To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the Scheduled Castes;
  • To participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of the Scheduled Castes and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State;
  • To present to the President, annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards;
  • To make in such reports recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any State for the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Castes; and
  • To discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the Scheduled Castes as the President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, by rule specify.
[Ref: PIB]


Government Schemes & Policies

DEPWD organises regional conference on Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation scheme (DDRS)

A “Regional Conference on Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) was organized at Kolkata for the overall empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangajan).

DEPWD organises regional conference on Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation scheme (DDRS)

Highlights of the Conference:

  • It was organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • The objective of the Conference was to disseminate the provisions of the revised scheme and to sensitize various stake holders about it.
  • This conference also provided a unique opportunity for interactions amongst all stakeholders.
  • The conference also saw exchange of cross-sectoral views on the aspects of the efficacy of the scheme as well as the scope of improvements in it.

Need for revision:

  • To compensate for price rise since 2007. Also, the cost norms of the scheme were last revised in 2009.
  • Discontinuance of certain model projects on account of launching of independent stand-alone schemes in respect of certain model projects, while in other cases there was no sufficient demand from the organizations over the years.
  • Pursuant to the reasons stated above, the scheme has been revised effective from 1st of April, 2018.

Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS):

  • The umbrella Central Sector Scheme of this Ministry called the “Scheme to Promote Voluntary Action for Persons with Disabilities” was revised in April, 2003 and was renamed as the “Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS)”.
  • Under the scheme, every year more than 600 NGOs are provided with financial assistance for running their projects for the rehabilitation of persons with disability.
  • The NGOs being funded are catering the rehabilitative services to more than 35000 to 40000 beneficiaries every year.
  • It covers 13 States of Eastern & North Eastern region namely West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim & Tripura.

Approach of the Scheme:

  • To provide financial assistance to voluntary organizations to make available the whole range of services necessary for rehabilitation of persons with disabilities including early intervention, development of daily living skills, education, skill-development oriented towards employability, training and awareness generation.
  • With a view to inclusion of persons with disabilities in the mainstream of society and actualizing their potential, the thrust would be on education and training programmes.

Objectives of DDRS:

  • To create an enabling environment to ensure equal opportunities of persons with disabilities.
  • To encourage voluntary action for ensuring effective implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

 [Ref: PIB]


Kannadigas to get primacy in C and D category jobs

The Karnataka government has decided to amend Karnataka Industrial Employment (Standing Orders), Rules, 1961, to give primacy to Kannadigas in jobs under Group C and D category in the private sector.

Kannadigas to get priority in private sector jobs 2019 1

  • The Karnataka government decided to amend the Karnataka Industrial Employment (Standing Orders), Rules, 1961, to implement the Sarojini Mahishi report.

Why this move?

  • For at least over a decade, especially after Bangalore exploded on the national and global map as the most sought-after destination primarily for software development, it witnessed a huge population influx from all corners of India naturally upsetting the local and migrant balance and causing social friction primarily owing to economic reasons.
  • With not enough jobs being created and the poor spread of those that are getting created, the pressure on, and in, relatively better-performing states is growing.

Sarojini Mahishi Report:

  • The Mahishi Committee, headed by former Union minister Sarojini Mahishi, was constituted in 1984 to recommend job opportunities for Kannadigas in Karnataka and it submitted the report in 1986.

Key recommendations of this report include:

  • 100 percent reservation for Kannadigas in all state government departments and PSUs.
  • 100 percent reservation for Kannadigas for Group C and D jobs in Central government departments and PSUs.
  • A minimum 80 per cent reservation for Kannadigas for Group B jobs in Central government departments and PSUs
  • 65 per cent reservation for Kannadigas for Group A jobs in Central government departments and PSUs.
  • All jobs in the private sector to be reserved for Kannadigas barring, if necessary, senior/skilled positions.
[Ref: The Hindu, FirstPost]



Policy bias against rainfed agriculture

Revitalising Rainfed Agriculture (RRA) Network recently released new rainfed agriculture atlas.

Policy bias against rainfed agriculture 2019

About the atlas:

  • The atlas not only maps the agro biodiversity and socio-economic conditions prevailing in such areas, but also attempts to document the policy biases that are making farming unviable for many in these areas.

Current scenario:

  • Three out of five farmers in India grow their crops using rainwater, instead of irrigation. However, per hectare government investment into their lands may be 20 times lower, government procurement of their crops is a fraction of major irrigated land crops, and many of the government’s flagship agriculture schemes are not tailored to benefit them.
  • There has been “negligence” toward rainfed areas which is leading to lower incomes for farmers in these areas. Farmers in rainfed areas are receiving 40% less of their income from agriculture in comparison to those in irrigated areas.
  • Lands irrigated through big dams and canal networks get a per hectare investment of ₹5 lakh. Watershed management spending in rainfed lands is only ₹18,000-25,000.
  • The difference in yield is not proportionate to the difference in investment. When it comes to procurement, over the decade between 2001-02 and 2011-12, the government spent ₹5.4 lakh crore on wheat and rice. Coarse cereals, which are grown in rainfed areas, only had ₹3,200 crore worth of procurement in the same period.
  • Flagship government schemes, such as seed and fertiliser subsidies and soil health cards, are designed for irrigated areas and simply extended to rainfed farmers without taking their needs into consideration.

What should be done?

  • A more balanced approach was needed, to give rain fed farmers the same research and technology focus.
  • Ease of doing farming should also be done with ease of doing.
  • If we don’t ease the problems of seeds, soil, water in rain fed areas, farmers will simply leave agriculture in the long term.
[Ref: The Hindu]


Govt issues guidelines to set up EV charging stations

The government has issued a set of guidelines to set up charging stations for electric vehicles outlining ways to build such fuelling points every 25 km.

Guidelines on Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure 2019 1

Need for creating guidelines:

  • The government expects 25 % of the total vehicles on roads will be electric vehicles by 2030, necessitating to erect robust electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in India.

Highlights of Guidelines:

  • The ministry has made amendments to the Model Building Byelaws (MBBL) 2016 and Urban Regional Development Plans Formulation and Implementation (URDPFI) Guidelines 2014, making provisions for establishing EV charging infrastructure.
  • The guidelines will act as a guiding document to the State/UTs to incorporate the norms and standards of such vehicles in their respective building byelaws.
  • It also stated that for long range and heavy-duty electric vehicles, there should be at least one station on each side of the highway every 100 kilometres.
  • Charging facilities will also be available at bus depots and transport hubs within three years. In the first phase, to be completed by 2021, mega cities — with a population of over 4 million as per the 2011 census — will be covered.
  • The government has also advocated for charging points in residential areas.
  • A public charging station should be on both sides of the highways or roads on every 25 km.

Model Building Bye laws:

  • In 2003, the Ministry of Urban Development desired that Model Building Bye Laws be prepared, in view of Bhuj Earthquake that occurred in 2001.
  • Building Bye-Laws are legal tools used to regulate coverage, height, building bulk and construction aspects of buildings so as to achieve orderly development of an area.
  • They are mandatory in nature and serve to protect buildings against fire, earthquake, noise, structural failures and other hazards.

Amendments made in Model Building Bye laws in 2016:

  • It includes a structural framework for single window integrated building plan approval process and set the maximum time limit at 30 days, after which the approval can be considered ‘deemed’.
  • Elimination of man to man interaction and there by reduces corruption.
  • No requirement for any separate environmental clearance or permission.
  • Categorisation of buildings into three categories based on the built-up area.
  • All the approvals for such buildings can be obtained from the state urban local bodies now.
  • Mandatory provisions for rain water harvesting and new provisions regarding solar roof top power generation in cities.
[Ref: Business Today ]


Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

‘Eco Circuit: Pathanamthitta – Gavi – Vagamon – Thekkady’ project

Development of Eco Circuit: Pathanamthitta – Gavi – Vagamon – Thekkady’ under the Swadesh Darshan scheme was inaugurated by Ministry of Tourism at Vagamon, Kerala on 17th February 2019.


  • This Eco Circuit project was sanctioned in December 2015.

Major works carried out under the Eco Circuit project:

  • Eco Adventure Tourism Park at Vagamon
  • Cultural Centre at Kadamanitta
  • Eco Log Huts at Peerumedu, Idukki
  • Approach Roads and Walking trails
  • Rain Shelters at Pine Valley Forest, Thekkady, Kumily, Moozhiyar Dam, Penstock and Kakki Dam

What is Eco Circuit?

  • Eco Circuit is one of the fifteen thematic circuits identified for development under Swadesh Darshan Scheme- Integrated development of theme- based tourist circuits in the country.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme:

Development of Eco Circuit 2019 1

  • Swadesh Darshan scheme is one of the flagship schemes of Ministry of Tourism for development of 13 thematic Tourist circuits.
  • The duration of Swadesh Darshan Scheme is till the 14th Finance Commission Period i.e. March 2020.

Key Features:

  • The scheme was completely funded by the central government of India.
  • There are 13 cities that are under consideration of development are all pilgrimage sites.
  • The scheme is a joint venture by the Central Government and Ministry of Tourism.
  • This scheme is envisioned to synergise with other Government of India schemes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, Make in India etc.

Objective of scheme:

  • To position tourism as a major engine of economic growth and job creation
  • Develop circuits having tourist potential in a planned and prioritized manner
  • Enhancing the tourist attractiveness in a sustainable manner
  • Follow community based development and pro-poor tourism approach
  • Creating awareness among the local communities about the importance of tourism
  • To create employment through active involvement of local communities
  • To make full use of the potential in terms of available infrastructure and national culture

What is Tourist Circuit?

  • Tourist Circuit is defined as a route having at least three major tourist destinations which are distinct and apart.
  • Circuits should have well defined entry and exit points. A tourist who enters should get motivated to visit most of the places identified in the circuit.
  • A Circuit could be confined to a State or could be a regional circuit covering more than one State/Union Territory. These circuits may have one dominant theme and other sub-themes.

Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) scheme:

  • Under the scheme ‘Prasad’, the Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments Administrations for development and beautification of the identified pilgrimage destinations.
  • Under this scheme, thirteen sites have been identified for development, namely: Amritsar, Ajmer, Dwarka, Mathura, Varanasi, Gaya, Puri, Amaravati, Kanchipuram, Vellankanni, Kedarnath, Kamakhya and Patna.
  • This scheme is implemented as a central sector scheme during 12th Five-year plan (2012-17) and beyond.

Objectives of PRASHAD:

  • Integrated development of pilgrimage destinations in planned and sustainable manner.
  • Harness Pilgrimage tourism for its direct and multiplier effect on employment generation.
  • Leverage public Capital and expertise.
  • Promote local arts, culture, handicrafts, cuisines etc. to generate livelihood in the identified places.
[Ref: PIB]


Bilateral & International Relations

International Court of Justice begins hearing in Kulbhushan Jadhav case

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) begins hearing the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav at The Hague.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) 2019


  • Pakistan has sentenced Jadhav to death for spying while India claims he is not a spy and is challenging his death sentence.

About International Court of Justice:

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN).

  • It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946.
  • The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands).
  • Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (United States of America).
  • Its official languages are English and French.


  • The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of nine years by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. It is assisted by a Registry, its administrative organ.
  • The 15 judges of the Court are distributed as per the regions: three from Africa, two from Latin America and Caribbean, three from Asia, five from Western Europe and other states and two from Eastern Europe.

Role of the court:

  • The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.

Qualifications of ICJ judges:

  • A judge should have a high moral character.
  • A judge should fit to the qualifications of appointment of highest judicial officers as prescribed by their respective states or
  • A judge should be a juriconsult of recognized competence in international law.


  • As stated in the UN Charter, all 193 UN members are automatically parties to the Court’s statute. Non-UN members may also become parties to the Court’s statute.
  • Once a state is a party to the Court’s statute, it is entitled to participate in cases before the Court.
  • However, being a party to the statute does not automatically give the Court jurisdiction over disputes involving those parties.

Nature of judgements:

  • Its judgments have binding force and are without appeal for the parties concerned.
[Ref: The Hindu]


EU to sanction eight Russians for Azov Sea standoff

The EU has decided to sanction eight Russian nationals for their responsibility in incidents in the Azov Sea last November.

Azov sea 2019

What is the Issue?

  • The Ukraine-Russia conflict flared up when Russian forces seized three Ukrainian vessels and captured two dozen sailors as they tried to pass from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov.
  • The November confrontation was the first open military incident between Kiev and Moscow since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula and a conflict erupted in eastern Ukraine.

Conflict in the Sea of Azov:

  • Ukraine has criticised the Russian authorities to start imposing checks on ships travelling to and from Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov.
  • Under 2003 treaty, Russia has the right to inspect any vessel sailing to or from the Sea of Azov. Ukraine has accused Russia of abusing that right.
  • Ukraine has also opposed a Russian-constructed bridge that crosses the Kerch strait and connects Russia and Crimea.
  • Neither Ukraine nor the European Union recognise Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.
  • Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of breaking international law after a Russian border patrol seizure of three Ukrainian ships.
  • The naval vessels of Ukrainian port are required to pass through the Kerch Strait, a narrow strip of water being blocked by a Russian cargo ship.

Kerch Strait:

Kerch Strait

  • The Kerch Strait is the only connection between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, and the only way to reach two important Ukrainian ports, Mariupol and Berdiansk.
  • It separates the Kerch Peninsula of Crimea in the west from the Taman Peninsula of Russia’s Krasnodar Krai in the east.

Sea of Azov:


  • The Sea of Azov is a sea in Eastern Europe. To the south it is linked by the narrow Strait of Kerch to the Black Sea, and it is sometimes regarded as a northern extension of the Black Sea.
  • The sea is bounded in the northwest by Ukraine and in the southeast by Russia.
  • The Don and Kuban are the major rivers that flow into it.
  • The Sea of Azov is the shallowest sea in the world, with the depth varying between 0.9 and 14 metres.
[Ref: Business Standard, BBC News]


Science & Technology

Scientists discover massive mountains under Earth’s crust

Scientists have discovered massive mountains in the Earth’s mantle, an advance that may change our understanding of how the planet was formed.

Scientists discover massive mountains under Earth’s crust 2019


  • The topography on a layer located 660 km below the surface was found.

About the discovery:

  • Data was used from an enormous earthquake in Bolivia to find mountains and other topography on a layer located 660 km straight down, which separates the upper and lower mantle. The researchers simply call it “the 660-km boundary.”
  • Data from earthquakes that are magnitude 7.0 or higher send out shockwaves in all directions that can travel through the core to the other side of the planet—and back again.
  • The key data came from waves picked up after a magnitude 8.2 earthquake which is the second-largest deep earthquake recorded in 1994 in Bolivia.
  • It has been observed that stronger topography than the Rocky Mountains or the Appalachians is present at the 660-km boundary.


  • The presence of roughness on the 660-km boundary has significant implications for understanding how our planet formed and evolved.

Types of Earthquake:

  • There are four different types of earthquakes: Tectonic, volcanic, collapse and explosion.
  • A tectonic earthquake occurs when the earth’s crust breaks due to geological forces on rocks and adjoining plates that cause physical and chemical changes.
  • A volcanic earthquake is any earthquake that results from tectonic forces which occur in conjunction with volcanic activity.
  • A collapse earthquake are small earthquakes in underground caverns and mines that are caused by seismic waves produced from the explosion of rock on the surface.
  • An explosion earthquake is an earthquake that is the result of the detonation of a nuclear and/or chemical device.

Earthquakes radiate seismic energy in the form of body and surface waves:

Body waves:

  • A body wave is a seismic wave that moves through the interior of the earth.
  • Body waves are of a higher frequency than surface waves. Body waves arrive before the surface waves emitted by an earthquake.
  • There are two types of body waves as primary and secondary wave.

Surface waves:

  • surface waves that travel near the earth’s surface. It can only move along the surface of the planet like ripples on water.
  • Surface waves are almost entirely responsible for the damage and destruction associated with earthquakes.
  • The damage and the strength of the surface waves are reduced in deeper earthquakes. 
  • Surface waves also have two types:
  1. Love waves: The first kind of surface wave is called a Love wave, named after A.E.H. Love. It is the fastest surface wave and moves the ground from side-to-side.
  2. Rayleigh waves: A Rayleigh wave rolls along the ground just like a wave rolls across a lake or an ocean. It moves the ground up and down and side-to-side in the same direction that the wave is moving.
[Ref: The Hindu, The WEEK]


Key Facts for Prelims

Hina Jaiswal


  • Flight Lieutenant Hina Jaiswal became the first Indian Woman Flight Engineer of the Indian Air Force.
  • Flight Lieutenant Hina Jaiswal on Friday became the first Indian Woman Flight Engineer of the Indian Air Force.
  • A flight engineer is the member of an aircraft’s flight crew who monitors and operates its complex aircraft systems requiring a specialised skill set.


Department of Management, Strategy, Policy and Compliance (DMSPC)


  • DMSPC was launched on 1 January 2019 aims to provide strategic policy leadership in all areas of management through a clear, integrated global management strategy and policy framework.
  • It will represent the Secretary-General in the relevant intergovernmental/interagency bodies and staff-management mechanisms.
  • Budgetary and financial reporting, as well as human resources policy and strategy, including conduct and discipline, will be consolidated in DMSPC.

Why in news?

  • Recently, the United Nations has appointed Indian official Chandramouli Ramanathan to one of the topmost positions in the DMSPC.



The blackbuck also known as the Indian antelope, is an antelope found in India. 

In news- Blackbuck 1 2019

  • The blackbuck is a diurnal antelope (active mainly during the day). 
  • The blackbuck inhabits grassy plains and slightly forested areas. Due to their regular need of water, they prefer areas where water is perennially available.
  • The Females are generally hornless.
  • The black buck generally inhabits grassy plains; thinly forested areas and scrublands are good source of forage. They also like hot and humid conditions that persist in such areas for more than 8 months in the year.
  • It is considered to be the fastest animal next to Cheetah.
  • It is found in Central- Western India (MP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Odisha) and Southern India (Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu).
  • In India, there are a few national parks and sanctuaries inhabited by blackbuck, like the Velavadar Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat and the Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary in Karnataka. However, there are not many conservation reserves exclusively dedicated to the antelope.
  • The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) lists the blackbuck as least concerned.


  • In India, hunting of blackbuck is prohibited under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
  • The Bishnoi community of Rajasthan is known worldwide for their conservation efforts to blackbuck and Chinkara.
  • The blackbuck has significance in Hinduism; Indian and Nepali villagers do not harm the antelope.


Indo-Sweden Security Protection Agreement

India and Sweden signed a security protection agreement that will enable the two countries to share classified information with each other.

Indo-Sweden Security Protection Agreement

About the Sweden:

sweden-map current affairs


  • Sweden is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe.
  • It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border.
  • Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area.
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