Online Quiz Test

8th Anniversary of Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY)

Tags: GS 2 Government Policies & Interventions Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of Population & their Performance GS 3 Indian Economy & Related Issues Growth & Development

In News

  • The Prime Minister has praised the eight-year anniversary of Mudra Yojana.
  • PM MudraYojana has been instrumental in funding the unfunded and ensuring a dignified and prosperous life for countless Indians.

Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY)

  • About: 
  • The Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) was launched on 8th April 2015. • Any Indian Citizen who has a business plan for a non-farm sector income generating activity such as manufacturing, processing, trading or service sector and whose credit need is less than Rs. 10 lakh can approach either a Bank, MFI, or NBFC for availing of Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Ltd. (MUDRA) loans under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY).
  • Aim: 
  • To facilitate easy collateral-free micro credit of up to Rs10 lakh to non-corporate, non-farm small and micro entrepreneurs for income generating activities.
  • Features:
  • Member Lending Institutions (MLIs), i.e. banks, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), microfinance institutions (MFIs), and other financial intermediaries, provide PMMY loans.
  • The loans have been divided into three categories based on the maturity of the business and its financing requirements.  These are Shishu (loans up to Rs. 50,000), Kishore (loans between Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 5 lakh), and Tarun (loans between Rs. 5 lakh and Rs. 10 lakh).
  • Lending institutions determine the interest rate based on RBI guidelines.  In the case of a working capital facility, the borrower is only charged interest on funds held overnight.
  • Interest Subvention of 2% on prompt repayment of Shishu loans under PMMY for a period of 12 months for all eligible borrowers.
  • Credit Guarantee Fund for Micro Units (CGFMU):
  • Credit Guarantee Fund for Micro Units was established in January 2016 under the aegis of the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd.
  • Three pillars of the scheme:
  • Bank the unbanked;
  • Secure the unsecure;
  • Fund the unfunded.


  • The scheme has enabled easy and hassle-free access to credit to micro-enterprises and has helped a large number of young entrepreneurs establish their businesses.
  • The PMMY scheme has helped in the generation of large-scale employment opportunities at the grassroots level and also has proved to be a game changer while boosting the Indian economy.
  • The growth of MSMEs has contributed massively to the “Make in India” programme as strong domestic MSMEs lead to increased indigenous production both for domestic markets as well as for exports.

Achievements under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) as on 24.03.2023

  • Approximately Rs. 23.2 lakh crore has been sanctioned in 40.82 crore loan accounts.
  • Approximately 68% of accounts under the scheme belong to women entrepreneurs and 51% of accounts belong to entrepreneurs of SC/ST and OBC categories.
  • This demonstrates that the easy availability of credit to the aspiring entrepreneurs of the country has led to innovation and sustained increase in per capita income.”

Challenges faced by the Scheme

  • Increase in impaired assets or bad loans
  • Lack of financial literacy among beneficiaries contributes to nonpayment.
  • There has also been an increase in the number of frauds reported by banks in the public sector.
  • Less outreach to rural entrepreneurs
  • The maximum loan amount of Rs. 10 lakhs is insufficient for many small businesses.
  • Poor appraisal systems and end-use monitoring practises at PSBs appear to be among the primary causes of the rapid decline in loan quality.


  • Overall, MUDRA is a step in the right direction for funding the unfunded; however, the government should establish a robust monitoring and grievance mechanism for problems that have arisen under the programme.

Source: PIB

Article 371F

Tags: GS 2 Polity and Governance

In  News

Recently, a leader of the SDF asserted that the people of Sikkimese feel betrayed because Article 371F was “violated.”

Latest Issues 

  • The Financial Bill, 2023 redefines Sikkimese as any Indian citizen domiciled in Sikkim, granting them the same privileges as the original inhabitants whose ancestors’ names appeared on the 1961 register.
  • This violates Article 371F, the basis for the 1975 merger between Sikkim and India.
Do you Know?

• Sikkim is located in the north-eastern region of the United States.

• It was once a small Himalayan kingdom ruled by a hereditary monarchy for about three centuries beginning in the 17th century A.D.

• In 1950, the kingdom became a protectorate of the Government of India with autonomy in its internal affairs while its defense, communications, and external relations were the responsibility of the protector.



About Article 371F

  • Sikkim chose to become the 22nd fully-fledged state of the Indian Union on April 26, 1975, per the Constitution 36th Amendment Act 1975, with a special provision for the state under article 371(F) of the Indian Constitution.
  • According to Article 371F, the members of the Legislative Assembly of Sikkim elect the representative of Sikkim in the House of the People.
  • To protect the rights and interests of various sections of Sikkim’s population, Parliament may determine the number of seats in the Assembly that can be filled only by candidates from those sections.
  • Only the descendants of Sikkim subjects (those who resided in the state prior to its merger with India) whose names were listed in the 1961 register have the right to own land and work for the State government.
  • Additionally, they were exempt from paying income tax.
Further Information

• Article 371, Maharashtra and Gujarat: The Governor has a “special responsibility” to establish “separate development boards” for “Vidarbha, Marathwada, and the rest of Maharashtra” and Saurashtra and Kutch in Gujarat; ensure “equitable allocation of funds for developmental expenditure over the said areas” and “equitable arrangement providing adequate facilities for technical education and vocational training, and adequate opportunities for employment” under the state government.

• Article 371A (13th Amendment Act, 1962), Nagaland: This provision was added following a 1960 16-point agreement between the Centre and the Naga People’s Convention, which led to the formation of Nagaland in 1963.

o Without the consent of the state Assembly, Parliament cannot legislate regarding Naga religion or social practices, Naga customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions based on Naga customary law, and land ownership and transfer.

Article 371B (22nd Amendment Act, 1969), Assam: The President may establish the constitution and duties of an Assembly committee composed of members elected from the tribal areas of the state.

• Article 371C (27th Amendment Act, 1971), Manipur: The President may establish a committee of elected members from the Hill areas in the Assembly and delegate “special responsibility” to the Governor to ensure the committee’s proper functioning.

• Article 371D (32nd Amendment Act, 1973; replaced by The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014), Andhra Pradesh and Telangana: President must ensure “equal opportunities and facilities” for “people from different parts of the state” in “public employment and education.”

o He may require the state government to organise “any class or classes of posts in the civil service of the State, or any class or classes of civil posts under the State, into local cadres for different parts of the State.”

o He has comparable authority over admissions to educational institutions.

• Article 371E permits the establishment of a university in Andhra Pradesh through a parliamentary act. However, this is not a “special provision” as defined by the others in this section.

Article 371F (36th Amendment Act, 1975), Sikkim: The members of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly shall elect the Sikkim representative to the House of the People. To protect the rights and interests of different segments of Sikkim’s population, the Parliament may determine the number of Assembly seats that can be filled only by candidates from those segments.

• Article 371G (53rd Amendment Act, 1986), Mizoram: “religious or social practises of the Mizos, Mizo customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions based on Mizo customary law, ownership and transfer of land, unless the Assembly decides otherwise”

• Article 371H (55th Amendment Act, 1986), Arunachal Pradesh: The Governor has a special responsibility for law and order, and “he shall, after consulting with the Council of Ministers, exercise his own discretion in determining the appropriate action to be taken.”

• Karnataka’s Article 371J (98th Amendment Act, 2012) stipulates a separate development board for the Hyderabad-Karnataka region. There shall be a “equitable allocation of funds for developmental expenditure over said region” and “equitable opportunities and facilities” for the people of this region in government jobs and education. A portion of educational institution seats and state government positions in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region may be reserved for residents of the region.


Human Composting

Tags: GS 3 Environmental Pollution & Degradation

In News

  • New York recently became the sixth state in the United States to legalise human composting as an option for burial.

About Human Composting

  • Also known as natural organic reduction, it is the transformation of the human body into nutrient-dense soil.The process of transforming a human corpse into nutrient-rich soil involves placing the corpse in a reusable container with biodegradable materials. These materials act as a catalyst to speed up the decomposition process.

Benefits  and Need 

  • It has gained popularity in recent years, especially among the younger generation, as an eco-friendly alternative to body disposal.
  • As the global temperature rises, burials and cremations are increasingly viewed as contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, burials and cremations are quite pricey, and few individuals can afford them.

  • Thus, human composting consumes significantly less energy than cremation
  • The resulting soil can be used for gardening or spread in designated memorial grounds or forest conservation areas.
  • When human composting transforms organic material from our bodies, carbon is sequestered in the resulting soil.


  • The biggest opponent of this process has been the Catholic Church and called it an “unfortunate spiritual, emotional, and psychological distancing from the deceased.
  • It has been believed that the ‘transformation’ of the remains would create an emotional distance rather than a reverence” for the remains.
  • Even cremated remains must  remain in a communal place befitting of the dignity inherent in the human body and its connection to the immortal soul.”

Way Ahead 

  • Because the composting option is so new, “it’s really a matter of changing hearts and minds right now
  • This will result in significant savings in carbon emissions and land usage.
  • The promoters of the process say that it is a gentler way of bidding goodbye to one’s loved ones.

Source: TH

Population Bomb

Tags: GS1

In News

  • The Earth4All modelling team published a report containing their population projections for the world.


  • The term ‘population bomb’ refers to a bleak scenario that warns of the dangers of overpopulation, such as mass starvation and environmental degradation.
  • In the new Earth4All Initiative report, the researchers disregard the population-modeling strategies adopted by the United Nations, the Wittgenstein Centre, The Lancet, and integrated assessment models.
  • Birth rates are explicitly and causally modelled as a function of GDP per person in the Earth4All model, demonstrating a negative correlation between income and fertility rate.
· The Club of Rome, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and the Norwegian Business School convened Earth4All, a vibrant collective of leading economic thinkers, scientists, and advocates.

Findings of the Report

The researchers advance two scenarios:

  • The first, titled “Too Little, Too Late”, predicts that if economic development continues as it has for the past five decades, the world’s population will peak at 8.6 billion in 2050, roughly 25 years from now, and decline to 7 billion by 2100.
  • In the second scenario, titled “The Giant Leap,” the population peaks at 8.5 billion in 2040, ten years earlier than in 2050, and then rapidly declines to approximately 6 billion by 2100. Due to our investments in poverty alleviation, gender equality, education and health, reducing inequality, and food and energy security, this will occur.These population projections are more optimistic than the historical fear-mongering and regressive development policies that the ‘population bomb’ metaphor inspired.Population by itself has never been a problem for sustainability, nor will it be for the climate crisis; rather, a declining population by itself will not solve the problems associated with the climate crisis.

Comparison with other Reports

  • The Earth4All report contradicted the United Nations’ ‘World Populations Prospects 2022’ report, which predicted that the global population would steadily increase to 10.4 billion by 2080 and then stabilise at that level by 2100.
  • The contradictions between the United Nations report and the Earth4All 2023 report are advantageous because they enable us to visualise and address the conditions proposed by different studies. In addition, they inform research, activism, and policies that safeguard the health and well-being of women in all possible circumstances.

Population Growth and Related issues

  • A large population will necessitate policymakers’ unwavering attention to fundamental aspects of human well-being, including education, nutrition, healthcare, housing, and employment.
  • Rapid population growth can exacerbate hunger and poverty challenges.
  • Rapid population growth makes it more difficult to eradicate poverty, combat hunger and malnutrition, and expand access to health and education systems.
  • Will require policies to increase employment so that the labour force participation rate of both men and women increases.

Indian Scenario

  • As of 2022, more than half of the world’s population will reside in Asia, with China and India being the two most populous nations with over 1.4 billion inhabitants each.
  • While India’s population growth is stabilizing, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), it is “still growing at 0.7% per year” and will surpass China in 2023 as the world’s most populous nation.UNFPA has noted that India has the world’s largest population of adolescents and youth.
  • According to UNFPA projections, India will continue to have one of the world’s youngest populations until 2030 and is currently experiencing a demographic window of opportunity, a “youth bulge” that will last until 2025.

Steps taken by India for Stabilising Population

  • Mission ParivarVikas: For significantly expanding access to contraceptives and family planning services in 146 high fertility districts with a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 3 or higher in seven states with a strong emphasis.
  • Compensation scheme for sterilization acceptors: Under the scheme MoHFW provides compensation for loss of wages to the beneficiary and also to the service provider (& team) for conducting sterilizations.
  • Clinical Outreach Teams (COT) Scheme: In 146 Mission Parivar Vikas districts, mobile teams from accredited organisations will provide family planning services in remote, underserved, and geographically challenging regions.
  • Home delivery of contraceptives to the doorsteps of beneficiaries by ASHAs. Plan for ASHAs to Ensure Birth Spacing.
  • Family Planning Logistic Management and Information System (FP-LMIS):A software designed to facilitate the forecasting, procurement, and distribution of family planning commodities across all levels of health facilities.
  • National Family Planning Indemnity Scheme (NFPIS), which insures clients against the risks of death, complications, and sterilisation failure.
  • Establishing Quality Assurance Committees in all states and districts to ensure the quality of family planning services.
  • TH

International Big Cats Alliance (IBCA)

Tags: GS 2 Government Policies & Interventions GS 3 Conservation

In News

  • To commemorate fifty years of Project Tiger, the Prime Minister launched the International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA) for the conservation of seven big cats that inhabit our planet, including the tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard, cheetah, jaguar, and puma.
  • The Prime Minister also released a summary of the fifth cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation. In addition, he issued a commemorative coin to mark the 50th anniversary of Project Tiger.

Key Points of PM Speech

  • Although India comprises only 2.4% of the world’s land area, it contributes approximately 8% to known global biodiversity.  India is the largest tiger range country in the world, the largest Asiatic elephant range country with nearly thirty thousand elephants, and the largest single-horn rhino country with a population of nearly three thousand. The Prime Minister emphasised that India has not only prevented the decline of the tiger population, but has also created an ecosystem where tigers can thrive.
  • Tiger reserves in India cover 75,000 square kilometres of land, and the tiger population in the country has increased by 75% over the past ten to twelve years.
  • India does not believe in a conflict between ecology and economy and values their coexistence in equal measure.
  • Recalling the significance of tigers in Indian history, the Prime Minister stated that the Bharia and Worli communities, among others, worship the tiger.The Prime Minister reaffirmed that the success of Project Tiger has many facets and has resulted in an increase in tourism, awareness programs, and a decrease in human-animal conflicts in Tiger Reserves. The presence of large felids has had a positive effect on the lives and ecosystems of local people everywhere.

International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA)

  • In July of 2019, the Prime Minister called for the formation of an Alliance of Global Leaders to annihilate demand and prohibit poaching and illegal wildlife trade in Asia.In this regard, the International Big Cats Alliance will focus on the protection and conservation of seven of the world’s largest big cats.The alliance intends to reach out to 97 countries that contain the natural habitats of the tiger, lion, snow leopard, puma, jaguar, and cheetah. IBCA would further strengthen global cooperation and conservation efforts for wild inhabitants, particularly big cats.

Significance of the Alliance

  • The alliance seeks to unite countries, conservationists, and experts from around the world to collaborate on conservation efforts for these seven species of big cats.Through IBCA, India hopes to share its conservation knowledge, expertise, and best practises with countries like Indonesia, Brazil, and South Africa that have significant big cat populations.
  • The alliance also seeks to facilitate collaborations between governments, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector to develop sustainable conservation solutions.

What are the ‘big seven cats’?

  • Cat Family and Genus:
  • The Cat Family (Felidae) consists of three genera: Panthera, Puma, and Acinonyx.
  • Panthera:This is the genus of large wild cats that can roar but not purr. It includes the Lion, the Leopard, the Jaguar, the Tiger, and the snow leopard. The snow leopard is the only member of the group incapable of roaring.
  • Puma:This genus, which is closely related to the domestic cat, contains only one living species, the cougar.
  • Acinonyx:This is a unique genus within the cat family, with only the cheetah as a living member.
  • Tiger (Panthera Tigris)
  • Status: Endangered
  • The Tiger is the largest of all wild cats and the oldest living Panthera member.  Primarily a forest animal, they inhabit the taiga of Siberia and the Sunderban delta.
  • The national animal of India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and South Korea is the tiger.
  • Project Tiger is a conservation initiative for tigers launched by the Indian government in 1973. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) administers it.
  • Lion (Panthera Leo)
  • Status: 
  • Native to Africa and Asia, the lion is the most social cat, and lives in groups called prides.
  • They prefer open forests such as scrubland, and adult males have a prominent mane.
  • Range of Asiatic lion is restricted to Gir National Park of Gujarat.
  • The National Emblem of India is an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka erected by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka in Sarnath.
  • Jaguar (Panthera Onca)
  • Status: Critically Endangered
  • The Jaguar has the strongest bite force of all wild cats, allowing it to bite directly through the skull of its prey. • Melanistic (black) Jaguars are common and are commonly referred to as black panthers.
  • Leopard (Panthera Pardus)
  • Status: Vulnerable
  • It is similar in appearance to the Jaguar with a rosette patterned coat.
  • The most adaptable of all big cats, they occupy diverse habitats at all altitudes across Africa and Asia.
  • Like black jaguars, melanistic leopards are called black panthers.
  • Snow leopard (Panthera Uncia)
  • Status: Vulnerable
  • This smoky-gray cat inhabits Central and South Asia above the snow line.It has the longest tail of all big cats, which aids in balance when hunting on cliffs and provides warmth when wrapped around the body.The snow leopard is both Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh’s state animal.
  • Cougar (Puma concolor)
  • Status:Least Concern
  • The cougar is the second-largest cat in the Americas. (The Jaguar is the largest.)
  • Cougars are also called ‘mountain lion’ and ‘panther’ across their range from the Canadian Yukon to the Southern Andes.
  • Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)
  • Status: Vulnerable
  • The cheetah is the only cat without retractable claws, allowing it to accelerate faster than any sports car (0-100 kilometres per hour in three seconds).
  • Cheetahs are not aggressive towards humans and have been domesticated since ancient times. • They do not breed well in captivity and hunt during the day to avoid competition with other large cats.

Source: PIB


Fifty years of ‘Project Tiger’

Tags: GS 3 Conservation Species in News

In News

  • The Prime Minister released Tiger Census data at an event commemorating the “International Big Cat Alliance conference” and the “50th anniversary of Project Tiger.”
  • During ‘Amrit Kaal’, the Prime Minister also released the government’s vision for tiger conservation and launched the International Big Cats Alliance (IBCA).



  • Tiger census highlights:

According to the 5th cycle of India’s Tiger Census, the number of tigers in India increased by 6.74 percent from 2,967 in 2018 to 3,167 in 2022, from a total of 2,967 in 2018.


  • Estimations were conducted in five landscapes throughout the nation.
  • Region wise:
  • The Shivalik hills and Gangetic flood plains have seen the most tiger population growth, followed by central India, the north eastern hills, the Brahmaputra flood plains, and the Sundarbans.
  • Although “major populations” were said to be stable, the Western Ghats saw a decline in population size.
  • International Big Cats Alliance (IBCA):
  • IBCA will prioritise the protection and conservation of seven of the world’s most important big cats, including the tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard, puma, jaguar, and cheetah, with membership restricted to the range countries that are home to these species.

How are the tiger numbers estimated?

  • The tiger population is estimated by combining camera-trapped animals with those that may not have been captured in this manner.
  • These are estimated using statistical methods.
  • In their four-year estimates, the scientists provide a range of the estimated tiger population, with the latest mean value highlighted.


About Project Tiger 

  • Tiger population after independence:
  • India’s tiger population was rapidly dwindling post indpendence.
  • According to reports, while there were 40,000 tigers in the country at the time of the Independence, they were soon reduced to below 2,000 by 1970 due to their widespread hunting and poaching.
  • Declining tiger population:
  • In the same year, the International Union for Conservation of Nature listed the tiger as an endangered species, heightening concerns about the issue.
  • Two years later, the Indian government conducted its own tiger count and determined that only 1,800 tigers remained in the country.

Origin of ‘Project Tiger’:

  • In 1972, then-prime minister Indira Gandhi enacted the Wildlife Protection Act to combat the problem of hunting and poaching of not only tigers but also other animals and birds.
  • The Central government launched Project Tiger on April 1, 1973, in an effort to promote tiger conservation.

Project Tigher key aspects:

Notably, Project Tiger also ensured the preservation of the tigers’ natural habitat, given that they are at the top of the food chain.

Rise in tiger population:

In the 1990s, the population of tigers in India was estimated to be approximately three thousand.

  • There are currently 54 tiger reserves in India, covering 75,000 square kilometres. The current tiger population in the country is 3,167, up from 1,411 in 2006, 1,706 in 2010, and 2,221 in 2014.


  • Tigers outside protected areas & possibility of conflict:
  • The current estimate also does not give numbers on the proportion of tigers outside protected areas, which are a growing number and a key marker of the environmental threats as well as man-animal conflicts.
  • Tigers are increasing outside of Tiger Reserves in the landscape (Shivalik hills and Gangetic plains), Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh, according to reports.
  • Cities with linear infrastructure projects in the corridor between western and eastern Rajaji (Haridwar and Dehradun) that have rendered the region “functionally extinct for large carnivore and elephant movement.”
  • Investments are required to reduce conflict with tigers and mega herbivores.

Threats to protected areas:

  • The authors of the census report warn that nearly all of the five major tiger-zones face challenges to the growth of the tiger population due to the increasing demands from infrastructure development.

Threats of Central Indian highlands and Eastern Ghats:

  • Wildlife habitats (Protected Areas and corridors) in the Central Indian highlands and Eastern Ghats face a variety of threats, including habitat encroachment, illegal hunting of tigers and their prey, conflicts between humans and wildlife, unregulated and illicit cattle grazing, excessive harvesting of non-timber forest produce, human-induced forest fires, mining, and ever-expanding linear infrastructure.
  • This region is also home to a number of mines containing important minerals; as a result, mitigation measures such as the use of mining techniques with a reduced environmental impact and the rehabilitation of mine sites should be prioritised.

Health of the forests:

  • Only one-third of the 400,000 square kilometres of forests in tiger states are in relatively healthy condition, according to the report.

Way ahead

  • Following the translocation of cheetahs from Africa, India is examining international initiatives for the translocation of tigers to other regions.
  • According to experts, the majority of the nation’s tigers are confined to a small number of reserves that are rapidly approaching their carrying capacity; if new regions are not designated as reserves, it may be difficult to ensure further population growth.

Source: TH

Physicists Discover New Uranium Isotope

Tags: GS 3 Science & Technology

In News

  • Japanese physicists discovered a previously unknown isotope of uranium with the atomic number 92 and mass number 241, i.e. Uranium-241; its theoretical half-life could be forty minutes.

What is Uranium?

  • Uranium is a chemical element that occurs naturally and has the symbol U and atomic number 92. In the periodic table, it is found in the actinide series as a silvery-gray metal.
  • Uranium has several isotopes, which are atoms with the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons, such as U-235 and U-238.
  • Uranium is a radioactive heavy metal found in small quantities in rocks and soils around the world.

Atomic number equals the number of protons multiplied by the number of electrons.

  • Number of Neutrons equals atomic mass minus the number of atoms.

Why does a new isotope matter?

  • It re-defines the boundaries of models that physicists use to design nuclear power plants and models of exploding stars.
  • It gives essential nuclear information to understand the synthesis of such heavy elements in explosive astronomical events.

How was uranium-241 found?

  • Using the KEK Isotope Separation System (KISS), the scientists accelerated uranium-238 nuclei into plutonium-198 nuclei.
  • During a process known as multinucleon transfer, the two isotopes exchanged protons and neutrons. The resulting nuclear fragments contained various isotopes. Using time-of-flight mass spectrometry, the researchers identified uranium-241 and measured the mass of its nucleus.

What are Magic numbers?

  • In nuclear physics, a magic number is a number of nucleons (either protons or neutrons, separately) such that they are arranged into complete shells within the atomic nucleus.
  • As a result, atomic nuclei with a ‘magic’ number of protons or neutrons are much more stable than other nuclei
  • The heaviest known ‘magic’ nucleus is lead (82 protons)

 Source: TH

International Prize in Statistics

Tags: GS 3 Awards Miscellaneous

In News

The 2023 International Prize in Statistics was awarded to the Indian-American statistician Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao.

About the Prize

  • It was established in 2016 and is presented every two years to an individual or team for significant contributions to science, technology, and human welfare through the use of statistics.
  • It is regarded as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in statistics.
  • The ultimate objective of the International Prize in Statistics is to improve public comprehension of the breadth and depth of statistics.
  • It is administered by the five major statistical organisations: the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the International Biometric Society, the International Statistical Institute, and the Royal Statistical Society.


Work by Radhakrishna Rao

  • In a 1945 paper published in the Bulletin of the Calcutta Mathematical Society, he demonstrated three fundamental results that paved the way for the modern field of statistics and provided statistical tools widely used in the scientific community.
  • The Cramér-Rao inequality is the first of the three results presented in the 1945 paper, with applications in quantum physics, signal processing, spectroscopy, radar systems, multiple-image radiography, risk analysis, and probability theory, among other fields.The second outcome was the Rao-Blackwell Theorem, which provides a method for optimising an estimate.
  • As a result of the third finding of this paper, the interdisciplinary field of ‘information geometry’ was born.