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Circuit Ambedkar

GS1 Art and Culture

In News

  • The Ambedkar Circuit excursion of the Bharat Gaurav Tourist Train was inaugurated at Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station.

About Ambedkar circuit

  • The Ramayana Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, and North East Circuit preceded the Ambedkar Circuit on the list of special tourist circuits.
  • The eight-day special tour will include visits to New Delhi, Mhow, and Nagpur, as well as the sacrosanct Buddhist sites of Sanchi, Sarnath, Gaya, Rajgir, and Nalanda.

Need and Significance 

  • Babasaheb devoted his entire life to promoting equality and brotherhood; the train is a symbol of this equality, and passengers will return home with many memories and an understanding of Babasaheb Ambedkar’s principles.
  • It seeks to attract a broader tourist base than the Dalit community, which visits these important destinations as a pilgrimage.

About ‘Bharat Gaurav Tourist Train’

  • The Ministry of Railways is promoting the cultural and religious heritage of India through its fleet of Bharat Gaurav Tourist Trains, which are operated by the Indian Railways on various famous theme-based circuits to highlight the cultural heritage of this great nation.
  • It is administered under the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative, which aims to promote domestic tourism and is a joint collaboration between the Tourism and Railways Ministries.

‘Dekho Apna Desh’ scheme

  • The Ministry of Tourism launched the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative to create awareness among citizens about the country’s rich heritage and culture and to encourage citizens to travel within the country.
  • The scheme aims to encourage people, particularly middle-class citizens, to travel extensively within India rather than flying abroad.

Source: TH

Home Ministry creates an electronic prosecution module

GS 2 Executive & Judiciary Governance

In News

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) e-prosecution portal has included a new function that will also fix the accountability of government attorneys in order to achieve prompt resolution of criminal cases.
    • Senior officers will receive notifications when a public prosecutor requests a delay in a criminal case more than twice.
    • The Interoperable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) has a module for electronic prosecutions.

Inter-Operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS)

  • About:
  •  It is a platform that facilitates the integration of the country’s main IT system for the provision of criminal justice.
  • Five Pillars:
  • The ICJS project seeks to link the system’s five pillars, which are the police (through Criminal and Crime Tracking and Network Systems), e-Forensics for forensic laboratories,
  •  e-Prisons for prisons;
  •  e-Courts for courts;
  • e-Prosecution for public prosecutors.

Implementing agency:

  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will carry it out in coordination with the union territories and the states, as well as the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
  • Phases: 
  • Individual IT systems have been deployed and stabilized in Phase-I of the ICJS project (2018–2022), and record searches have been enabled on these systems.
  • During Phase-II (2022–2025), the system is being created on the ‘one data, one entry’ approach, which allows data to be entered only once in one pillar and then be made available in the other pillars without having to enter the same information twice.
  • Significance:
  • This system connects more than 16,000 police stations across the country and contains a database of 28.98 billion police records accessible only to law enforcement agencies and the judiciary.

With the aid of the ICJS platform, all High Courts and subordinate courts can access the FIR and charge sheet metadata. Documents such as the police report, case log, and charge document are uploaded by the police in PDF format for use by the courts.




About National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB)

• It was established in 1986 as a repository for information on crime and criminals under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

•It was established based on the recommendations of the Tandon Committee to the National Police Commission (1977-1981) and the Taskforce of the Mental Health Administration (1985).

•  The Bureau is also responsible for maintaining the National Database of Sexual Offenders (NDSO) and regularly sharing it with the States/UTs.

• NCRB has been designated as the Central Nodal Agency to administer the technical and operational functions of the Online Cyber-Crime Reporting Portal.

• The NCRB has been publishing “Crime in India” since 1953.

National Informatics Centre

• It was founded in 1976 and has its headquarters in New Delhi.

• It operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

• It provides network backbone and e-Governance support to the Central Government, State Governments, and UT Administrations.

Source: TH

Healthcare Development in the North-Eastern Region

GS 2 Government Policies & Interventions Development Processes & Development Industry

In News

  • In Changsari, near Guwahati, the first All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) was inaugurated in the Northeast.

More about the news

  • AIIMS & medical colleges:
  • The AIIMS and a medical college in Kokrajhar, Nagaon, and Nalbari were among the initiatives initiated in Assam and dedicated to the nation.
  • The super specialty hospital has 750 beds, including 30 AYUSH beds, and will annually admit 100 MBBS students.
  • Assam Advanced Healthcare Innovation Institute (AAHII):
  • Additionally, the Assam Advanced Healthcare Innovation Institute (AAHII) was inaugurated within the complex of the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati.
  • The AAHII, according to officials, will be a research and innovation hub for the medical sciences.
  • It consists of a 500-bed ‘connected’ multi-specialty hospital on 12 acres.
  • Aapke Dwar Ayushman campaign:
  • The Prime Minister also inaugurated the Aapke Dwar Ayushman campaign by distributing Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana cards to 1,100,000,000 eligible recipients.


  • The laying of the cornerstone for the Assam Advanced Health Care Innovation Institute (AAHII) is a step toward achieving the goals of ‘Atmnirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ in health-related areas.
  • The majority of healthcare technologies in India are imported and developed in a distinct context, making them prohibitively expensive and difficult to operate in the Indian environment.

Healthcare in NorthEastern Region

  • In recent years, the development of India’s northeastern regions has received increasing attention.
  • The Annual Report 2014–2015 of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, identifies the following problems in the health sector of the northeastern states:
    • Shortage of trained medical personnel, o Inadequate funding, and
    • Poor infrastructure.
    • Providing access to sparsely populated, remote, far?ung areas, o Improvement of Governance in the health sector,
    • Need for improved quality of health services rendered, o Effective and timely utilization of existing facilities,
    • Morbidity and mortality due to Malaria,
    • High level of tobacco consumption and the associated high risk of cancer, and
  • High incidence of HIV/AIDS in Nagaland, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Government’s response:
  • The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was launched with the intention of providing effective health care to the rural population of India, with a focus on 18 states, including all eight northeastern states: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura.
Northeast India

• Northeast Region or The’seven sisters’ of Northeast India consist of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura.

• Sikkim is also a part of the Northeast, but it is not included in the Seven Sisters because, while the other seven states are contiguous, Sikkim is separated by the Siliguri Corridor.

  • Sikkim is also known as the ‘Brother’ of the Seven Sisters.


Government initiatives for the development of North Eastern Region

  • PM-DevINE:
  • The Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for the North East Region (PM-DevINE) is a new program announced in the Union Budget for the Northeastern states.The initiative will be implemented for the remaining four years of the 15th Finance Commission, from 2022-23 to 2025-26, at a cost of Rs 6,600 crore.

PM-DevINE will target: 

  • The creation of infrastructure,
  • Support industries,
  • Social development projects and
  • Create livelihood activities for the youth and women, with a focus on job creation.
  • These projects will include basic infrastructure in all primary healthcare centres and government schools.
  • North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS): 
  •  The purpose of the program is to improve physical infrastructure, such as power, connectivity, and water supply, as well as social infrastructure, such as health infrastructure. This is a Central Sector Program.
  • Northeast Desk: 
  •  A dedicated Northeast Desk has been established within Invest India by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade to assist the Northeast States in their outreach activities to investors and in facilitating and handholding select companies.
  • NITI Forum for North East:
  •  In collaboration with the NITI Aayog, the ‘NITI Forum for North East’ has identified five focal sectors, namely Tea, Tourism, Bamboo, Dairy, and Aquaculture, for accelerated, inclusive, and sustainable development in the North East Region.
  • Mission Organic Value Chain Development (MOVCD-NER): 
  • The program has been implemented in the North-Eastern states since 2017. The aim of the mission is to promote organic farming in the region. It seeks to replace traditional subsistence farming with a cluster-based approach.
  • Sub Mission on Seeds and Planting Material (SMSP): 
  •  It seeks to increase the availability of High Yielding Crop Varieties’ seeds. As envisioned by the government, the ultimate goal is to double the income of farmers by 2022. The program is administered concurrently with other assistance programs such as Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), integrated agricultural systems, etc.
  • Connectivity Projects: 
  • The Indian government has planned additional routes through South East Asia, such as the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Project, the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Corridor, etc., in order to construct alternative routes to the region and reduce its reliance on the Chicken’s Neck.
  • The Look-East connectivity initiatives of India connect Northeast India to East Asia and ASEAN.
  • Creation of separate ministry for the region:
  • Established by the Government of India in September 2001, the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region serves as the nodal Department of the Central Government for matters related to the socioeconomic development of the eight Northeast Indian states.

Source: TH

Acute Droughts

GS 3 Disaster Management

In News

  • According to a recent study, in tropical regions such as India, Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Amazon basin, flash droughts are more frequent than traditional’slow’ droughts.

More about Study

  • Flash droughts are fast becoming the ‘new normal’ making forecasting and preparing for their impact more difficult.
  • Climate change has effectively speed up the onset of droughts.
  • Reason: when the precipitation suddenly shuts off, hot, sunny and windy conditions can cause large amounts of water to evaporate quickly(i.e., high evapotranspiration)
  • The trends varied from place to place, but, looked at globally, they show a shift toward more frequent and more rapid flash droughts.

Flash Droughts

  • About: 
  • During the monsoon, a lengthy dry spell accompanied by anomalously low precipitation levels causes an increase in air temperature. Together, an increase in air temperature and a lack of precipitation result in the rapid depletion of soil moisture, leading to a sudden drought.
  • In comparison to the research on long-term droughts, little is known about sudden droughts and “hidden hazards.”
  • Occurrence:
  • Flash droughts can occur in the monsoon season as well, primarily caused by the monsoon breaks and these can also occur due to delayed onset of the summer.
  • Duration:
  • Normally, developing drought conditions take months, but flash droughts could occur in weeks and stay on for months.
  • Factors:
  • Atmospheric anomalies (variations), anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and ongoing climate change.
  • Detection:
  • Early-warning systems (EWS) that can identify climate and water source trends are utilized to detect the emergence or probability of flash droughts.
  • Drought monitoring through the use of remote sensing data and various drought monitoring indices, in addition to online assistance resources.

  • A drought is a period of unusually persistent dry weather that persists long enough to cause serious problems such as crop damage and/or water supply shortages. The severity of the drought depends upon the degree of moisture deficiency, the duration, and the size of the affected area.


  • Meteorological Drought: It is classified based on rainfall deficiency with respect to long term average, where 25% or less is normal, 26-50% is moderate and more than 50% is severe.
  • Hydrological Drought: It is defined as deficiencies in surface and subsurface water supplies leading to a lack of water for normal and specific needs. Such conditions arise even in times of average (or above average) precipitation when increased usage of water diminishes the reserves
  • Agricultural Drought: It is identified with soil moisture deficiency in relation to meteorological droughts and climatic factors and their impacts on agricultural production and economic profitability.
  • Ecological drought: When the productivity of the natural ecosystem diminishes due to water shortage which causes ecological distress and ecosystem damage.

 Drought Prone Areas

  • In India, around 68% of the country is prone to drought to varying degrees.
  • The 35% area which receives rainfall between 750 mm and 1125 mm is considered drought prone while 33% receiving less than 750 mm is chronically drought prone.

Map of drought prone districts of India

Major Causes

  • Variability in rainfall
  • Deviation in the route of monsoon winds
  • Early withdrawal of the monsoon
  • Forest fires
  • Frequently occurring El NINO events
  • Land degradation in addition to Climate change

Drought Management in India

  • Drought Mitigation Programs
  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)
  • National Rainfed Area Programme- objective of the programme is to increase agricultural productivity in rainfed areas in a sustainable manner by adopting an appropriate farming system
  • Water Harvesting and Conservation– Farm Ponds, Percolation Tanks (PT) / Spreading Basin, Some traditional water harvesting methods like Tankas / Kunds / Kundis In the desert and arid areas of Rajasthan.
  • Rainwater Harvesting in Urban Areas
  •  Afforestation -National natural Mission is an essential program for enhancing afforestation and creating natural corridors.
  • Monitoring and Early warning systems at Central and State level to declare ‘Drought’
  • Drought relief and response measures are initiated following the declaration of drought.

Commerce Statistics

GS 3 Indian Economy & Related Issues

In News 

  • During FY 2022-23, India’s exports are projected to reach new heights, expanding by 13.84 percent.

Key Highlights 

  • Goods exports and Trade deficit: 
  • In March, India’s exports of commodities fell for the second consecutive month, falling 13.9% to $38.38 billion, while imports fell 7.9% to $58.11 billion.
  • In 2022-23, total exports of goods increased by 6.03 percent to $447.46 billion, while imports increased by 16.5 percent to $714 billion.
  • The commodities trade deficit increased by nearly 40% to more than $266 billion in 2022-23, up from $190 billion in 2021-22.
  • Oil, electronics lead: 
  • India’s increase in exports was primarily driven by an increase in petroleum exports of 27% to $94.5 billion, followed by an increase in electronics exports of 7.9% to $23.6 billion.
  • The growth of the remaining three of India’s top five exports was negligible: rice (up 1.5%), chemicals (1%), and drugs and pharmaceuticals (0.8%). Up from 16% in 2021-22, petroleum exports now account for 21.1% of total exports.
  • India’s exports of engineering products, its mainstay in recent years, decreased by 5.1% to $107 billion, reducing their share of total exports from 26.6% to 23.9%.
  • Russian imports surge
  • Fuelled by discounted oil shipments, India’s imports from Russia grew almost 370% to over $46 billion in 2022-23. Russia’s share in imports leaped from 1.6% in 2021-22 to 6.5% last year, making it the fourth largest import source nation for India, behind China, UAE, and the USA.
  • China’s share of goods imports dipped to 13.8% in the year gone by from 15.4% in 2021-22.
  • Coal, and oil imports up: 
  •  While petroleum imports increased by approximately 30% to nearly $210 billion in 2022-23, coal imports increased by 57% to nearly $50 billion.
  •  Gold imports, on the other hand, declined approximately 24% to $35 billion as global metal prices rose and the Rupee weakened.
  • Export destinations: 
  • The United States remained India’s leading export market, followed by the United Arab Emirates, while the Netherlands overtook China to become the third largest buyer of products in 2022-23.
  • The Netherlands’ share of Indian exports increased from less than 3% in 2021-22 to 4.7%, a 66.6% increase year-over-year.
  • Bangladesh and Hong Kong remained among India’s top 10 export markets, but the value of their cargoes decreased by 27.8% and 9.2%, respectively.

Government Initiatives to boost exports and reduce trade deficit

  • Foreign Trade Policy 2023: The government has announced its 2023 Foreign Trade Policy.
  • The former policy, which was in effect since 2015, has been replaced by the new policy. The new policy is intended to nearly triple India’s exports of products and services to $2 trillion by 2030, from an estimated $760 billion in 2022-23. It will go into effect in 2023-24.
  • Until March 31, 2024, the Interest Equalization Scheme for pre-shipment and post-shipment rupee export credit has been extended.
  • Multiple export promotion initiatives, such as Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) and Market Access Initiatives (MAI) Scheme, offer assistance.
  • As of 2019, the Rebate of State and Central Levies and Taxes (RoSCTL) Scheme has been implemented to encourage textile exports based on labor.
  • The Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) program has been operational since 2021.
  • A Common Digital Platform for Certificates of Origin has been established in order to facilitate trade and increase exporter utilization of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).
  • Champion Services Sectors have been designated to promote and diversify the export of services through the implementation of specific action plans.
  • Export Hubs have been established by identifying products with export potential in each district, addressing barriers to exporting these products, and supporting local exporters/manufacturers to generate jobs in the district.
  • The function of Indian missions abroad in advancing India’s trade, tourism, technology, and investment goals has been bolstered.
  • The program was announced in response to the COVID pandemic to support the domestic industry through a variety of banking and financial sector relief measures, especially for MSMEs, which account for a significant component of exports.
  • Future Outlook 
  • The weakening of non-oil exports in the second half of last year due to the global economic downturn and the moderation in global commodity prices are expected to worsen this year.
  • This could result in a deeper decline in merchandise exports in 2023-24, impacting manufacturing output and dragging down GDP growth.
  • Furthermore, as the Rupee appreciates, the currency advantage for exporters would diminish.
  • Imports may decelerate slightly as a result of sluggish domestic growth, but could continue to put pressure on the deficit, which could grow if oil prices rise.

Source: TH

seismic zones in the Himalayas using NISAR satellite

GS 3 Science & Technology Space

In News

  • ISRO and NASA are constructing NISAR, a satellite that will map the most earthquake-prone regions of the Himalayas with unprecedented frequency.


  • The data that will be generated can potentially provide early warning of land subsidence, as was recently observed in Joshimath, Uttarakhand, as well as pinpoint areas with the highest earthquake risk.
  • The satellite will use two frequency bands to image the seismically active Himalayan region and produce a “deformation map” every 12 days to provide early warning of land subsidence and areas at the highest risk of earthquakes.Together, these two frequency bands will provide high-resolution, all-weather data from a satellite anticipated to be launched in January 2024 with a sun-synchronous orbit.


NISAR Satellite

  • About: 
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) are collaborating on the development of the NISAR Earth-observation satellite.
  • It was conceived by NASA and ISRO in 2014, eight years ago.
  • The satellite will be operational for at least three years. It is an observatory in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). In twelve days, NISAR will map the entire globe.
  • Benefits:
  • The mission will provide vital data to aid in the management of natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, allowing for quicker response times and more accurate risk assessments.
  • NISAR data will be used to improve agriculture management and food security by providing data on crop growth, soil moisture, and land-use changes.

Source: TH