Online Courses (English)
This just in:

State PCS

News Analysis

  • 15 Nov 2019
  • 19 min read
International Relations

11th BRICS Summit

Why in News

The 11th BRICS Summit took place from 13th-14th November 2019 in Brasilia, Brazil. The theme of the 2019 BRICS summit is "Economic Growth for an Innovative Future.”

  • BRICS countries adopted the Brasilia Declaration.

Brasilia Declaration

  • It advocates and supports multilateralism, the central role of the U.N. in international affairs and respect for international law.
  • Reforming Multilateral Systems: There is an urgent need to strengthen and reform the United Nations and other multilateral organisations, including the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to address the significant challenges being faced by the developing countries.
  • Support to Multilateralism: The trade war between China and the U.S. and rising protectionism is hurting the global economy. Multilateralism is crucial for emerging countries to protect their own interests.

India’s Stand at the Summit

  • Intra-BRICS trade accounts for just 15% of world trade, it needs to be increased. India invited business leaders of the member nations for investment, particularly in infrastructure development.
  • India proposed to hold the first meeting of BRICS Water Ministers in India.
  • India highlighted the menace of terrorism which has resulted in the loss of $1 trillion to the world economy.


  • BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
    • In 2001, the British Economist Jim O’Neill coined the term BRIC to describe the four emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
    • The grouping was formalised during the first meeting of BRIC Foreign Ministers in 2006.
    • South Africa was invited to join BRIC in December 2010, after which the group adopted the acronym BRICS.
  • It comprises 42% of the world's population, has 23% of the global GDP and around 17% of the world trade.
  • The chairmanship of the forum is rotated annually among the members, in accordance with the acronym B-R-I-C-S. Brazil is the current chair of the grouping.
  • The BRICS Leaders’ Summit is convened annually.
  • During the Sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza (2014) the leaders signed the Agreement establishing the New Development Bank (NDB). They also signed the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement.

Meetings on the sidelines of the Summit

  • India - Brazil
    • India invited the President of Brazil as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day 2020.
    • Brazil has decided to grant visa-free travel to Indian citizens.
  • India - China
    • The Chinese President invited the Indian Prime Minister for the 3rd informal summit in China in 2020. The first informal summit took place at Wuhan (China-2018) and second at Mamallapuram (India-2019).
    • Both the leaders reviewed preparations for celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2020.
  • India - Russia
    • 1st Bilateral Regional Forum at the level of Russian Provinces and the Indian States will be held in 2020.
    • India has been invited for investment in the Arctic region. The US $ 25 billion target of bilateral trade by 2025 has already been achieved.

Source: TH

Indian Economy

Index of Industrial Production (IIP)

Why in News

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for the month of September 2019 has contracted by 4.3 % as compared to the month of September 2018.

  • This is the first time after November 2012 that all three broad-based sectors (Mining, Manufacturing, and Electricity) have contracted and the lowest monthly growth in the 2011-12 base year series.

Reasons for Recent IIP Contraction

  • Lower agricultural growth impacting rural demand adversely: India is witnessing agricultural distress because of multiple factors like lack of easy credit, the declining average size of farm holdings, poor policy, and planning, etc.
  • A slowdown in the Indian industrial sector: Indian industrial sector is facing slowdown driven by disruptive technologies, changes in consumer behaviour, changing global industrial scenario, etc.
  • Structural growth slowdown in the Indian Economy: India is facing a long-term, deep-rooted economic slowdown which would require the government to undertake some structural policies like economic reforms of 1991.

Index of Industrial Production

  • The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index that shows the growth rates in different industry groups of the economy in a fixed period of time.
  • It is compiled and published monthly by the Central Statistical Organization (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
  • IIP is a composite indicator that measures the growth rate of industry groups classified under:
    • Broad sectors, namely, Mining, Manufacturing, and Electricity.
    • Use-based sectors, namely Basic Goods, Capital Goods, and Intermediate Goods.
  • Base Year for IIP is 2011-2012.
  • The eight core industries of India represent about 40% of the weight of items that are included in the IIP.
  • Significance of IIP :
    • IIP is the only measure on the physical volume of production.
    • It is used by government agencies including the Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of India, etc, for policy-making purposes.
    • IIP remains extremely relevant for the calculation of the quarterly and advance GDP estimates.

Source: TH

Science & Technology

Geochemical Baseline Atlas

Why in News

Recently, CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) has released the first ‘Geochemical Baseline Atlas of India’ for environmental management.

  • The atlas aims to document the concentration and distribution of the chemical elements in the soils of India.
  • It consists of 44 maps of metals, oxides, and elements present in top and bottom soils across India.


  • Both human activities and natural processes are continuously modifying the chemical composition of our environment. Hence, it will help to assess the chemical compositional changes on the Earth’s surface.
  • It will help the country to assess the presence of toxic chemicals in soil and how it varies from place to place. It also helps in identifying how soil pollution is contributing to groundwater contamination
  • Further, the map will also support in choosing the right soil that’s rich in certain micronutrient elements required for each plant growth.
  • The geochemical data presented in these maps will be a part of the global map to be prepared by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGC).


International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGC)

  • It is a non-governmental scientific organization founded in 1961 which promotes and encourages the study of geological problems, and facilitates international and interdisciplinary cooperation in the earth sciences.
  • The Union consists of 121 members nations. India is the member.
  • At present IUGS gives considers issues related to:
    • Geoscience education,
    • Geoscience information,
    • Environmental management and hazards

Source: TH

Important Facts For Prelims

Liberhan Commission

Why in News

The Supreme Court in its judgement in Ayodhya land dispute case affirmed the conclusion of the Liberhan Commission (1992) that demolition of the Babri Masjid was planned.

  • However, the Supreme Court has cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya, and directed the Centre to allot a 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque.

Liberhan Commission

  • Liberhan Commission of Inquiry was appointed on 16th December, 1992, 10 days after the demolition of the Babri Masjid.
  • It was a one man commission headed by Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan.
  • It was assigned the task of probing the sequence of events that led to the occurrences at the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex on 6th December, 1992.
  • Initially, the Commission had to submit the report within 3 months. However, with 48 extensions, it became the longest Commission of Inquiry in the history of Independent India.
  • The report recommended a law providing for exemplary punishment for misusing religion to acquire political power.
    • It also said that the demolition of the Babri Masjid was planned, systematic, and was the intended outcome of a climate of communal intolerance deliberately created by religious extremists.

Source: TH

Important Facts For Prelims

Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve

Why in News

  • According to the fourth cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation (AITE), there has been an increase in the number of tigers in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The number of tigers in the Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) in Andhra Pradesh has gone up, reversing the steady decline in their number over a period.
    • The Tiger Conservation Foundation (TCF) has drawn up an action plan to double its efforts to facilitate the proliferation of the big cats in the largest tiger reserve in the country.
  • NSTR is the largest tiger reserve in India.
  • Historical Background: It was notified in the year of 1978 and came under the protection of Project Tiger in 1983. In 1992, it was retitled as Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Geographical Aspects:
    • The Tiger reserve is spread over 5 districts in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The area consists mostly of the Nallamala Hills.
    • The multipurpose reservoirs- Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar are located in the reserve.
    • The Krishna river cuts the basin of this reserve.
  • Ecological Diversity:
    • Fauna: It is home to a vast variety of wild animals. In addition to the Bengal Tiger, which is the apex predator, many other species like leopard, rusty-spotted cat, pangolin, Mugger Crocodiles, Indian Rock Python, and innumerable varieties of birds are found here.
    • Flora: Variety of forests ranging from southern tropical dry mixed deciduous forest till southern thorn forest. A wide variety of shrubs and bamboo thickets also grow in this area.

Project Tiger

  • Project Tiger is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change launched in 1973 to provide central assistance to the tiger States for tiger conservation in designated tiger reserves in India. The project is administered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

Source: TH

Important Facts For Prelims

Satpura Tiger Reserve

Why in News

Recently, the Satpura Tiger Reserve located in the Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh came into limelight because of the presence of Mahuva tree in its buffer zone. The people residing there have a superstitious belief that Mahuva tree can bring instant relief/cure to their ailments or misfortunes.

  • It was established in 2000 and is located south of Narmada River.
  • Satpura tiger reserve comprises of three protected areas namely,
    • Satpura National Park,
    • Bori Sanctuary, and
    • Pachmarhi Sanctuary.
  • Denwa river: Denwa river is the main water source of the park. It originates from south-eastern part of the Hoshangabad district in Madhya Pradesh and flows from east to west direction before joining the Tawa river at the south of Ranipur.
  • Diversity: These forest enclaves provide habitat for several endangered species, including the Tiger. Other prime species found here are Black Buck, Leopard, Dhole, Indian Gaur, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Sloth Bear.
    • Avian Fauna- more than 300 species of birds can be seen which include Malabar Pied Hornbill, Malabar Whistling Thrush and the State Bird of Madhya Pradesh Paradise Flycatcher along with many migratory birds like Indian Skimmers, Black-bellied tern, Bar-headed Geese, etc.
  • Archaeological Significance: Presence of more than 50 rock shelters with paintings which are 1500 to 10,000 years old. Some of them are having very rare depictions of elephants, lions, tigers, porcupines, and pangolins.


  • Mahuva Tree (Mahua Longifolia) is an Indian tropical tree found largely in the central and north Indian plains and forests.
  • Buffer Zone are areas created to enhance the protection of a specific conservation area. They are areas peripheral to a specific protected area, where restrictions on resource use and special development measures are undertaken in order to enhance the conservation value of the protected area.
    • Within buffer zones, resource use may be legally or customarily restricted, often to a lesser degree than in the adjacent protected area so as to form a transition zone.

Source: IE

Important Facts For Prelims

Olive Ridley Turtles

Why in News

The Odisha government would compensate 8,000 fishermen families who would bear losses due to the fishing ban imposed for the protection of the Olive Ridley sea turtles.

  • The ban is an annual fishing ban that would be in force from November, 2019 to May 31, 2020. During this period, lakhs of turtles would arrive at the Odisha coast for mass nesting.

Olive Ridley Turtles

  • The Olive ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world, inhabiting warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
  • They are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada.
    • An arribada is a mass-nesting event when thousands of turtles come ashore at the same time to lay eggs on the same.
  • The enormous number of Olive ridleys nest in Odisha (namely at three river mouths: Dhamara, Devi and Rushikulya) in India.
  • The species is listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List, Appendix 1 in CITES, and Schedule 1 in Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • Olive-ridleys face serious threats across their migratory route, habitat and nesting beaches due to human activities such as unfriendly turtle fishing practices, development and exploitation of nesting beaches for ports, etc.

Dhamara River Mouth

  • The Brahmani river (second largest river in Odisha) enters into the Bay of Bengal along with a combined mouth with the Mahanadi (the largest river in Odisha)  known as the Dhamara.

Devi River

  • Devi river is one of the principal distributaries of Mahanadhi.
  • It flows through Jagatsinghpur district and Puri district across Odisha state in India and joins the Bay of Bengal.

Rushikulya River

  • It originates from Rushikulya hills of the Eastern Ghats in Phulbani district.
  • It is 165 kms. long with 8900 sq.kms of catchment areas.
  • It covers entire catchment area in the districts of Kandhamal and Ganjam district of Odisha.

Source: TH

Important Facts For Prelims

Brahmaputra Pushkaram Festival

  • The Assam government is celebrating Brahmaputra Pushkaram- a 12-day mega river festival from November 5 to November 16 this year. Earlier, the Brahmaputra Pushkaram festival was held in 2007.
    • In 2018, the Pushkaram festival was celebrated on the banks of the Tamiraparani in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu.
  • It will be the second biggest river festival ever to be celebrated in the state of Assam after Namami Brahmaputra.
  • Pushkaram festival is a festival of rivers that pertains to the 12 important rivers in India. It occurs once in 12 years for each river.

Namami Brahmaputra

  • Namami Brahmaputra is a festival that celebrates the beauty of the Brahmaputra river.
  • It is organized by Assam Government. The first edition was celebrated in 2017.
  • It is a five-day programme that showcases Assam’s art, heritage, and culture. The event was held in 21 districts across the state touched by the Brahmaputra.

Source: TH

SMS Alerts
Share Page