Indian Polity
  • Anti-Narcotics Scheme: Anti-Narcotics Scheme was recently in news as the Ministry of Home Affairs has extended the scheme for 3 more years to combat illicit trafficking in drugs and psychotropic substances. The scheme was first launched in 2014 for five years and was later extended twice in subsequent years. The scheme aims to assist states and UTs financially which are contributing in controlling inter-state and cross-border drug trafficking. The scheme intends to reduce the supply side of the drug chain by boosting enforcement and reduce demand side by rehabilitation and de-addiction measures.
  • West Bengal has become the first state to opt out of National Health Protection Scheme announced in Union Budget 2018-19. The basis of opting out was that it has already made hospitalization and medical treatment free for its citizens and has already enrolled 50 lakh people under its Swasthya Sathi programme.
  • National Productivity Day: The national productivity day is observed every year on February 12. Besides, February 12-18 is observed as National Productivity week throughout the country with the theme ‘Industry 4.0 Leapfrog Opportunity for India’. The 4th Industrial Revolution is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies because of increasing digitization and interconnection of products, value chains and business model.
  • DASTAK Campaign: DASTAK Campaign is UP government’s effort against Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and Japanese Encephalitis to eradicate deadly diseases from the state. It was launched in association with UNICEF. DASTAK Campaign is part of the comprehensive Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) strategy embraced by state government to beat encephalitis.
  • National Deworming Initiative: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched the National Deworming Initiative on the occasion of National Deworming Day (observed on 10th February). It aims to reach more than 32.2 crore children aged between 1 to 19 years to combat parasitic worm infections. This year it is fourth edition of National Deworming Day after it was launched in 2015.
International Affairs
  • World Sustainable Development Summit: The 2018 edition of the World Sustainable Development Summit was held in New Delhi. It is a flagship forum of TERI – The Energy and Resources Institute – that seeks to bring together global leaders and thinkers in the fields of sustainable development, energy and environment sectors on common platform. The theme for this year was ‘Partnerships for a Resilient Planet’. It replaced TERI’s earlier called DSDS – Delhi Sustainable Development Summit – which was organized first time in 2005.
  • Duqm Port: Duqm port is located in Oman and India has been given secured access to this strategic port for military use. The port is strategically located on southeastern seaboard of Oman, overlooking Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. It is straddled along critical sea lanes in Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden. It is located in close proximity to Chabahar port in Iran.
  • Tanzania withdraws from UN Refugee Programme: Tanzania has announced its withdrawal from UN’s ‘Comprehensive Refugee Response Network’ citing security reasons and lack of funds. Tanzania has been long considered safe haven for refugees, particularly from conflict hit Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.
  • Intellectual Property Index: India has been ranked 44th out of 50 countries in the Intellectual Property Index that is released by US Chamber of Commerce. Last year India was ranked 43rd out of 45 countries. The index was released as part of annual report prepared by the Global Innovation Policy Centre (GIPC) of the US Chambers of Commerce.
Economic Affairs
  • LPG Panchayat: President Ram Nath Kovind hosted an LPG Panchayat this week in Rashtrapati Bhawan. It was organized by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana. LPG Panchayats serves as interactive platform between those who received LPG cylinders under PMUY. One such Panchayat has around 100 LPG customers of nearby areas. These Panchayats also act as platforms for creation of mass awareness.
  • Amendment to MSME Development Act: A video under the similar title has already been uploaded on Abhipedia Video Gallery. Do watch it.
Environment and Ecology
  • Rajasthan Water Sector Restructuring Project: RWSRP was in news recently as the Government of India has inked $100 million loan agreement with New Development Bank for the project. The project aims to rehabilitate 678-kilometer-long Indira Gandhi Nahar Project which was built during 1958-63 to prevent seepage, conserve water and enhance water use efficiency as mandated by national and state level policies on water use. New Development Bank is also known as BRICS Bank with its headquarters in Shanghai, China and a regional office in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Gandhar Oil Field: Gandhar Oil field located in Gujarat was in news recently as ONGC is planning to introduce Carbon Dioxide injection technology in this oil field. It will be first large-scale CO2 injected project in Asia. Its purpose is to recover extra 20 million barrels of crude oil under enhanced oil recovery (EOR) program. EOR program aims at recovering up to 20% of residual oil from ageing oil fields to improve India’s energy security.
  • CO2 injection technology: CO2 injection technology is a proven concept to enhance oil extraction from ageing oil fields in which total oil production has been declining. This technique reduces its viscosity and makes it easier to displace oil from the rock process. CO2 gas also swells oil and hence push it towards the producing well for extraction.
  • Super Straw Management System: Punjab government has made super straw management system mandatory for harvesting paddy crop in an attempt to check the dangerous trend of stubble burning. The instructions were issued under section 31A of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. The instructions are aimed at saving the environment from air pollution caused by stubble burning.
  • India State of Forest Report 2017: Kindly refer to the video on same topic on abhipedia video gallery.
Science Affairs
  • Malacidins: Scientists discover from soil a new class of antibiotics called malacidins. It has been produced by microbes living in soil and dirt and is capable of killing off several antibiotic resistant pathogens. The significance of the discovery lies in the fact that malicidins are active against multidrug resistant pathogens and capable enough to sterilize methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin infections. However, malacidins only target gram-positive bacteria with a thick cell wall and ineffective against gram-negative bacteria causing cholera, pneumonia, STDs and plague. Thus, it is not a universal cure against all bacteria.
  • Flu-Gas Desulfurization (FGD): FGD is a set of technologies used to remove sulphur-dioxide from exhaust flue gases of fossil-fuel power plants. Flue gases is mixture of gases produced by combustion of fuel and other materials in power stations and various industrial plants and released via flu (ducts) in atmosphere. It largely consists of oxides of nitrogen derived from combustion of air, Sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, water vapour, excess oxygen, particulate matter like soot. The technique was in news because state owned BHEL has bagged major order from the NTPC for setting up of FGD system at its power plant in UP.
  • Radio Festival: India’s first ever radio festival was held at the UNESCO House in New Delhi to mark world radio day i.e. February 13. It was organized by International Association of Women in Radio and Television in partnership with UNESCO. The theme for the first radio festival was – ‘Radio and Sports’.
  • Mahamastakabhisheka: Mahamastakabhisheka is the head anointing ceremony that is performed once in 12 years of 57 feet tall monolithic statue of Lord Bahubali Gommateshwara at Shravanabelagola. It is one of the biggest festivals of Jain community and it honours Lord Bahubali. Lord Bahubali is believed to attain liberation from life cycle at Mount Kailash and is revered as liberated soul (Siddha) by Jains.

Khelo India School Games: The first edition of Khelo India School Games was held from 31st January to 8th February 2018 at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi. It was held under the Khelo India Programme and aimed at providing an excellent Launchpad to the country’s young and promising athletes to showcase their talent at the national level. Haryana has emerged as overall champions followed by Maharashtra and Delhi.

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Topper Speaks

Khandagale Dhammapal
Khandagale Dhammapal Rank-1020 Year-2017 (IAS)
Dear Sir thank you for your warm wishes. I always had conviction in my abilities and the constant support and guidance from teachers and mentors like you helped me a lot in this strenuous journey , I would also like to thank you from the bottom of the heart for taking pains of providing questions on my DAF for personality test and sending me interview preparation book from Delhi to remote location of Latur in Maharastra. Once again thank you for helping me realize my dream.
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