UPSC Prelims & Mains Notes 2020

International Relations Notes 2020 (#1): Banning Of Chinese Apps On National Security Ground; The 13th Amendment

Banning Of Chinese Apps On National Security Ground The blocking of Chinese mobile applications suggests that the Indian government wants to make it amply clear that it will use its status as a massive market for technology in dealing with potentially dangerous geopolitical issues. Since June, when border tensions between India and China turned ugly, …

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Ecology & Environment Notes 2020 (#7): Environmental Regulatory System; Zero Budget Natural Farming

Environmental Regulatory System The pandemic presents an opportunity for us to think of a new recovery path. This new path should decouple economic growth and environmental degradation. Indian cities feature high in the list of polluted cities in the world. It also features very low on quality of life. There is no dearth of environmental …

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Ecology & Environment Notes 2020 (#5): Why Kerala Needs To Conserve Natural Capital; Human-Animal Conflict

Why Kerala Needs To Conserve Natural Capital Natural disasters have by now come to be accepted as a feature of the annual monsoon season in Kerala. In the past two years there has been flooding on an unprecedented scale along with landslides. Kerala has received wide acclaim for having achieved social indicators associated with high …

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Ecology & Environment Notes 2020 (#4): Serosurveys, Lantana, Microplastics

Serosurveys The results of five serosurveys for the prevelance of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infections conducted in several parts of India — with the latest one in Maharashtra’s Pune — have been declared by now. A serosurvey tests the presence of antibodies that are developed after an infection. The prevalence of infection indicated the scale to …

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Groundwater Extraction in India

Ecology & Environment Notes 2020 (#3): What Is Ammonium Nitrate?

What is ammonium nitrate? Ammonium nitrate has the chemical formula NH₄NO₃. Produced as small porous pellets, or ‘prills’, it’s one of the world’s most widely used fertilisers. It is also the main component in many types of mining explosives, where it’s mixed with fuel oil and detonated by an explosive charge. For an industrial ammonium …

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Ecology & Environment Notes 2020 (#2): Chemical Safety, Shrinking Water Bodies and Urban Floods

Chemical Safety Chemical safety, including explosives used in industrial processes, need to be handle with extreme precautions. More than 50,000 chemicals are manufactured in the country, some of which have dual uses, including ammonium nitrate. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and state pollution control boards (SPCB) are the only organisations that are effective in …

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Ecology & Environment Notes 2020 (#1): Gas Flaring, Polar Bears

Air pollution In Africa Air pollution was rivalling communicable diseases in the central and west Africa region, posing just as serious a health threat. The average person in the region is exposed to particulate pollution levels double the standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to report by The Energy Policy Institute at the University …

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