Saturday, July 30, 2011


·         It was a space craft designed by soviet union and launched in 1988
·         It was more sophisticated than US space shuttle
·         However the buran program came to an abrupt end with USSR split
·         It was the first fully reusable space shuttle system in world
·         Coapred to US shuttle it had
o   Superior thermal protection tiles
o   Less toxic and more efficient liquid fuel
o   Higher payload of 100 tonnes against space shuttles 30 tonnes
o   Could carry 10 people against 7 of US version
·         It was the first to perform unmanned flight in fully automatic mode until the boeing X 37 was launched last year

Russia-US space cooperation

•    With end of US space shuttle progra, soyuz is now the only way to reach international space station
•    Soyuz is a smaller shuttle and can carry only3 tonnes of cargo
•    Unlike space shuttle soyuz is not reusable
•    However building of soyuz is more econoical and its far more safer than space shuttle
•    Russia itself built its own space shuttle Buran which had a capacity to carry 100 tonne cargo and had high tech safety features
•    It was the first fully resusable craft
•    But it was abondoned following disintegration of USSR for want of funds
•    Following end of cold war, space rivalry between US, RUS gave way to coooperation which was reflected in building of international space station
•    However lack of trust has prevented the from working together on next gen spaceships
•    Pooling of russian and US resources can help build new gen spadce shuttles faster and at a lesser cost
•    Currently both are working indepednetly on space shuttles and inter planetary missions
•    Obama’s national space policy called for international cooperation. But US has made global missile shield plan a part of its space program which russia sees as a threat to its security and is likely to hamper cooperation India development of new space hardware

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Finding a solution for afghanistan

·         The best solution is to put in place a stable and nuetral afghanistan
·         200 years ago at congress of vienna a pact was reached among regional powers that led to establishment of benelux(belgium, netherlands, luxemburg) as a free zone
·         If a similar solution needs to be arrived at in afghanistan, there is a need for cooperation aong its neighbours mainly India, iran, pakistan
·         Hillary in India called upon India to participate in a dialogue with US, pakistan and afghanistan on arriving at solution on afghan

·         A political solution is being worked out where the taliban are being wooed to renounce violence, break ranks with al-quaeda and respect the afghan consitution (red lines)
·         @ bonn conference 2001, afghan clearly called upon UN to  take measures to guarantee sovereignty, integrity and unity of afghan as welll as non interference in afghans internal affairs
·         US has shown signs of agreeing to a nuetral solution arrivied at through a regional approach
·         It has even shown interest in involving iran in afghan peace dialogue
·         India has so far not played any meaning full diplomatic rĂ´le in region
·         We have remained satisfied with building roads and infrastructure but left the futures of afghans at hands of americans and pakistanis to decide
·         India has been reluctant to enter the diplomatic arena vis-avis afghan since it doesn’t want to hurt pakistan which has firmly held to aviewpoint that India shouldn’t involve in afghan dialogue as it fears India will make afghan a proxy to attack pakistan
·         We need to work with iran on afghan as we share common concerns on afghan
·         We must urge UN to fulfill the demands ade by afghan at bonn conference
·         We must gather support from saudi, russia, China  and other nations for the regional dialogue

Monday, July 25, 2011

bangladesh salutes indira gandhi

·         Anti pakistan sentiment in bangladesh surfaced soon after partition in 1947
·         Bengal and pakistan differed over social, cultural and political issues
·         Ata time when langauage based nationality was brewing in east pak , jinnah announced that urdu would be official language for entire pakistan
·         Pakistan had its first ever general elecion in 1970 in which mujibur rehman of awami league won it
·         But west pakistan leaders like zulfikar ali bhutto were not ready to hand over power to mujibur rehman and instead ordered west pakistan army to attack east pakistan leading to a full scale war(US supported pakistan , Russia supported india’s cause for independent bangladesh)
·         Indira gandhi travelled across world to mobilise support for bangladesh independence at a time when US was formly against the idea
·         The awarding of highest honour to indira gandhi marks a step to let posterity remember the foreign friends who helped bangladesh when it was in distress

Saturday, July 23, 2011

NEW land acquisiton bill

Titbits 1

These are some points that i had compiled for UPSC prelims. they werent of much use to me. hope it is of use for some other exams

1.       VV giri national labour insititute at Noida
2.       Labour bureau: shimla/chandigarh
3.       Central board of workers education: nagpur
4.       Central staff training and research insttn : Kolkatta
5.       small and marginal farmers account for 82% of land holdings,but only 52% of fertiliser consumption
6.       the government has set up a committee headed by Nilekani,and comprising the secretaries of the four ministries impacted by subsidies: food,agriculture,fertilisers and petroleum to work out cash transfers
7.       Nofrills account= savings accounts with zero balance,limited withdrawals every month and no overdraft.
8.       Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii
9.       Budget 2011: excise duty on medicine sincrsd frm 4 to 5% and also including traditional medicines
10.   The Rakesh Mohan Committee on infrastructure
a.       listed electricity,gas,water supply,telecom,roads,industrial parks,railways,ports,airports,urban infrastructure and storage as infrastructure sectors.
11.   BUDGET 2011: proposed to levy Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) of 18.5 % on the book profits of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) developers and units.
12.   surface to surface ballistic missile, HATF II (Abdali) of pakistan
13.   Kuruba tribals of Nagarhole, KTK
14.   NH 221: vijaywada-jagdalpur(ch): a part will drown if polavaram project come sup
15.   BUDGET 2010: planning to launch a National Mission for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
a.       allocation of funds for R&D to the ministry of new and renewable energy was reduced
16.   immunocamouflage : a technique to hide RBC from antibodies
17.   protein 11BetaHSD1, which plays a part in how and where fat is stored in the body — around the hips or on the tummy.
18.   NHK is national broadcaster of Japan
19.   Narita airport is at tokyo
20.   Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP) at Dehradun
21.   ONGC HQ at dehradun
22.   Visa on arrival for 11 nations
a.       2010 5: luxemburg, japan, Newzealand, Finland, singapore
b.      2011 6: laos, vietnam, cambodia, Myanmar, indonesia, Philippines
23.   Chairman of national water resource council is PM
24.   National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology at rome, italy
25.   Budget 2011: Import duty on raw silk cut from 30 to 5%
26.   Priority sector lending:
a.       Public banks 40% loans of which 18% agri and 10% minorities
b.      For pvt it is 32%
27.   Kismayo port is in somalia and it is under control of militant group al-shabaad
28.   Indian national centre for ocean information system-Hyderabad
29.   Easter island in pacific belongs to Chile(chile capital santiago)
a.       Galapagos island  belongs to ecquador
30.   Japan has 54 nuke reactors contributing to its 30% electricity production
31.   National tiger conservation authority was setup in 2005
32.   Shinomodake volcanoe is on kyushu island, a startovolcanoe(steep slope
33.   NHRC setup in 2000. Has former CJI, former SC judge, CJH, 2 experts
34.   42nd amendment added fundamental duties
35.   44th amendment removed right to property
36.   Delhi police is under Ministry of home affairs
37.   In jain ahwala case, SC handed over CBI controlf rom PMO to CVC
38.   WORLDS LARGEST NUC:EAR POWERPLANT: Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in JPN
39.   Radition emergency medical preparedness and assistance network(REMPAN): UN agency’s network of radiation experts
40.   Most tsunamis are caused by underwater earthquakes,but not all underwater earthquakes cause tsunamis.An earthquake has to be over a magnitude of 6.75 on the Richter scale for it to cause a tsunami.
41.   Active regions of earthquake:
a.       The Pacific Ring of Fire
                                                              i.       home to over 75% of the worlds active and dormant volcanoes
b.      Alpide belt
                                                              i.      accounts for 56% of earthquakes
                                                            ii.       lies along Java,Sumatra,Himalayas,the Mediterranean,and the Atlantic Ocean.
42.   Bangladesh-India retreat ceremony at Petreploe border
43.   Retreat ceremony by BSF NOT army
44.   There are 442 nuclear reactors worldwide that supply about 15% of the globe’s electricity
45.   J J irani committee on company bill
46.   India’s power sector grows 35% in last 5 years. Tot cap: 1.7 lakh MW. Pvt sector 20% share
47.   National water policy aims at improving water use efficiency by 20%
48.   National action planon climate change was launched in 2008
49.   National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) under the World Bank assisted Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project being setup by anna university
50.   PMAGY for integrate development of 1000 villages with over 50% SC population. Covers Assam, BH, TN, HP and RJ..for 3 yrs
51.   India is the 5th largest steel producer in the world
52.   1st urine bank in India at tiruchi
53.   Economic and social council granted special consultative status to banswara
54.   Air India express HQ at Kochi
55.   India’s 1st titanium sponge plant at chavara, kerala-JV by Vikram sarabhai, kerala mineral and defence metallurgical research lab
56.   Sanchar shakthi project- Mobile VAS for SHGs
57.   Central plantation crops research instt – Kasargod
58.   LNG terminal of IOC to be setup at kattupalli near ennore
59.   Tax to GDP ratio :10%
60.   TIEA with 10 nations and DTAA with 79 nations
61.   1st country to allow euthnasia: netherlands
62.   Kobe steel is from Japan. In JV with SAIl
63.   Elmuntun mines: one of world’s biggest iron ore reserves in bolivia
a.       Ownede by Jindal steel
64.   NHRC in 1993 initially by prez ordinance. Protection of human rights act 1993
65.   Suchitra mitra belongs to rabindra sangeet
66.   Pritzker priZe is given by hyatt foundation(nobel ina rchitecture)
67.   Chennai open is played on hard court
68.   Harat scouts and guides setup in 1909
69.   Non permanent members in UNSC who came along with India are
a.       South africa, Germany, portugala dn columbia
70.   Anti collision device network is aptented to konkan railwaya dn makes use of GPS
71.   NASA: japan EQ shortens day by 1.8 milli sec
72.   Kaiga nuclear plant draws water from kadar reservoir
73.   Section 24 of RTI  exempts organisations on security concerns
a.       Currently 22 intellignce and security organsisations arent under RTI
b.      CBI is seeking for exemption
74.   Investment in infra in 10-11 is 8%
75.   India’s passenger vehicle density: 12 per 1000
a.       Goa tops with 50 per 100 , same as iraq
76.   AERB and NPCILa re under dept of atomic energy
77.   Bio tech regulatory authority is under MoEF
78.   Comssioner of railway safety is under civil aviation ministry
79.   Jamia-setup in 1920 as a society, 1962-deemed, 1988-central univ, 2011- minority univ
80.   38 cities in India: moderate to high risk zone
81.   Max no of dams in TN>MP>OR>KL
82.   NH 1D-Srinagar Leh national highway
83.   Share of agri in official development assistance is 5% now
84.   Subsidies make up 2.5% of our GDP
85.   country's first station for the Coastal Surveillance Network @ Tarapore
86.   oktoberfest at munich
87.   Global hunger index by IFPRI, paramtrs: % people undernourished, % under 5 under weigth, child mortality
88.   California Condor & Black-footed Ferret in the US and Przewalski’s horse in Mongolia have been reintroduced in forests after succesfull conservation
89.   Stock exchanges:
a.       S&P ASX 200-Aus
b.      IBEX 35-Spain
o BM&FBOVESPA‐ brazil
o Chicago board options exchange
o ICE futures US
o Montreal exchange
o Bursa malaysia
o Osaka securities exchange‐Japan

90.   Bhuvan resolution: 10m google earth 200 m
91.   National commodity derivative exchange @ Delhi
a.       National board of trade at Indore
b.      National multi commodity exchanhge @ Ahmedabad
c.       Mutli comm esxchng @ mumbai
92.   WTO ministerials in chronological order
a.       Singapore
b.      Geneva
c.       Seattle
d.      Doha
e.      Cancun
f.        Hongkong
93.   World organisations in chron order
a.       Univ postal union
b.      ILO
c.       WB
d.      Intl civil aviation organisation
94.   News agencies
a.       Malaysia: Bernama
b.      Russia: TASS
c.       UK: Rueters
d.      US Associated press
95.   Namaskar africa held by FICCI at nairobi
96.   Ms. C.B Muthamma : 1st woman civil servant of India
97.   India’s all women contingent served at UN peacekeeping ops in Liberia
98.   11-12% of IFS are women
99.   Under Kyoto, countries commit themselves to a reduction of four greenhouse gases (GHG) (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride) and two groups of gases (hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons) produced by them