Monday, October 17, 2016

Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Recruits Assistant Professor 2017

  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • English
  • Gujarati
  • Hindi
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Sanskrit
  • Sociology
  • Zoology
Qualification: As per Norms


Duties of Candidates:

  • Teaching
  • Instructions in theory and Labs
  • Students Assessment and Evaluation
  • Co-curricular and extra-curricular activities
  • Assisting in departmental administration
  • Assisting in consultancy and R and D services, developing resources material and workshop/studio/lab development
Job Location: Daman

Age Limit: Not exceeding 35 years

Last Date: 27th October 2016

Pay Scale: 

  • Rs. 15600-39100 with Academy Grade Pay of Rs. 6000.

To Apply Online: Clickhere

Sunday, October 16, 2016


In international economic relations and international politics, "most favoured nation" (MFN) is a status or level of treatment accorded by one state to another in international trade. ... (Trade advantages include low tariffs or high import quotas.)
The MFN status
  • The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was negotiated in 1947.
  • GATT’s articles of agreement were signed by all its founding members—including India and Pakistan—in October 1947, and ratified the following year by both countries.
  • While signing GATT, nations agreed to abide by its cornerstone principle—non-discrimination in trade relations, whereby an importing country may not discriminate against imports based on their country of origin.
  • This principle of non-discrimination, articulated in Article I, is referred to by GATT as “General MFN Treatment”.
  • It means that any “favour” in trade granted to another member country shall be immediately and unconditionally granted to all other member countries.
  • No doubt, the terminology is confusing: MFN does not imply favouritism, but actually rules it out. More importantly, it rules out discrimination in trade against any member country.
  • Now, anticipating that some countries in future would wish to pursue comprehensive economic integration with other members, GATT also permitted departures from the principle of non-discrimination and permitted for formation of preferential trade areas, example EU (Article XXIV)
  • In the same spirit, GATT observed that India and Pakistan had once been an integrated economic unit, it provided exception to trade relation between India and Pakistan under article XXIV.
    • In simple terms, it meant that India and Pakistan can enter into special arrangements with respect to the trade between them and enjoy closer bilateral trade relationship.
    • The exception is that they would not be required to extend the same special arrangements to other GATT nations.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Draft Water Bill suggests basin-level management 2016 / P-Note data for black money / Human hair used to produce cheaper cathodes for solar cells

Draft Water Bill suggests basin-level management

  • The draft says that every person has a “right to sufficient quantity of safe water for life” within easy reach of the household regardless of caste, creed, religion, age, community, class, gender, disability, economic status, land ownership and place of residence.
  • It provides for a mechanism to develop and manage river basin in an integrated manner so that every state gets “equitable” share of a river’s water without violating rights of others.
  • It pitches for establishing River Basin Authority for each inter-state basin to ensure “optimum and sustainable” development of rivers and valleys.
  • It also devises an integrated approach to conserve water and manage groundwater in a sustainable manner.
  • The draft Bill proposes establishing institutional arrangements at all levels within a state and beyond up to an inter-state river-basin level to “obviate” disputes through negotiations, conciliation or mediation before they become acute.
  • It also says that each River Basin Authority will prepare a master plan for the river basin, under its jurisdiction, comprising such information as may be prescribed. The master plan, so prepared, will be reviewed and updated every five years after due consultation with all other planning agencies and stakeholders.

  • SIT set to comb P-Note data for black money
    P-Notes are derivative products issued by FPIs in foreign markets which give their holders the right to have a share of the profit and loss from underlying Indian stocks but at the same time help maintain anonymity about the actual owners of those notes.
    P-Notes allow foreign investors to take exposure to Indian stocks without registering with Sebi. These instruments are issued by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) registered with Sebi.

    Human hair used to produce cheaper cathodes for solar cells
    • The cathode shows an impressive performance in converting visible sunlight to electricity much higher than commercially available activated carbon cathodes and is comparable with commonly used cathodes made of platinum metal and metal sulfides.
    • Besides its higher efficiency to convert visible sunlight to electricity, the cathode was found to generate high open-circuit voltage, which is at par with conventional platinum and activated carbon cathodes. Thereby, the power conversion efficiencies can also be enhanced.
    • They also have the potential to bring down the cost of solar cells.

    Fight against climate change- Amending the Montreal Protocol at Kaigali 206

    The Paris agreement ratification has a great significance in the fight against climate change where it has set the goal of keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

    Now, the eyes are on the annual climate change conference (CoP 22) that begins in Marrakech (Morocco) where countries will get down to finalise the rules and institutions that will govern implementation of Paris agreement.

    In another development, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) carved out an agreement to curb the rise of emissions from international aviation after 2020. Though some countries including India did have reservations about it.

    This deal asks the countries to offset, voluntarily to begin with, any rise in their aviation emissions through activities like planting of trees or funding activities that reduce carbon emissions elsewhere.
    Though 191 member countries approved of it, as of now, only 65 countries have decided to join the programme that will initially run from 2020 to 2026.

    However, it has been considered a good beginning towards mitigating climate change pace.

    Montreal Protocol- Amendment in Kaigali, Rwanda

    To plug another hole of greenhouse gas emissions, countries had gathered in Kaigali to finalise an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to enable this 1989 ozone-protecting agreement to phase out the use of Hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs.

    HFCs are a class of gases that are several thousand times more damaging than carbon dioxide.

    HFCs, used mainly in the coolant and refrigerant industry, are not ozone-depleting, and are hence not covered by the Montreal Protocol. They replaced Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which the Montreal Protocol phased out because they were destroying the ozone layer.
    But, HFCs turned out to be very potent greenhouse gases, and unlike other GHGs that are being dealt with by the Paris Agreement, HFCs are sought to be eliminated through the Montreal Protocol as well.
    It is estimated that a phasing out of HFCs by 2050 will prevent a 0.5-degree rise in global temperatures by the end of this century.
    There is unanimity in deciding these targets as well as agreement that developed countries, which are both the bigger producers and bigger consumers of HFCs, have to begin phasing them out earlier.

    Differences exist in the details, and four proposals are on the table — put forward by India, the US (North America), European Union, and the Small Island Countries.


    It wants that developing countries like itself to begin the phase-out only from 2031.
    It has promised to reduce their HFC production and consumption to 15% of what it would be in the ‘baseline year’ of 2028-30 (average of the figures in each of these years), by the year 2050.
    But, it wants the developed countries to begin the phase-out in 2016 itself, and completely eliminate the production and consumption of HFCs by 2035.
    USA and EU

    It wants developed countries to begin the phase-out from 2019, and reach just 15% of the baseline year (2011-13) by 2036.
    The EU wants the baseline year for developed countries to be 2015-16, and wants them to eliminate 85% of the baseline HFC production and consumption by 2034.
    Both the US and EU want developing countries to begin by 2019, or latest by 2021, and eliminate 85%-90% by 2046.
    There are supposed to be interim targets as well — the “phase-down schedule” — and those constitute further points of disagreement.

    Developing countries seek to give their industry adequate time to discover and adapt to new technologies that would enable them to use HFC substitutes.
    These countries are also seeking multilateral financing to support the shift to newer alternatives, want their industry to be given full conversion costs and also cost of a second conversion in cases where a transitional technology has to be deployed.

    Benefits of ethanol blending / Sendai Framework / Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA)

    Benefits of ethanol blending 

    1. It reduces the vehicular emissions especially carbon monoxide emissions. 
    2. It is cheaper than petrol as it is cheaper to manufacture. 
    3. It decreases a nation dependence on foreign oil. 
    4. Ethanol has a higher octane rating than ethanol-free petrol. 
    5. n case of India, ethanol production can give higher sugarcane price for farmers which can help in rural prosperity.

    2016 Theme:  “Live to Tell: Raising Awareness, Reducing Mortality”. 

    1. The 2016 edition of IDDR marks the launch of the new Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction by United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). UNISDR’s campaign for the day is Sendai Seven that seeks to create a wave of awareness about actions taken to reduce mortality around the world. 
    2. Background The International Day for Disaster Reduction was instituted by UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 1989 to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. 
    3. Earlier, this day was celebrated annually on the second Wednesday of October. But in 2009, the UNGA formally designated 13 October as the annual date by adopting Resolution 64/200. 
    4. What is Sendai Framework? The Sendai Framework is a 15-year voluntary, non-binding agreement which recognizes that the countries have the primary role to reduce disaster risk. 
    5. It also recognises that this responsibility of countries should be shared with other stakeholders including local government, private sector and other stakeholders. It is the successor agreement to the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005–2015), 
    6. which was the most encompassing international accord on disaster risk reduction to date. The Sendai Framework also seeks to promote best practices at the international, regional and national level across all sectors, to reduce disaster risk and disaster losses. 
    7. The framework has seven targets and first of it is reducing disaster mortality. 
    8. The four priority themes of the Sendai Framework are: (i) Understanding disaster risk, (ii) improving disaster risk governance, (iii) investing in disaster risk reduction (through structural and non-structural measures) and (iv) disaster preparedness, early warning and building back better in the aftermath of a disaster.
    Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) 

    1. PFRDA is a statuary pension regulatory authority established in 2003 under the PFRDA Act. 
    2. It functions under the aegis of Union Ministry of Finance, 
    3. Department of Financial Services. 
    4. PFRDA promotes old age income security by establishing, developing and regulating pension funds. 
    5. It also protects interests of subscribers to schemes of pension funds and related matters. 
    6. It is responsible for appointment of various intermediate agencies such as Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA), 
    7. Custodian, Pension Fund Managers, NPS Trustee Bank, etc.

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