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UPSC Prelims Booster Session

Hey there, UPSC aspirants! Preparing for your prelims? Feeling like you have missed any topic or current affairs. Don’t worry; Raj IAS Academy is here to help YOU! We’ll break down each topic from the prelims booster session by Raj Malhotra, providing a detailed understanding of the information you need to excel.


Daily Current Affairs and Editorials For UPSC is the most crucial part of your syllabus. It is something that you need to cover daily. Raj IAS Academy understands the value of your time and energy, so, we will share the current affairs with the main points.

Governance:

UGC’s New Norms for Private Universities: The University Grants Commission (UGC), a statutory body responsible for maintaining higher education standards in India, recently announced new norms for State private universities. These universities can now establish off-campus centers in any state, provided they meet specific criteria. The criteria include:

  • Minimum of 5 Years of Operation: The university must have been operational for at least five years.
  • Accredited Status: The university must be accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).
  • Meeting Minimum Staff & Infrastructure Requirements: The university must possess the necessary staff and infrastructure to support the off-campus center effectively.
  • Financial Requirements: The university must meet specific financial requirements set by the UGC to ensure the off-campus center’s viability.
  • Regulatory Approvals: The university must obtain approvals from relevant statutory and regulatory bodies to establish the off-campus center.
  • Establishment Fees: Universities must pay a fee of 10 lakh rupees to the UGC as establishment charges.

UGC’s Oversight: The UGC will have the right to inspect and take punitive measures against universities with irregularities or complaints regarding their off-campus centers. This could include closure of the center if necessary. Expected Benefits: According to academic experts, this decision could benefit students by giving them more options for higher education closer to home.

International Relations:

  • Second Thomas Shoal Incident: Recent events in the Second Thomas Shoal, a submerged reef in the South China Sea, have reignited tensions between the Philippines and China. The Philippines took possession of the shoal in the late 1990s and maintains a presence there. China, however, claims sovereignty over most of the South China Sea, including the Second Thomas Shoal. In 2013, the Philippines filed a case against China with the Permanent Court of Arbitration, challenging the legality of China’s claims and activities in the South China Sea. The court ruled in favor of the Philippines in 2016, but China rejected the ruling. This ongoing territorial dispute highlights the importance of understanding international relations and potential flashpoints that can impact global peace and security.

Economy:

Core Inflation and its Significance: Core inflation refers to the change in the cost of goods and services, excluding volatile items like food and energy. Economists predict core inflation in India will remain low, around 3% in the near term. This is attributed to weak rural demand, softening housing inflation, and lower input cost pressures. Understanding core inflation is crucial because it reflects the long-term trend in price levels and impacts consumer spending power. Central banks use core inflation to determine policy decisions like interest rates.


Green Hydrogen: A Clean Energy Solution The Ministry of New and Renewable Resources convened a meeting with relevant stakeholders to discuss the development of specialized cylinders for storing green hydrogen.

Green Hydrogen:

  • It is produced using the electrolysis of water and renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and hydropower.
  • It holds the potential to decarbonize various sectors, reducing carbon emissions and achieving energy independence.

Applications of Green Hydrogen:

  • Replacing traditional fossil fuels in transportation and industry.
  • Fuel cells for electricity generation and chemical production.
  • Powering vehicles.

Green Hydrogen Storage:

  • It is stored in cylinders at very high pressure (generally between 5,000 and 10,000 PSI).

Social Issues:

Yund Declaration: Combating Malaria in Africa: The Yund Declaration is a significant step towards ending malaria deaths. Health Ministers from 11 African countries with the highest malaria burden signed this declaration. The declaration signifies a commitment to:

  • Strengthened Leadership: African nations will provide more decisive leadership to combat malaria.
  • Increased Domestic Funding: Domestic funding will be allocated for malaria control programs.
  • Investment in Data Technology: Investments will be made in data technology to enhance the application of the latest technical guidance in malaria control and elimination efforts.
  • Enhanced National & Subnational Efforts: National and subnational efforts to control malaria will be strengthened.
  • Increased Health Sector Investments: Investments in the health sector will be increased to support malaria control efforts.

This collaborative effort by African nations demonstrates a solid commitment to tackling this deadly disease. Cohosted by

Science and Tech:

  • Samudri Mission: Exploring the Deep Ocean: The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) completed a critical test for India’s first human-crewed submersible mission, Samudri. This mission aims to develop a self-propelled submersible capable of carrying three people to a depth of 6,000 meters in
  • Samudra Mission: Exploring the Deep Ocean

The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) completed a critical test for India’s first human-crewed submersible mission, named Samudri. This mission aims to develop a self-propelled submersible capable of transporting three people to a depth of 6,000 meters in the ocean.

Samudra Mission’s Objectives:

  • Study deep-ocean resources.
  • Conduct biodiversity assessments.

Matsya 6000:

  • A human-crewed submersible vehicle developed by NIOT, Chennai.
  • They are designed for human exploration of the deep ocean and its mineral resources.
  • Operational endurance: 12 hours, with 96 hours in case of emergencies.
  • Allows scientific personnel to observe and understand unexplored deep-sea areas directly.
  • The expected launch by the end of 2025 will make India one of six countries (US, Russia, Japan, France, and China) to have conducted a piloted deep-sea submersible mission exceeding 5,000 meters.

Deep Ocean Mission:

  • A mission-mode project is supporting the Government of India’s blue economy initiatives.
  • It was launched as a central sector scheme under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • A high-level, multi-ministerial, and multi-disciplinary program focused on understanding the Indian Ocean’s deep-sea living and non-living resources.

Yund Declaration: Combating Malaria in Africa

The Yund Declaration signifies a significant step towards eradicating malaria deaths in Africa. Health Ministers from 11 African countries with the highest malaria burden signed this declaration during the Yunde conference, cohosted by the World Health Organization and the government of Cameroon.

Key Commitments of the Yund Declaration:

  • More vital Leadership: African nations pledge to provide more robust leadership in the fight against malaria.
  • Increased Domestic Funding: Increased allocation of domestic funds for malaria control programs.
  • Investment in Data Technology: Investments in data technology will enhance the application of the latest technical guidance in malaria control and elimination efforts.
  • Enhanced National & Subnational Efforts: Strengthening malaria control efforts at both national and sub-national levels.
  • Increased Health Sector Investments: Increased investments in the health sector to support malaria control initiatives.

Self-Help Groups: Empowering Communities

Prime Minister Modi disbursed around ₹8,000 crore as bank loans to self-help groups at subsidized interest rates through bank linkage camps set up by banks in each district.

Self-Help Group Bank Linkage Program:

  • Launched by NABARD in 1992.
  • Has grown into the world’s largest Microfinance project.
  • A cost-effective mechanism for providing financial services to unbanked and underserved poor households.

What are Self-Help Groups?

  • Small, informal, and voluntary associations of individuals come together to address common social and economic problems.
  • Primary focus: Empowering members, particularly women.
  • Functioning Principles:
    • Regular group meetings.
    • Regular savings within the group.
    • Internal lending is based on member demand.
    • Timely loan repayment.
    • Maintenance of proper books of accounts.

Exercise Cutlass Express: Bolstering Maritime Security

INS (insert ship name), the lead ship of the First Training Squadron, recently participated in Exercise Cutlass Express held at Port Victoria, Seychelles.

Cutlass Express:

  • A multinational maritime exercise conducted in East African coastal regions and the West Indian Ocean.
  • It aims to counter malign influence, aggression, and activity along overlapping command areas.
  • Sponsored by the US Africa Command and led by US Naval Forces Europe Africa and Sixth Fleet.
  • It brings together maritime forces from East Africa, the West Indian Ocean region, Europe, North America, and several international organizations.
  • Objectives: Enhance maritime law enforcement capacity.

Remember: This is just a quick overview by Raj IAS Academy. Keep an eye out for more detailed information on these topics!

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