Prelims Booster

14th May – Prelims Booster


In a major initiative Union Ministry of MSME has launched CHAMPIONS portal, a Technology driven Control Room-Cum-Management Information System.

Details –

  • The system utilising modern ICT tools is aimed at assisting Indian MSMEs march into big league as National and Global CHAMPIONS.
  • The CHAMPIONS stands here for Creation and Harmonious Application of Modern Processes for Increasing the Output and National Strength. Accordingly, the name of the system is CHAMPIONS.
  • As the name suggests, the portal is basically for making the smaller units big by solving their grievances, encouraging, supporting, helping and handholding. It is a real one-stop-shop solution of MSME Ministry.

How does it work?

  • It is a technology packed control room-cum-management information system. In addition to ICT tools including telephone, internet and video conference, the system is enabled by Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics and Machine Learning.
  • It is also fully integrated on real time basis with GOI’s main grievances portal CPGRAMS and MSME Ministry’s own other web based mechanisms.
  • The entire ICT architecture is created in house with the help of NIC in no cost. Similarly, the physical infrastructure is created in one of ministry’s dumping rooms in a record time.

Pangong Tso

Helicopters of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) came close to the border during the face-off with the Indian Army near Pangong Tso lake in Eastern Ladakh recently, but there was no air space violation on either side.

About Pangong Tso –

  • In the Ladakhi language, Pangong means extensive concavity, and Tso is lake in Tibetan.
  • Pangong Tso is a long narrow, deep, endorheic (landlocked) lake situated at a height of more than 14,000 ft in the Ladakh Himalayas.
  • The western end of Pangong Tso lies 54 km to the southeast of Leh.
  • The 135 km-long lake sprawls over 604 sq km in the shape of a boomerang, and is 6 km wide at its broadest point.
  • It extends from India to the Tibetan Autonomous Region, China. Approximately 60% of the length of the lake lies within the Tibetan Autonomous Region.
  • The brackish water lake freezes over in winter (despite being saline in nature), and becomes ideal for ice skating and polo.
  • It is not a part of the Indus river basin.
  • The legendary 19th century Dogra general Zorawar Singh is said to have trained his soldiers and horses on the frozen Pangong lake before invading Tibet.


The executive members of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), have told the government that due process was not followed while changing the name of the institute to Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MPIDSA).

About MPIDSA –

  • The Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MPIDSA), New Delhi, is India’s foremost think tank for advanced research in international relations, especially defence, strategic and security issues, and providing training to civilian, military and paramilitary officers of the Indian government.
  • It is funded by the Ministry of Defence but operates as a non-partisan and autonomous body.
  • It aims to promote national and international security by carrying out research on defence and security-related issues and disseminating the knowledge among the policy-makers and wider public.
  • MPIDSA is the only think-tank in India whose Director General is appointed by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister of India.
  • It was established on 11 November 1965 as a non-partisan and autonomous body.
  • In February 2020 IDSA was renamed as ‘Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA)’ after former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
  • MP-IDSA is governed by an Executive Council, whose members are distinguished personalities from various walks of life and which is headed by a President.
  • The President of the Executive Council is by convention, an ex-officio position, held by the Defence Minister of India.

Etalin Hydropower Project

The Forest Advisory Committee, the apex body of the Environment Ministry tasked with deciding whether forest land can be diverted for industrial projects, has once again deferred its decision on a controversial project in Arunachal Pradesh.

Details –

The 3,097 MW Etalin Hydropower project, in the State’s Dibang Valley, has been delayed for over six years. This is because it required diverting 1,165 hectares of forest in a region of rich biodiversity.

Background –

  • In 2015, the FAC had ruled that the Environment Impact Assessment commissioned by the power company had not properly accounted for the environmental impact of the project.
  • It recommended that an “internationally credible” institute conduct studies over multiple seasons to record the region’s ecological constitution.
  • It had also recommended that the National Tiger Conservation Authority be consulted, because tigers had been sighted in the region.
  • In 2019, the FAC reviewed the progress of the environment appraisal and said neither of its recommendations had been fully complied with, though a wildlife assessment was done by the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.

About Etalin Hydropower Project –

  • The Project is based on the river Dibang. It is proposed to be completed in 7 years.
  • Dibang is a tributary of the Brahmaputra river which flows through the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
  • It envisages construction of two dams over the tributaries of Dibang – Dir and Tangon.
  • The Project falls under the “richest bio-geographical province of the Himalayan zone” and would be located at the junction of the Palaearctic, Indo-Chinese and Indo-Malayan bio-geographic regions.
  • Palaearctic Zone includes arctic and temperate Eurasia, and all islands surrounding the continent in the Arctic, in the sea of Japan, and the eastern half of the North Atlantic. It thus also includes the Macaronesian islands, Mediterranean North Africa and Arabia.
  • The Indo-Malayan Zones natural boundaries contain tropical Asia from the Balochistan mountains of Pakistan eastward to the Indian subcontinent south of the Himalayan crest, including the tropical southern fringe of China with Taiwan, the whole of SouthEast Asia, and the Philippines.

About Wildlife Institute of India –

  • Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is an internationally acclaimed Institution, which offers training program, academic courses and advisory in wildlife research and management.
  • WII carries out wildlife research in areas of study like Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Wildlife Policy, Wildlife Management, Wildlife Forensics, Spatial Modelling, Eco development, Habitat Ecology and Climate Change.
  • It was established in 1982.
  • It is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate change, Government of India.
  • The institute is based in Dehradun.

Mental cruelty

The Bombay High Court, while granting a divorce recently, held that a wife writing to her husband’s employer with unfounded allegations about him constituted actionable cruelty under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

The judgement –

In its judgement of a division bench of Justices VM Deshpande and SM Modak observed, “The cruelty is physical as well as mental. If allegations are made in writing and if they are baseless, it may cause mental pain to other side.”

Ground for divorce –

  • The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, lays down the law for divorce that applies to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs.
  • Under Section 13 of the Act, the grounds for divorce include: “voluntary sexual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse”; “cruelty”; desertion “for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition”; “ceas(ing) to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion”; and being “incurably of unsound mind”.

Mental cruelty –

  • When it was first passed, the Hindu Marriage Act did not have ‘cruelty’ as a ground for divorce. It was after an amendment in 1976 that this basis became available for seeking both divorce and judicial separation.
  • While Parliament did insert the term ‘cruelty’ in the Act, it did not supply an exhaustive definition. As a result, the term has since been understood according to its interpretation by the judiciary over the years – during which time the courts have evolved grounds for providing relief in cases of both physical and mental cruelty.
  • Even before the 1976 amendment, the Supreme Court had examined the concept of legal cruelty in Dastane v Dastane (1975). In that case, the court held that the wife threatening she would end her life, and verbally abusing the husband and his father, among other acts, amounted to mental cruelty, and granted divorce to the husband.

Global Nutrition Report 2020

India is among 88 countries that are likely to miss global nutrition targets by 2025, according to the Global Nutrition Report 2020 released recently.

Details –

  • It also identified the country as one with the highest rates of domestic inequalities in malnutrition.
  • Between 2000 and 2016, underweight rates have decreased from 66.0% to 58.1% for boys and 54.2% to 50.1% in girls. However, this is still high compared with the average of 35.6% for boys and 31.8% for girls in Asia.
  • In addition, 37.9% of children under five are stunted and 20.8% are wasted, compared with the Asia average of 22.7% and 9.4% respectively.
  • One in two women of reproductive age is anaemic, while at the same time the rate of overweight and obesity continues to rise, affecting almost a fifth of the adults, at 21.6% of women and 17.8% of men.
  • India is identified as among the three worst countries, along with Nigeria and Indonesia, for steep within country disparities on stunting, where the levels varied four-fold across communities.

Background –

  • In 2012, the World Health Assembly identified six nutrition targets for maternal, infant and young child nutrition to be met by 2025.
  • These require governments to reduce stunting by 40% in children under five and prevalence of anaemia by 50% among women in the age group of 19-49, ensure 30% reduction in low-birth weight and no increase in childhood overweight, increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months up to at least 50% and reduce and maintain childhood wasting to less than 5%.
  • According to the Global Nutrition Report 2020, India will miss targets for all four nutritional indicators for which there is data available — stunting among under-five children, anaemia among women of reproductive age, childhood overweight and exclusive breastfeeding.

About Global Nutrition Report –

  • Global Nutrition Report has been produced by the Independent Expert Group of the Global Nutrition Report, supported by the Global Nutrition Report Stakeholder Group.
  • The Global Nutrition Report was conceived following the first Nutrition for Growth Initiative Summit (N4G) in 2013. The first report was published in 2014.
  • The Global Nutrition Report acts as a report card on the world’s nutrition—globally, regionally, and country by country—and on efforts to improve it.
  • It assesses progress in meeting Global Nutrition Targets established by the World Health Assembly.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) is a Global Nutrition Report Partner.

Daily MCQs

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