Sunday, 23 December 2012

Interview Tips by other Toppers

Heylo All,

Found some posts offering advice on interview preparation. So generally  letting you know. And as Bijay Ketan Upadhyay (IAS) writes "Fortune favours the prepared mind". So prepare well :)


For my own interview experience-read this:

Also, if any of you find other relevant posts regarding interview prep, do let us know through the comments. section.


Friday, 21 December 2012

Heylo & Online Sociology Course

Dear Friends,

I expect you all must have had a good break after the exams and most of you may have begun prep again. Unfortunately I haven't been able to do this. And I have been inactive on the blog front too. For those of you who have been checking the blog for new posts (esp Ramesh who wrote in)- am sorry for the lack of response. But I seek your indulgence for a little more time. I will be active from January onwards for certain.

Meanwhile, I have come across an online course on "Introduction to Sociology". This is not tailored to our syllabus but it seems as if it will help us understand how to apply sociology better- and given the increasing emphasis on application-based questioning, I think it will be useful. Do check it out. The website has other interesting courses too.

Else all well. Take care. Ciao.


Monday, 22 October 2012

Short Reply

Hi Guys and Gals,

Am sorry, havent been very prompt in replying nor posting. I am traveling at the moment and will be able to properly respond only after the first week of November-so do bear with me till then. Meanwhile a brief preliminary reply to some queries:

Interview prep: please check out the following post on Interview tips .

Material for  PubAd paper1 compulsory questions: well, like most of you, I too was stumped by the questions. I think UPSC is trying to throw coaching centres off their game.  The only theorist I had heard of was Pareto in the 'Pareto optimality' and 'Pareto improvements' question-but unfortuntely didnt know anything about the two concepts. The remaining statements were related to our syllabus and am sure you must have read them too.
For eg in 1(c)"Man's motives in different subparts of the same organization may be different". Discuss.-  I wrote about importance of 'unity of direction', matching individual goal to organizational goal, pitfalls of 'goal displacement' etc. So although I didnt know the theorist Edgar Schien, I am telling myself that i wrote something sensible there.
Similarly for 1(d) "leadership is 'incremental influence' - I wrote about employee-oriented leader, leader as amateur psychologist, etc-basically one could have drawn upon leadership theories.

So what I am trying to say is that if we know our basics correctly then we can surely answer questions in a satisficing manner. Nonetheless value addition is imperative to keep up with UPSC. I dont know definite books to read but can suggest a way forward.
  • Start with your defined syllabus. 
  • Second, when you pick up a theorist, try and research a little about him beyond the coaching notes. Read up the wikipedia entry on his life- that may clarify his theory, put forth other ideas of his. 
  • For eg: Q3(a) asked about features of Simon's bounded rationality- my coaching teacher, Mr. Mohanty, had only told us about satisficing . But when i was randomly reading Simon's nobel prize speech, I came across the concept of search for alternatives. Unfortunately i didnt know about aspiration adaptation. So, what I am saying is that use the internet and read around the theorist and theory as well. 
  • Thirdly, always know about the history of a concept and its current relevance. This means that you will have to refer to recent developments on the issue. 
  • Fourthly, read about the theorists' collaborators or the thinkers who have contributed to a particular line if thought. 
  • Fifthly, a number of foreign universities put up material on theories and theorists-refer to those cause they are authoritative texts.
  • And more specifically, research the thinkers that were asked in the exam-read about them- dont think ki is saal pooch liya to agle saal nahi poochenge. All information and knowledge is valuable. 
  • Next, check out the past year question papers, and see if there are any concepts or thinkers you havent heard about-if so look them up and make notes.
I dont know how much dividend this approach will yield, but am sure whatever knowledge you accumulate will have a positive impact on your answer. If others have suggestions, do write in cause collaboration in this exam is very important for success. :)

How I gathered topics of relevance and what you can also do: will address in detail later, but for starters- I tried to read the newspaper (Hindu and Business Standard) thoroughly everyday and make notes- just this task would take up 4-5 hours daily.So do devote time to reading the paper and understanding the issues and all their linkages. Try and read a business paper as well.
I tried to read some books that we all think of reading but maybe never get around to like: Economic Survey, ARC2 Reports, magazines like The Economist, Foreign Policy, EPW. Try and do this as regularly as you can. The magazines will give you different insights into the issue which may not always be there in the Hindu. 

Lastly enjoy gathering knowledge. You never know what you read will come handy. For eg, last year I generally read up on Louis Baker and his architectural principles-must have spent a good day or two dreaming about the perfect house and what it would be like-and lo and behold- I waxed eloquent about Baker in the GS paper [definitely a little too eloquently :P]. Then again, I generally read about Kullu Dussehra, contemplating a visit there,  and came to know that they dont burn the effigy of Ravan as he was a Shivbhakt, and used this info in an answer on 'Great and Little Traditions' in Sociology.

So, my point is enjoy knowing about stuff and learning about it. Expand your interests. Secondly, do not confine yourselves to books to gain knowledge. Whichever city you are in, pay a visit to the museums around, go watch cultural performances, visit historical monuments, participate in discussions etc.

Analysis of Exam pattern, CSE2013:  will write at leisure about this.

So, basically I couldn't be concise but this is definitely a preliminary response. Will get back to you all in a fortnight's time. Till then, enjoy the break.


p.s.: @ Ashish and Anonymous who address me as 'Ma'am'- please call me by my name- we are all equal comrades in this exam and in life. :)

Friday, 19 October 2012

Blog Success-2012 Mains Optionals

Hello comrades,

I am so happy that the blog has assisted in your preps in some manner. Thank you for your comments and all the wishes. I too wish that all your scores are propelled skywards and you feature prominently in the final list.

Many of you have expressed interest in knowing my views about the papers- am truly flattered and humbled. I too want to analyse the questions papers-and present my view. Its just that when I started that effort, I felt quite blank, as if my mind was resisting attempts to revisit the papers and my performance [maybe i was subconsciously scared that i will discover so much that i could have written and what i shouldn't have] :) So give me a couple of days and in the meantime I am going to analyse the optionals. This effort too is throwing up a lot of info which was on my blog, and which unfortunately didnt strike me in the exam. So here goes...


4(b) Should media exposure be included in rules for administrative accountability in India? [15mks]
Media and Democracy
Factors influencing government responsiveness
-these posts could have helped in saying that media furthers democracy and ensuring administrative accountability to media can strengthen democracy in various ways. The example of Manipur could be effectively used.

4(c) Role of civil society in facilitating administrative accountability wrt 'Janlokpal' issue. [15mks]
Neoliberal reforms and democracy - a point could have been, how the state is moving from provider to facilitator guided by neoliberalism- and in this context maintaining administrative accountability becomes even more relevant, because of the indirect nature of accountability perpetuated by neoliberalism and NPM .

7(b) Does SHG movement adequately address absence of women in the former mainstream development agenda. [20mks]
Self help groups - This answer mainly required a comparison of "women in development" and "gender and development" approach. This post could have helped to show how SHGs are empowering women politically as well, thus making them agenda-setters as well, and not just recipients of  development aid. The other article of the post could have shown the counter-point of how even SHGs are failing their potential.
Kulandei Francis
NRLM - by reorienting focus of poverty alleviation programmes from aid-giving to empowerment, NRLM puts the poor at the centre of programmes aimed at them. Women are perceived as major change-makers in this programme.

8(b) Distinguish between e-Government and e-Governance. [15mks]
E-governance and corruption in states
Collaborative governance in theory and practice
Public participation and organizational performance


Monday, 15 October 2012

Blog Success in 2012 Mains- GS

Heylo All,

As a first step to assess my preparation for the 2012Mains, am taking stock of how well I was able to identify issues of relevance for our GS and optional papers. So am listing out questions and posts that could have been useful in answering it. [The questions are paraphrased]. I would love to hear back from you all as well.


GS Paper I [Questions worth 160 mks had information of varying relevance]

1(a) What do you understand by the term "Innovation"? Discuss the need for launching a national innovation policy in India. (25mks)
Decade of Innovation: 2010-2020
Science research in Indian universities

1(b) Examine inclusive measures initiated by GoI for informal sector, and critically examine their effectiveness. (25mks)
Definitions of Unorganized sector
Financial inclusion
National policy on urban street vendors

1(e) Tourism in tiger reserves (25mks)
Eco-tourism and ban on toursim in tiger reserves

2(a) 12th Plan document on Health (15mks)
12th FYP approach paper (a very brief indication of what the plan says about  Health)

2(c) "Domestic resource mobilization, though central to the process of Indian economic growth, is characterized by several constraints". Explain. (15mks)
Ashok Chawla committee on allocation of natural resources
National exploration licensing policy
External commercial borrowings policy
FII investment in bonds

2(d) 'Flute-playing Krishna' theme in Indian art is very popular. Discuss. (15mks)
Indian painting:other styles- Madhubani and Pattachitra
Indian painting-schools of painting- Pahari and Rajasthani schools of painting
Traditional theatre forms of India- Rasleela
Indian classical dances- Manipuri and Odissi (a main theme of Odissi is Geet Govinda centered around Krishna)
Traditional embroidery forms - Chamba rumal has a krishna figure embroidered on the rumals.

2(f) What do you understand by MDR-TB? (15mks)

2(g) Is renewable energy a viable option for India's future? (15mks)
Integrated energy policy 2008
Akshay urja shops

3(b) List objectives of National Manufacturing Policy. (5mks)
Manufacture sector in india [Albeit this post was written before the NMP was officially declared and there was one change, i.e. achievement of objective of jobs and GDP contribution by 2022].

5. Personalities question (5mks)
Ashoke sen, Mario de Miranda
P.V. Sindhu

GENERAL STUDIES II [Questions worth 170mks had information of varying relevance]

Thursday, 4 October 2012

IMF's 14th General Review of Quotas

On December 15, 2010, the Board of Governors, the IMF's highest decision-making body, approved a package of far-reaching reforms of the Fund’s quotas and governance, completing the 14th General Review of Quotas. This will be implemented once 3/5ths of the IMF members comprising 85% of the quota-share approve it. Once implemented, it will result in a major realignment of quota shares to better reflect the changing relative weights of the IMF’s member countries in the global economy.

The 14th General Review of Quotas will:
  1. unprecedented 100 percent increase in total quotas: double quotas from approximately SDR 238.4 billion to approximately SDR 476.8 billion.
  2. shift more than 6 percent of quota shares from over-represented to under-represented member countries.
  3. shift more than 6 percent of quota shares to dynamic emerging market and developing countries (EMDCs).
  4. significantly realign quota shares. China will become the 3rd largest member country in the IMF, and there will be four EMDCs (Brazil, China, India, and Russia) among the 10 largest shareholders in the Fund, and
  5. preserve the quota and voting share of the poorest member countries. This group of countries is defined as those eligible for the low-income Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) and whose per capita income fell below US$1,135 in 2008 (the threshold set by the International Development Association) or twice that amount for small countries.
India's quota share at the IMF will increase from 2.44 per cent to 2.75 per cent, making it the 8th largest quota holding country at the IMF.
Significantly, India's gain in terms of quota share is the 7th largest in 14th round of quota review.
In absolute terms, New Delhi's quota will increase from SDR (special drawing right) 5,821.5 million to SDR 13,114.4 million.
All the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries would now be among the 10 largest quota shareholders at the IMF. 

The reform package builds on the 2008 reforms, which became effective on March 3, 2011. The 2008 reforms:
  • strengthen the representation of dynamic economies, many of which are emerging market countries, through ad hoc quota increases for 54 member countries, and 
  • enhanced the voice and participation of low-income countries through a near tripling of basic votes.

Language Paper Alert!


The language paper is on 6th itself-i.e. on saturday, and that in the first half. So 6th-saturday-has both language papers, and 7th-sunday-has essay paper.

I just realised this, because in keeping with past pattern I was expecting language paper to be on sunday. So anyways...this msg is for other blind people like me :)

And good luck again.


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Eco-tourism and Ban on toursim in Tiger core-areas

In the debate on tourism in core-areas of tiger reserves, these are the following stakeholders:
- Protection of tigers
- Protection and conservation of other wildlife in reserves
-  Local communities- rights protected by the Forest Rights Act.
- Local employment generated by tiger tourism
- Tourism industry- both those making a fast buck, and those encouraging sustainable tourism
- General people's right to enjoy wildlife, and their responsibility towards conservation

National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guidelines on Ecotourism. (July 2012)
Ecotourism is defined as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the wellbeing of local people". Ecotourism should include tourism that is community-based and community-driven. Such tourism is low-impact, educational, conserves ecology and environment, while directly benefiting economic development of local communities. 

Following these guidelines the Supreme Court banned Tourism in core areas of Tiger Reserves. This was met with much criticism by the tourism industry. The NCTC has given a revised set of guidelines to the SC on 27 September 2012.

Old v New

  • The old guidelines restricted tourism activity in the areas of tiger reserves from where forest dwellers have been relocated to make space for the big cat. The new guidelines have tweaked it to say that no tourism infrastructure will be allowed in the areas from where relocation has taken place
  • The old guidelines called for allowing only community-based tourism in 10 to 20 per cent of the core zones, depending on the size. The new guidelines say that up to 20 per cent area of the core zones of the tiger reserves can be opened up for tourism
  • The old guidelines called for imposing a 10 per cent cess on the turnover of the hotels and resorts for community development. The new guidelines have sought to leave it to the state governments to decide the rate of cess. The guidelines say a conservation fee could be charged between Rs 500 to Rs 3,000 per month, per room, depending upon the luxury classification of the tourist facility
  • Saturday, 29 September 2012

    Bon Chance!

    Hello Friends,

    Writing in to wish you all good luck and the rest...:) Have a great exam.

    There will be a few surprises, so dont be fazed by them. Enjoy the writing process-but take care not to get emotional about certain questions and devote unwanted time on it :)

    GS paper: no matter how well you prepare, its never enough, so take the questions you dont know anything about in your stride. Try and write something intelligible about most questions that you can make sense of. But dont irritate the examiner. I did 100mark ka hawabazi last time- didnt work for me :( But the plan stays the same this year, just hope to be more sensible.

    Stats: agar abhi bhi taiyari shuru nahi ki hai, to kar lo ji. High scores in GS depends on performing well in Stats and it isnt too difficult. Dont forget to take a calculator (and practice on it before-hand), also protractor for making Pie-diagrams if required etc.

    Also, for Indian language paper, I always find myself short of time- so if that is the case with you, plan your paper well. I think the english-to-language translation takes a lot of time and is only for 20mks. The precis writing is for 60mks. So, last time I decided to finish precis writing first, and didnt mind not completing the translation. I am writing this from memory, so just refer to the language question paper once. Also you will have to do 2 translations, and precis writing has to be done in separate sheets , wherein one word has to be inserted in one box (for first timers :)). Baaki most people with english-medium find it tough, so dont be too troubled by the paper. But still devote some time to prepare for it.

    Hmm...those with sufficient break between optionals- you are lucky blokes- good luck to you and the rest of us too. Aur baaki badhiya...have a productive last 5 days.

    And see you all after the exams.



    Thursday, 27 September 2012

    Bijolia Movement

    It was a pioneer agrarian movement in the Mewar State in present Udaipur District.

    The Jagirdar of Bijolia was a Parmar Rajput having 96 villages in his jagir. There were 86 different taxes on peasants against which peasants revolted in 1905. The initial leadership was provided by Sitaram Das. The movement got linked to national movement. Vijay (Bijoy) Singh Pathik and Manik Lal Verma (future Chief Minister of Rajasthan) led a no tax movement in 1916. It was called Bijolia movement. The peasants refused to do begar and held back the taxes. The movement continued through 1920s and spread over to other States of Rajputana.

    Important note: The no tax movement at Bijolia took place before the Champaran Indigo Satyagraha of Gandhi. Secondly, it was started in Princely States. 

    Sec. 124A of Indian Penal Code: Sedition

    Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code deals with Sedition.

    Sedition is defined as:

    Bringing hatred of contempt (or attempt to bring hatred or contempt) for the lawful Government in India, through words, signs, visual representation or otherwise.
    Such person can be punished with a imprisonment for life and/or fines. The offence of sedition is non-bailable and cognizable.


    1.- The expression" disaffection" includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity. 
    2.- Comments expressing disapprobation of the measures of the Government with a view to obtain their alteration by lawful means, but without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section
    3.- Comments expressing disapprobation of the administrative or other action of the Government without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, do not constitute an offence under this section.1

    • disapprobation: expressing strong disapproval, expecially on moral grounds.  
    • cognizable offence is a criminal offence in which thepolice is empowered to register an FIR, investigate, and arrest an accused without a court issued warrant.[1]
    • non-cognizable offence is an offence in which police can neither register an FIR, investigate, nor effect arrest without the express permission or directions from the court. 

    Recent Instances of use:

    • Mr. Aseem Trivedi- cartoonist with India Against Corruption. Charged with sedition which led to widespread condemnation of the police and government. Subsequently the charges were removed. 2012
    • Dr. Binayak Sen, a health and human rights activist, was sentenced to a life-term under this law for 'waging war against the state'.  Served 2010.
    • Arundhati Roy was sought to be charged with sedition for advocating independence for the disputed Kashmir region. 2010.

    Ahmedabad Trial of 1922

    The Ahmedabad Trial of 1922 of Gandhi concerned, the writing of two articles in his paper 'Young India'. The prosecution alleged that he had incited violence in the articles, and was responsible for the violence that occurred in Chauri Chaura (Feb 1922) and at the visit of 
    Prince of Wales to India in 1921. 

    Gandhi was tried under Sec 124A of the Indian Penal Code which relates to Sedition. It is the same article under which Bal Ganagadhar Tilak was sentenced in 1916 (for speeches which were said to incite disaffection against the Government). 

    Mahatma Gandhi said during the famous Ahmedabad trial in 1922: Section 124 A under which I am happily charged is perhaps the prince among the   political sections of the IPC designed to suppress the liberty of the citizen. Affection cannot be manufactured or regulated by the law. He also asserted that What in law is a deliberate crime appears to me to be the highest duty of a citizen,” and finally, to preach disaffection towards the existing system of Government has become almost a passion with me.” 

    For details on the proceedings of the 1922 trial read below, else not required for exam.

    Wednesday, 26 September 2012

    Eurasian Union and Eurasian Commission

    The Eurasian Union (EAUis a proposed economic and political union of BelarusKazakhstanKyrgyzstan, the Russian FederationTajikistan  and other Eurasian countries, in particular the post-Soviet statesThe idea, based on the European Union's integration, was brought to attention in October 2011 by the Prime Minister of RussiaVladimir Putin, but was first proposed as a concept by the President of KazakhstanNursultan Nazarbayev in 1994. 
    The Eurasian Union is said to be a continuation of the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, which has already brought partial economic unity between the three states. 
    On 18 November 2011, the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia signed an agreement, setting a target of establishing the Eurasian Union by 2015.The agreement included the roadmap for the future integration and established the: (i) Eurasian Commission (modelled on the European Commission) and (ii) the Eurasian Economic Spacewhich started work on 1 January 2012.[6][7]
    The Eurasian Union is said to be the brainchild of Vladimir Putin in the wake of his planned third term as the President of Russia. If realised, it would comprise a number of states which were part of the formerSoviet Union. However critics claim that this drive towards integration aims to restore the Soviet Empire.

    Eurasian Commission The Eurasian Economic Commission is the supranational governing body of the Eurasian Economic Space, which started work on 1 January 2012. 
    The headquarters of the commission will be in Moscow, and the expenses of the infrastructure and accommodation of commission workers will be financed by Russia, while in general the commission budget will be financed by all three countries and dependent on taxation shares received from the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia
    The Eurasian Commission will be eligible to make decisions with regard to:customs policies, macroeconomics, regulation of economic competitionenergy policy, and financial policy. The Commission will also be involved in government procurement and labour migration control.The agreement on the Commission contains stringent anti-corruption regulations. 1

    ADMM & ADMM-Plus

    The ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) is the highest defence mechanism within ASEAN. The annual ADMM facilitates the ASEAN defence ministers to discuss and exchange views on current defence and security issues and challenges faced in the region. The ADMM aims to promote mutual trust and confidence through greater understanding of defence and security challenges as well as enhancement of transparency and openness.

    The ADMM-Plus process is a tool to engage ASEAN Dialogue Partners in dialogue and cooperation on defence and security matters. At the Inaugural ADMM-Plus meeting in 2010, the Defence Ministers agreed on five areas of practical cooperation to pursue under this new mechanism. These areas are:
    maritime security, 
    disaster management, 
    peacekeeping operations and 
    military medicine. 
    To facilitate cooperation on these areas, five Experts' Working Groups (EWGs) are established.  Practical cooperation is now moving apace on the five priority areas. 2
    Addressing the first ADMM-Plus Defence Minister AK Antony today called for adoption of 'cooperative approaches' for ensuring the security of sea-lanes in the Asia-Pacific Region. 3
    The 2nd ADMM-Plus will be convened in Brunei Darussalam in October 2013. 2

    Issues in US-China relationship

    1. Yuan exchange rate
    2. Human rights in China: Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng sought refuge in US embassy
    3. How to deal with N.Korean nuclear ambitions
    4. China's claims on South-China Sea and freedom to use waters for navigation etc. Other territorial disputes in the area, and US involvement. The US has military facilities located in Singapore and the Philippines and its army has a good working relationship with the Malay and Thai military forces. Coupled with US Navy regular patrols in the South China Sea, which Beijing considers to be under its jurisdiction, the stage could be set for military conflict between the US and China. A clash between the USNS Impeccable and five Chinese ships in March 2009 seems to confirm this assertion.[]   
    5. US' 'Asian Pivot' strategy and concerns in China []

    Anything else I am forgetting? 

    Mighty Eagle

    The Mighty Eagle is a Robotic Prototype Lander being developed by NASA at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.[1]
    The vehicle with its guidance, navigation and control software could aid in the capture of orbiting space debris, in-space docking with a fuel depot, docking of a robotic lander with an orbiting command module and the rendezvous of multiple unmanned stages for deep space human exploration of the solar system.

    IBM Sequoia

    IBM's Sequoia is the world's fastest supercomputer. 

    It achieved 16.32 petaflops – trillions of floating-point calculations per second – using more than 1.5m processor cores.
    Sequoia is also one of the most energy-efficient systems 

    Ashoke Sen, Atul Khare, Mario Miranda, Khurshid Khan, Qieyang Shenjie

    Ashoke SenIndian theoretical physicist  won the $3 million Fundamental Physics Prize — more than double of what the Nobel Prize brings with it — for his research on string theory. Sen works at Allahabad’s Harish-Chandra Research Institute, which is funded by the Department of Atomic Energy.

    Atul Khare: IFS 1984 batch officer. On June 1, 2011 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Atul Khare of India to spearhead efforts to implement a reform agenda aimed at streamlining and improving the efficiency of the world body.[2][3] Khare, will lead the Change Management Team (CMT) at the UN, working with both departments and offices within the Secretariat and with other bodies in the UN system and the 193 member states. The CMT is tasked with guiding the implementation of a reform agenda at the UN that starts with the devising of a wide-ranging plan to streamline activities, increase accountability and ensure the organization is more effective and efficient in delivering its many mandates.

    Tuesday, 25 September 2012

    Kerala Architecture

    Kerala architecture is a kind of architectural style that is mostly found in Indianstate of Kerala. Kerala's style of architecture is unique in India, in its striking contrast to Dravidian architecture which is normally practiced in other parts of South India
    The architectural style has evolved from Kerala’s peculiar climate and long history of influences of its major maritime trading partners like Chinese, Arabs and Europeans.

    The most distinctive visual form of Kerala architecture is the long, steep sloping roof built to protect the house’s walls and to withstand the heavy monsoon, normally laid with tiles or thatched labyrinth of palm leaves, supported on a roof frame made of hard wood and timber. Structurally the roof frame was supported on the pillars on walls erected on a plinth raised from the ground for protection against dampness and insects in the tropical climate. Often the walls were also of timbers abundantly available in Kerala. Gable windows were evolved at the two ends to provide attic ventilation when ceiling was incorporated for the room spaces.
    Most of Kerala buildings appears to low height visually, due to over-sloping of roofs, which are meant to protect walls from rains and direct sun shine
    The science of Vastu plays a very important role in developing architecture styles. 

    Madden-Julian Oscillation

    The Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) is the largest element of the intraseasonal (30–90 days) variability in the tropical atmosphere. It is a large-scale coupling between atmospheric circulation and tropical deep convection.[1][2] Rather than being a standing pattern (like ENSO) it is a traveling pattern, propagating eastwards at approximately 4 to 8 m/s, through the atmosphere above the warm parts of the Indian and Pacific oceans. This overall circulation pattern manifests itself in various ways, most clearly as anomalousrainfall. This was discovered by Roland Madden and Paul Julian.

    The MJO affects the intra-seasonal variations in Indian summer monsoon and is very important area of study. 

    This MJO was mentioned in Yojana issue on 'Monsoon'.

    Sex education in India

    Sex education is instruction on issues relating to:

    1. human sexuality
    2. human sexual anatomy,
    3. sexual reproduction
    4. sexual intercourse
    5. reproductive health
    6. emotional relations, 
    7. reproductive rights and responsibilities, 
    8. abstinence
    9. birth control, and 
    10. other aspects of human sexual behavior

    Common avenues for sex education are parents or caregivers, formal school programs, and public health campaigns.

    World Chess Champioship Formats and Vishwanathan Anand

    World Chess Championsip Formats:
    1. Tournament chess: chess tournament is a series of chess games played competitively to determine a winning individual or team. Since the first international chess tournament inLondon, 1851, chess tournaments have become the standard form of chess competition among serious players.
    2. Match  chess: A competition between two individuals or two teams. A match may be the entire competition, or it may be a round in a knockout tournament or team tournament. Unlike in some sports where the word match is sometimes used to describe a single game, a chess match always consists of at least two games (and often many more).
    3. Rapid chess: Fast chess, also known as blitz chesslightning chesssudden deathspeed chessbullet chess and rapid chess, is a type of chess game in which each side is given less time to make their moves than under the normal tournament time controls of 60 to 180 minutes per player.
    4. Knockout Chess: single-elimination tournament, also called a knockoutcup or sudden death tournament, is a type of elimination tournament where the loser of each match or bracket is immediately eliminated from winning the championship or first prize in the event.

    Anand is the only player to have won the world chess championships in many formats including TournamentMatchRapid, and Knockout chess. 

    In 2012, Anand won his fourth World Chess Championship. Previous wins were in 2007, 2008, and 2010.

    Anand became India's first grandmaster in 1987.[4] He was also the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991–92, India's highest sporting honor. In 2007, he was awarded India's second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, making him the first sportsperson to receive the award in Indian history. Anand has won the Chess Oscar 6 times


    Forecasting of Agriculture outputs through Satellite, Agrometeorology and Land based observations (FASAL)
    FASAL is a countrywide project funded by the Ministry of Agriculture. 
    Crop production forecasting of major crops in the country namely wheat, rice, cotton, sugarcane, mustard, groundnut and sorghum has been done

    Rajasthan Right to Hearing Act, 2012

    With the aim of providing a time-bound hearing and disposal of complaints, Rajasthan government implemented the Right to Hearing Act. The desert state is the first one to ensure a right to hearing for the common man.
    The act in itself is unique and aims to ensure that all complaints of the common man with regard to governance are addressed and disposed in a time-bound manner. This Act would further strengthen the Rajasthan Guaranteed Delivery of Public Services Act
    Under the Right to Hearing Act the state government has:
    1. Appointed Public Hearing Officers and Appellate Authority at gram panchayat, tehsil, and sub-block, district and division levels for hearing the complaints within a stipulated time limit of 15 days
    2. The act also has provision of first and second appellate authority along with the revision authority.
    3. The complainant can appeal to the first appellate authority against the decision of public hearing officer if he is not satisfied.
    4. Provision of penalty from Rs 500 to 5,000 has been made in the Act
    5. The Act also provisions for establishment of information and facilitation centre including citizen care centre and help desk for effective implementation.

    Aditi Mukherjee, Dr. AA Manavalan, PV Sindhu

    Aditi Mukherji, a social scientist with the International Water Management Institute, New Delhi, has just won the first Norman Borlaug Award for field research and application, given by the World Food Prize Foundation, for her work on usage of groundwater in agriculture. Her research has led to policy changes in West Bengal, benefiting thousands of farmers. 

    Dr. A.A. Manavalan: Tamil writer, awarded Saraswati Samman in 2012, for his book on the Ramayana. The award-winning book is a comparative study of 48 Ramayanas in the languages of Pali, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Tibetan, Tamil, Old Javenese, Japanese, Telugu, Assamese, Thai and Kashmiri.The Saraswati Samman carries award money of Rs 7.5 lakh, a citation and a plaque. 

    Pusarala Venkata Sindhu (PV Sindhu): Badminton player from Hyderbad. She b (20th) in the Badminton World Federation ranking which were released on 21st September 2012. In July 2012, she won Asia Youth Under 19 ChampionshipIn the Li Ning China Masters Super Series badminton tournament 2012 she defeated London 2012 Olympics gold medallist Li Xuerui of China and entered semifinals. Her achievement was hailed by all.

    Need to know: International Relations

    • - Proposal of a Eurasian Union
    • - Kuala Lampur War crimes Tribunal - convicted Tony Blair, George W. Bush and others for crimes against peace, due to the 'unlawful' invasion of Iraq. It also convicted Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld of 'conspiracy to commit war, especially torture'. (
    • - Coup in Mali and its aftermath ( Amadou Toure, Taureg Rebels- declaration of independence of Azawad region, destruction of Sufi shrines in Timbuktu'%C3%A9tat )
    • - UN agencies stand on Palestine (UNESCO, ICC)
    • - 2012 Nuclear Summit, Seoul: The "2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit", is the largest summit in the security field that discusses international cooperative measures to protect nuclear materials and facilities from terrorist groups, with participation from more than 53 heads of state and international organizations. 
    • - Indian Diaspora in US administration
    • International Seabed Authority
    • Agent Orange Cleanup:

    International Seabed Authority and related events

    The International Seabed Authority is an autonomous international organization established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the SeaThe Authority is the organization through which States Parties organize and control activities in the International seabed Area (i.e.outside of national jurisdictions), particularly with a view to administering the resources of the Area.  

    Recently China bid for mining rights in the international seabed of the Indian Ocean. This was granted by the Authority. Many in India have seen this as a loss for India which should have spearheaded such efforts to maintain its control over the Indian Ocean Region. China and Japan are also vying for exploration rights for possible rare earth metals in the Pacific Ocean.