During the Sangam Age, the designation ‘vellalar’ was used for
a) Ordinary ploughmen
b) Landless labourers
d) Large landowners
2) With reference to the cultural history of India, the term ‘Upasaka’ refers to
a) Renunciant and Wanderer
b) Lay follower of Buddhism
c) Priest with a high status
d) None of the above
3) Consider the following statements regarding mansabdari system
- It was a grading system used by the Mughals to fix rank, salary and military responsibilities.
- Rank and salary were determined by a numerical value called zat.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2
Prelims Specific News Items
1)India becomes 4th largest forex reserves holder globally
India’s forex reserves cover:
Foreign Currency Assets (FCAs) (rose by $463 million to $568.748 billion)
Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) (up by $1 million at $1.548 billion)
Gold Reserves (up by $377 million to $37.333 billion)
Reserve position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) (up by $1 million at $1.548 billion)
What is Foreign Exchange Reserve?
Foreign exchange reserves are important assets held by the central bank in foreign currencies as reserves.
They are commonly used to support the exchange rate and set monetary policy.
In India’s case, foreign reserves include Gold, Dollars, and the IMF’s quota for Special Drawing Rights.
India has overtaken Russia to become the fourth largest country with foreign exchange reserves.
- China – $3,349 Billion
- Japan – $1,376 Billion
- Switzerland – $1,074 Billion
- India – $612.73 Billion
- Russia – $597.40 Billion
2)What is Milky Sea Phenomenon?
Milky seas, also called mareel, is a luminous phenomenon in the ocean in which large areas of seawater appear to glow translucently (in varying shades of blue).
Such occurrences glow brightly enough at night to be visible from satellites orbiting Earth.
They are a rare nocturnal phenomenon in which the ocean’s surface emits a steady bright glow.
Why do they glow?
Luminous bacteria cause the particles they colonize to glow.
The purpose of this glow could be to attract fish that eat them.
These bacteria thrive in the guts of fishes, so when their populations get too big for their main food supply, a fish’s stomach makes a great second option.
3) In a first, nine SC judges take oath in one stroke :Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana read out the oath of allegiance to the Constitution to nine new judges of the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
It was for the first time that nine judges were sworn in to the SC in a single stroke.
A brief History of collegium :-
The ‘First Judges Case’ (1981) ruled that the “consultation” with the CJI in the matter of appointments must be full and effective. However, it rejected the idea that the CJI’s opinion, albeit carrying great weight, should have primacy. After First Judges Case Executive was Supreme in selection.
The Second Judges Case (1993) introduced the Collegium system, holding that “consultation” really meant “concurrence”. It added that it was not the CJI’s individual opinion, but an institutional opinion formed in consultation with the two senior-most judges in the Supreme Court. On a Presidential Reference for its opinion, the Supreme Court,
in the Third Judges Case (1998) expanded the Collegium to a five-member body, comprising the CJI and four of his senior-most colleagues.
4)UNSC resolution addresses ‘key concerns’ on Afghanistan: India :- Despite the abstention of two “P5” countries — Russia and China — from the India led United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2593, the Government of India said it was a “matter of satisfaction” that the resolution addressed India’s “key concerns” on Afghanistan.
P5 refers to the five permanent members of the UNSC — China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S.
5) The index of 8 core sector industries, which form 40% of the weight of items included in the broader Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
IIP is released monthly computed by CSO.
Refinery products has highest weightage.
Second Highest :- Electricity
6)Vaccine pioneer wins Ramon Magsaysay award :- A Bangladeshi vaccine scientist and a microfinance pioneer from Pakistan were among the five recipients of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Award — regarded as the Asian version of the Nobel Prize — announced on Tuesday.
Apart from Dr. Firdausi Qadri from Bangladesh and Muhammad Amjad Saqib from Pakistan, the other winners are Filipino fisher and community environmentalist Roberto Ballon, American Steven Muncy for humanitarian work and refugee assistance and Indonesian torch bearer for investigative journalism,
7) China opens first road-rail transport link to Indian Ocean :- The first shipments on a newly-launched railway line from the Myanmar border to the key commercial hub of Chengdu in western China, that provides China a new road-rail transportation channel to the Indian Ocean.
A “test cargo” through what is being called the China-Myanmar New Passage arrived at the Chengdu rail port in Sichuan province on August 27, the official China News Service reported.
The transport corridor involves a sea-road-rail link. Goods from Singapore reached Yangon Port, arriving by ship through the Andaman Sea of the northeastern Indian Ocean, and were then transported by road to Lincang on the Chinese side of the Myanmar-China border in Yunnan province. The new railway line that runs from the border town of Lincang to Chengdu, a key trade hub in western China, completes the corridor.
China also has plans to develop another port in Kyaukphyu in the Rakhine state, including a proposed railway line from Yunnan directly to the port, but the progress there has been stalled by unrest in Myanmar.
Chinese planners have also looked at the Gwadar port in Pakistan as another key outlet to the Indian Ocean that will bypass the Malacca Straits.
8) IMD and LPA :-
First we need to know what is LPA :- LPA is Long Period Average.
Period is of 50 years. (average Rainfall is taken)
Earlier for 1951-2000 , LPA was 89 cm rainfall.
Now News LPA for Period 1961-2010 is 88 Cm.
Now what is Normal, above normal and Excess rainfall:-
A normal monsoon is one when rainfall is between 96% and 104% of the LPA.
An “above normal” monsoon occurs when rainfall remains between 104% 110% of the LPA.
If the rainfall is more than 110% of the LPA, then it is called “excess”.
Editorials of the day
It’s time to build BRICS better
In this editorial the Author says that BRICS as a group needs to be better and try to sort out important international questions.
The importance of BRICS is self-evident: it represents 42% of the world’s population, 30% of the land area, 24% of global GDP and 16% of international trade.
India is the the Chair for the BRICS meeting to be held in september.
What are the immediate goals that India needs to put forward :–
- The first is to pursue reform of multilateral institutions ranging from the United Nations, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to the World Trade Organization and now even the World Health Organization.
- The second is the resolve to combat terrorism. Terrorism is an international phenomenon affecting Europe, Africa, Asia and other parts of the world. Tragic developments concerning Afghanistan have helped to focus attention sharply on this overarching theme
- In this context, BRICS is attempting to pragmatically shape its counterterrorism strategy by crafting the BRICS Counter Terrorism Action Plan containing specific measures to fight radicalisation, terrorist financing and misuse of the Internet by terrorist groups.
- Promoting technological and digital solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals and expanding people-to-people cooperation are the other two BRICS priorities.
- Among other concerns, BRICS has been busy deepening trade and investment ties among its member states.
The idea of BRICS – a common pursuit of shared interests by the five emerging economies from four continents – is fundamentally sound and relevant.
The five power combine has succeeded, albeit up to a point. But it now confronts multiple challenges: China’s economic rise has created a serious imbalance within BRICS; Beijing’s aggressive policy, especially against India, puts BRICS solidarity under exceptional strain.