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Q.1 Which of the following departments in the Delhi Sultanate dealt with correspondence?

A. Diwan-i-Arz

B. Diwan-i-Risalat

C. Diwan-i-Insah

D. Diwan-i-Amir-i-Kohi


Q.2 Consider the following statements about Muhammad Bin Tughlaq

  1. Muhammad Bin Tughlaq shifted his capital from Delhi to Deogir.
  2. Ibn Battuatah visited India during the reign of Muhammad Bin Tughlaq

Which of the above statement is correct?

A. 1 only

B. 2 only

C. Both 1 and 2

D. None of the above


Q.3 Consider the following statements about Backward Classes Commission

  1. First Backward Classes Commission was set up in the year 1979 under the charimanship of Kaka Kalekar
  2. Provision for setting up of Backward Classes commission is mentioned under Article 340 of the Indian Constitution

Which of the above statements is correct?

A. 1 only

B. 2 only

C. Both 1 and 2

D. None of the above



News:Cabinet clears NPR update,Census; no need for biometrics

The Union Cabinet chairedby Prime Minister NarendraModi on Tuesday approvedover ₹3,941.35 crore for updating the National Population Register (NPR) acrossthe country, barring Assam,and ₹8,754.23 crore for conducting the Census of India,2021

The Citizenship Rules,2003, however, state clearlythat the Centre, by issuing anorder, can decide a date toprepare the NPR. They also provide for thecreation of a National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC),or the National Register ofCitizens (NRC).

What is NPR?
The National Population Register (NPR) is a register of usual residents of the country being prepared at the local (village/sub-town), sub-district, district, state and national level under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003. It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR. Under the NPR, a usual resident is defined as a person who has resided in a local area for the past six months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next six months or more.
Data for NPR was collected in 2010 during collection of data for Census of India 2011. It was updated in 2015 through a door to door survey.



News:- CM writes to PM, seeks classical language status for Marathi

Current Classical Languages

Tamil (since 2004)

Sanskrit (since 2005)

Telugu (since 2008)

Kannada (Since 2008)

Malayalam (since 2013)

Odiya (since 2014)

Article 343:-The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script

Notwithstanding anything in clause ( 1 ), for a period of fifteen years from the commencement of this Constitution, the English language shall continue to be used for all the official purposes of the Union,this period may be extended further by the parliament.

Article 351:-
It shall be the duty of the Union to promote the spread of the Hindi language.


NEWS:Air quality deteriorated to “severe” category in at least 14 of the 33 monitoring stations in the city as on 8 p.m. on Tuesday, while the overall air quality of the city was in the upper end of the “very poor” category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The city’s overall Air Quality Index (AQI) on Tuesday was 383, up from Monday’s 327, according to the 4 p.m. bulletin by the CPCB, which is the average of the last 24 hours.

The air quality is likely to improve slightly on Wednesday and Thursday, but will continue in “very poor” category, according to government-run monitoring agency, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).


Air Quality Index is a number used by the government agencies to communicate to the public how polluted air currently is and how polluted it is expected to become.

There are six AQI categories, namely Good (0-50), Satisfactory (51-100), Moderately polluted (101-200), Poor (201-300), Very Poor (301-400), and Severe (401-500).

AQI considers eight pollutants

  1. PM10,
  2. PM 2.5,
  3. NO2,
  4. SO2,
  5. CO,
  6. O3,
  7. NH3, and
  8. Pb)

Air Quality Index was launched  in 2014 by Central Pollution Control Board under Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change.



About Yamuna River System :- Yamunotri, which is north of Haridwar in the Himalayan Mountains, is the source of the Yamuna. The river Yamuna, a major tributary of river Ganges, originates from the Yamunotri glacier near Banderpoonch peaks.

The Tons is the largest tributary of the Yamuna.

Tributaries of River Yamuna:-

Tons River

Giri River

Hindon River

Betwa River

Dhasan River

Ken River

Sind River

River Chambal



NEWS: On Thursday, the annular solar eclipse will be visible in parts of Tamil Nadu.

The annular eclipse, or ‘the ring of fire’, will be a rare spectacle, but ophthalmologists warn against viewing the phenomenon with the naked eye or taking pictures using mobile phones or cameras.

Doctors also warn against viewing the event through telescopes without sufficient protection.

Sunlight that reaches the earth contains sufficient amount of harmful ultraviolet rays to cause damage or even destroy the retinal cells, experts have said.


  • Eclipses are divided into two major types: Solar and Lunar.
    • Solar eclipses occur when the Sun, Moon and earth all fall in the same line so that the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, leaving a moving region of shadow on Earth’s surface.

  • Lunar eclipses occur when the Sun, Moon and earth all fall in the same line and Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon, casting a shadow on the Moon.

Eclipses may be classified into 4 types i.e. Annular, Total, Partial and Hybrid

Annular solar eclipse:

  • When the Sun is nearest to Earth and the Moon is at or near its greatest distance, the Moon appears smaller than the Sun in the sky. When an eclipse of the Sun happens in this situation, the Moon will not appear large enough to cover the disk of the Sun completely, and a rim or ring of light will remain visible in the sky.

There are no Annular lunar eclipse because the Earth is much bigger than the Moon, and its shadow will never be small enough to leave a ring.

Total solar eclipse:

  • Total solar eclipses occur when the New Moon comes between the Sun and Earth and casts the darkest part of its shadow, the umbra, on Earth. A full solar eclipse, known as totality, is almost as dark as night.
  • During a total eclipse of the Sun, the Moon covers the entire disk of the Sun. In partial and annular solar eclipses, the Moon blocks only part of the Sun.

Hybrid Eclipse :

  • A hybrid eclipse is a rare type of solar eclipse that changes its appearance as the Moon’s shadow moves across the Earth’s surface.
  • A hybrid eclipse is a type of solar eclipse that looks like an annular solar eclipse or a total solar eclipse, depending on the observer’s location along the central eclipse path.

Partial Eclipse

  • A partial eclipse of the Sun also results when the Moon’s penumbra falls on Earth but its umbra does not.
  • A partial eclipse of the Moon occurs when the Moon passes through only part of Earth’s umbra or only its penumbra.



NEWS: Tiny Padmanur village, about 30 km away from Mangaluru, is abuzz with excitement ahead of its 60th annual Yakshagana performance.

Christians and Muslims are mandatory members of the committee, which has been hosting the annual Yakshagana performance in the village for the last 59 years.


Yakshagana is a theatrical form of presenting Mythological and historical stories. A Yakshagana performance includes music, dance and dialogues.

Meaning and Origin of Yakshgana

The word Yakshgana means the songs of the Demi-Gods (yaksh ‘meaning Demi-God, and ‘gana’ meaning song).

The performers wear interesting and colourful costumes, and elaborate headgears. The stage design and unique rendering is similar to that of the Western Opera.

Yakshagana – Dance, Drama and Music

Yakshagana is a theatrical form of presenting Mythological and historical stories.

A Yakshagana performance includes music, dance and dialogues.

Meaning and Origin of Yakshgana

The word Yakshgana means the songs of the Demi-Gods (yaksh ‘meaning Demi-God, and ‘gana’ meaning song). The performers wear interesting and colourful costumes, and elaborate headgears. The stage design and unique rendering is similar to that of the Western Opera.
Yakshagana dance. Image source

It is believed to have originated in the coastal districts of Karnataka. The true representation of the poems enacted in these plays is attributed to have started during the Vaishnav Bhakti movement in the 11th century. In 13th century, a Sage named Narahari Thirtha started Dashavathara performance in Udupi, which later developed into the Yakshagana of today.

In Yakshagana the men portray both male and female characters.




Policymakers face a tricky dilemma as prices in the economy continue to rise even as economic growth has plummeted to well under 5%.

Food inflation, now in double-digits, has caused significant pain.

The International Monetary Fund on Monday called for “urgent” policy measures to reverse the current slowdown that has weighed down global economic growth.

What makes the job of policymakers a lot more complicated is the non-uniform nature of the current price rise.

Even as food prices have risen rapidly — food inflation has crossed the 10% mark for the first time in many years — sectors such as manufacturing have witnessed mild deflation as demand for products drops.

The central bank’s hands have been tied down by the recent spike in inflation, and it has halted its rate cut spree that began in February this year.

It may well be that the current food price inflation is the result of seasonal factors that have affected crop production. If so, it should certainly be a transient phenomenon that will not trouble policymakers for anything beyond a few quarters.


Synergy between monetary and fiscal policy.

Supply Side Reforms




Growth rate plummeted. From the level of 8.1% in the fourth quarter of 2017-18, quarterly GDP growth fell to 4.5% in the second quarter of 2019-20, a fall of 3.6 percentage points. This steady decline must have had an adverse impact on employment and poverty reduction.


In India we are witnessing a slowdown that is both structural and cyclical.

Several important sectors such as automobiles, consumer durables and housing (on which data are available with high frequency) do show a slackening of demand. This is also reflected in the low capacity utilisation of several industries.

On the structural side while the reform agenda has been carried forward, there are segments such as agricultural marketing, land and labour markets which are still waiting for reforms.


BANKING SECTOR: Immediate reforms in the financial system — more particularly the banking system and within it the public sector segment. Even as the policy makers address the problem of non-performing assets, attention has to be paid to defining the relationship between governments and boards of public sector banks and on their respective roles in management.

INVESTMENT RATE NEEDS TO BE IMPROVED: Whether we call it a structural problem or not, one significant factor in the current scene is the steep fall in investment rate (gross fixed capital formation rate) from 34.3% in 2011-12 to 27.8% in the second quarter of 2019-20. This results in a sharp decline in the potential rate of growth by 1.6 percentage points, assuming an incremental capital-output ratio of 4.


the three autonomous elements that can be used as levers to raise demand are government consumption expenditure, government investment and exports. Private investment can be treated as autonomous only to a limited extent. However, private foreign investment can be an independent factor which can be leveraged.

EXPORTS: Exports can help to stimulate the economy since exports are influenced by the state of the economy in the rest of the world. Unfortunately, in the current situation, the rest of the world is also not booming. However, an effort can still be made to get a better export performance. This leaves us only with raising government expenditure. This is indeed the standard prescription whenever there is deficient demand.

In the present context, the emphasis should be to ensure that the entire increase in government expenditure is diverted towards capital expenditure.

A focused increase in capital expenditures of the Government and the Central public sector undertakings (PSUs) may help to apply the brakes on the slowdown. It might also help to “crowd in” private investment.


Reform of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is very much needed. We need a relook at the commodities falling under various slabs. Perhaps in an effort to get the GST through, a lot more of commodities were pushed under the lower slabs. Detailed data on GST collections are not available in the public domain to be able to take a view on this. Reforms in this direction may perhaps have to wait till the economy turns around. The GST has to become more manufacturer and trader friendly.



In this article author has analyzed that historically authoritarian governments focus on improving technology while suppressing the citizens rights.

In this article he has compared the two governments: Indira Gandhi government and Narendra Modi government.


In 1976, as India sank deep into the recesses of the Emergency, a group of bureaucrats and scientists sat down to ponder the future of technology in the country.

The irony of analysing technologies that would unshackle the Indian economy, when basic rights of its citizenry were suppressed, was lost on the establishment.

In fact, while the Indira Gandhi government built a surveillance state, Silicon Valley saw the birth of “public key cryptography”, used in modern-day encryption.

India, it seemed, had regressed into the darkest chapter of its political history, just as the world began to use technology to preserve human rights.

Is it surprising the Indian government conjured up visions of technological advancement, while suppressing democracy?


Several autocratic regimes have tread down the same path, using technology as a totem to rally disaffected populations.

But while the NCST made grand claims about the future, the government was actually clamping down on technology in the present. I

ndira Gandhi’s government, under pressure from labour unions, viewed computers with suspicion, and discouraged PSUs from adopting them. The Futurology Committee’s view too was jaundiced by the Emergency.

Not all technologies were “neutral” and useful to society, the committee declared, citing the TV as an example. Meanwhile, Doordarshan had become an instrument of state propaganda.

Faced with a financial crunch, the government also championed “appropriate technologies” that were small-scale — solar cookers and mechanised bullock carts — but did little to boost productivity.


On the one hand, the government has championed EV, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and packaged sundry technologies into neat acronyms. On the other, it has clipped Internet access to towns and villages when confronted with non-violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.


It is a lesson today’s government too should learn: one cannot aspire to a ‘Digital India’ if technologies are wantonly used for mass surveillance, or cut off altogether when faced with non-violent, democratic protests.





Tamil Nadu government delayed holding rural local body elections, due in 2016, by three years. This unconstitutional delay started when the Madras High Court cancelled the notification put forward by the State government citing irregularities in it. The reasons cited for subsequent postponements revolved around delimitation and carving out new districts.

After resorting to the infamous ordinance route to extend the tenure of the Special Officers of local bodies and some back and forth on the means of electing mayors and municipal chairmen, the State will now see elections being held for rural local bodies alone in two phases on December 27 and 30.


The importance of local bodies cannot be discounted, especially in the context of their role in the public delivery of services such as the Public Distribution System, pension schemes, and mitigation of disease outbreaks and disasters.

The presence of a robust machinery at the local level is a measure of the health of democracy and people’s participation. Its absence is bound to have an immense effect.

Local body elections serve as a means to both strengthen political parties’ organisational structures and in enabling them to stay closely connected with the voters. The numerous opportunities in terms of official posts that open up through local body elections serve as an opportunity for political parties to give a chance to party workers from multiple backgrounds to partake in government functioning.

In a diverse society like Tamil Nadu, one can argue that the presence of local bodies serves as a means to usher in societal syncretism through broad-based representation. On another note, local bodies provide opportunities for the emergence of leaders at the local level outside of political parties as well.


The need for sterner fixing of accountability and instituting checks in the system to avoid any delays in the time ahead is only more urgent.





On November 20, the Karnataka government issued a notification allowing women to work night shifts (7 p.m. to 6 a.m.) in all factories registered under the Factories Act, 1948.

States that already allow this are Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra.

This move has to be read alongside the State’s attempt to improve ease of doing business, investor friendliness, and flexibility in a macroeconomic climate vis-a-vis increasing female work participation rate, which is only 25% in India. Welcoming the decision, industrial bodies and chambers of commerce have said it will benefit the trade and manufacturing sectors, especially the garment industry.


Several concerns have been voiced by women garment workers who are estimated to constitute over 90% of the five lakh garment workers in Karnataka (according to data by Asia Floor Wage Alliance, a global coalition of trade unions).

Women workers fear that when there is no safety or dignity in the workplace even during daytime, how will employers ensure all this during night shifts?

If gender equality is a concern, the state ought to first ensure better working conditions and higher wages in garment factories. GLU says they were neither consulted on this matter nor given a circular for their perusal.

Night shift amendment does not address the issue of pay structure for night work (overtime in the garment sector is only an extension of regular work time with questions on extra payment rarely entertained).

While the amendment has prioritised installation of CCTV cameras, workers point out that there is no guarantee of their operational status, or clarity on who handles the footage.

The amendment has also failed to address child care, an important concern in a women-dominated sector, especially when paid care is beyond their means.

Other promises such as 12 consecutive hours of rest between the last shift and the night shift, separate canteens, and more rest rooms also appear unconvincing in a context where even rest room breaks are infrequent due to high production targets.



NEWS: Union Cabinet Committee on Security today approved the creation of the post of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)– a four star position being created as part of a defence management overhaul. CDS will be the single-point military adviser to the government as suggested by the Kargil Review Committee in 1999. CDS will head the department of military affairs with salary equivalent to Service Chiefs.

The broad mandate of theCDS includes bringing about jointness in “operations, logistics, transport, training,support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three Services,within three years of the first CDS assuming office.”“He will act as the Principal Military Adviser to Defence Minister on all triServices matters. However, the  three Chiefs will continue to advise the Minister on matters exclusively concerning their respective Services.

Interestingly, the sources said the CDS would also evaluate plans “for ‘Out ofArea Contingencies’, as well other contingencies such as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).”

The government also recently informed Parliament that the CDS would come in the ambit of ‘Right to Information Act’, in accordance with the provisions of theRTI Act, 2005



The data for the National Population Register (NPR) was first collected in 2010 and West Bengal was one of the five States that used the requisite information for planning various beneficiary schemes, a senior government official said.

The other States which used the NPR data collected by the Registrar General of India (RGI) on behalf of the Centre were Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Manipur and Rajasthan.

Is govt. right in denying NPR-NRC link?

Claim: NPR is not the basis of NRC

Facts: NPR is indeed the basis for NRC or NRIC, as Section 14A of the Citizenship Act empowers the government to compulsorily register every citizen of India and issue an identity card and to maintain a ‘National Register of Indian Citizens’.

The citizenship register is generated out of the NPR database

The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Card) Rules, 2003, introduced the term ‘Population Register’ and said particulars collected in the population register shall be verified and scrutinised for the purpose of preparation and inclusion in the citizenship register. In other words, without NPR there can be no NRIC.

NPR will not be followed by NRC

It is possible for the government not to establish a citizenship register.

The earlier NPR exercise done during UPA regime did not result in the creation of a citizenship database.

The Act says the government MAY maintain a national register of Indian citizens. It is possible to argue that preparing a citizenship register out of NPR data is not mandatory.

However, the 2003 Rules mandate the Registrar General of India, who is also the Registrar General of Citizenship Registration, SHALL establish and maintain the national citizenship register.

The Centre is also mandated by the rules to carry out a house-to-house enumeration and collection of particulars related to every individual and family, including citizenship status.

NPR is being updated for efficient delivery of welfare and social benefits under government schemes

This was the original objective of NPR, but with Aadhaar being introduced and backed by an Act, which mandates linking of subsidies and welfare schemes to possessing an Aadhaar number, it may not be correct to argue that NPR is needed for efficient delivery of benefits any more.

About National Population Register

  • Definition:
    • It is a list of “usual residents of the country”.
    • A “usual resident of the country” is one who has been residing in a local area for at least the last six months, or intends to stay in a particular location for the next six months.
  • Legal Provisions:
    • The NPR is being prepared under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
    • It is mandatory for every “usual resident of India” to register in the NPR.
  • Background:
    • The data for the NPR was first collected in 2010 along with the house listing phase of Census 2011.
    • In 2015, this data was further updated by conducting a door-to-door survey.



NEWS: A day before the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved  to rename the tunnel being built under the Rohtang Pass after him.


The world’s longest tunnel (8.8km) above 10,000 feet -Rohtang Tunnel is under construction to connect villages in Lahaul-Spiti (Himachal Pradesh) to the rest of the country even during winters.

  • In winters,heavy snowfall in the Rohtang pass cuts off villages in Lahaul-Spiti From the rest of the country.

Rohtang Pass

  • Rohtang Pass (elevation 3,978 m) is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
  • It is present on the Pir Panjal Range of Himalayas.
  • It connects the Kullu Valley with Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh.
  • The Ravi river rises west of the Rohtang pass in the Kullu hills of Himachal Pradesh.



NEWS: A day before the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved Atal Bhujal Yojana  to improve groundwater management in villages.

The Cabinet had approved ₹6,000 crore for the Atal Bhujal Yojana for five years from 2020-21. Mr. Javadekar said half the cost would be borne by the Centre and the rest would be met with a World Bank loan.

“The scheme is aimed at improving groundwater management through community participation in identified priority areas in seven States: Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh,” an official release said. It would be implemented in 8,350 villages across 78 districts.



NEWS: Report released by RBI.

While the Indian banking sector’s financial parameters such as bad loans and capital adequacy have shown an improvement in recent times, the overall health of banking sector will depend on revival in economic growth, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in its Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India 2018-19.

The growth slowdown of the country intensified with GDP growth for the second quarter of the current financial year dipping to a six-year low of 4.5%.

The report noted that during 2018-19, the asset quality of scheduled commercial banks turned around after a gap of seven years with the overhang of stressed assets declining and fresh slippages arrested.

As a result of declining provisioning requirement, the banking sector returned to profitability in the first half of 2019-20. Besides, recapitalisation had helped public sector banks in shoring up their capital ratios.

The slowdown of credit flow to the commercial sector in the first half of 2019-20 was evidence of the aversion to risk.

The report observed that capital infusion by the government in public sector banks was ‘just enough’ to meet the regulatory minimum, including capital conservation buffer. The RBI said banks’ capacity to sustain credit growth in consonance with the financing requirements of the economy will, however, warrant that capital is maintained well above the regulatory minimum, providing these banks confidence to assume risk and to lend.



NEWS:India is now in the midst of a significant economic slowdown, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said, urging the government to take urgent policy actions to address the current prolonged downturn.

In its report released on Monday, the IMF Directors noted that India’s rapid economic expansion in recent years has lifted millions of people out of poverty. However, in the first half of 2019, a combination of factors led to subdued economic growth in India.

With risks to the outlook tilted to the downside, the IMF Directors called for continued sound macroeconomic management. They saw an opportunity with the strong mandate of the new government to reinvigorate the reform agenda to boost inclusive and sustainable growth, the report said. The staff report was done in August when the IMF was not fully aware of India’s current economic slowdown.

Private investment has been hindered by financial sector difficulties (including in public sector banks) and insufficient business confidence, he said. Some implementation issues with important and appropriate structural reforms, such as the nation-wide Goods and Services Tax, may also have played a role, he added.


NEWS:The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has tightened the norms for mutual fund investments by minors and has also proposed to stop the usage of pool accounts for mutual fund transactions.

In a circular issued on Tuesday, the capital markets regulator said that if the mutual fund investments were being made by a minor, then the investment has to be made either from the minor’s account or a joint account of the minor.


  • SEBI is a statutory bodyestablished on April 12, 1992 in accordance with the provisions of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992.
  • The basic functions of the Securities and Exchange Board of India is to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote and regulate the securities market.
  • In April, 1988 the SEBI was constituted as the regulator of capital markets in India under a resolution of the Government of India.
  • Initially SEBI was a non statutory body without any statutory power.
  • It became autonomous and given statutory powers by SEBI Act 1992.
  • The headquarters of SEBI is situated in Mumbai. The regional offices of SEBI are located in Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi.


  • SEBI Board consists of a Chairman and several other whole time and part time members.

Powers and Functions of SEBI

  • SEBI is a quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial bodywhich can draft regulations, conduct inquiries, pass rulings and impose penalties.
  • It functions to fulfill the requirements of three categories –
    • Issuers –By providing a marketplace in which the issuers can increase their finance.
    • Investors –By ensuring safety and supply of precise and accurate information.
    • Intermediaries –By enabling a competitive professional market for intermediaries.
  • By Securities Laws (Amendment) Act, 2014,SEBI is now able to regulate any money pooling scheme worth Rs. 100 cr. or more and attach assets in cases of non-compliance.
  • SEBI Chairman has the authority to order “search and seizure operations”. SEBI board can also seek information, such as telephone call data records, from any persons or entities in respect to any securities transaction being investigated by it.
  • SEBI perform the function of registration and regulation of the working of venture capital funds and collective investment schemes including mutual funds.
  • It also works for promoting and regulating self-regulatory organizations and prohibiting fraudulent and unfair trade practices relating to securities markets.




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