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Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP)

Why in news?

The government has again deferred the last date for bidding for oil and gas exploration blocks offered under the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) by over a month.

About OALP

  • It is a policy in which companies are allowed to put in an expression of interest (EoI) for prospecting of oil and gas in any area that is presently not under any production or exploration licence.
  • It gives an option to a company looking for exploring hydrocarbons like oil and gas, coal bed methane, gas hydrate to select the exploration blocks on its own, without waiting for the formal bid round from the Government.
  • The EoIs can be put in at any time of the year but they are accumulated twice annually.
  • The blocks or areas that receive EoIs at the end of a cycle are put up for auction with the originator or the firm that originally selected the area getting a 5-mark advantage.
  • The two window of accumulating EoIs end on May 15 and November 15 every year.
  • EoIs accumulated till May 15 are supposed to be put on auction by June 30 and those in the second window by December 31.
  • The first OALP round was launched in 2017 and bids came in by May 2018.
  • EoIs for second round closed on May 15, 2018, and the blocks were supposed to be put for auction by June but the round was delayed for unknown reasons.
  • OALP-II was finally launched on January 7.
National Security Act

Why in news?

Manipur High Court orders release of journalist detained under National Security Act.

About National Security Act

  • The National Security Act is a stringent law that allows preventive detention for months, if authorities are satisfied that a person is a threat to national security or law and order.
  • The person does not need to be charged during this period of detention.
  • The goal is to prevent the individual from committing a crime.
  • It empowers the Central Government and State Governments on grounds include
    • Acting in any manner prejudicial to the defence of India, the relations of India with foreign powers, or the security of India.
    • Regulating the continued presence of any foreigner in India or with a view to making arrangements for his expulsion from India.
    • Preventing them from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State or from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order or from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community it is necessary so to do.
  • The act also gives power to the governments to detain a foreigner in a view to regulate his presence or expel from the country.
  • It was promulgated on September 23, 1980.
  • It applies to the entirety of India, except Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The maximum period of detention is 12 months, but the detention should be reported to the State Government along with the grounds on which the order has been made.
  • No such order shall remain in force for more than twelve days unless approved by the State Government.
  • A person detained under the National Security Act can be held for 10 days without being told the charges against them.
  • The detained person can appeal before a high court advisory board but they are not allowed a lawyer during the trial.

World Affairs

World Gold Council

Why in news?

India has marginally increased its gold holding in February while maintaining the tenth position among countries in terms of yellow metal reserves, as per latest data from the World Gold Council (WGC).

About World Gold Council

  • The World Gold Council is the market development organisation for the gold industry.
  • Its purpose is to stimulate and sustain demand for gold, provide industry leadership, and be the global authority on the gold market.
  • It works across all parts of the industry, from gold mining to investment.
  • Its members are the world’s largest and most forward-thinking gold mining companies.
  • It is based in the UK, with operations in India, China, Singapore and the US.
International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Why in news?

The US Supreme Court ruled in favour of a group of fishermen and a Gujarat village panchayat in a suit against the US-headquartered International Finance Corporation (IFC).

About IFC

  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is an international financial institution that offers investment, advisory, and asset-management services to encourage private-sector development in less developed countries.
  • It was established in 1956, as the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group, to advance economic development by investing in for-profit and commercial projects for poverty reduction and promoting development.
  • It is a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group.
  • It is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries.
  • The Bank Group has set two goals for the world to achieve by 2030
  1. End extreme poverty
  2. Promote shared prosperity in every country
  • It is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Science and Technology

Candida Auris

Why in news?

A top American hospital had to rip out ceiling and floor tiles to get rid of the infestation in the room of a patient infected with Candida Auris after his death.


About Candida Auris

  • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes Candida auris as an emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat.
  • It is a species of fungus first described in 2009 which causes candidiasis in humans.
  • Candidiasis is acquired in hospitals by patients with weakened immune systems.


  • It is resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections.
  • It is difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods.
  • It has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings, where it finds vulnerable individuals.


  • The key is to prevent the fungus from spreading.


  • Patient be given anti-fungals such as Caspofungin and Micafungin when there are symptoms of an infection.

Map Aided Programme

Okinawa Islands
  • Join:Arafura SeaThey are a Japanese island group, part of the larger Ryukyu Islands group.
  • Located between the Amami Islands to the northeast and the Sakishima Islands to the southwest.
  • Largest Island and has 90% of the population.

Previous Year Questions Revision Series (Pqrs)-(2013)

  1. Consider the following organisms:
  2. Agaricus
  3. Nostoc
  4. Spirogyra

Which of the above is/are used as biofertilizer/biofertilizers?

(a) 1 and 2            (b) 2 only                                

(c) 2 and 3             (d) 3 only