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Polity and Governance

State Assessment and Accreditation Centre (SAAC)

Why in news?

  • SAAC the first State-level accreditation agency in the country has been operationalised for higher education institutions. 

About the news:

  • The State Assessment and Accreditation Centre (SAAC), the first State-level accreditation agency in the country, has been operationalised for higher education institutions. 
  • The activities of SAAC, which will function under the Kerala State Higher Education Council (KSHEC), will be coordinated by a five-member academic advisory committee chaired by council vice chairman P.M. Rajan Gurukkal.
 
  • All higher education institutions will be required to seek accreditation by SAAC six years after their establishment or after two degree batches graduated, whichever is earlier.
  • New colleges will have to apply for assessment and accreditation prior to commencing their academic operations.
  • The accreditation agency will function in accordance with the core values proposed by NAAC in addition to three State-specific criteria, including social inclusiveness, equity and excellence, and steps to foster scientific temper and secular outlook among students.

CGPA score

  • The maximum institutional cumulative grade point average (CGPA) has been fixed at 4, with colleges that obtain a score ranging from 3.51 to 4 getting a grade of A++.
  • The lowest range for accreditation is 1.51-2, with a C grade. Institutions that secure CGPAs of 1.5 or lower will be denied accreditation.
Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT):

Why in news?

  • Guruprasad Mohapatra, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officer of 1986 batch assumed charge of the office of Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) in New Delhi.

Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT):

  • The government has changed the name of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP)to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • The renamed body will also be in charge of four new categories of responsibilities:
  • the promotion of internal trade,
  • welfare of tradersand their employees,
  • matters relating to facilitating Ease of Doing Business,
  • matters relating to start-ups.
  • The matters related to internal trade were earlier under the domain of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
  • The new responsibilities are in addition to the previous responsibilities of the erstwhile DIPP relating to general industrial policy, administration of the Industries, industrial management, productivity in industry, and matters related to e-commerce.
  • Retail Trade is conducted by more than 5 crore business enterprises in the non-corporate sector and provides employment to 46 crore people and contributes to 45% to national GDP.
  • CAIT is the non-governmental apex body of trading community of India at national level.
 
National Time Release Study:

Why in news?

  • India to conduct 1st National Time Release Study to enable faster movement of cargo across borders.

More about the news:

  • The Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, as part of its strategic commitment to improve global trade, is conducting India’s first national Time Release Study (TRS) between 1st– 7th August.

National Time Release Study:

  • The exercise will be institutionalized on an annual basis, during the same period every year hereafter.
  • The TRS is an internationally recognized tool advocated by World Customs Organization to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of international trade flows.
  • This initiative will measure rule based and procedural bottlenecks (including physical touch points) in the clearance of goods, from the time of arrival until the physical release of cargo.
  • Expected beneficiaries of this initiative will be export oriented industries and MSMEs, who will enjoy greater standardization of Indian processes with comparable international standards.
  • This initiative will help India maintain the upward trajectory on Ease of Doing Business, particularly on the Trading Across Borders indicator which measures the efficiency of the cross border trade ecosystem. Last year India’s ranking on the indicator improved from 146 to 80.
  • The exercise will be conducted at the same time across 15 ports including sea, air, land and dry ports which cumulatively account for 81% of total Bills of Entries for import and 67% of Shipping Bills for export filed within India.
  • Based on the results of the TRS, government agencies associated with cross border trade will be able to diagnose existing and potential bottlenecks which act as barriers to the free flow of trade.
KABIL

Why in news?

  • Minister of Mines with the CMDs of NALCO, HCL and MECL signed a Joint Venture to establish KABIL (Khanij Bidesh India Ltd) to ensure a consistent supply of critical and strategic minerals to Indian domestic market.

KABIL:

  • The KABIL would carry out identification, acquisition, exploration, development, mining and processing of strategic minerals overseas for commercial use and meeting country’s requirement of these minerals.
  • The new company will help in building partnerships with other mineral rich countries like Australia and those in Africa and South America.
  • The equity participation between NALCO, HCL and MECL is in the ratio of 40:30:30

 Strategic Minerals:

  • A study, conducted by the think-tank Council on Energy Environment and Water, identifies 12 minerals out of 49 that were evaluated as‘most critical’ for India’s manufacturing sector by 2030.
 
  • These are beryllium, chromium, germanium, limestone, niobium, graphite, rare earth, rhenium, strontium, tantalum and zirconium. Other minerals like limestone and graphite, while currently abundantly available in India, are deemed ‘critical’ because extractable resources could be scarce in the future.
Indus Valley Civilization

Why in news

  • Indus Valley seals carried meaning like modern coins do, shows study.

Indus Valley Civilization:

  • The history of India begins with the birth of the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC), also known as Harappan Civilization.
  • It flourished around 2,500 BC, in the western part of South Asia, in contemporary Pakistan and Western India.
  • The Indus Valley was home to the largest of the four ancient urban civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China.
  • In 1920s, the Archaeological Department of India carried out excavations in the Indus valley wherein the ruins of the two old cities, viz. Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa were unearthed.
  • In 1924, John Marshall, Director-General of the ASI, announced the discovery of a new civilisation in the Indus valley to the world.

Important Indus valley sites and its Location:

  • Harappa - Situated on the bank of river Ravi in Montgomery district of Punjab (Pakistan).
  • Mohenjo-Daro (Mound of Dead) - Situated on the Bank of river Indus in Larkana district of Punjab (Pakistan).
  • Sutkagendor - In south-western Baluchistan province, Pakistan on Dasht river
  • Chanhudaro - Sindh on the Indus river
  • Amri - On the bank of Indus river
  • Kalibangan - Rajasthan on the bank of Ghaggar river
  • Lothal - Gujarat on Bhogva river near Gulf of Cambay
  • Surkotada – Gujarat
  • Banawali - Hisar district of Haryana
  • Dholavira - Gujarat in Rann of Kutch

Environment

Kaziranga National Park
  • Location - Middle Assam in North East India.
  • Located on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra River.
  • Kaziranga National Park was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1940 and was declared as Tiger Reserve in 2006.Kaziranga, a World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO (since 1985), is more popular as the world’s best address for the one-horned rhino. It is also been a major tiger reserve.
Epilepsy
  • Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder affecting nearly 65 million people worldwide. The seizures or ‘fits’ as is commonly known, arise due to unusual electrical activity in the brain and is the chief symptom of epilepsy.

Map Aidede Programme

Mountain passes of Himachal Pradesh
  • Rohtang Pass – Rohtang pass is most famous pass of Himachal Pradesh also known as Rohtang La connecting Kullu valley to Lahul and Spiti.
  • Kunzum Pass – Kunzum Pass or Kunzum La pass connect Lahul with Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh. This pass is high mountain pass at an elevation of 4590
  • Baralacha La – Baralacha pass at an elevation of 4890 meters which connect Lahul and Spiti with Ladakh of Jammu and Kashmir on Manali-Leh national highway.
  • Hamta Pass –This pass connect Kullu and Lahul.
  • Borasu Pass –connecting Uttrakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

PREVIOUS YEAR QUESTION

  1. The annual range of temperature in the interior of the continents is high as compared to coastal areas. What is/are the reason/reasons?
  2. Thermal difference between land and water.
  3. Variation in altitude between continents and oceans.
  4. Presence of strong winds in the interior.
  5. Heavy rains in the interior as compared to coasts.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

  • 1 only (b) 1 and 2 only                      
  • 2 and 3 only (d) 1, 2, 3 and 4