Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020


About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 13th July 2020

    1.   NATGRID

    • News: The National Intelligence Grid has signed an MoU with the National Crime Records Bureau to access the centralised online database on FIRs and stolen vehicles.
    • About NATGRID:
      • The National Intelligence Grid or NATGRID is the integrated intelligence master database structure for counter-terrorism purpose connecting databases of various core security agencies under Government of India collecting comprehensive patterns procured from 21 different organizations that can be readily accessed by security agencies round the clock. NATGRID came into existence after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
      • First conceptualised in 2009, NATGRID seeks to become the one-stop destination for security and intelligence agencies to access database related to immigration entry and exit, banking and telephone details of a suspect on a “secured platform”.
      • It is accessible to only authorized people from 10 security agencies on a case-to-case basis for investigations into suspected cases of terrorism. Around 70 people have access.
      • NATGRID is an intelligence sharing network that collates data from the standalone databases of the various agencies and ministries of the Indian government.
      • It is a counter terrorism measure that collects and collates a host of information from government databases including tax and bank account details, credit/debit card transactions, visa and immigration records and itineraries of rail and air travel.
      • This combined data will be made available to 11 central agencies, which are: Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), National Investigation Agency (NIA), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Enforcement Directorate (ED), Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and Directorate General of GST Intelligence.


    • News: Labour shortage after the exodus of pandemic-struck migrant labourers forced Gurteg Singh in Punjab to plant paddy using the direct seeding of rice (DSR) technique in the kharif season, rather than do traditional transplanting. A month later, he is upbeat about his crop yield, and relieved at being spared of a major problem: handling crop residue after harvest.
    • About Direct Seeding of Rice:
      • Rice is one of the most important food crops in the world, and staple for more than half of the global population.
      • Looming water crisis, water-intensive nature of rice cultivation and escalating labour costs drive the search for alternative management methods to increase water productivity in rice cultivation.
      • Direct seeded rice (DSR) has received much attention because of its low-input demand.
      • It involves sowing pre-germinated seed into a puddled soil surface (wet seeding), standing water (water seeding) or dry seeding into a prepared seedbed (dry seeding).
      • The development of early-maturing varieties and improved nutrient management techniques along with increased availability of chemical weed control methods has encouraged many farmers in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and India to switch from transplanted to DSR culture.
      • This shift should substantially reduce crop water requirements, soil organic-matter turnover, nutrient relations, carbon sequestering, weed biota and greenhouse-gas emissions.


    • News: The government has refused to allow virtual meetings of parliamentary standing committees despite repeated demands from the Opposition parties, citing confidentiality norms.
    • About General Purpose Committee (GPC):
      • The Committee shall consist of the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman, Members of the Panel of Vice-Chairmen, Chairmen of all Standing Parliamentary Committees of Rajya Sabha, Leaders of recognised Parties and Groups in Rajya Sabha and such other Members as may be nominated by the Chairman.
      • The Chairman shall be the ex-officio Chairman of the Committee.
      • The Committee nominated under Sub-rule(I) shall hold office until a new Committee is nominated.
      • Casual vacancies in the Committee shall be filled by the Chairman.
      • In order to constitute a sitting of the Committee, the quorum shall be, as near as may be, one third of the total number of Members of the Committee.
      • The functions of the Committee shall be to consider and advise on such matters concerning the affairs of the House as may be referred to it by the Chairman from time to time.
      • The Report of the Committee shall be presented to the Council by the Deputy Chairman or in his absence, by any Member of the Committee.
      • The Committee may with the approval of the Chairman make detailed rules of procedure to supplement the provisions contained in ‘Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States.’


    • Flood tolerant variants of Paddy tested in Assam: Ranit Sub1, Swarna Sub1 and Bahadur Sub1.