UPSC CA: 8th September 2020

Ministry of Culture released “Dictionary of Martyrs”


  • The Ministry of Culture has released the Dictionary of Martyrs of India’s Freedom Struggle which contains an account of the martyrs from India’s First War of Independence in 1857, to India’s Independence in 1947.

Key points:

  • The Dictionary was officially released on 07 March 2019.
  • Information of about 13,500 martyrs has been recorded in 5 volumes.
  • The project for compilation of “Dictionary of Martyrs” was commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, to the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the uprising of 1857.
  • In this dictionary a martyr has been defined as a person who died or who was killed in action or in detention, or was awarded capital punishment while participating in the national movement for emancipation of India.
  • It includes ex-INA or ex-military personnel who died fighting the British.
  • It includes the martyrs of
    • 1857 Uprising,
    • Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (1919),
    • Non-Cooperation Movement (1920-22),
    • Civil Disobedience Movement (1930-34),
    • Quit India Movement (1942-44),
    • Revolutionary Movements (1915-34),
    • Kissan Movements,
    • Tribal Movements,
    • Agitation for Responsible Government in the Princely States (Prajamandal),
    • Indian National Army (INA, 1943-45) etc.
  • Recently, the Indian Council for Historical research (ICHR) has constituted a three-member committee to review the entries in the book Dictionary of Martyrs.

Indian Council of Historical Research:

  • ICHR is an autonomous organization, established under Societies Registration Act, 1860 in 1972.
  • It is under the Ministry of Education.
  • To promote, accelerate, coordinate research for scientific writing of history and ensure its dissemination.
  • The council also provides grants, assistance and fellowships for historical research.


First World Solar Technology Summit


  • The first World Solar Technology Summit (WSTS) is being organized by the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

Key points:

  • The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), as the convener of ISA Global Leadership Task Force on Innovation, is working with ISA in organizing the summit.
  • The summit will witness the announcement of agreements between ISA and following institutions:
    • International Institute of Refrigeration,
    • Global Green Growth Institute
    • National Thermal Power Corporation.
  • A tripartite agreement between India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the World Bank and the International Solar Alliance is also set to be inked.
  • ISA’s technology journal, Solar Compass 360 will also be launched during the summit.


Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme


  • Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP) is implemented by Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM).

Key points:

  • It is a sub scheme of the Ministry of Rural Development launched 2016.
  • It aims to support rural poor to come out of poverty by helping them set up enterprises and provide support till the enterprises stabilize.
  • SVEP addresses three major pillars of rural start-ups namely – finances, incubation and skill ecosystems.
  • Key area under SVEP is to develop a pool of Community Resource Person Enterprise Promotion (CRP-EP), who are local and support entrepreneurs setting-up rural enterprises.
  • It also aims to promote block resource centers (BRC) in SVEP blocks, to monitor and manage the community resource persons.
  • Recent report on SVERP highlighted that as of August 2020, around one lakh enterprises are being supported out of which 75 % are managed by women.


DRDO successfully flight tests Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle


  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) took off from the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam launch complex at Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast.

Significance of the test:

  • India became the fourth country after the United States, Russia and China to develop and successfully test hypersonic technology.
  • DRDO with this mission, has demonstrated capabilities for highly complex technology that will serve as the building block for NextGen Hypersonic vehicles in partnership with industry.
  • The indegenous development of the technology will boost the development of the systems built with hypersonic vehicles at its core, including both offensive and defensive hypersonic cruise missile systems and also in the space sector.
  • The success of the test will be helpful to achieve the level of technology with countries like the US, Russia and China.

About Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV):

  • The HSTDV is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for hypersonic speed flight.
  • It is being developed as a carrier vehicle for hypersonic and long-range cruise missiles.
  • It will have multiple civilian applications including the launching of small satellites at low cost.
  • The HSTDV program is run by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.
  • The scramjets: are a variant of a category of jet engines called the air breathing engines. The ability of engines to handle airflows of speeds in multiples of speed of sound.

Key facts:

  • Hypersonic speeds: are those which are five times or more than the speed of sound, often stated as starting at speeds of Mach 5 and above.
  • Supersonic speed is a rate of travel of an object that exceeds the speed of sound. 
  • The scramjet engine worked at high dynamic pressure and at very high temperature.


RBI sets sectoral norms for resolution of COVID-19 related stressed assets


  • The Reserve Bank has specified five financial ratios and sector-specific thresholds for resolution of COVID-19 related stressed assets in 26 sectors, including auto components, aviation, and tourism.

Key points:

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had constituted the proposed expert committee under the chairmanship of K.V. Kamath to make recommendations on norms for the resolution of COVID-19 related stressed loans.
  • The K.V. Kamath committee submitted its report on September 4, 2020.
  • The key financial ratios suggested by the committee are total outside liabilities/adjusted tangible net worth; total debt/EBITDA; current ratio, which is current assets divided by current liabilities; debt service coverage ratio; and average debt service coverage ratio.
  • The ratios prescribed are intended as floors or ceilings, but the resolution plans shall take into account the pre-COVID-19 operating and financial performance of the borrower.
  • The lending institutions may, at their discretion, adopt a graded approach depending on the severity of the impact on borrowers while implementing the resolution plan.


RBI to buy, sell G Securities under OMO


  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced the simultaneous purchase and sale of Government of India securities (G-secs) for ₹10,000 crore each under the open market operations (OMO).

Government of India securities (G-secs):

  • A Government Security (G-Sec) is a tradable instrument issued by the Central Government or the State Governments.
  • It acknowledges the Government’s debt obligation.
  • Such securities are of two types:
  • Short term (usually called treasury bills, with original maturities of less than one year).
  • Long term (usually called Government bonds or dated securities with an original maturity of one year or more).
  • In India, the Central Government issues both treasury bills and bonds or dated securities while the State Governments issue only bonds or dated securities, which are called the State Development Loans (SDLs).
  • G-Secs carry practically no risk of default and, hence, are called risk-free gilt-edged instruments.

Open Market Operations (OMOs):

  • Open Market Operations (OMOs) are market operations conducted by RBI by way of sale/purchase of government securities to/from the market with an objective to adjust the rupee liquidity conditions in the market on a durable basis.
  • If there is excess liquidity, RBI resorts to sale of securities and sucks out the rupee liquidity.
  • Similarly, when the liquidity conditions are tight, RBI buys securities from the market, thereby releasing liquidity into the market.
  • It is one of the quantitative (to regulate or control the total volume of money) monetary policy tools which is employed by the central bank of a country to control the money supply in the economy.


“KIRAN”: Centre launched mental health rehab. helpline

In News:

  • The Union Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry has launched “KIRAN” – the mental health rehabilitation helpline.

Key points:

  • It is a 24/7 toll-free helpline to provide support to people facing anxiety, stress, depression, suicidal thoughts and other mental health concerns.
  • The helpline will be available in 13 languages.
  • It would function as the first step for callers to get advice, counselling and referral to psychologists and psychiatrists.
  • According to a NIMHANS survey in 2015-2016, while 10.6% of adults and 7.3% of adolescents faced mental illness, there was a shortage of qualified mental health professionals.