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Table of Contents:


GS Paper 1:

1. Time to care report.


GS Paper 2:

1. Powers of Speaker under 10th

2. Three capitals for Andhra Pradesh.

3. National Startup Advisory Council.

4. Global Investment Trend Monitor report.

5. UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).


GS Paper 3:

1. Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT).

2. Infrastructure Investment Trust.

3. Review of state and Central government water departments.

4. Carbon Disclosure Project.


GS Paper  : 1


Topics Covered: Population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

Time to Care report

What to study?

For Prelims: Key findings.

For Mains: Concerns highlighted and ways to address them.

Context: A report titled- “Time to Care”– has been released by Oxfam International. The report Focuses on the alleviation of global poverty.

Key findings:

  1. The world had 2,153 billionaires in the world in 2019. The number of billionaires has doubled in the last decade, despite their combined wealth having declined in 2018.
  2. World’s richest 1% have more than twice as much wealth as 6.9 billion people.
  3. From 2011 to 2017, average wages in G7 countries grew 3%, while dividends to wealthy shareholders increased by 31%.
  4. Globally, extreme poverty rates are 4% higher for women than men and this gap rises to 22% during women’s peak productive and reproductive ages.

 Women related:
Globally, 42% of working-age women are outside the paid labour force, compared with 6% of men, due to unpaid care responsibilities.

  1. The monetary value of unpaid care work globally for women aged 15 and over is at least $10.8 trillion annually –three times the size of the world’s tech industry.
  2. 80% of domestic workers worldwide are women and 90% of domestic workers have no access to social security such as maternity protection and benefits.

Findings related to India:

  1. India’s richest 1% hold more than four-times the wealth held by the bottom 70% of the country’s population.
  2. The combined total wealth of 63 Indian billionaires is higher than the total Union Budget of India for the fiscal year 2018-19 which was at Rs 24,42,200 crore.

Concerns expressed:

Economic inequality is out of control and has created a great divide in the world.

This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system which has accumulated vast wealth and power into the hands of a rich few. And they are also exploiting the labour of women and girls, and systematically violating their rights.

Way ahead:

  • An additional 0.5% tax on the wealth of the richest 1% over the next 10 years can create 117 million jobs in education, health and elderly care.
  • Invest in national care systems to address the disproportionate responsibility for care work done by women and girls.
  • End extreme wealth to end extreme poverty and bring in legislation to protect the rights of all carers and secure living wages for paid care workers.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  : 2


Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Powers of Speaker under 10th schedule

What to study?

For Prelims: 10th schedule.

For Mains: Need for a permanent mechanism- challenges and measures.

Context: The Supreme Court has recently held that disqualification petitions under the tenth schedule should be adjudicated by a mechanism outside Parliament or Legislative Assemblies.

 What has the court suggested?

The Court has suggested a permanent tribunal headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or a former High Court Chief Justice as a new mechanism. This would require an amendment to the Constitution.


The suggestion for devising an independent mechanism to deal with disqualification pleas against lawmakers came in a judgment by which the top court asked the Manipur assembly speaker to decide within four weeks the plea of a Congress leader seeking disqualification of BJP lawmaker and Manipur forest minister Th Shyamkumar.

 Need for independent mechanism:

  • Currently, disqualification of members of a House/Assembly is referred to the Speaker of the House/Assembly. But, speaker also belongs to a political party.
  • The Court held that only swift and impartial disqualification of defectors would give “real teeth” to the Tenth Schedule.

What has the court said on time frame to decide?

The Speakers should decide Tenth Schedule disqualifications within a “reasonable period”. What is ‘reasonable’ would depend on the facts of each case.

The Court held that unless there are “exceptional circumstances”, disqualification petitions under the Tenth Schedule should be decided by Speakers within three months.

 Disqualification under the Tenth Schedule:

The Anti-Defection Law was passed in 1985 through the 52nd amendment to the Constitution.

It added the Tenth Schedule to the Indian Constitution.

According to it, a member of a House belonging to any political party becomes disqualified for being a member of the House, if:

  1. He voluntarily gives up his membership of such political party; or
  2. He votes or abstains from voting in such House contrary to any direction issued by his political party without obtaining prior permission of such party and such act has not been condoned by the party within 15 days.
  3. An independent candidate joins a political party after the election.
  4. A nominated member joins a party six months after he becomes a member of the legislature.

Exceptions to the disqualification on the ground of defection:

  1. If a member goes out of his party as a result of a merger of the party with another party. A merger takes place when two-thirds of the members of the party have agreed to such merger.
  2. If a member, after being elected as the presiding officer of the House, voluntarily gives up the membership of his party or rejoins it after he ceases to hold that office.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Three capitals for Andhra Pradesh

What to study?

For Prelims: The three capitals.

For Mains: Need for, challenges and what’s the way out?

Context: The Andhra Pradesh Assembly has passed The Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Equal Development of All Regions Bill, 2020.

This law paves the way for three capitals for the state.

The three capitals:

  1. Amaravati– legislative capital.
  2. Visakhapatnam– executive capital.
  3. Kurnool– judicial capital.

Need for three capitals:

The government says it is against building one mega capital while neglecting other parts of the state. Three capitals ensure equal development of different regions of the state.

Decentralisation has been the central theme in recommendations of all major committees that were set up to suggest a suitable location for the capital of Andhra Pradesh.

These include Justice B N Srikrishna Committee, K Sivaramakrishnan Committee, G N Rao Committee etc.

Challenges ahead:

Coordinating between seats of legislature and executive in separate cities will be easier said than done, and with the government offering no specifics of a plan, officers and common people alike fear a logistics nightmare.

  1. Executive capital Visakhapatnam is 700 km from judicial capital Kurnool, and 400 km from legislative capital Amaravati. The Amaravati-Kurnool distance is 370 km. The time and costs of travel will be significant.
  2. The AP Police are headquartered in Mangalagiri, 14 km from Vijayawada, and senior IPS officers who may be required to visit the Secretariat will have to travel 400 km to Visakhapatnam. Likewise, government officers who may have to appear in the High Court will have to travel 700 km to Kurnool, which does not have an airport.
  3. All officers and Ministerial staff who may have to be at hand to brief Ministers when the Assembly is in session, will probably have to stay put in Amaravati, leaving behind their other responsibilities in Visakhapatnam.


What are the other examples of multiple capital cities?

Several countries in the world have implemented the concept.

  1. In Sri Lanka, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is the official capital and seat of national legislature, while Colombo is the de facto seat of national executive and judicial bodies.
  2. Malaysia has its official and royal capital and seat of national legislature at Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya is the administrative centre and seat of national judiciary.

Among Indian states:

  1. Maharashtra has two capitals– Mumbai and Nagpur (which holds the winter session of the state assembly).
  2. Himachal Pradesh has capitals at Shimla and Dharamshala (winter).
  3. The former state of Jammu & Kashmir had Srinagar and Jammu (winter) as capitals.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

National Startup Advisory Council

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: NSAC- objectives, composition and functions.

Context: The Union Government has notified the structure of the National Startup Advisory Council to advice on measures needed to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in the country.


The Council will be chaired by Minster for Commerce & Industry.

  • It will consist of the non-official members, to be nominated by Central Government, from various categories like founders of successful startups, veterans and persons capable of representing interests of incubators and accelerators etc.
  • The term of the non-official members of the Startup Advisory Council will be for a period of two years.
  • The nominees of the concerned Ministries/Departments/Organisations, not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India, will be ex-officio members of the Council.
  • Joint Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade will be the Convener of the Council.

Roles and functions:

  1. Suggest measures to foster a culture of innovation amongst citizens and students in particular, promote innovation in all sectors of economy across the country.
  2. Suggest measures to facilitate public organizations to assimilate innovation with a view to improving public service delivery, promote creation, protection and commercialization of intellectual property rights.
  3. Suggest making it easier to start, operate, grow and exit businesses by reducing regulatory compliances and costs, promote ease of access to capital for startups, and incentivize domestic capital for investments into startups.
  4. Mobilize global capital for investments in Indian startups, keep control of startups with original promoters and provide access to global markets for Indian startups.

Sources: the Hindu.


Global Investment Trend Monitor report

What to study?

For Prelims: Key findings.

For Mains: Improvements, challenges and ways to address them.

Context: The Global Investment Trend Monitor report, compiled by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), has been released.

Key findings:

India- specific:

  1. India was among the top 10 recipients of Foreign Direct Investment in 2019, attracting $49 billion in inflows, a 16 per cent increase from the previous year.

Global scenario:

  1. The global foreign direct investment remained flat in 2019 at $1.39 trillion, a one per cent decline from a revised $1.41 trillion in 2018.
  2. Reasons: This is against the backdrop of weaker macroeconomic performance and policy uncertainty for investors, including trade tensions.
  3. Developing economies continue to absorb more than half of global FDI flows.
  4. South Asia recorded a 10 per cent increase in FDI to $60 billion and this growth was driven by India, with a 16 per cent increase in inflows to an estimated $49 billion.
  5. The FDI flows to developed countries remained at a historically low level, decreasing by a further six per cent to an estimated $643 billion.
  6. There was zero-growth of flows to United States, which received $251 billion FDI in 2019, as compared to $254 billion in 2018, the report said.
  7. Despite this, the United States remained the largest recipient of FDI, followed by China with flows of $140 billion and Singapore with $110 billion.
  8. The FDI in the UK was down six per cent as Brexit unfolded.

Way ahead:

  1. GDP growth, gross fixed capital formation and trade are projected to rise, both at the global level and, especially, in several large emerging markets.
  2. Such an improvement in macroeconomic conditions could prompt MNEs to resume investments in productive assets, given also their easy access to cheap money, the fact that corporate profits are expected to remain solid in 2020, and hopes for waning trade tensions between the United States and China.
  3. However, significant risks persist, including high debt accumulation among emerging and developing economies, geopolitical risks and concerns about a further shift towards protectionist policies.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: UNCITRAL- objectives and functions.

Context: An International Arbitration Tribunal has dismissed all claims brought against India in entirety.

What’s the issue?

The arbitration arose out of the cancellation of Letters of Intent for the issuance of telecom licences to provide 2G services in five telecommunications circles by reason of India’s essential security interests.

  • The verdict was pronounced last year in July 2019 by the International Arbitration Tribunal constituted in accordance with the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Arbitration Rules, 1976.
  • The proceedings were administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).


  1. The UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is a subsidiary body of the U.N. General Assembly.
  2. It is responsible for helping to facilitate international trade and investment.
  3. Established by the UNGA in 1966.
  4. Mandate is “to promote the progressive harmonization and unification of international trade law” through conventions, model laws, and other instruments that address key areas of commerce, from dispute resolution to the procurement and sale of goods.
  5. Annual sessions held alternately in New York City and Vienna, where it is headquartered.
  6. The Tribunal constituted in accordance with the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 1976 is seated at the Hague, Netherlands, and proceedings are administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  : 3


Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)

What to study?

For prelims and mains: TMT- objectives and significance, location.

Context: India, a partner in the construction of one of the largest telescopes in the world, TMT, has said it wants the project to be moved out of the proposed site at Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano in Hawaii.

About TMT:

The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is an astronomical observatory with an extremely large telescope (ELT).

It is an international project being funded by scientific organisations of Canada, China, India, Japan and USA.

Planned location: Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii in the US state of Hawaii.

Purpose: The TMT is designed for near-ultraviolet to mid-infrared observations, featuring adaptive optics to assist in correcting image blur.


  1. TMT will enable scientists to study fainter objects far away from us in the Universe, which gives information about early stages of evolution of the Universe.
  2. It will give us finer details of not-so-far-away objects like undiscovered planets and other objects in the Solar System and planets around other stars.


Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Infrastructure- roadways.

Infrastructure Investment Trust

What to study?

For Prelims: Features of InvIT.

For Mains: Need for and significance of InvIT.

Context: Markets regulator SEBI has put in place a framework for the rights issue of units by listed REIT and InvITs.

These guidelines include:

  1. The issuer will have to disclose objects of the issue, related-party transactions, valuation, financial details, review of credit rating and grievance redressal mechanism in the placement document.
  2. Sebi has allowed listed REIT and InvIT to make a rights issue of units. This is subject to several conditions including these investment vehicles obtaining in-principle approval of the stock exchanges for listing of units proposed to be issued etc.
  3. With regard to pricing, the investment manager on behalf of the REIT and InvIT, in consultation with the lead merchant banker(s), will decide the issue price before determining the record date.
  4. With regard to manner of issuance of unit, units shall be allotted in the dematerialised form only and shall be listed on the stock exchange where the units of the REIT and InvIT are listed.

What are Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvIT)?

It is like a mutual fund, which enables direct investment of small amounts of money from possible individual/institutional investors in infrastructure to earn a small portion of the income as return.

  1. InvITs can be treated as the modified version of REITs designed to suit the specific circumstances of the infrastructure sector.
  2. They are similar to REIT but invest in infrastructure projects such as roads or highways which take some time to generate steady cash flows.

What are Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT)?

A REIT is roughly like a mutual fund that invests in real estate although the similarity doesn’t go much further.

  1. The basic deal on REITs is that you own a share of property, and so an appropriate share of the income from it will come to you, after deducting an appropriate share of expenses.
  2. Essentially, it’s like a group of people pooling their money together and buying real estate except that it’s on a large scale and is regulated.

Why need InvITs and REITs?

  1. Infrastructure and real estate are the two most critical sectors in any developing economy.
  2. A well-developed infrastructural set-up propels the overall development of a country.
  3. It also facilitates a steady inflow of private and foreign investments, and thereby augments the capital base available for the growth of key sectors in an economy, as well as its own growth, in a sustained manner.
  4. Given the importance of these two sectors in the country, and the paucity of public funds available to stimulate their growth, it is imperative that additional channels of financing are put in place.

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Review of state and Central government water departments

What to study?

For Prelims: Key findings.

For Mains: Significance and challenges highlighted.

Context: Report on the review of state and Central government water departments by the ministry of Jal Shakti has been released.

How are they ranked?

Ranking has been done under the National Hydrology Project that aims to improve drought and flood management, creating a state specific database on availability, plugging leakages in canals and dams and meteorological forecast on water resources information system.

  1. The ranking is part of the mid-term review of the Central and the state government departments dealing with water to achieve the target to provide piped drinking water connection to every household in the next five years.
  2. Another aim of the ranking is to have a water resources information system (WRIS) for all states to create a real-time integrated National Water Information Center (NWIC).

Performance of various states:

  1. Gujarat has been ranked the best for parameters on efficiency targets.
  2. Delhi is among the worst performing states.
  3. In the previous year’s ranking, Telangana had got the top slot and this year’s topper, Gujarat, was ranked seventh last time.
  4. Among the states that significantly improved its ranking was Tamil Nadu, which stood at 13th position as compared to 33 in 2018.

Performance of government departments:

The departments have been ranked on parameters for procurement, finance, real-time data acquisition system, data digitization, analytical work, trainings and updating MIS.

The agencies have been given score out of 100, and those scoring between 48 and 100 are called satisfactory; the ones scoring between 40 and 48 are moderately satisfactory; score between 34 and 40 falls under moderately unsatisfactory category and score below 34 is in the unsatisfactory category.

  • Among the seven Central departments reviewed, the Survey of India has got the top billing followed by the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH) and Central Water Commission.
  • The Central Pollution Control Board, the country’s pollution watchdog, has got the lowest rank.

Way ahead:

Ranking project will have impact on ground only if leakages are detected on real time basis and there are personnel to act on the alerts to be issued by the WRIS.

The states need to strengthen its workforce on ground to deliver the benefits of the system to people. The system can also help people in getting real time alerts on water related natural calamities such as drought and floods

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered: Conservation and pollution related issues.

Carbon Disclosure Project

What to study?

For Prelims: Key findings and overview.

For Mains: Significance, performance improvements and challenges ahead.

Context: The CDP India annual report has been released by CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) India.

The report examines carbon reduction activities of companies.

Top 4: United States of America secured the top spot followed by Japan, United Kindom and France.

Key findings:

  1. The boards of 98% of the firms directly monitor climate change risks with top management integrating these concerns in performance evaluation.
  2. 2/3rd of the 59 firms that were surveyed use climate analysis tools to formulate their business strategies.
  3. Improvement in disclosure rate has primarily been driven by investors who are actively pushing companies to reveal climate risks and take steps to reduce their carbon footprint.
  4. Among the key focus areas of Indian firms is renewable energy. According to the report, 23 companies reported renewable energy targets in 2019, a 44% rise over 2018. Of these, Infosys, Dalmia Cement and Tata Motors have reported 100% RE consumption.

Overall performance of India:

  1. India is now among the top five countries globally when it comes to adopting science-based target initiatives (SBT) with as many as 38 Indian companies in 2019 committing to going beyond policy requirements to plan urgent climate action, a significant rise from 25 firms in 2018.
  2. In 2019, up to 57 of the 59 responding companies stated that they have a process for risks assessment; 51 declared that their process of identifying, assessing and managing climate related risks is integrated into the multi-disciplinary, company-wide risk identification, assessment, and management process which is considered a best practice.

About CDP:

  • The CDP is a global disclosure system that enables companies, cities, states and regions to measure and manage their environmental impacts.
  • It collects and collates self-reported environmental data in the world.
  • It is aimed at measuring the carbon reduction activities undertaken by different companies and firms operating in various countries across the globe.

Sources: the Hindu.