Thursday, 31 October 2013

Current Affairs-Supreme Court suggests sweeping reforms in functioning of Bureaucracy

Supreme Court suggests sweeping reforms in functioning of Bureaucracy

The Supreme Court has asked the Centre, States and Union Territories to issue directions for providing fixed tenure to civil servants.

The apex court also said Civil Services Board to be constituted at the Centre and State-levels. Suggesting sweeping reforms in the functioning of bureaucracy, a bench headed by Justice K S Radhakrishnan said Parliament must enact a law to regulate postings, transfers and disciplinary action against bureaucrats. 

Holding that much of the deterioration in bureaucracy is because of political interference, it said that civil servants should not act on verbal orders given by political executives and all actions must be taken by them on the basis of written communication.

The bench also comprising justice P C Ghose said giving a fixed minimum tenure to a civil servant will not only promote professionalism and efficiency, but also good governance.

The apex court passed the verdict on a PIL filed by 83 retired bureaucrats including former Cabinet Secretary T S R Subramanian seeking its directions for insulating bureaucracy from political interference.

The petitioners also include former Indian Ambassador to the US Abid Hussain, former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami, former Election Commissioner T S Krishna Murthy, former IPS officer Ved Prakash Marwah, and former CBI directors Joginder Singh and D R Kaarthikeyan. Former Cabinet Secretary T S R Subramanian said, this is a landmark judgement. Public servants are not private servants.

Former Election Commissioner T S Krishna Murthy lauded the verdict, saying Good governance is critical to good quality democracy.

The over 4,700-member strong Indian Administrative Service, IAS officers' association has welcomed the Supreme Court verdict saying it will help in ensuring good governance.

IAS officers' association secretary Sanjay R Bhoos Reddy said, it will help in good governance across the country. He said, it is necessary that the judgement not only gets implemented in letter but in spirit also. The association of Indian Forest Service also supported the apex court verdict.

Quotable Quote-Message of the day

Patience with family is love,
 Patience with others is respect, 
patience with you is confidence, 
and patience with GOD is faith. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

General Knowledge-Current Affairs-Supreme Court rules that Municipal Councilors are public servants

Apex Court rules that Municipal Councilors are public servants and can be tried under Prevention of Corruption Act.

            In another significant ruling, Supreme Court said Municipal Councillors come under the category of public servants and they can be prosecuted for their corrupt activities under the Prevention of Corruption, PC Act. The court said, the PC Act, 1988 envisages widening of the scope of the definition of the expression "public servant" and it was brought in force to purify public administration.

            A Bench of Justices C K Prasad and J S Khehar was deciding an appeal by Manish Trivedi who as a Municipal Councillor from Banswara in Rajasthan and a member of the Municipal Board in 2000, was accused of taking bribe and named in a charge sheet under the PC Act.

Quotable Quote-Message of the Day

“Faults are thin, when relationship is thick”

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Quotable Quote-Message of the Day

Never walk away from True Friends, When you see some Faults, be patient & Realize that Nobody is perfect.Its Affection that matters, not perfection…

Monday, 28 October 2013

General Information for Exams-National Integration Council

National Integration Council 

Prime Minister is the Chairman of National Integration Council (NIC). It has 144 members including Union Ministers, Leaders of Opposition in Lok Sabhaand Rajya Sabha, Chief Ministers of all the States and Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry with legislatures, Leaders of National Political Parties and Regional Political Parties, Chairpersons of National Commissions, Eminent Media Persons, Eminent Public Figures, Representatives of Business and Women’s Representatives.
The 16th meeting of the National Integration Council was held on September 23, 2013 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

Free Essays for Competitive Exams-ECO Sensitive Zones needs Special Care

ECO Sensitive Zones needs Special Care

India is endowed with diverse topographical zones and rich variety of flora and fauna. During the course of industrialisation, urbanisation and other developmental initiatives, lot of changes occur in the landscape which may sometimes become the cause of natural disasters like earthquakes, flash floods, landslides, cloud burst etc.
In order to preserve certain regions/areas bestowed with unique plants, animals, terrains Government has declared them as national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, etc,. Further, to minimise the impact of urbanisation and other developmental activities, areas adjacent to such protected areas have been declared as Eco-Sensitive Zones.
The National Wildlife Action Plan (NWAP) 2002-2016 endeavours to protect areas outside the protected area network to prevent isolation/destruction of fragments of bio-diversity.  However, eco-sensitive zones are delineated to regulate specific activities on site specific basis. The Environment (protection) Rules, 1986 states that the Central Government can prohibit and restrict the location of industries and carrying on certain operations or processes on the basis of considerations like biological diversity of an area, maximum allowable limits of concentration of pollutants in an area, environmentally compatible land use and proximity to protected areas.
The purpose of declaring eco-sensitive zones around protected areas is for creating some kind of ‘Shock Absorber’ to the protected area. They would also act as a transition zone from areas of high protection to areas involving lesser protection. The width of eco-sensitive zone and type of regulation vary from one area to another. However, as a general principle width of eco-sensitive zone could go up to 10 kms around a protected area. In case of places with sensitive corridors, connectivity and ecologically important patches, crucial for landscape linkage, even area beyond 10 kms width can also be included in the eco-sensitive zone.
The State Governments should emphasise the fact to the public that eco-sensitive zones are not meant to hamper their day-to-day activities, but instead, is meant to protect the precious forests/areas in their locality from any negative impact and also to refine the environment around such protected areas. While some of the activities could be allowed in all the eco-sensitive areas, others will be regulated or prohibited. However, which activity can be regulated or prohibited and to what extent will have to be area specific. For instance, activities which fall under the prohibited category include commercial mining, setting up of saw mills, setting up of industries causing pollution, establishment of major hydro electric projects, discharge of effluent and solid waste into natural water bodies or areas, use or production of any hazardous substances,etc.Similarly, activities like felling of tress, establishment of hotels and resorts, widening of roads, protection of river banks and hill slopes,etc comes under regulated category.
 Zonal Master Plan for the eco-sensitive zone has to be prepared by the State Government within a period of one year from the date of approval by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. The zonal master plan should provide for restoration of denuded areas, conservation of existing water bodies, management of catchment areas, soil and moisture conservation, needs of local community, etc, which needs attention. It should also demarcate  all the existing and proposed urban settlements, village settlements, types and kinds of forest, agricultural areas, green areas, horticultural areas, lakes, etc,. No change of land use from green uses shall be permitted in the zonal master plan except limited conversion of agricultural lands to meet the residential needs of the existing local residents, improvement of roads and bridges, community buildings, without the prior approval of the state government. Pending preparation of the master plan and approval thereof by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, all new constructions can be allowed only after it is approved by the Monitoring Committee constituted by the Central Government.
Protection of eco-sensitive zones has assumed importance in view of the overzealous developmental initiatives in fragile eco systems. A balanced, rational developmental approach is the need of the hour.

Free Essays for Competitive Exams-Education to Physically Challenged Persons

Education to Physically Challenged Persons

Presently Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), which is the main vehicle under the Ministry of Human Resource Development for implementation of the provisions of The Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 is providing inclusive education wherein children with special needs are mainstreamed in regular schools. Under SSA, over 32 lakh CWSN have been identified till March, 2013. Out of this, over 85% are enrolled and 1.5 lakh are enrolled in home based education and 28 lakh aids and appliances have been distributed under SSA since inception of theprogramme.

While large numbers of children with disabilities are enrolled under SSA as part of inclusive education, State Governments are also running special schools for children with disabilities. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is providing financial assistance to NGOs to set up special schools under Deendayal Disability Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS).

The Government's approach continues to be one of promoting inclusive education, but special education is also made available to those who need it.

The Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 came into force from April 1, 2010.  The RTE Act provides for free & compulsory education to children including children with disabilities as mentioned in Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) (PwD)Act, 1995 and the National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999 namely, i) Blindness, ii) Low vision, iii) Leprosy cured, iv) Hearing impairment, v) Locomotor disabilities, vi) Mental retardation, vii) Mental Illness, viii) Autism, and ix) Cerebral Palsy, and eventually cover Speech impairment, Learning Disabilities, etc. in the age group of 6-14 years at elementary level in a neighbourhood school.  The Government is implementing Sarva  Shiksha  Abhiyan   (SSA) as main programme for universalizing, education for all children for the age group of 6-14 years.

SSA provides Rs. 3000 per child per annum as a budgetary or funding norm. The major interventions under SSA for education of physically challenged children are identification, functional and formal assessment, appropriate educational placement, preparation of Individualised Educational Plan, provision of aids and appliances, teacher training, appointment of research teachers, therapeutical support, establishing research rooms to provide support to children with disabilities, provision of ramps and handrails.

The Scheme of Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS) was launched in 2009-10 replacing the earlier scheme of Integrated Education for Disabled Children (IEDC). It provides assistance for the inclusive education of the disabled children in classes IX-XII. The aim of the Scheme is to enable all students with disabilities, after completing eight years of elementary schooling, to pursue further four years of secondary schooling (classes IX to XII) in an inclusive and enabling environment. The scheme covers all children passing out of elementary schools and studying at secondary and higher secondary stage in Government, local body and Government-aided schools, with one or more disabilities as defined under the  PwDAct, 1995 and the National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999.
            The components of the scheme include : i) assessment of medical / educational needs, ii) provision of student specific facilities, iii) development of learning material, iv) support services like special educators, v) construction and equipping of resource rooms, vi) training of general school teachers to build their capacity to fulfill the needs of children with special needs vii) make schools barrier free. Setting up of Model inclusive schools in every State is also envisaged. Girls with disabilities receive special focus and efforts made under the scheme to help them gain access to secondary schools, as also to information and guidance for developing their potential. There is a provision of a monthly stipend of Rs.200/- for the disabled girls.

Central assistance for all items covered in the scheme is on 100 per cent basis. The School Education Department of the State Governments/ Union Territory Administrations is the implementing agency. They may involve Non Governmental Organisations having experience, in the field of education of the disabled, in the implementation of the scheme.

Under the National Scholarship Scheme which is funded from Trust Fund for Empowerment of PwDs financial assistance is provided to students with disabilities to enable them to pursue professional or technical courses from recognized institutes and get employed/self employed. Under the Scheme till last academic session 1000 scholarships were provided to the students with disabilities through out the country and from the academic session 2013-14 this number has been increased to 1500 students. 30% scholarships are reserved for girls. Only Indian nationals are eligible for scholarships.

     Under the National Fund for People with Disabilities (National Fund) 500 new scholarships to be awarded each year are equally distributed (125 each) for the four major categories of disabilities viz. (i) Orthopaedic (ii) Visual (iii) Hearing and (iv) Others.  Further, 40% of the scholarships in each category are reserved for girls. 

Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship Scheme for students with disabilities has been launched for providing them scholarship to pursue M.Phil/Ph.D courses.

Section 33 of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) (PwD) Act, 1995 provides for reservation not less than 3% of vacancies in government establishments for persons with disabilities of which 1% each shall be reserved for persons suffering from (i) blindness or low vision; (ii) hearing impairment and (iii) loco motor disability or cerebral palsy. Accordingly, reservations are made in various Government Establishments including Public Sector Undertakings (PSU).

Further, with a view to encourage employment of Persons with Disabilities in private sector, the Government provides the employer’s contribution for Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees State Insurance (ESI) for 3 years, for employees with disabilities including visually impaired persons employed in the private sector on or after April 1, 2008, with a monthly salary upto Rs.25, 000 under its Scheme of Incentives to the Private Sector for Employment of Physically Challenged Persons.

National Handicapped and Finance Development Corporation (NHFDC), a PSU under this Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, is providing loans at concessional rates for encouraging self-employment of Persons with Disabilities.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) guarantees employment to rural household adults including differently abled persons. Under National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), a provision of 3% of the total beneficiaries has been made for differently abled category.

Quotable Quote-Message of the Day

Secret for long lasting relationships: Instead of saying “You said like that” just say, “I understood like that” Many conflicts will be Avoided.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Quotable Quote-Message of the Day

God likes to know again and again what you want, its not that He  forget your needs, but loves to feel the sweetness of your prayers

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Quotable Quote-Message of the Day

An interesting secret: “When you collect all the answers of life, God just changes the question paper.” That’s life. 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Free Essays for Competitive Exams-Renewable Energy - The way forward

Renewable Energy - The way forward

The Government recently announced an ambitious plan to produce more electricity from renewable sources as a part of its target to add 10 Giga watts of solar energy by 2017 and 20 Giga watts by 2022. The steps being taken in this direction include setting up of an ultra-mega green Solar Power Project in Rajasthan near Sambhar Lake. The project will be the first of this scale in the world and will thus turn to be a model for future projects.     
            With the completion of the first phase of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission by surpassing the target, the country is set to embark on its second phase. In the first phase 1685 MW of solar energy was generated against the target of 1100 MW. In the second phase, areas for focus have been identified in Rajasthan, Kargil and Ladakh.
            Generation of solar energy has come a long way since we embarked on the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar mission in 2010. Today, we generate 1.8 GW of electricity from solar energy which is going to be multiplied in the years to come.
            Despite this, solar energy forms but only a small fraction of power generation in the country. In fact the entire sector of renewable energy, which includes small hydro- electric projects, contributes only 12 % to the national power kitty; about 17% comes from hydro- power and about 2% from nuclear power. The bulk 70% comes from coal and gas based plants.
Sixty-five percent of power from renewable sources comes from wind energy. Biomass accounts for 14%, small hydro- power projects contribute 13% and solar energy 5%. Other sources contribute about 3%.
            This imbalance needs to be corrected on many counts, on top being the environmental concerns. When the world is seriously concerned about global warming, non-conventional sources of energy need to be exploited to the maximum extent. And that is precisely what India is trying to do. Besides, the country imports 70 % of oil which is a big drain on its foreign exchange reserves.
The total installed capacity of power generation in the country now stands at just over 223 GW, far less than the requirement. The demand for power is estimated to increase by 16 GW a year at least until 2020.
In this situation, every source of energy needs to be tapped to meet the needs of a growing economy. The 12th plan provides for increasing the capacity generation by 72 GW in thermal sector, 11 GW in hydro sector and over 5 GW in nuclear sector.
In physical terms renewable sources of energy contribute 29 GW of electricity. The country is set to double this generation to 55 GW by 2017. Solar energy generation alone will increase to 20 GW during this period under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar mission.
Even though India has less than global average of wind speed, wind energy has been the most successful renewable source of energy in the country. Bulk of it comes from just five states, with Tamil Nadu as the leader. An encouraging factor is that off shore wind energy is becoming cost competitive with the energy generated from fossil fuels. It therefore becomes an attractive option for electricity generation.
Biomass is another area which holds a good promise. With over 60 % of India’s population dependent on agriculture, the area throws up opportunities for power generation. No wonder major projects in this field are coming up in different states particularly in Punjab. The estimated power generation capacity in this area is put at 18000 MW. In Britain and some other European countries too, coal-fired plants are converting to bio mass. Proper exploitation of this field needs huge investments for building storage capacity and plants, the way countries like Finland and Sweden have done. In Finland 20 % of power generation and in Sweden 16% of power supply come from biomass. With about 200 tons of agricultural waste going unused in India, the potential of harnessing this area is substantial.
Though per capita greenhouse gas emissions in India are very low, it has added about 2000 clean power projects in the last decade or so. The number of greenhouse buildings where solar and wind energy mechanisms and water harvesting etc. are in place has reached 2204. The number is planned to reach 1 lakh mark-an ambitious target indeed- by 2025.
            The Asian Development Bank has just announced that it will provide $500 million to build a power transmission system to carry clean electricity from wind and solar power projects in Rajasthan to the state and the National grid. Since setting up of transmission lines to evacuate power from the generating stations is a massive challenge, it will go a long way in dealing with the problem.
Today, India is in a position to help other countries also. It has offered line of credit and expertise to Cuba to develop renewable energy projects to enable it to reduce its dependence on oil imports. NTPC is exporting 250 MW of electricity to Bangladesh at a fixed tariff. India has also invested in power projects in Bhutan.
In short, keeping in view the challenges of power shortage and increasing demand in developing countries and environmental challenges across the world, India as also the rest of the world, needs to pay adequate attention to power generation through non- conventional sources. According to one estimate India has the potential to generate 150 GW of power through renewable sources alone- thanks to plenty of sunshine for most part of the year and a good wind velocity in many parts of the country.  But it needs huge investment to realise it. The rich countries must come forward to help developing nations to promote clean power generation. India on its part is well on the march.

Quotable Quote-Message of the day

Knowledge of self is an invaluable asset. 

Monday, 21 October 2013

Quotable Quote-Message of the day

Don’t be upset if you choose wrong people sometimes, Because without choosing them you will never know the value of the right ones.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

TNPSC Exam-Group II Free Model Test Paper- Geography Paper 1-Part 1

TNPSC Exam-Group II Free Model Test Paper-Geography Test

1.  Which one of the following needs us to locate a place?
1)         Longitude
2)         Latitude
3)         Altitude
4)         Mean Sea Level
Choose the correct Answer from the codes given below
a)         1  and 3 only
b)         1, 3 and 4 only
c)         2, 3 and 4 only
d)         1 and 2 only

Answer: D

2. India trades with Europe through Suez Canal and similarly India does with China, Japan and Australia through

a)         Panama Canal 
b)         Malaccan Strait
c)         English Canal
d)         Palk Strait 

Answer: B

3.         Consider the following
      1.   The east-west extent of India is about 30 degrees of Longitude
      2. Sun rises two hours earlier in the eastern most point than in the western most point    
      3. India’s centrally located Longitude 82 degree 30’ E has been selected as IST to avoid confusion
      4. IST established before Indian Independence
Choose the correct Answer using the codes given
a)         1, 2 and 3 only
b)         2, 3 and 4 only
c)         1, 2 and 4 only
d)         All the above

Answer:  a

4.         The southern tip of the Indian Peninsula is
a)         Indira Point
b)         Nicobar Islands
c)         Kanyakumari
d)         Andaman Islands

Answer:  c

5.         When did Tamil Language made official Language of Tamil Nadu?
a)         14.01.1953
b)         14.01.1956
c)         14.01.1957
d)         14.01.1958

Answer:  d

6.         Whose  period was consider as “Golden Era of Tamil Nadu”
            1) Cheran                   2) Cholen                   3) Pallavan     4) Pandian
a)         1, 2 and 4 only
b)         All the above
c)         1, 3 and 4 only
d)         1, 2 and 3 only

Answer:  b

7.         Which one of the following is wrongly matched regarding Tamil Nadu
a)         Panchayat Unions     - 385
b)         Town Panchayats      - 529
c)         Municipalities            - 115
d)         Corporations             - 10

Answer:  c

8.         Which one of the following district of Tamil Nadu does not have border with kerala
a)         Dindigul
b)         Theni
c)         Virudhunagar
d)         Madurai

Answer:  d

9.         If you travel from north to south, which of the following rivers, you cross in order
a)         Palar, Cheyyar, Pennar, Vellar
b)         Palar, Cheyyar, Vellar, Pennar
c)         Palar, Vellar, Cheyyar, Pennar
d)         Palar, Pennar, Cheyyar, Vellar

Answer:  a

10.       Which one of the following is correctly matched?
a)         Salem – Kalvarayan Hills
b)         Trichy - Pachamalai
c)         Villupuram – Javvadu Hills
d)         Vellore – Servarayan Hills

Answer:  b

11.       Chhattisgarh doesn’t have common border with
a)         Odisha
b)         Madhaya Pradesh
c)         Jharkand
d)         Bihar

Answer:  d

12.       Which is the largest state of India in area?
a)         Uttar Pradesh
b)         Maharashtra
c)         Rajasthan
d)         Madhya Pradesh

Answer:  c

13.       Consider the following
                        State                         Capitals
1)         Sikkim           -           Gangtok
2)         Mizoram         -           Imphal
3)         Tripura            -           Agartala
4)         Nagaland       -           Shillong
Which one of the above is/are correctly matches?
a)         1 and 2 only
b)         1 and 3 only
c)         1, 2 and 3 only
d)         1, 3 and 4 only

Answer:  b

14.       Millions of years ago, there was only one large land mass, it was called
a)         Pangea         
b)         Panthasala
c)         Angara land
d)         Gondwana land

Answer:  a

15.       Oldest mountain range of India is
a)         Himalayas
b)         Vindhyas
c)         Satpura
d)         Aravalli Range

Answer:  d

16. Which one of the following is wrongly matched?
a)         Bhavanisagar            -           Bhavani
b)         Vaigai                         -           Vaigai
c)         Pennar                        -           Satanur
d)         Thamirabarani           -           Perunjani

Answer:  d

17.       Which one of the districts in Tamil Nadu gets rainfall in both south west monsoon and north east monsoon?
a)         Nilgiris
b)         Kanyakumari
c)         Tirunelveli
d)         Theni

Answer:  b

18.       Assertion (A): Coimbatore district receive less rainfall during south west
            Reason (R)     : Coimbatore falls in the leeward side of mountain
a)         Both A & R are true and R is the correct explanation to A
b)         A & R are true but R is the correct Explanation to A
c)         A is true R is false
d)         A is false R is true

Answer:  a

19.       Monsoon word derived from “Mausim” is
a)         Latin word
b)         Greek word
c)         Arabic word
d)         Hindi word

Answer:  c

20.       Read the following
1)         Ilavenil             -           Chithirai & Vaikasi
2)         Karkalam       -           Avani, Purattasi
3)         Munpani         -           Margazhi, Thai
4)         Kulirkalam      -           Masi, Panguni
Which of the above is/ are true
a)         1, 2 and 4 only
b)         2, 3 and 4 only
c)         1, 2 and 3 only
d)         All the above

Answer:  c

21.       One travels by flight from west to east over Himalays what is the ordin of peaks he/she will see
a)         K2, Nagaparbat, Mt. Everst, Nandadevi
b)         K2, Nagaparbat, Nandadevi, Mt. Everst
c)         Nagaparbat, K2, Nandadevi, Mt. Everst
d)         Nagaparbat, K2, Mt. Everst, Nandadevi

Answer:  c

22.       What is the order of central Himalayas from north to south?
a)         Himadri, Himachal, Siwaliks
b)         Himadri, Siwaliks, Himachal
c)         Siwaliks, Himadri, Himachal
d)         Himadri, Siwaliks, Himachal

Answer:  a

23.       Which one of the range is the not one of the Hills in the Eastern Economy?
a)         Mizo hills
b)         Kashi hills
c)         Garo hills
d)         Pirpanjal

Answer:  d

24.       Tamil Nadu gets maximum rainfall by
a)         South West monsoon
b)         North East monsoon
c)         Cyclone
d)         Summer season

Answer:  b

25.       Which one of the following districts is not a beneficiary of south west monsoon?
a)         Coimbatore
b)         Dharmapuri
c)         Salem
d)         Vellore

Answer:  d