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UPSC Online News Analysis



Context: Elephants and jeeps are nolonger the only modes ofregulated transport to callon the rhino in the Kaziranga National Park and TigerReserve, billed as the bestconserved home of the onehorned animal.

Topic in syllabus: Prelims – Environment & ecology

About Kaziranga national park:

  • Kaziranga is located in Assam.
  • The park was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.
  • The sanctuary hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses.
  • It is a World Heritage Site.
  • Flora:
    • Due to the difference in altitude between the eastern and western areas of the park, here one can see mainly four types of vegetation’ like alluvial inundated grasslands, alluvial savanna woodlands, tropical moist mixed deciduous forests, and tropical semi-evergreen forests.
    • Kumbhi, Indian gooseberry, the cotton tree, and elephant Apple are amongst the famous trees that can be seen in the park. Also, a good variety of aquatic flora can be seen in lakes, ponds, and along the river shores.
  • Fauna:
    • The forest region of Kaziranga Park is home to world’s largest population of Indian Rhinoceros.
    • Other animals that can be seen in the elephant grass, marshland and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests of Kaziranga are Hoolock Gibbon, Tiger, Leopard, Indian Elephant, Sloth Bear, Wild water buffalo, swamp deer, etc.
    • With increase in tiger population every year, the government authorities declared Kaziranga as a Tiger Reserve in the year 2006.
    • Also here one can find good number of migratory bird species from Central Asia.


Context: Make it safe and secure – Use of Blockchain technology can ensure an incorruptible online
exam system.

Topic in syllabus: Prelims – Science & technology

How it works?

  • A Blockchain is an archive thatcollects, registers and stores thegrowing list of records usingcryptography within a network.
  • It is also a peer­to­peer technology that organises or recordstime­stamped transactions insuch a way that none can modify it without notice by otherswho are members of thesame Blockchain.
  • Each record list, named as block,contains a link to the previous block that is cryptographically hashed, and has atimestamp, and transaction data.
  • This means that any information recorded in the Blockchainledger cannot be secretly altered, as the whole Blockchainledger becomes corrupted andtempered.
  • In addition, Blockchain data are replicated andkept on multiple machines to reduce vulnerability. All transactions must be authenticated andlinked to the Blockchain network by miners.
  • The miningprocess is fuelled by a consensusmechanism within the network.The best and unsurpassed solution for continuous authentication, confidentiality and robustness in any security frameworkis the Blockchain technology.
  • Thus impersonations can be reduced, if not annulled, using acombination of online proctoring and Blockchain.


Context: Rare Myristica swamp treefrog found in Thrissur

Topic in syllabus: Prelims – Species in news (Ecology)

About Myristica swamp treefrog:

  • It is endemic to the Western Ghats.
  • The frog is different from other related frogs in that it has extensively webbed toes.
  • It lives only in swampy lowlands, and lays its eggs on mud with which it carefully mixes leaf litter.
  • They breed during the pre-monsoon.
  • These frogs are rare and elusive for the reason that theyare arboreal and active onlyfor a few weeks during theirbreeding season.
  • Before the end of thebreeding season, the femalefrogs along with their malecounterparts descend on theforest floor.
  • The female digsthe mud and lays eggs inshallow burrows in mud.
  • After breeding and egg­laying,they retreat back to the highcanopies of the tree and remain elusive till next breeding season.


Context: The Real Time GrossSettlement (RTGS) facility forhigh­value transactions willbecome available round­theclock from 12.30 a.m. onMonday.

Topic in syllabus: Prelims – Economy

What is RTGS?

  • The acronym ‘RTGS’ stands for real-time gross settlement. The Reserve Bank of India (India’s Central Bank) maintains this payment network.
  • Real-time gross settlement is a funds transfer mechanism where transfer of money takes place from one bank to another on a ‘real time’ and on ‘gross’ basis.
  • This is the fastest possible money transfer system through the banking channel. Settlement in ‘real time’ means payment transaction is not subjected to any waiting period.
  • The transactions are settled as soon as they are processed. ‘Gross settlement’ means the transaction is settled on one to one basis without bunching with any other transaction.
  • Banks could use balances maintained under the cash reserve ratio (CRR) and the intra-day liquidity (IDL) to be supplied by the central bank, for meeting any eventuality arising out of the real time gross settlement (RTGS).
  • Fees for RTGS vary from bank to bank. RBI has prescribed upper limit for the fees which can be charged by all banks both for NEFT and RTGS.
  • Both the remitting and receiving must have core banking in place to enter into RTGS transactions.

Difference between RTGS & NEFT?

Examples related to Ethics (GS-4)

  • Punjab DIG Prisons resigns in support of farmers’ protest. (Case study | Dilemma between Civil Servant Neutrality & Freedom of conscience)

Important news in short

  • More females per 1,000 malesin Assam, reveals survey report.
    • The sex ratio in Assam is nowskewed in favour of females,the National Family HealthSurvey for the 2019-­20 fiscal(NFHS­5) has revealed.
    • ‘More women married before 18 compared to 2015­16 study’
  • Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has stated that theCentre would consider referring the matter for reallocation of Krishna watersbetween Telangana andAndhra Pradesh either to anew tribunal or to the existing Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal­II headedby Justice Brijesh Kumar,once Telangana withdrewits petition on the issue inthe Supreme Court.
  • The Assam Cabinet on Sundayapproved a proposal to closedown all government-runmadrasas and Sanskrit tols(schools).
  • There has been some slowdown in loans sanctioned tostruggling businesses andmicro, small and mediumenterprises (MSMEs) overthe months of October and
    November under the ₹3 lakhcrore emergency credit guarantee scheme announcedby the government in May.
  • Connectivity projects, including the resurrection ofthe 12­km Chilahati­ Haldibari rail link after 55 years, willbe highlighted when PrimeMinister Narendra Modi andBangladesh Prime MinisterSheikh Hasina hold a virtualbilateral summit on December 17, officials in Dhaka andDelhi said.
  • The detection of the presence of SARS­CoV­2 RNA insewage samples has raisedthe possibility of using environmental water surveillance to monitor virus activity in infected areas,researchers have said.
  • A Chinese spacecraft carrying rocks and soil from themoon has begun its journeyback to Earth, the officialXinhua news agency reported on Sunday, putting Chinaon course to become the firstcountry to successfully retrieve lunar samples sincethe 1970s.

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