Daily Prelims Newsletter(UPSC)|04 May 2021 | RaghukulCS

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

04 May 2021

Table Of Contents

  • Xylophis Deepaki
  • Core Sector 
Polity and Governance
  • State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) 
Reports and Indices 
  • Asian Development Outlook 2021
International Relations 
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 



Why in News

A tiny snake recently discovered was named “Xylophisdeepaki” in honour of Indian herpetologist Deepak Veerappan for his contribution in erecting a new subfamily Xylophiinaeforwood snakes.

About XylophisDeepaki:

  • It is a tiny snake of only 20 cm length with iridescent
  • It was first found in a coconut plantation in Kanyakumari.
  • It is now reported as an endemic species of Tamil Nadu.It was also sighted in some parts of the southern Western Ghats and Agasthyamalai hills.

About Xylophis:

  • It is a small genus of snakes in the family Pareidae.
  • It has five species, all of which are endemic to the Western Ghats.

About Wood Snakes:

  • These are harmless, non-venomous, sub-fossorial snakes and are often found while digging soil in farms or under the logs in the Western Ghat forests.
  • They mostly feed on earthworms and other invertebrates.

Related Information: Agasthya Hills

  • This1,868-metre tall peak lies within Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, in the Western Ghats in Kerala. It is a part of the AgasthyamalaBiosphereReserve.
  • It is named after Hindu sage Agastya, considered to be one of the seven rishis (Saptarishi) of Puranaic texts.
  • Associated Water Body: Thamirabarani River, a perennial river originating from the eastern side of the range and flows into Tamil Nadu.
  • Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve is also a part of UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.


Core Sector

Why in News?

The eight core sectors grew by 6.8% in March 2021 (the highest in 32 months), however, the spike observed was largely due to the base effects from March 2020.

About Eight Core Sectors:

  • Eight core industries (in decreasing order of their weightage) are:
    • Petroleum and Refinery Products
    • Electricity
    • Steel
    • Coal
    • Crude Oil
    • Natural Gas
    • Cement
  • These comprise about 40% of the weightage of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

Related Information: IIP (Index of Industrial Production)

  • It tracks manufacturing activity in different sectors of the economy.
  • Published by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) under MoSPI every month.
  • It classifies the industry groups under:
    • Broad sectors like manufacturing, mining, and electricity.

Use-based sectors like capital goods, basic goods, intermediate goods, infrastructure goods, consumer durables, and consumer non-durables

Polity and Governance

State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF)

Why in News?

Recently, GoI has released the first instalment of the SDRF to States, in the wake of the second wave of Covid-19.Normally, the first instalment is released in the month of June as per the recommendations of the Finance Commission.

About SDRF:

  • Itwas constituted under Disaster Management Act, 2005.
  • It was constituted on the recommendations of the 13thFinance Commission.
  • It is the primary fund available with the State governments to respond to notified disasters and meet expenditure for providing immediate relief.
  • It is alsoaudited by the CAG every year.


  • GoI contributes 75% of the SDRF allocation to general category states and UTs and 90% for special category States and UTs.
    • Special Category: Northeastern States, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The annual contribution by centre is released in two equal installments as per the recommendations of the Finance Commission.

Disaster (s) Covered under SDRF:

  • Cyclone,pest attack, drought, earthquake, fire,landslide, flood,avalanche, tsunami, hailstorm, cloudburst, frost and cold waves.
  • Local Disasters: The State Government may use up to 10% of the funds available under the SDRF to provide immediate relief to the victims of ‘local’ natural disasters which are not included in the notified list of disasters by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Reports and Indices

Asian Development Outlook 2021

Why in News?

According to the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) Report 2021 released by Asian Development Bank (ADB), the second wave of COVID-19 can put India’s economic recovery at risk.

About Asian Development Bank:

  • It is a regional development bank established in 1966. India was alsoe its founding member.
  • Presently, it has 68 members, out of which 49 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside of this region.
  • Itsobjective is to promote social and economic development in Asia and the Pacific.
  • ADB’s five largest shareholders:
    • Japan- 15.6%
    • USA- 15.6%
    • People’s Republic of China- 6.4%,
    • India- 6.3%,
    • Australia- 5.8%.
  • Headquarters: Manila, Philippines.
  • It has observer status in United Nations.
  • The voting rights is closely modelled on the World Bank and has similar weighted voting system wherein the votes are distributed in proportion to members’ capital subscriptions.

International Relations

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Why in News?

The High Court of Manipur allowed the seven Myanmar nationals, who entered India secretly following the February military coup, to travel to seek protection from the UNHCR in New Delhi.

About UNHCR:

  • Also referred as the UN Refugee Agency.
  • It is an international organisation working to save lives, safeguard rights and provide a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people.
  • The organisation’s target population:
    • Refugees,
    • People, forcibly displaced from their homes,
    • Asylum seekers,
    • Internally displaced persons,
    • stateless people, etc.
  • It was established in 1950due to mass displacements caused during Second World War in Europe.
  • It has also won the Nobel Peace Prize twice (1954 and 1981).
  • It is governed by 1951 Refugee Convention.
  • It works in 135 countries including India.
  • It first established its presence in India in 1981.
  • United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) can be said to be its parent organisation.
  • It releases Global Trends Report annually.

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