India’s bid for permanent membership to the UNSC, explained

India’s bid for permanent membership of the United Nation Security Council (UNSC) received a major boost on Monday, when the UN general assembly (UNGA) agreed to adopt a negotiating text for Security Council reforms.

In a statement, India’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Asoke Mukerji, said, “This is the first time in the history of the Inter-Governmental Negotiation (IGN) process that a decision on UNSC reform has been adopted through an official formal  Document of the UNGA”.

He added, “This decision sets the IGN process formally on an irreversible textbased negotiations path…The twin objectives of saving our work done in the 69th UNGA and carrying it meaningfully forward have therefore been achieved.”

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Source:  Livemint


Swiss bombshell leaves blood on floor from New York to New Zealand


Switzerland’s surprise decision to let the franc rocket higher has left a trail of carnage from New York to New Zealand, forcing at least two big foreign exchange brokerages into insolvency and wiping billions off the value of the Swiss stock market.

The move has also hammered those who had borrowed heavily in francs at bargain-basement rates, to fund investments in non-Swiss assets. That can be anyone from Wall St. hedge funds to thousands of homeowners in Poland or Russia who have taken mortgages in francs. Even Goldman Sachs was caught out, taking a 16.5% loss on a trade to sell Swiss francs for Swedish kronor, one of its “top trade” recommendations for 2015.

Overnight, two big online retail foreign exchange brokerages, New Zealand-based Excel Markets and Global Brokers, were forced to close due to the losses that their (often highly-leveraged) clients had suffered.

“The majority of clients in a…

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How black money racket runs in India – Hindustan Times

While there are no official estimates, Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington-based think-tank, has estimated that Indians had parked $462 billion in overseas tax havens between 1948 and 2008.

Hindustan Times presents a lowdown on how deals thrive outside the financial system in a bustling cash economy, hoodwinking authorities by creating a web of transactions to obscure the source of slush funds.

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Essay on Polio eradication in India for civil services and bank Descriptive questions

On 13 January 2014, India marked three years since its last case of wild polio, a landmark achievement for global public health and the worldwide effort to eradicate polio. The crippling disease that held the world to ransom in the 1950’s and 1960’s has almost been eliminated with those two tiny drops of oral polio vaccine, a well thought out strategy, large financial resources and the dedication and commitment of thousands of devoted volunteers and international health agencies.

The introduction of bivalent oral polio vaccine in 2010 also helped India to battle the disease. Previously, India had been using a monovalent vaccine that protected only against type 1 poliovirus transmission, not type 3, which was causing repeated disease outbreaks.

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Essay on Polio eradication in India for civil services and bank Descriptive questions.

Essay for Civil Services Mains Exam – Nuclear Materials Security Index

The NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index is a first-of-its-kind public bench-marking project of nuclear materials security conditions on a country-by-country basis in 176 countries. Initially launched in 2012, the NTI Index, prepared with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), helped spark international discussions about priorities required to strengthen security and most important, is encouraging governments to provide assurances and take actions to reduce risks.

The project draws on NTI’s nuclear expertise and the EIU’s experience in constructing indices, and the reach of the EIU’s global network analysts and contributors. NTI—working with an international panel of nuclear security experts and a number of technical advisors—focused on the framework and priorities that define effective nuclear materials security conditions.

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Essay-Plant Genomics need of the hour – Based on question asked in Civil Services Mains exam

Along human history, more than 7000 plant species have been collected or cultivated by humans. According to Food and Agriculture Organization, about a 95% of human caloric needs are provided by only 30 crops plants, and four of them are responsible for more than the 60% of human ingested calories (wheat, rice, maize and potatoes).

The Green Revolution was the first attempt to use new technology to increase food production—it helped to increase food production by 250% between 1950 and 1984. In 1943, most of the world was hungry and a Malthusian catastrophe was being visualized—many people believed that world population would grow exponentially and the agriculture production would not be sufficient to feed, thus producing famine. In Mexico, the government thought that the solution was in the technology and they created the CIMMYT. Using fungicides, fertilizers and plant breeding with Japanese dwarf wheat varieties, the wheat production in Mexico was multiplied and Mexico became a self-sufficient country.

The same scheme was then translated to India and some other Asia countries with success. Africa did not benefit much from the Green Revolution, particularly because of the lack of irrigation facilities. The methods of the Green Revolution were criticized later by environmentalists, but the truth is that it helped to reduce the world hunger and Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his contribution to the fight against world famine.

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