Smart Cities

what are Smart Cities?

  • A ‘smart city’ is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability.
  • It is a city where information technology is the principal infrastructure and the basis for providing essential services to residents.
  • There are many technological platforms involved, including but not limited to automated sensor networks and data centres.
  • In a smart city, economic development and activity is sustainable and rationally incremental by virtue of being based on success-oriented market drivers such as supply and demand.
  • They benefit everybody, including citizens, businesses, the government and the environment.

What are the core infrastructure in a Smart City?

  • According to the documents released on the Smart Cities website, the core infrastructure in a smart city would include:
  • Adequate water supply
  • Assured electricity supply
  • Sanitation, including solid waste management
  • Efficient urban mobility and public transport
  • Affordable housing, especially for the poor
  • Robust IT connectivity and digitalisation
  • Good governance, especially e-Governance and citizen participation
  • Sustainable environment
  • Safety and security of citizens, particularly women, children and the elderly
  • Health and education

Everything about Surrogacy

What is surrogacy?

  • Surrogacy is where a woman becomes pregnant with the intention of handing over the child to someone else after giving birth.
  • Generally, she carries the baby for a couple or parent who cannot conceive a child themselves – they are known as “intended parents”.
  • There are two forms of surrogacy.
  • In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother’s egg is used, making her the genetic mother.
  • In gestational surrogacy, the egg is provided by the intended mother or a donor.
  • The egg is fertilised through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and then placed inside the surrogate mother.

Is surrogacy legal?

  • It varies from country to country.
  • Countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Bulgaria prohibit all forms of surrogacy.
  • In countries including the UK, Ireland, Denmark and Belgium, surrogacy is allowed where the surrogate mother is not paid, or only paid for reasonable expenses.
  • Paying the mother a fee (known as commercial surrogacy) is prohibited.
  • Commercial surrogacy is legal in some US states, and countries including, Russia and Ukraine.

Where do people go for surrogacy?

  • countries popular with parents for surrogacy arrangements are the US,  Thailand, Ukraine and Russia.
  • Mexico, Nepal, Poland and Georgia are also among the countries described as possibilities for surrogacy arrangements.
  • Costs vary significantly from country to country, and also depend on the number of IVF cycles needed, and whether health insurance is required.

Cambodia the new destinations:

  • While Cambodia has become popular among people — both Indians and from other parts of the world — countries such as Ukraine and Kenya are attracting doctors from India.
  • India is no longer on the surrogacy map and after Bangkok and Thailand stopped surrogacy, Cambodia opened up.
  • As in the early days of surrogacy in India, the lack of proper laws or guidelines in Cambodia has proved a big attraction.
  • There is growth in surrogacy in Cambodia since last year.
  • There is a huge pressure building and Cambodia is ill-prepared to handle it.
  • Besides, there are no laws in place in Cambodia.
  • Doctors who offered surrogacy service in India are aware of the new hubs.

Important Commitees

N.K.Singh committee To review the FRBM Act of 2003
Ratan Watal Committee On digital payments
Anil Kakodkar Committee On railway safety
A.K.Bhargava Net Neutrality
Madhukar Gupta committee India Pakistan Border issue
Aravind Subramanian Tackle shortage of pulses in India
Bibek Debroy committee Railways and privatization of railways
Shekatkar committee Defense
Shyam Benegal committee Film certification
Shankar Acharya committee To pre pone the financial year to Jan from Apr
Sailesh Nayek Committee Coastal Regulation Zone
Harun Rashid Khan Committee Corporate bond market
Kelkar committee PPP
Parthasarthy Shome committee GAAR recommendations
Madhav Chitale committee De-saltation of Ganga
Amitabh Kant committee
  • look at easing the policy regime for e-commerce players, including the rules for foreign direct investment
  • Bottlenecks of digital payments

Universal basic income

Core concept : It was proposed by left liberal political philosopher Philippe van Pari in his book real freedom for all. According to him, basis for universal basic income is the fair distribution of real freedom to pursue the realisation of ones conception of the good life. Core of the concept of basic income is […]

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan

  • Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan envisages to improve the quality and coverage of Antenatal Care (ANC) including diagnostics and counselling services as part of the Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) Strategy.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan has been launched by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India.
  • The program aims to provide assured, comprehensive and quality antenatal care, free of cost, universally to all pregnant women on the 9th of every month.
  • It is for the woman who are not from urban areas. Semi urban and rural areas will be preferred

Mother Teresa – Quotes on Peace

​Mother Teresa Quotes

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.

There are no great things, only small things with great love. Happy are those.

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.

I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love.

Peace begins with a smile..

Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.

Intense love does not measure, it just gives.

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.

Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.

I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.

Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.

We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.

Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.

God doesn’t require us to succeed; he only requires that you try.

UPSC CSE Mains General Studies Paper – II Syllabus

General Studies Paper – II
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

a. Constitution and Polity

  • Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
  • Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
  • Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.
    Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
  • Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
  • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

b. Social Justice and Governance 

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
  • Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
  • Role of civil services in a democracy.

c. International relations

  • India and its neighborhood- relations.
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.