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Blockchain Technology

What is Blockchain ?

The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.
Information on the blockchain is always shared and continually reconciled. The record that Blockchain keeps are easily accessable and public. Just like a shared document on Google but a legal one. Meaning Blockchain Technology stores blocks of information across networks, it cannot be controlled by one network alone, it has no single point of failure.

How it works ?

Tax-GDP Ratio (Blast from the Past)

Tax-GDP ratio is an important parameter of changing structure of government revenues and taxation. Economic Growth Rate is the rate at which a nation’s Gross Domestic product (GDP) changes/grows from one year to another. A decrease in tax-GDP ratio would result when the tax revenues grow at a slower rate than the GDP of a country. Thus, an increase in tax-GDP ratio decreases the rate of economic growth.
When income is not equitably distributed, a small section of the society tends to pocket a big chunk of national income. A lower tax-GDP ratio means lower tax revenues to government. Tax revenues to government means equitable distribution of national income.

Nagoya Protocol

What is the Nagoya Protocol and what is its objective?

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) to the Convention on Biological Diversity is a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity. It provides a transparent legal framework for the effective implementation of one of the three objectives of the CBD: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.

The Nagoya Protocol on ABS was adopted on 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan and entered into force on 12 October 2014, 90 days after the deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification. Its objective is the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, thereby contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Why is the Nagoya Protocol important?

The Nagoya Protocol will create greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources by:

  • Establishing more predictable conditions for access to genetic resources.
  • Helping to ensure benefit-sharing when genetic resources leave the country providing the genetic resources.

By helping to ensure benefit-sharing, the Nagoya Protocol creates incentives to conserve and sustainably use genetic resources, and therefore enhances the contribution of biodiversity to development and human well-being.

What does the Nagoya Protocol cover?

The Nagoya Protocol applies to genetic resources that are covered by the CBD, and to the benefits arising from their utilization. The Nagoya Protocol also covers traditional knowledge (TK) associated with genetic resources that are covered by the CBD and the benefits arising from its utilization.

What are the core obligations of the Nagoya Protocol with respect to genetic resources?

The Nagoya Protocol sets out core obligations for its contracting Parties to take measures in relation to access to genetic resources, benefit-sharing and compliance.

Access obligations

  • Domestic-level access measures are to:
  • Create legal certainty, clarity and transparency
  • Provide fair and non-arbitrary rules and procedures
  • Establish clear rules and procedures for prior informed consent and mutually agreed terms
  • Provide for issuance of a permit or equivalent when access is granted\
  • Create conditions to promote and encourage research contributing to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use
  • Pay due regard to cases of present or imminent emergencies that threaten human, animal or plant health
  • Consider the importance of genetic resources for food and agriculture for food security

Benefit-sharing obligations

Domestic-level benefit-sharing measures are to provide for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources with the contracting party providing genetic resources. Utilization includes research and development on the genetic or biochemical composition of genetic resources, as well as subsequent applications and commercialization. Sharing is subject to mutually agreed terms. Benefits may be monetary or non-monetary such as royalties and the sharing of research results.

Compliance obligations

Specific obligations to support compliance with the domestic legislation or regulatory requirements of the contracting party providing genetic resources, and contractual obligations reflected in mutually agreed terms, are a significant innovation of the Nagoya Protocol. Contracting Parties are to:

  • Take measures providing that genetic resources utilized within their jurisdiction have been accessed in accordance with prior informed consent, and that mutually agreed terms have been established, as required by another contracting party
  • Cooperate in cases of alleged violation of another contracting party’s requirements
  • Encourage contractual provisions on dispute resolution in mutually agreed terms
  • Ensure an opportunity is available to seek recourse under their legal systems when disputes arise from mutually agreed terms
  • Take measures regarding access to justice
  • Take measures to monitor the utilization of genetic resources after they leave a country including by designating effective checkpoints at any stage of the value-chain: research, development, innovation, pre-commercialization or commercialization

How does the Nagoya Protocol address traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources and genetic resources held by indigenous and local communities?

The Nagoya Protocol addresses traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources with provisions on access, benefit-sharing and compliance. It also addresses genetic resources where indigenous and local communities have the established right to grant access to them. Contracting Parties are to take measures to ensure these communities’ prior informed consent, and fair and equitable benefit-sharing, keeping in mind community laws and procedures as well as customary use and exchange.

Tools and mechanisms to assist implementation

The Nagoya Protocol’s success will require effective implementation at the domestic level. A range of tools and mechanisms provided by the Nagoya Protocol will assist contracting Parties including:

  • Establishing national focal points (NFPs) and competent national authorities (CNAs) to serve as contact points for information, grant access or cooperate on issues of compliance
  • An Access and Benefit-sharing Clearing-House to share information, such as domestic regulatory ABS requirements or information on NFPs and CNAs
  • Capacity-building to support key aspects of implementation. Based on a country’s self-assessment of national needs and priorities, this can include capacity to- 1. Develop domestic ABS legislation to implement the Nagoya Protocol 2. Negotiate MAT 3. Develop in-country research capability and institutions
  • Awareness-raising
  • Technology Transfer
  • Targeted financial support for capacity-building and development initiatives through the Nagoya Protocol’s financial mechanism, the Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Educational Qualifications Needed for Civil Services Exam

1. You just need a degree (graduation). It may be regular or distant.

The candidate must hold a degree of any of Universities incorporated by an Act of the Central or State Legislature in India or other educational institutions established by an Act of Parliament or declared to be deemed as a University Under Section-3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, or possess an equivalent qualification.


2. Final year students can also appear for UPSC CSE.

Candidates who have appeared at an examination the passing of which would render them educationally qualified for the Commission’s examination but have not been informed of the results as also the candidates who intend to appear at such a qualifying examination will also be eligible for admission to the Preliminary Examination.

All candidates who are declared qualified by the Commission for taking the Civil Services (Main) Examination will be required to produce proof of passing the requisite examination with their application for the Main Examination failing which such candidates will not be admitted to the Main Examination. The applications for the Main Examination will be called sometime in the month of September to November.

Some extremely important focus areas for Prelims 2018

Hello Aspartans,

Why are we talking about focus areas so early? Coz, IAS Prelims is near, very near if you consider yourself a serious aspirant. In this article, I would like to focus on the areas which might fetch you some well-needed marks to reach that thin-red-line of cut off marks. As we expect, with lesser vacancies, cut off is bound to go full monty i.e. around 118-120. So what are these focus areas I’m bragging about? let’s do this in a pointwise manner-

1. Agriculture

  • Seeds
  • Soil erosion and techniques to reduce it
  • Farming techniques
  • Irrigation in India and its methods
  • Crops and crop diversification
  • Agroforestry
  • Agriculture and non-farm activities for employment
  • Schemes related to agriculture

2. Environment and Ecology

  • All the conventions related to environment, sustainable development and climate change
  • Pollution and its agents
  • climate change and its governance
  • UN bodies on environment and climate change

3. Art and culture

  • UNESCO world heritage sites (Very Important)
  • Mahabalipuram, Ajanta & Ellora, Khajuraho, Delhi architecture, Varah Temples in India, Chola and Vijayanagara architecture
  • Festivals and Fairs

4. Government schemes

  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of HRD
  • Ministry of Rural Development
  • Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
  • Ministry of Women and Child Development
  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare


I can assure you, aforementioned topics will fetch you 20 marks if you prepared them well. This is my first hand experience from my neverending expedition of UPSC. One more thing, I have started a test series #PrelimsQuest where we will try to focus on these areas. You can join it here.



Only 782 vacancies in 2018 attempt, what to expect ?

Hello, Aspartans (aspirants + Spartans),

LuckyKabooter here. UPSC has issued the notification for 2018 attempt. Prelims i.e. #CivilWar is on 3rd of June. But the issue which is perplexing is the number of vacancies, only 782.  So what to expect from this move? Let’s analyze.

1. It will increase the cut off by at least 10 marks. I am expecting it to be around 118 if the paper quality was similar to 2017 prelims.

2. Aspirants need to attempt more and more questions. I would suggest going beyond 90 questions.  But leave the questions you can’t even guess about. I attempted around 94 questions and expecting 135+ marks.

3. Do not over emphasized on Current Affairs. You need to distribute your time among all subjects accordingly. See this-


Subject Time
Current Affairs 40%
Environment & Ecology 15%
Polity 10%
Economics 10%
History 8%
Geography 7%
Misc (S&T, Agriculture, Biology etc) 10% (4+3+3)


4. You can not afford to lose marks in fundamentals of Polity, Geography, and Economics. Revise these subjects as early as possible. We need at least 3 revisions.

5. Attempt mocks of at least 2 test series to bring variety in questions and sources.

This analysis is based on my experiences in last 5 attempts. But I believe my analysis is going to be quite right as I increased my score from 66 to 135+ through my attempts.
One more thing, we have started a test series at Join if you like.

The writer: 5 attempts, 3 Prelims, 3 Mains, 2 Interviews.

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD)

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) was an informal strategic dialogue between the United States, Japan, Australia and India that was maintained by talks between member countries. The dialogue was initiated in 2007 by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, with the support of Vice President Dick Cheney of the US, Prime Minister John Howard of Australia and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India. The dialogue was paralleled by joint military exercises of an unprecedented scale, titled Exercise Malabar. The diplomatic and military arrangement was widely viewed as a response to increased Chinese economic and military power, and the Chinese government responded to the Quadrilateral dialogue by issuing formal diplomatic protests to its members.

In early 2007, Prime Minister Abe proposed the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quadrilateral Initiative”, under which India would join a formal multilateral dialogue with Japan, the United States, and Australia.

The initiation of an American, Japanese, Australian and Indian defense arrangement, modeled on the concept of a Democratic Peace, has been credited to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Quadrilateral was supposed to establish an “Asian Arc of Democracy,” envisioned to ultimately include countries in central Asia, Mongolia, the Korean peninsula, and other countries in Southeast Asia: “virtually all the countries on China’s periphery, except for China itself.” This has led some critics, such as former U.S. State Department official Morton Abramowitz, to call the project “an anti-Chinese move,” while others have called it a “democratic challenge” to the projected Chinese century, mounted by Asian powers in coordination with the United States. While China has traditionally favored the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Quadrilateral was viewed as an “Asian NATO;” Daniel Twining of Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has written that the arrangement “could lead to military conflict,” or could instead “lay an enduring foundation for peace” if China becomes a democratic leader in Asia.

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