29th Aug, 2020


Development of Synthetic Flavonoids

Recently, scientists from Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune have found the first synthetic route for producing flavonoids molecules related to the treatment of tuberculosis and chikungunya.

It is for the first time that the flavonoid molecules such as rugosa flavonoids, podocare flavone and isoflavone have been synthesised in a lab.

These three molecules have so far been isolated from plants only.



These are part of the polyphenol class of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) found in almost all fruits and vegetables. 

They are responsible for organic pigments and the vivid colours in fruits and vegetables.

These are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits. 

A diet rich in flavonoids can protect from diseases related to heart, liver, kidney, brain and other infectious diseases.


Increased Investments through P-notes

According to SEBI data, the value of participatory note (P-note) investments in Indian capital markets increased to Rs. 63,288 crore till July 2020-end.

This is the fourth consecutive monthly rise in investments through P-notes.

Participatory Notes (P-notes) 

P-notes are Offshore Derivative Instruments (ODIs) 

They are issued by brokers and foreign institutional investors (FIIs) registered with SEBI. 

The investment is made on behalf of foreign investors by the already registered brokers in India who wish to be a part of the Indian stock markets without registering themselves directly.

P-notes have Indian shares as their underlying assets.

These instruments are used for making investments in the stock markets. 

Do you know?

P-notes are not used within the country. 

They are used outside India for making investments in shares listed in the Indian stock market. 

That is why they are called offshore derivative instruments.

For example, Indian-based brokerages buy India-based securities and then issue participatory notes to foreign investors. 

Any dividends or capital gains collected from the underlying securities go back to the investors.


Behrupiya: Folk Artists

 ‘Behrupiyas’ were recently in news due to their livelihoods being affected due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Behrupiyas are impersonators, mostly known to perform in villages and markets all over India.

The behrupiya festival is a traditional Indian style of street theatre.

It takes place every year in different locations- Delhi, Ahmedabad, Udaipur and others.

In the past, they assisted in circulating, transmitting and publicising the various knowledge forms among the people. 

The vibrant tradition of Ramleela can also be seen as an extension of this practice which continues even today.


Inclusion of the Disabled in National Food Security Act, 2013

State Governments/UTs have been asked to include all eligible disabled persons under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013.

Ministry: The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution

The disabled persons should get their entitled quota of food grains under NFSA & Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) as per provisions of the Act.

Fresh ration cards should be issued for those who are not covered as per the eligibility criteria.

The disabled person should also be covered by States/UTs under the priority households.

PMGKAY is a part of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) to help the poor fight the battle against Covid-19.

Section 10 of the NFSA: Identification and coverage of persons under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY). Disability is one of the criteria for inclusion of beneficiaries under AAY households.

Section 38 of the NFSA: The Central Government may from time to time give directions to the State Governments for effective implementation of the provisions of the Act.

Hence, the disabled persons without ration cards are also eligible for getting benefits under Atmanirbhar Bharat package.


Assessment of Economic Impact of Covid-19 by DSGE Model

RBI is using Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model to assess the impact of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown on the Indian economy.

DSGE modelling is a method in macroeconomics that attempts to explain economic phenomena (economic growth and business cycles) and the effects of economic policy, through econometric models based on applied general equilibrium theory and economic principles.

RBI has considered three main economic agents, viz., households, firms and the government for the assessment.


States can have sub-groups among SC/ST

Recently, the Supreme Court held that States can sub-classify Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in the Central List.

Important Points:

Reservation has created inequalities within the reserved castes itself. 

Benefits of reservation are being used by a few.

Caste, occupation, and poverty are interwoven. 

The State cannot be deprived of the power to take care of the qualitative and quantitative differences between different classes.

ST and SC in the Central List do not constitute a homogenous group.

The judgment is significant as it will provide the push to extend the creamy layer concept to the SC and ST.

In 2004, the Chinnaiah judgment had held that allowing the States to unilaterally make a class within a class of members of the SC would lead to changes in the Presidential list.

The issue has now been referred to a seven-judge Bench of the court.

The Central List of SC and ST are notified by the President under Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution. 

The consent of the Parliament is required to exclude or include castes in the List. 

Thus, States cannot unilaterally add or pull out castes from the List.

The Supreme Court has reasoned that sub-classifications within the Presidential/Central List do not amount to changing it. No caste is excluded from the list.


Mahatma Ayyankali: Birth anniversary celebrated

Indian Prime Minister recently remembered Mahatma Ayyankali on his birth anniversary.

Ayyankali (1863 – 1941) 

He was a social reformer.

He worked for the advancement of deprived untouchable people in the princely state of Travancore, British India. 

He belonged to the Pulayar community of untouchable people.

He founded the Sadhu Jana Paripalana Sangham (SJPS) (Association for the Protection of the Poor) 

The Association campaigned for access to schools and raised funds to set up Pulayar-operated schools in the interim.


Bamboo Clusters to come up in Jammu and Kashmir

Three Bamboo Clusters will be developed in Jammu, Katra and Samba areas of Jammu & Kashmir.

Ministry: Ministry of  Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) 

Objective: To make Bamboo basketry, Agarbatti and Bamboo Charcol.

A Mega Bamboo Industrial Park at Ghati near Jammu and Bamboo Technology Training Centre will also come up in the region.

It will provide direct employment to nearly 25 thousand people.



“Chunauti”- Next Generation Start-up Challenge Contest has been launched.

Ministry: Ministry for Electronics and Information Technology.

Aim: To identify around 300 start-ups working in identified areas and providing them seed funds of up to 25 lakh rupees.

Objective: To further boost start-ups and software products with special focus on Tier-II towns in India.

A budget of over 95 crore rupees has been earmarked over a period of three years for this programme.