Tuesday, 29 March 2016

How to read the budget for prelims in 2 hours ?

Hi friends ,

The Budget is an important source of document for IAS preparation. Every newspaper publishes in detail about the budget and various opinions are shared. If you read all of them, you might be preparing "budget" alone for one week.

How to read the budget for prelims ?

1.Download the highlights of the budget from here -
Its a 15 page document. Quickly glance through it.

2.If you come across any new scheme/plan - note down.

3. Identify the main objective of the scheme ,the ministry behind it and its special features.

4. Also, pay attention to new schemes being introduced.

5. Ignore numbers and facts.

For prelims ,such factual knowledge and conceptual clarity should be sufficient.Spend an average of 2 hours to finish the budget.

All the best !

CSAT – Things you shouldn’t do !

Hi friends ,

 Here are some common mistakes that a student commits during CSAT preparation,
  1. Devote 50% of Preparation time to CSAT. Remember CSAT is just  a qualifying paper. Whether you score 100 or 120 or 160 in CSAT , doesn’t matter .You still have to cross the cutoff set for the GS paper separately.
  2. No practice at all  . I agree that  most of the engineers and MBAs would have worked on aptitude in their college days. And CSAT is comparatively easier to CAT and GMAT. However ,I shall make a word of caution here .Never be overconfident .
  3. Ignore reading comprehension totally. The toughness levels of comprehension in UPSC papers has been increasing the last few years. Many students tend to skip this area for that reason. Do not commit this mistake, as it can cost you one attempt.
Some common mistakes committed during the exam,
  1.       Checking the answers of General Studies paper 1 in the lunch break between GS  and CSAT. What students fail to realise is it can raise/ lower your confidence before the afternoon exam. Hence ,I generally advise students tot take rest and not start checking answers.
  2.       Getting nervous if you are not able to answer the first few passages in the question paper. Remember, if you find them tough ,all of them will. So try to keep your calm and go to the next set of questions.
  3.      Trying to solve the tougher questions first. Remember ,it is not a challenge for you to solve  a particular question. Find the set of easiest questions and answer them first . You just have to score  66 marks to qualify.
      All the best !

How to prepare for CSAT ?

Hi friends ,

CSAT played a game changing role ever since it was introduced. In 2013 and 2014, candidates scored a maximum score of 160+ in this paper to easily make it in the cutoff .

However,  UPSC announced in 2015 ,that CSAT will be a mere qualifying paper. It seemed that CSAT wont matter anymore .However , there were many students who didn’t clear prelims in 2015 merely because they could not qualify CSAT.

A candidate just requires to get 66 out of 200 makes in CSAT . However , UPSC ,as seen in 2015, has made the paper tougher .Hence ,CSAT requires preparation.

Step-by-step process to prepare CSAT
1.Go through the previous CSAT papers of 2012,2013,2014 and 2015.

CSAT Paper II Analysis
Basic Numeracy
General Mental Ability
Decision Making & Problem Solving
Analytical Ability & Logical Reasoning
Comprehension (Both English & Hindi)
English Language Comprehension Skills

2. Solve these 4 question papers and take an average score.

3. Now, one by one analyse each paper and find out the area of core strength and weakness.

4. In the area of core strength, aim to get atleast 80 % questions right. Example –If you are good at basic numeracy ,ensure that you get 8 out of every 10 questions asked right 
5. Identify the areas of weakness and pay attention .For example –Comprehension skills can be weak for a particular candidate .Hence, it is advisable to practice comprehension passages enough to get atleast 60% of questions right. Never ignore a particular area.

Enrol for tests and monitor your performance .Time management is the key !

All the best ,

P.S -Here are the links to CSAT questions papers of previous  years.

CSAT 2015 

Monday, 28 March 2016

IAS Prelims 2016 -what can go wrong ?

Hi friends ,

Have you heard of students who are very intelligent or very hard working, and still havent cleared the exams? Inspite of their efforts, there are a set of things you need to get right.

Here is a list of things that can go wrong .Hence, please be careful in not committing these mistakes.

  1. Out of enthusiasm, few students tend to answer most of the questions in the exam. And when they check the answer key, they realise they have marked equal number of wrong questions as correct ones.The result is low scores .
    1. If you look at question papers of 2014 and 2015, you will find the questions very simple in the first read . And all those candidates who found the paper simple, tried attending a lot of questions. But when they checked their answer keys, they realised the questions werent as simple as they thought. There was some trap by the examiner.  Hence, never get too enthusiastic in the exam.                                                                                                  
  2. Skipping one subject entirely during the preparation. In the previous pattern (when there was no negative marking) students would skip one subject they found difficult. In today's pattern, you cannot afford to skip any subject. 
  3. Wrong shading of answers in the OMR sheet .This is one of the biggest and most common errors.                                                                                                                                                       
  4. Reading new books or materials in the last few weeks. Remember, there are N number of materials and books in the market and it will keep flooding. Stick to one material for a particular subject.                                                                                                                                                  
  5. Failing to revise is planning to fail. Repeated revisions is the biggest asset of a topper.                                
  6. Getting driven by test performances. Neither should a good performance make you over confident nor should a bad performance kill your confidence. Tests are to help you identify your weakness and monitor your preparation !
  7. Failing to take conceptual clarity. In prelims, UPSC tries to test the conceptual clarity of the candidate .So whether it is geography or economics, get the concepts cleared then and there !

All the best !

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Green House Effects and Global Warming

·        Global warming refers to a gradual rise of atmospheric temperature and consequent changes in the radiation balance mainly due to human action leading to climatic change at different levels – local, regional and global.
·        As per recent estimates, it has been found that the surface air temperature over the past 100 years has increased by about 0.50C to 0.70C. This is due to green house effect.

Working of a Green House :

·        In cold countries, a green house is meant for plants, where total heat, especially during winter season, is not sufficient to support plant growth.

·        The transparent walls and roof of the green house are such that these allow the visible sunlight to enter but prevent the longwave radiations to go out.
·        Thus, the sunlight is absorbed by the soil and structure of the green house.
·        It is then re-emitted as heat which can not pass through the glass.
·        The amount of energy in the green house thus increases until its temperature is high enough for the slight leakage of heat through the glass to take away as much energy as gets in as sunlight.
·        Subsequently walls and roof re-emit absorbed radiation into the house.
·        Thus, during the day time, infra-red radiation pass into the green house and warm the atmosphere and the ground on which the green house stands.
·        Coating of glass with a non-heat radiation film transparent to sunlight further maximizes heating effect of the radiation.
·        Therefore, if our earth has become a green house, then there are certain gases which act like the glass panels of a green house allowing the sun’s rays to pass through but preventing the heat from escaping into the outer space and there by warming the atmosphere.
·        This is happening due to deforestation and industrialization.

·        These gases are
1. carbon dioxide (CO2),
2. methane (CH4)
3. nitrous oxides (NOx) and
4. chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hence known as green house gases.
·        Out of these four gases,
1. carbon dioxide contributes about 55%,
2. chlorofluorocarbon contributes about 24%,
3. methane (about 15%) and
4. nitrous oxide (about 6%) towards heating of the atmosphere.
·        Do you know the sources of these gases?. Burning of fossil fuels and fire woods, large fleet of automobiles and number of factories emit carbon dioxides.
·        Growing paddies, livestock, waste dumps and coal mining are the major source of methane.
·        The use of aerosols as coolants in refrigerators and air conditioning devices release chlorofluorocarbons into the atmosphere Nitrous oxide is mainly emitted from chemical industries, and due to deforestation and certain agricultural practices.
·        Construction of green houses in temperate region helps the plant protection and ecological balances whereas concentration of green house gases on the earth’s atmosphere upsets the earth’s biological system.

Consequences of green house effect :

·        It is estimated that if the present rate of increase in CO2 level continues, it will result in rise of atmospheric temperature by 20C to 30C by end of 21st century.
·        This will result in receding many glaciers; melting of icecaps in the polar regions and disappearance of deposits of ice on the other parts of world in large scale.
·        According to an estimate, if all the ice on the earth would melt, about 60M of water would be added to surface of all oceans and low lying coastal areas.
·        A rise in sea-level of only 50-100 cm caused by global warming would flood low lying areas of the world such as Bangladesh, West Bengal as well as densely populated coastal cities from Shanghai to San-Fancisco.
·        Because of increased concentration of CO2 and due to much warmer tropical oceans, there may occur more cyclones and hurricanes.
·        Early snow melt in mountains will cause more floods during monsoon.
·        According to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), within about three decades, rising levels of seas will be able to and flood coastal cities like Bombay, Boston, Chittgang and Manila.
·        A slight increase in global temperature can adversely affect the world food production.
·        Thus the wheat production zones in the northern latitudes will be shifted to north of temperate latitudes.
·        The biological productivity of the ocean would also decrease due to warming of the surface layer, which in turn reduces the transport of nutrients from deeper layers to the surface by vertical circulation.

Control and Remedial Measures of Green House Effect :

·        CO2 concentration can be reduced by drastic cut in the consumption of fossil fuels in the highly developed and industrialized countries like USA and Japan and developing country like China and India.
·        Scientific efforts should be made to develop alternative efficient fuels. Methane may be a substitute of petroleum.
·        Development of hydro-electric  better alternatives.
·        There should be a restriction on the emission of dangerous CO2, CFCs, and as NO2 from the factories and automobiles.
·        Limiting the driving days in megacities can be another option. Cities like singapore and mexico are following the practice.
·        In tropical and sub-tropical countries, the solar energy may be developed as an alternative to the fossil fuels.
·        Biogas plants should be used which is another source of conventional energy for domestic use.

·        Enhancing afforestation will certainly reduce the CO2 level thereby decreasing the green house effect.

Emerging Trends in Environmental Management :

Kyoto Protocol :

·     The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international treaty that sets binding obligations on industrialized countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
·     The UNFCCC is an environmental treaty with the goal of preventing dangerous anthropogenic (i.e., human-induced) interference of the climate system.

·     There are 192 parties to the convention: 191 states (including all the UN members except Andorra, Canada, South Sudan and the United States) and the European Union.

·     The United States signed but did not ratify the Protocol and *Canada withdrew from it in 2011. The Protocol was adopted by Parties to the UNFCCC in 1997, and entered into force in 2005 .

·     As part of the Kyoto Protocol, many developed countries have agreed to legally binding limitations/reductions in their emissions of greenhouse gases in two commitments periods.

·     The first commitment period applies to emissions between 2008-2012, and the second commitment period applies to emissions between 2013-2020.

·     The protocol was amended in 2012 to accommodate the second commitment period, but this amendment has (as of January 2013) not entered into legal force

Global Warming Potential (GWP)  :

·     GWP is the global warming impact that a GHG would have over a 10-year timeframe .
·     By definition, CO2 is used as the reference benchmark .

Details of the Agreement :
·     National emission targets specified in the Kyoto Protocol exclude international aviation and shipping.
·     Kyoto Parties can use land use, land use change, and forestry (LULUCF) in meeting their targets.
·     LULUCF activities are also called "sink" activities. Changes in sinks and land use can have an effect on the climate.
·     Forest management, cropland management, grazing land management, and revegetation are all eligible LULUCF activities under the Protocol

Carbon Credits :
·     A carbon credit is a generic term for any tradable certificate or permit representing the right to emit one tone of carbon dioxide or the mass of another greenhouse gas with a carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2) to one ton of carbon dioxide.
·     Carbon credits and carbon markets are a component of national and international attempts to mitigate the growth in concentrations of greenhouse gases.
·     If a cement manufacturer reduces its CO2 emissions by one ton by adapting some changes into its process or by any other means; say just by planting some trees around its plant, it is awarded ―one carbon credit.
·     This carbon credit can be sold to any industry, allowing it to emit one extra ton of CO2 than its allowable limit.

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM):
·     The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is one of the flexibility mechanisms defined in the Kyoto Protocol (IPCC, 2007) that provides for emissions reduction projects which generate Certified Emission Reduction units which may be traded in emissions trading schemes.

National Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Authority :
·     Accordingly the Central Government constituted the National Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Authority for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of environment in terms of the Kyoto Protocol; 

Ecological Footprint :
·     The Ecological Footprint is a measure of human demand on the Earth's Ecosystems.
·     It is a standardized measure of demand for natural capital that may be contrasted with the planet's ecological capacity to regenerate.
·     It represents the amount of biologically productive land and sea area necessary to supply the resources a human population consumes, and to assimilate associated waste.
·     Using this assessment, it is possible to estimate how much of the Earth (or how many planet Earths) it would take to support humanity if everybody followed a given lifestyle.

 The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) :
  • CBD, known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is a multilateral treaty.

The Convention has three main goals:
·     conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity)
·     sustainable use of its components; and
·     fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources

Monday, 21 March 2016

Petroleum and Natural gas in india


·        It provides lubricants and raw materials for a number of chemical industries.
·         Products include kerosene, diesel, petrol, aviation-fuel, synthetic rubber, synthetic-fibre, thermoplastic resins, benzene-methansol, polystertene, acrylates, detergents, aromatics, gasoline, carbon-black, dyes, colours, food-colours, pigments, explosives, printing ink, film-photography, greases, cosmetics, paints, lubricant oils, paraffin, and wax.
·        Crude oil is obtained mainly from the sedimentary rocks of marine origin. In India, crude oil is found in the sedimentary rocks of the Tertiary period 
·         Normally it does not occur at its place of formation.
·        Being lighter than water, crude oil overlain with gas, gets accumulated in the anticlines above the water surface.

In India, origin:
·        1860- mergherita (upper assam) – first time oil discovered by assam railway and trading company .
·        1889- oil was discovered in digboy .
·        1917 – badarpur(assam)  .
·        1954- production of oil was started in naharkatiya region.
·        1956- ONGC .
·        1961- gulf of cambay (khambat) –discovered by ONGC .
·        1976 –bombay high - discovered by ONGC .

 In India, the petroleum and natural gas has been discovered in the following ten basins:

·        1. The Upper Assam Basin (60,000 sq km)
·        2. The Western Bengal Basin (60,000 sq km)
·        3. The Western Himalayan Basin (100,000 sq km)
·        4. The Rajasthan Saurashtra-Kachchh Basin (95,000 sq km)
·        5. The Northern Gujarat Basin (140,000 sq km)
·        6. The Ganga Valley Basin (385,000 sq km)
·        7. The Coastal Tamil Nadu, Andhra & Kerala Basin (75,000 sq km)
·        8. The Andaman and Nicobar Coastal Basin (2000 sq km)
·        9. Offshore of the Khambat, Bombay High & Bassein (2000 sq km)

Crude-Oil Producing Regions in India  :

1. The Western Coast Offshore Oilfields

The Bombay High Oilfields :
·        largest petroleum production oilfield contributing over 65 per cent of the total production of crude oil.
·        lies about 176 km to the south-west of Bombay.
·        has about 35 million tonnes of crude oil and about 40,000 million cubic metres of natural gas.
·        started in 1976.
·        Owing to over exploitation, the production of this oil-field is declining fast.

Bassein Oilfield:
·        lies to the south of Bombay High.
·        occurs at a depth of over 1900 metres.
·        rich deposits of oil and natural gas.

Aliabet Oilfield :
·        located about 45 km to the south of Bhavnagar.

2. The Gujarat Coast
·        This is the second largest oil producing area of the country.
·        Its main oilfields are in Ankleshwar, Cambay-Luni area and Ahmadabad-Kalol region.
 (i) Ankleshwar:
·        Situated in the district of Bharauch, it stretches over an area of about 30 sq km.
·        The oil of this region belongs to the Eocene period.
·        started in 1961.
·        rich in gasoline and kerosene.
·        The crude oil from this region is sent to the Koyali petroleum refinery.
 (ii) Cambay-Luni Region:
·        lies about 60 km to the west of Vadodara.
·        started in 1958.
·        The estimated reserves of crude-oil are over 30 million tonnes.
·        very light with a sulphur content of less than 0.1 per cent.

(iii) The Ahmadabad-Kalol Region:
·        lies to the north of Gulf of Khambat (Cambay) around the city of Ahmadabad and extends up to Mehsana. Kalol, situated about 25 km to the north of Ahmadabad is an important oilfield of the region.
·        started in 1961.
·        supplied mainly to the Koyali refinery.

3.The Eastern Coast:

·        Oil-fields Petroleum and natural gas have been discovered in marine delta regions of Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri rivers.
·        The Rawa field in the Godavari-Krishna offshore is expected to produce about 3 million tonnes of crude-oil annually.
·        Petroleum has also been discovered in the Kaveri delta.
·        In addition to these, crude oil has been discovered in the Bilaspur Tehsil of Rampur District of Uttar Pradesh, Jawalamukhi area of Punjab, and in the Barmer District of Rajasthan.
·        found on the offshore of Andaman and Nicobar, Gulf of Mannar, Baleshwar coast, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

4. The Brahmaputra Valley:

·        Crude oil was first discovered in the Brahmaputra valley.
·        spread from the Dehang Basin up to the Surma valley.
·        The main oil producing wells, however, lie in the Dibrugarh and Sibsagar districts of Upper Assam.
·        Some of the important oil producing centres of this region are given below:
 (i) The Digboi Oilfield Stretching over an area of about 15 sq km, the Digboi oilfield is one of the oldest oil-fields of the country.
·        belongs to the Eocene and Miocene periods.
·        There are 85 oil wells in this region.
·        Most of the oil is sent to the refinery of Digboi.

Natural gas :

·        Exploration –by- ONGC
·        potential- about 450 billion cubic metres .
·        75%- lies in Bombay High and the bassein oil fields.
·        12%-GJ
·        7%-andhra Pradesh
·        6%- assam
·        Others- TN , HP ,PUNNJAB
·        Largest share of  natural gas is consumed in the production of chemical fertilizer (about-40%).
·        30% - power generation ,
·        10%- L.P.G (cooking gas)