1. National Investigation Agency – Arrests one in Pulwama
  2. Govt. move to cut crop cover premium
  3. Core Sector Growth
  4. Hot Summer in Offing
  5. Why snow in Antarctica is turning blood-red?
  6. Meril’s Device
  7. Central Laws to Apply Retrospectively in J&K
  8. MCA to introduce ‘SPICe+’ form to replace existing SPICe form
  9. Chikankari(embroidery)


Why in news?

NIA has arrested a person in relation to Pulwama case


  • The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is a state agency established by the Indian Government to combat terror in India.
  • It acts as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency.
  • The agency is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states.
  • The Agency came into existence with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 by the Parliament of India on 31 December 2008.


Why in  news?

Recently the Centre has decided to reduce its subsidy share in the case of high premium crops in PMFBY


  • The scheme, which has so far been mandatory for farmers with crop loans, is becoming optional from April and is expected to see a 30% drop in enrolment
  • Centre had capped its subsidy for premium rates up to 30% for unirrigated crops and 25% for irrigated areas and crops.
  • This means that so long as the premium for a crop in a particular district is below the cut-off figure of 30%, the Centre will equally split the subsidy burden with the State.
  • If the premium is above 30%, the State will have to pay the entire additional amount
  • The other reason for high premiums may be that the crop is simply not viable in that area, in which case also insurance schemes are unsustainable


Why in news?

Eight core industries recorded a 2.2 per cent growth in January helped by expansion in the production of coal, refinery products and electricity


  • It contains index, production and growth of Eight Core Industries.
  • Eight Core Industries are Electricity , steel, refinery products, crude oil, coal, cement, natural gas and fertilizers.
  • The Index of Eight Core Industries is a monthly production index, which is also considered as a lead indicator of the monthly industrial performance.
  • The Index of Eight Core Industries is compiled based on the monthly production information received from the Source Agencies.


Why in news?

March-May period likely to be hotter than normal: India Meteorological Department


  • The forecast indicates that the MAM (March-May) season averaged temperatures are likely to be at least half a degree hotter than normal over northwest, west and central India and some parts of south India
  • Above normal heat wave conditions are also likely in the core heat wave (HW) zone during the season (March-May)
  • A hot summer, experts say, is a key factor to a timely monsoon.
  • However, the impact of a warming ocean and its impact on the monsoon is likely to be better apparent around April when the IMD issues its first forecast for the monsoon.
  • The southwest monsoon in 2019 (June to September) delivered 10 per cent above average rainfall in the country, the highest in 25 years.
  • In 1994, the rainfall was 110 per cent during the June-September period.
  • Before that, more than 10 per cent above average rainfall was witnessed in 1990 (119 per cent).


Why in news?

  • Snow around Ukraine’s Vernadsky Research Base, located off the coast of Antarctica’s northernmost peninsula, has started to take on a red tinge, courtesy of an algae that thrives in freezing weather.
  • Because of the red tinge, the snow is often dubbed “watermelon snow”.


  • The red snow raises concerns about the rate at which the glaciers will melt away and eventually affect sea-level rise

Why is the snow turning red?

  • According to a 2016 report in The New York Times, such algae as found around the Ukrainian research base grow well in freezing temperatures and liquid water.
  • During the summer, when these typically green algae get a lot of sun, they start producing a natural sunscreen that paints the snow in shades of pink and red.
  • The algae produce the tinted sunscreen to keep themselves warm.
  • The report mentions that because the snow becomes darker from the tinge, it absorbs more heat, as a result of which it melts faster.
  • It also change the snow’s albedo


Why in news?

Three years after setting cap on stents, NPPA exempts Meril’s device from price control


  • Meril had approached the NPPA for exemption under this provision after it received the Indian drug regulator’s approval in 2017 for the stent, a drug-coated product called MeRes-100 that naturally dissolves over a period of time.
  • The All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN) last year had raised concerns related to the safety of the product.
  • The authority took the decision after DCGI, which convened a meeting of experts on the issue, had found clinical data and three-year follow up data on 108 patients submitted by Meril to be “satisfactory”


Why in news?

The Union cabinet has given approval for their applicability in an effort to ensure administrative effectiveness and smooth transition, removing any ambiguity, in line with the Constitution.


  • Jammu and Kashmir had a separate provision of Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) under which cases were registered by the state police
  • Apart from IPC and Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), the Centre had also extended Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
  • Another law that will now be applicable to J&K is the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016. This was earlier applicable to other parts of the country except J&K.
  • Similarly, the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 used by CBI and vigilance agencies has been made applicable to J&K. The act is applicable to all Indian citizens even outside the country.



  • As part of Government of India’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) initiatives, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs would be shortly notifying & deploying a new Web Form christened ‘SPICe+’ (pronounced ‘SPICe Plus) replacing the existing SPICe form.
  • SPICe+ would be an integrated Web form offering multiple services viz. name reservation, incorporation, DIN allotment, mandatory issue of PAN, TAN, EPFO, ESIC, Profession Tax (Maharashtra) and Opening of Bank Account.
MINISTRY OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS Government of India PUBLIC NOTICE Introducing A New andLCo.mprehensive portal tor New Companies: INTRODUCING SPICe+ (Replacing the existing SPICe) As part of of India's Ease of Ooing Business (EOOB) initiatiæs, the of Affairs deployed Web Fom cYistæd 'SPICe• (pronounced • SPICe plus') the ex i Sting SPICe form. muld offer 10 by Cenml M"'istries & (Ministry of "aim, Ministry of & Deputmnt of the Wnistry of Finance) One St*e Govt.(Maharashtra), thereby saving as many procedures, time md Startirw a Business in India and would be applicable for all new comparw As an integrated Web Form. SPICe• has tm parts - PART A FOR NAME RESERVATION FOR NEW COMPANIES OFFERING A BOUQUET



  • Chikan is a traditional embroidery style from Lucknow, India. Literally translated, the word means embroidery, and it is one of Lucknow’s best known textile decoration styles
  • There are references to embroidery similar to chikan work in India as early as 3rd century BC by Megasthenes, who mentioned the use of flowered muslins by Indians.
  • But these embroidered patterns lack any colour, ornamentation or anything spectacular to embellish it.
  • According to Laila Tyabji, chikankari stems from the white-on-white embroidery of Shiraz and came to India as part of culture of Persian nobles at the Mughal court.
  • There is also a tale that mentions how a traveler taught chikan to a peasant in return of water to drink.
  • The most popular origin story credits Noor Jahan, Mughal empress and wife of Jahangir, with introducing chikankari to India
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