Partial Solar Eclipse

In News

  • Recently, for the first time in over a decade, a partial solar eclipse was visible in several parts of India on October 25.
    • It also marks the last solar eclipse of the year. 

About Solar eclipse 

  • What is a solar eclipse?
    • During a solar eclipse, the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, stopping some of the Sun’s light from reaching our planet.
    • An eclipse never comes alone. Typically, a solar eclipse happens around two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse. 
  • Visibility of the recent Partial solar eclipse
    • The eclipse was visible from parts of Europe, Northern Africa and large parts of western and central Asia. 
    • It was visible for most of India apart from some parts in the Northeast.
  • Kinds of solar eclipses
    • Total solar eclipse: During a total eclipse, the Moon will completely cover the Sun. 
    • Annular eclipse: During an annular solar eclipse, the Moon will not fully cover the Sun but will leave an edge visible.
    • Partial solar eclipse: A partial solar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon, and earth are not exactly aligned and the sun appears to have a dark shadow on a small part of its surface. 
      • There are three phases of a partial solar eclipse, which include a beginning, a maximum, and an end.
      • The initial phase involves the moon beginning to move over the sun’s disk, followed by it reaching a maximum when the maximum part of the sun’s disk is covered. 
      • The third phase is when the moon starts moving away from the moon, unblocking the sunlight.
      • The unique feature of the Partial Solar Eclipse is that it happens only on a new moon.
  • What makes the recent event rare?
    • The partial solar eclipse was last seen in India in 2007 and that makes this event rare since it will only be seen in India on November 3, 2032.
    • In 2025, there will be another partial solar eclipse but India won’t be able to witness it. 

How often do partial solar eclipses occur?

  • Partial eclipses occur about twice a year somewhere in the world. The number of partial eclipses each year can vary. 
  • Sometimes they occur in conjunction with a total solar eclipse, in which the partial eclipse is visible before and after totality, but sometimes they occur on their own.  


  • It is not recommended to see an eclipse with the naked eye, even for a brief period. Although the Moon blocks most of the Sun, it will still damage the eyes permanently and result in blindness. 
  • Although the eclipse may be visible to the naked eye, the ultraviolet rays can cause damage to the retina. 

Cyclone Sitrang

In News

  • Recently, Cyclone Sitrang made landfall in southern Bangladesh taking the death toll to 35 and millions other remained without power in the country.
    • It is the first tropical cyclone of the post-monsoon season of 2022. It also helped Delhi record its cleanest post-Diwali air since 2015

About Cyclone Sitrang 

  • The name Sitrang has been given by Thailand.  
    • The last October cyclone in the Bay of Bengal was Titli in 2018.
  • It developed in the Bay of Bengal before turning north toward Bangladesh’s vast coast. The maximum wind speed was 88 kmh. 
  • A red alert indicating heavy to very heavy and extremely heavy rainfall under the influence of cyclone was issued for Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura.
  • The IMD is one of the world’s six RMSCs mandated to provide cyclone advisories and alerts to 13 member countries Bangladesh, India, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.  
  • Affected regions: 
    • Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Odisha, West Bengal and Bangladesh, particularly the coastal districts. 

Why storms in October? 

  • The months of October-November and May-June see storms of severe intensity develop in the North Indian Ocean comprising the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.
  • In the past 131 years, October saw 61 storms develop in the Bay of Bengal.
    • The east coast, notably Odisha, has faced many of its severest storms in October, including the Super Cyclone of 1999.
  • After the withdrawal of the Southwest monsoon, there is a rise in ocean heating, this leads to rise in sea surface temperature over the Bay of Bengal.
  • The atmospheric moisture availability over the ocean region, too, is higher.
    • So, when remnant systems from the South China Sea reach the Bay of Bengal, they get conducive conditions, aiding the formation and intensification of cyclones in October.
  • In some years, ocean-atmospheric factors hinder this phenomenon.
    • In 2020, weak La Nina conditions along the equatorial Pacific Ocean prevented a cyclonic formation near India’s coasts. 

Cyclones in the Arabian Sea

  • In comparison with the Bay of Bengal, only 32 storms have developed in the Arabian Sea in October since 1891. 
  • Climatologically too, the IMD states that of the five storms formed in the North Indian Ocean in a calendar year, four are in the Bay of Bengal and one in Arabian Sea.  
What is a Cyclone?A cyclone is any low-pressure area with winds spiralling inwards and is caused by atmospheric disturbances around a low-pressure area distinguished by swift and often destructive air circulation. The air circulates inward in an anticlockwise direction in the Northern hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern hemisphere.The amount of pressure drop in the center and the rate at which it increases outwards gives the intensity of the cyclones and the strength of winds. Eye: The centre of a cyclone is a calm area. It is called the eye of the storm. The diameter of the eye varies from 10 to 30 km. It is a region free of clouds and has light winds.High-speed winds: Around this calm and clear eye, there is a cloud region of about 150 km in size. In this region there are high-speed winds (150–250 km/h) and thick clouds with heavy rain. Away from this region the wind speed gradually decreases.A large cyclone is a violently rotating mass of air in the atmosphere, 10 to 15 km high. The criteria followed by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to classify the low pressure systems in the Bay of Bengal and in the Arabian Sea as adopted by the World Meteorological Organisation (W.M.O.) are given in the following Table:C:\Users\WELCOME\Desktop\Screenshot_9.pngTypes of CyclonesTropical Cyclone: Cyclones that develop in the regions between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer are called tropical cyclones. Tropical cyclones are large-scale weather systems developing over tropical or subtropical waters, where they get organised into surface wind circulation.Extra tropical Cyclone (also called Temperate Cyclone): They occur in temperate zones and high latitude regions. In contrast with tropical cyclones, extratropical cyclones produce rapid changes in temperature and dew point along broad lines, called weather fronts, about the center of the cyclone.Formation of CyclonesBefore cloud formation, water takes up heat from the atmosphere to change into vapour. When water vapour changes back to liquid form as raindrops, this heat is released to the atmosphere. The heat released to the atmosphere warms the air around. The air tends to rise and causes a drop in pressure. More air rushes to the centre of the storm. This cycle is repeated. The chain of events ends with the formation of a very low-pressure system with very high-speed winds revolving around it. It is this weather condition that is called a cyclone. Conditions favouring the formation and intensification of tropical cyclone stormsSea surface with a temperature higher than 27° C,Coriolis force,Small differences in the vertical wind speed,Weak- low-pressure area.

Nalanda University to Offer a Course on Bay of Bengal

In News

  • Recently Nalanda University has offered a certificate course on Bay of Bengal region.
    • This has the potential of strengthening India’s linkages with East Asian countries.

More about the news

  • The Nalanda University(NU) now operates from its sprawling campus in Rajgir, Bihar.
  • The university offers ‘Bay of Bengal: An Introduction’ as a certificate course via online classes. 
    • NU also has plans to make the course available offline in the future. 
  • About the course: 
    • The three-week course will include lectures from experts on 
      • Navigation, fisheries, 
      • Track-II policies and 
      • Culture of countries involved with Bay of Bengal 
        • India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, China, USA, France, Germany, UK, Japan and Korea.
    • Course content:
      • The course content also includes the study of trade and commerce in the Bay of Bengal, traditional and non-traditional security, major sea lanes, energy and other resources, blue economy, sustainable development, coastal tourism, geopolitical competition, migration and refugees, piracy, pollution, traditions, art and architecture, religions, food, festivals, music, dance, clothing, movies and overall economic and ecological relevance of the bay today.
  • Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies:
    • PM Modi had also announced during the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit in Kathmandu, that the Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies would be established at NU.
      • CBS (Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies) will conduct research on new fields as well as the historical and spiritual connections in order to assure connectedness through links and increase understanding of the bay and the broader Indo-Pacific region.
  • Significance of the Bay of Bengal region:
  • The Bay of Bengal is significant in terms of both India’s Act East Policy and the bay’s strategic orientations. 
  • India’s SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) vision and the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative have also made it important for a specialised multidisciplinary research centre about the bay to be set up.
About Nalanda UniversityHistory:Nalanda was an acclaimed Mahavihara, a large Buddhist monastery in the ancient kingdom of Magadha (modern-day Bihar) in India. It is considered by historians to be the world’s very first residential university and among the greatest centers of learning in the ancient world.Establishment:Nalanda was established during the Gupta Empire era and was supported by numerous Indian and Javanese patrons – both Buddhists and non-Buddhists.Location:The site is located about 95 kilometres southeast of Patna near the town of Bihar Sharif, and was a centre of learning from the fifth century CE to1200 CE.Revival:The President of India A. P. J. Abdul Kalam proposed the idea while addressing the Joint Session of the Bihar Vidhan Mandal for the revival of Nalanda University in 2006.In 2007 the Bihar Legislative Assembly passed a bill for the creation of a new university.The international university supported by 18 member countries was established by an Act of the Indian Parliament in 2010. It is designated as an Institute of National Importance (INI) and excellence. The decision to set up the university was endorsed at the second and fourth East Asia Summits. 

India’s “Act East Asia” Policy

  • Announced in November 2014 is a diplomatic initiative to promote economic, strategic and cultural relations with the vast Asia-Pacific region at different levels.
  • It involves intensive engagement with Southeast Asian countries in the fields of: 
    • Connectivity, trade, culture, defence and people-to-people-contact at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.
  • Significance of East Asia for India:
  • Eastern countries:
    • The eastern region of Asia consists of the Asian nationsGreater China (Greater China consists of the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), Japan, Mongolia, North Korea and South Korea.
  • Regional Security: 
    • Considering tension on the Korean Peninsula, South China and in the Taiwan Strait, among others, it is vital for Japan, China and South Korea to maintain a common stance and to share a common concern for security in the East Asian region.
  • Economic benefit: 
    • It represents nearly 50 per cent of the world’s population with 20 percent of global trade, and comprising 16 nations that are on a dynamic path of economic development.
  • Global Implications: 
    • An East Asia community would play a big role in instilling a sense of responsibility in Asian countries and in leading them jointly in contributing to the resolution of global issues.
About BIMSTECThe Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a multilateral regional organisation established with the aim of accelerating shared growth and cooperation between littoral and adjacent countries in the Bay of Bengal region.Origin and Membership It was founded as BIST-EC, in June 1997, with the adoption of the Bangkok Declaration, with Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand as members.It became BIMST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation) with the entry of Myanmar in late 1997, And eventually, it was named in its current form, when Nepal and Bhutan became members in 2004.Significance The BIMSTEC region hosts 22% of the world population or 1.68 billion people; and the member states have a combined GDP of US$3.697 trillion/per year.

Self-Reliant India

In News

  • Recently, the Prime Minister emphasised the importance of promoting indigenous products and self-reliance.

More about the news

  • Self-reliance:
    • The significance of promoting indigenous products and self-reliance is for prosperity and by adopting them one can keep India’s traditional art, culture and civilisation alive.
  • Jain saint Vijay Vallabh Surishwar:
    • The PM was addressing a gathering to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Jain saint Vijay Vallabh Surishwar.
      • The event was organised by the Union Culture Ministry
      • As part of the occasion, a commemorative postage stamp and coin dedicated to Acharya Surishwar was also released.
      • Historical significance:
        • PM said Acharya Surishwar’s insistence on peace and harmony was clearly visible even during the horrors of Partition. 
        • He noted that during the freedom movement Mahatma Gandhi had adopted the path of “aparigraha”, or renunciation, as laid down by the Jain gurus.
AparigrahaAparigraha or Non-possession is a philosophy that holds that no one or anything possesses anything. in Jainism, aparigraha is the virtue of non-possessiveness, non-grasping or non-greediness.Aparigraha is not only renunciation but also controlling all kinds of attachments.This particular iteration of aparigraha is distinct because it is a component of Gandhiji’s active non-violent resistance to social problems permeating India.

About the Self-reliant India

  • What is Self-reliance?
    • Self-reliance is the social and economic ability of an individual, a household or a community to meet essential needs (including protection, food, water, shelter, personal safety, health and education) in a sustainable manner and with dignity.
  • India’s potential towards self reliance:
    • Labour force:
      • Self reliance depends on improving the income and productivity of a majority of the labour force. 
      • There are two ways to do this. 
        • First, incentivise the farming community to shift from grain-based farming to cash crops, horticulture and livestock products. 
        • Second, shift the labour force from agriculture to manufacturing
          • India can only become self-reliant if it uses its best endowment — 900 million people in the working-age population with an average age of 27 — and appropriates its demographic dividend as China did.
    • Global position:
      • India is in a unique position at a time when all other manufacturing giants are ageing sequentially — Japan, EU, the US, and even South Korea and China. 
      • Most of these countries have moved out of low-end labour-intensive manufacturing, and that space is being taken by countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam, Mexico, etc.
    • Research & development:
      • State-funded R&D, including in basic research, by PSUs and research institutions and universities needs to be scaled-up significantly, well above the dismal 1% of GDP currently. 
    • Education:
      • Finally, India’s meagre public expenditure on education needs to be substantially ramped up (as against current trends of privatisation which would only shrink access), including in skill development. 
      • No country has achieved self-reliance without mass quality public education. 

Government’s initiatives towards self reliance 

  • Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan
    • Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan or Self-reliant India campaign is the vision of new India.
    • Aim:
      • The aim is to make the country and its citizens independent and self-reliant in all senses. 
      • There are five pillars of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat – 
        • Economy, 
        • Infrastructure, 
        • System, 
        • Vibrant Demography and 
        • Demand. 
      • Finance Minister has announcd Government Reforms and Enablers across Seven Sectors under Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan.
    • The government took several bold reforms such as Supply Chain Reforms for Agriculture, Rational Tax Systems, Simple & Clear Laws, Capable Human Resource and Strong Financial System in this regard.
  • Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana:
    • Aim:
      • It aims to boost employment generation and minimise the socio-economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. 
    • Features:
      • Under ABRY, Government of India is crediting for a period of two years both the employees’ share (12% of wages) and employers share’ (12% of wages) of contribution payable or only the employees’ share, depending on employment strength of the EPFO registered establishments. 
  • Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana
    • Aim: 
      • To strengthen India’s critical healthcare network in both urban and rural areas.
      • Establish an IT-enabled disease surveillance system through a network of laboratories at block, district, regional and national levels.
      • Labs will be connected through the Integrated Health Information Portal.
    • Features:
      • To provide support to 17,788 rural Health and Wellness Centres in 10 ‘high focus’ states and establish 11,024 urban Health and Wellness Centres.
      • It is in addition to the National Health Mission.
      • Exclusive Critical Care Hospital Blocks with over five lakh population.
  • Make in India
    • Ministry of Commerce & Industry said that the program, which is aimed at self-sufficiency or being ‘aatmanirbhar’, has substantial accomplishments across 27 sectors, including strategic sectors such as manufacturing and services.
    • Make in India, the flagship program of the Government of India that aspires to 
      • Facilitate investment, 
      • Foster innovation, 
      • Enhance skill development,
      • Build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure,
      • Protect the intellectual property,
      • Make India digital,
      • Create healthy relationships with various countries,
      • Provide employment opportunities.
    • “Make in India” had three stated objectives:
      • To increase the manufacturing sector’s growth rate to 12-14% per annum;
      • To create 100 million additional manufacturing jobs in the economy by 2022;
      • To ensure that the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP is increased to 25% by 2022 (later revised to 2025).
  • Startup India
    • Startup India was introduced in 2016 as a call to innovators, entrepreneurs, and thinkers of the nation to lead from the front in driving India’s sustainable growth and create large scale employment opportunities.
    • The entrepreneurial portal had more than 65,000 startups registered.
    • Of which, 40 attained the ‘unicorn’ status recently, bringing the total as of date to 90.

RBI’s Currency Management

In News

  • Recently, several Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders asked the government to put pictures of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh on currency notes in order to bring “prosperity” to the country. 

Who decides what Indian bank notes and coins are supposed to look like?

  • Changes in the design and form of bank notes and coins are decided by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the central government. 
    • Changes in the design of coins are the prerogative of the central government.
  • Any change in design of a currency note has to be approved by the RBI’s Central Board and the central government. 

Role of RBI in issuing notes

  • The central bank internally works out a design, which is put before the RBI’s Central Board.
  • Section 22 of The Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, gives RBI the “sole right” to issue banknotes in India. 
  • Section 25 states that “the design, form, and material of bank notes shall be such as may be approved by the Central Government after consideration of the recommendations made by the [RBI’s] Central Board”.
  • The RBI’s Department of Currency Management has the responsibility of administering the core function of currency management.
    • The Department addresses policy and operational issues relating to the:
      • Designing banknotes.
      • Forecasting demand for notes and coins.
      • Ensuring smooth distribution of banknotes and coins throughout the country.
      • Retrieval of unfit notes and uncurrent coins from circulation. 
      • Ensuring the integrity of bank notes.
  • If the design of a currency note has to change, the Department works on the design and submits it to RBI, which recommends it to the central government. The government gives the final approval. 
  • Two of India’s currency note printing presses in Nasik and Dewas are owned by the Government of India and two others in Mysore and Salboni are owned by the RBI through its wholly owned subsidiary, Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Ltd (BRBNML).  

Who decides on the minting of coins?

  • The Coinage Act, 2011 gives the central government the power to design and mint coins in various denominations.
  • In the case of coins, the role of the RBI is limited to the distribution of coins that are supplied by the central government.
  • The government decides on the quantity of coins to be minted on the basis of indents received from the RBI on a yearly basis.
  • Coins are minted in four mints owned by the Government of India in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Noida.   
Types of notes issued so farAshoka Pillar Banknotes: The first banknote issued in independent India was the Re 1 note issued in 1949. While retaining the existing design, the new banknotes replaced the portrait of King George with the symbol of the Lion Capital of the Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath in the watermark window.Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Series, 1996: All the banknotes of this series bear the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi on the obverse (front) side, in place of the symbol of the Lion Capital of Ashoka Pillar, which was moved to the left, next to the watermark window. These banknotes contain both the Mahatma Gandhi watermark as well as Mahatma Gandhi’s portrait.Mahatma Gandhi series, 2005: The “MG series 2005” notes were issued in denominations of Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 500, and Rs 1,000. They contain some additional/ new security features as compared to the 1996 MG series. The Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes of this series were withdrawn w.e.f. the midnight of November 8, 2016.Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series, 2016: The “MGNS” notes highlight the cultural heritage and scientific achievements of the country. Being of reduced dimensions, these notes are more wallet friendly, and are expected to incur less wear and tear. The colour scheme is sharp and vivid.The first banknote from the new series of Rs 2,000 denomination was introduced on November 8, 2016, with the theme of Mangalyaan. Subsequently, banknotes in this series in denominations of Rs 500, Rs 200, Rs 100, Rs 50, Rs 20, and Rs 10 were introduced.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *