Monday, December 30, 2013



1. Events of National and International importance.

2. Current affairs – International, National and Regional.

3. Current Developments in Science, Technology and Information Technology.

4. History of Modern India with special emphasis upon Indian National Movement.

5. Economic Development in India since Independence.

6. Logical reasoning, Analytical Ability and Data Interpretation.

7. Basic things about Disaster Management (CBSE –VIII & IX standard)


Rural Development and Problems in Rural Areas with special reference to Andhra Pradesh 

(Questions in Paper-II will be framed with a view to test the General Awareness levels of the
candidates broadly about developmental aspects related to Rural Areas.)

1) Public Health and Sanitation, prevention of epidemics, hygiene behavoiur, village development.
2) Social tensions and conflicts in contemporary society – problems of deprived groups.
3) Indian System of Democracy – Democratic institutions, Panchayat Raj – Co-operative Institutions in the service of Rural Areas, their role and their effectiveness.
4) Rural Economy and Development – Scientific developments relevant to rural areas –labour saving devices.
5) Basic aspects related to Accounting.

Panchayat Secretary Grade-IV A.P. Panchayat raj Subordinate Service Recruitment (Notification No. 08/2013)

N O T I F I C A T I O N N O . 0 8 / 2 0 1 3 , D t : - 3 0 . 1 2 . 2 0 1 3 

Click Here forPanchayath Secretary Notification

Friday, December 6, 2013

UPSC Civil Service Mains 2013 General Studies Paper 1 Question Paper (Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society)

Instructions :-
• 250 marks, 3 hours
• Content of the answer is more important than its length.
• Answer questions in not more than the word limit specified for each in the parenthesis.

Q1. Though not very useful from the point of view of a connected political history of South India , the Sangam literature portrays the social and economic conditions of its time with remarkable vividness. Comment. 10 marks-200 words

Q2. (a) Discuss the Tandava dance as recorded in the early Indian inscriptions. 5 marks, 100 words
      (b) Chola architecture represents a high watermark in the evolution of temple architecture. Discuss. 5 marks, 100 words.

Q3. Defying the barriers of age, gender and religion, the Indian women became the torch bearer during the struggle for freedom in India. Discuss. 10 marks-200 words

Q4. Several foreigners made India their homeland and participated in various movements. Analyze their role in the Indian struggle for freedom. 10 marks-200 words

Q5. In many ways, Lord Dalhousie was the founder of modern India. Elaborate.10 marks-200 words

Q6. Critically discuss the objectives of Bhoodan and Gramdan movements initiated by Acharya Vinoba Bhave and their success. 10 marks-200 words

Q7. Write a critical note on  the evolution and significance of the slogan “Jai Jawana Jai Kisan”. 10 marks-200 words

Q8. Discuss the contribution of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad to pre-and post independent India. 10 marks-200 words

Q9. Analyse the circumstances t hat led to Tashkent Agreement in 1966. Discuss the highlights of the agreement. 10 marks-200 words

Q10. Critically examine the compulsions which prompted India to play a decisive roles in the emergence of Bangladesh. 10 marks-200 words

Q11. “Latecomer” Industrial revolution in Japan involved certain factors that were markedly different from what west had experience. 10 marks-200 words

Q12. Africa was chopped into states artificially created by accident of European competition. Analyse. 10 marks-200 words

Q13. American Revolution was an economic revolt against mercantilism. Substantiate. 10 marks-200 words

Q14. What policy instruments were deployed to contain the great economic depression? 10 marks-200 words

Q15. Discussion the various social problems which originated out of the speedy process of urbanization in India. 10 marks-200 words

Q16. Male membership needs to be encouraged in order to make women’s organization free from gender bias. Comment. 10 marks-200 words

Q17. Critically examine the effects of globalization on the aged population in India. 10 marks-200 words

Q18. Growing feeling of regionalism is an important factor in the generation of demand for a separate state. Discuss. 10 marks-200 words

Q19. (a) What do you understand by the theory of continental drift? Discuss the prominent evidences in its support. 5 marks 100 words
       (b) The recent cyclone on the east coast of India was called “Phailin”. How are the tropical cyclones named across the world? Elaborate. 5 marks-100 words.

Q20. (a) Bring out the causes for the formation of heat islands in the urban habitat of the world. 5 marks 100 words   
       (b) What do you understand by the phenomenon of temperature inversion in meteorology? How does it affect the weather and the habitants of the place? 5 marks 100 words

Q21. Major hot deserts in northern hemisphere are located between 20-30 degree north and on the western side of the continents. Why?  10 marks-200 words.

Q22. (a) Bringout the causes for more frequent landslides in the Himalayas than in Western Ghats. 5 marks 100 words
       (b) There is no formation of deltas by rivers of the Western Ghat. Why? 5 marks 100 words

Q23. (a) Do you agree that there is a growing trend of opening new sugar mills in the Southern states of India ? Discuss with justification. 5 marks 100 words
       (b) Analyse the factors for highly decentralized cotton textile industry in India . 5 marks 100 words

Q24. With growing scarcity of fossil fuels, the atomic energy is gaining more and more significance in India. Discuss the availability of raw material required for the generation of atomic energy in India and in the world. 10 marks-200 words

Q25. It is said the India has substantial reserves of shale oil and gas, which can feed the needs of country for quarter century. However, tapping of the resources doesn’t appear to be high on the agenda. Discuss critically the availability and issues involved. 
10 marks-200 words

UPSC Civil Service Mains 2013 General Studies Paper 2 Question Paper (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations)

Q1. The role of individual MPs (Members of Parliament) has diminished over the years and as a result healthy constructive debates on policy issues are not usually witnessed. How far can this be attributed to the anti-defection law, which was legislated but with a different intention?

Q2. Discuss Section 66A of IT Act, with reference to its alleged violation of Article 19 of the Constitution.

Q3. Recent directives from Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas are perceived by the `Nagas’ as a threat to override the exceptional status enjoyed by the State. Discuss in light of Article 371A of the Indian Constitution.

Q4. The Supreme Court of India keeps a check on arbitrary power of the Parliament in amending the Constitution.’ Discuss critically.

Q5. Many State Governments further bifurcate geographical administrative areas like Districts and Talukas for better governance. In light of the above, can it also be justified that more number of smaller States would bring in effective governance at State level? Discuss.

Q6. Constitutional mechanisms to resolve the inter-state water disputes have failed to address and solve the problems. Is the failure due to structural or process inadequacy or both? Discuss.

Q7. Discuss the recommendations of the 13th Finance Commission which have been a departure from the previous commissions for strengthening the local government finances.

Q8. The product diversification of financial institutions and insurance companies, resulting in overlapping of products and services strengthens the case for the merger of the two regulatory agencies, namely SEBI and IRDA. Justify.

Q9. The concept of Mid-Day Meal (MDM) scheme is almost a century old in India with early beginnings in Madras Presidency in pre-independent India. The scheme has again been given impetus in most states in the last two decades. Critically examine its twin objectives, latest mandates and success.

Q10. Pressure group politics is sometimes seen as the informal face of politics. With regards to the above, assess the structure and functioning of pressure groups in India.

Q11. The legitimacy and accountability of Self Help Groups (SHGs) and their patrons, the micro-finance outfits, need systematic assessment and scrutiny for the sustained success of the concept. Discuss.

Q12. The Central Government frequently complains on the poor performance of the State Governments in eradicating suffering of the vulnerable sections of the society. Restructuring of Centrally sponsored schemes across the sectors for ameliorating the cause of vulnerable sections of population aims at providing flexibility to the States in better implementation. Critically evaluate.

Q13. Electronic cash transfer system for the welfare schemes is an ambitious project to minimize corruption, eliminate wastage and facilitate reforms. Comment.

Q14. The basis of providing urban amenities in rural areas (PURA) is rooted in establishing connectivity. Comment.

Q15. Identify the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that are related to health.Discuss the success of the actions taken by the Government for achieving the same.

Q16. Though Citizen’s charters have been formulated by many public service delivery organizations, there is no corresponding improvement in the level of citizens’ satisfaction and quality of services being provided. Analyse.

Q17. ‘A national Lokpal,however strong it may be,cannot resolve the problems of immorality in public affairs’. Discuss.(200 words).

Q18. The proposed withdrawal of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from Afghanistan in 2014 is fraught with major security implications for the countries of the region. Examine in light of the fact that India is faced with a plethora of challenges and needs to safeguard its own strategic interests.

Q19. What do you understand by The String of Pearls’? How does it impact India? Briefly outline the steps taken by India to counter this.

Q20. Economic ties between India and Japan while growing in the recent years are still far below their potential. Elucidate the policy constraints which are inhibiting this growth.

Q21. The protests in Shahbag Square in Dhaka in Bangladesh reveal a fundamental split in society between the nationalists and Islamic forces. What is its significance for India?

Q22. Discuss the political developments in Maldives in the last two years. Should they be of any cause of concern to India?

Q23. In respect of India — Sri Lanka relations, discuss how domestic factors influence foreign policy.

Q24. What is meant by Gujral doctrine? Does it have any relevance today? Discuss.

Q25. The World Bank and the IMF, collectively known as the Bretton Woods Institutions, are the two inter-governmental pillars supporting the structure of the world’s economic and financial order. Superficially, the World Bank and the IMF exhibit many common characteristics, yet their role, functions and mandate are distinctly different. Elucidate.

UPSC Civil Service Mains 2013 General Studies Paper-3 Question Paper (Tecnology, Economic Develpement, Bio Diversity, Enviroment, Security and Disaster Management)

Time Allowed: Three Hours                                                                                         Maximum Marks: 250


Please read each of the following instructions carefully before attempting questions:
There are TWENTY FIVE questions printed both in HINDI and in ENGLISH.

All questions are compulsory. 

The number of marks carried by a question is indicated against it.

Answers must be written in the medium authorized in the Admission certificate which must be stated clearly on the cover of this Question-cum-Answer (QCA) booklet in the space provided. No marks will be given for answers written in medium other than the authorized one.

Word limit in questions, wherever specified, should be adhered to.

Any page or portion  of the page left blank in the answer book must be clearly struck off.

Answer questions in NOT MORE than the word limit specified for each in the parenthesis. Content of the answer is more important than its length :

1. With a consideration towards the strategy of inclusive growth, the new Companies Bill, 2013 has indirectly made CSR a mandatory obligation. Discuss the challenges expected in its implementation in right earnest. Also discuss other provisions in the Bill and their implications. [200 words]  10

2. What were the reasons for the introduction of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, 2003 ? Discuss critically its salient features and their effectiveness. [200 words] 10

3. What is the meaning of the term 'tax expenditure' ? Taking housing sector as an example, discuss how it influences the budgetary policies of the government.              [200 words] 10

4. Food Security Bill is expected to eliminate hunger and malnutrition in India. Critically discuss various apprehensions in its effective implementation along with the concerns it has generated in WTO. [200 words] 10

5. What are the different types of agriculture subsidies given to farmers at the national and at state levels ? Critically analyse the agriculture subsidy regime with reference to the distortions created by it. [200 words] 10

6. India needs to strengthen measures to promote the pink revolution in food industry for ensuring better nutrition and health. Critically elucidate the statement. [200 words] 10

7. Examine the impact of liberalization on companies owned by Indians. Are they competing with the MNCs satisfactorily ? Discuss. [200 words] 10

8. Establish relationship between land reforms, agriculture productivity and elimination of poverty in the Indian economy. Discuss the difficulties in designing and implementation of agriculture friendly land reforms in India. [200 words] 10

9.(a) Discuss the impact of FDI entry into Multi-trade retail sector on supply chain management in commodity trade pattern of the economy. [100 words] 5
   (b) Though India allowed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in what is called multi-brand retail through the joint venture route in September 2012, the FDI, even after a year, has not picked up. Discuss the reasons. [100 words] 5
10. Discuss the rationale for introducing Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India. Bring out critically the reasons for the delay in roll out for its regime. [200 words] 10

11. Write a note on India's green energy corridor to alleviate the problem of conventional energy. [200 words] 10

12. Adoption of PPP model for infrastructure development of the country has not been free of criticism. Critically discuss pros and cons of the model. [200 words] 10

13. Bringing out the circumstances in 2005 which forced amendment to the section 3(d) in Indian Patent Law, 1970, discuss how it has been utilized by the Supreme Court in its judgement in rejecting Novratis' patent application for 'Glivec'. Discuss briefly the pros and cons of the decision. [200 words] 10

14. What do you understand by Fixed Dose Drug Combinations (FDCs) ? Discuss their merits and demerits. [200 words] 10

15. What do you understand by Umpire Decision Review System in Cricket ? Discuss its various components. Explain how silicone tape on the edge of a bat may fool the system ? [200 words] 10

16. (a) What is a digital signature ? What does its authentication mean ? Give various salient built-in features of a digital signature. [100 words] 5
     (b) How does the 3D printing technology work ? List out the advantages and disadvantages of the technology. [100 words] 5
17. (a) What is an FRP composite material ? How are they manufactured ? Discuss their application in aviation and automobile industries. [100 words] 5
     (b) What do you understand by Run-of-river hydroelectricity project? How is it different from any other hydroelectricity project ? [100 words]  5
18. How important are vulnerability and risk assessment for pre-disaster management? As an administrator, what are key areas that you would focus on in a Disaster Management System. [200 words] 10

19. What are the consequences of Illegal mining ? Discuss the Ministry of Environment and Forests' concept of GO AND NO GO zones for coal mining sector. [200 words] 10

20. Enumerate the National Water Policy of India. Taking river Ganges as an example, discuss the strategies which may be adopted for river water pollution control and management.
     What are the legal provisions of management and handling of hazardous wastes in India ? [200 words] 10
21. Money laundering poses a serious security threat to a country's economic sovereignty. What is its significance for India and what steps are required to be taken to control this menance ? [200 words] 10

22. What are social networking sites and what security implications do these sites present ? [200 words] 10

23. Cyber warfare is considered by some defense analysts to be a larger threat than even Al Qaeda or terrorism. What do you understand by Cyber warfare? Outline the cyber threats which India is vulnerable to and bring out the state of the country's preparedness to deal with the same. [200 words] 10

24. Article 244 of the Indian Constitution relates to administration of scheduled areas and tribal areas. Analyse the impact of non-implementation of the provisions of the Fifth schedule on the growth of Left Wing extremism. [200 words] 10

25. How far are India's internal security challenges linked with border management particularly in view of the long porous borders with most countries of South Asia and Myanmar ? [200 words] 10

UPSC Civil Service Mains Essay 2013 Question Paper

Write an essay on any one of the following topics, in not more than 2500 words. (250 marks)
1. Be the change you want to see in others (Gandhi)

2. Is the Colonial mentality hindering India’s Success?

3. GDP (Gross Domestic Product) along with GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness) would be the right indices for judging the wellbeing of a country

4. Science and technology is the panacea for the growth and security of the nation.

New National Competition Policy

Formulation of a National Competition Policy is under consideration of the Government. Giving this information in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of Corporate Affairs, Shri Sachin Pilot, said that the Government has introduced a Public Procurement Bill, 2012 in Lok Sabha in May, 2012. The Bill seeks to regulate public procurement by all Ministries/Departments of the Central Government, Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), autonomous and statutory bodies controlled by the Central Government and other procuring entities with the objectives of ensuring transparency, accountability and probity in the procurement process, fair and equitable treatment of bidders, promoting competition, enhancing efficiency and economy, maintaining integrity and public confidence in the public procurement process. The Bill at present is under examination by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance. 

More Powers to the Competition Commission of India

The Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2012 introduced in the Lok Sabha inter-alia, proposes to enable Competition Commission of India (CCI) to conduct search and seizure operations directly for carrying out effective investigations into unfair market practices. Giving this information in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister Of Corporate Affairs, Shri Sachin Pilot, said that the Bill is presently under reference to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance for examination and report. 

The Minister also informed the House that the Commission, up to 25.11.2013, has imposed penalty of Rs. 8,024.18 crore on 154 parties in various cases out of which an amount of Rs. 19.37 crore has been recovered and deposited in Government Account from 58 parties. The penalty is recoverable as per the provisions contained in CCI (Manner of Recovery of Monetary Penalty) Regulations, 2011. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Angela Merkel to be honoured with Indira Peace Prize

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be awarded the coveted Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2013 with an international jury headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh choosing her.
The announcement was made on November 19, 2013 by the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.The trust said the prize was being given to 59-year-old German leader for her work in promotion of global economic stability and commitment to universal peace and disarmament and her leadership role in strengthening productive and mutually beneficial relations with India and other developing countries.
Merkel, who became the first woman to be elected as Chancellor of Germany, has been a strong supporter of close relations with India.
Her joint declaration with the Indian Prime Minister greatly strengthened the Indo-German relations, leading to inter-governmental consultations during her state visit to India in 2011 and PM Manmohan Singh's visit to Berlin in 2013.

Mangalore University Presented with Indira Gandhi NSS Best University Award 2012-13

President of India Pranab Mukherjee on 19 November 2013 presented Indira Gandhi National Service Scheme Best University Award 2012-13 to Mangalore University of Karnataka.
Mangalore University is fourth in the row of universities winning Indira Gandhi NSS Award in Karnataka. Prior to this university, RGUHS, Bangalore University, and UAS Dharwad had received this award.
The award comprises a memento and a citation along with a cash prize of 2 lakh Rupees.
President of India also gave NSS Best Plus 2 Council Award for 2012-13 to Directorate of Higher Secondary Education, Thiruvananthpuram while Upcoming University Award was presented to Kumaun University, Nainital. The awards are given to educational institutions, faculty and students for their contribution in various beneficial and voluntary activities.
The awards were presented on the occasion of National Integration Day (19 November 2013) at a function in Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi. National Integration Day is the Birth anniversary of the first woman Prime Minister of the India, Indira Gandhi.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Prof. CNR Rao and Sachin Tendulkar Selected for Bharat Ratna Award

The Government of India on 16 November 2013 decided to confer, the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award on eminent scientist Prof CNR Rao and cricket player Sachin Tendulkar.

Sachin Tendulkar is the first sport person to win the Bharat Ratna Award.
The Bharat Ratna award so far, given only to eminent personalities from the field of dance, music, art, literature and the social sector. In the year 2011, the Government of India modified the eligibility criteria for Bharat Ratna Award - to enable eminent Sports-persons to receive the Nation’s highest civilian award.

About Prof. CNR Rao

Prof. Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao (CNR Rao) was born on 30 June 1934, Bangalore, India. He is an eminent scientist and a well recognized international authority on solid state and materials chemistry.
He has published over 1400 research papers and 45 books. Prof. CNR Rao's contributions have been recognized by most major scientific academies around the world through conferment of memberships and fellowships. He has been honoured with several national and international awards, including Padma Vibhushan.

Prof. CNR Rao is Honorary President of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India.

About Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is an Indian Batsman who is considered one of the greatest batsmen of the cricket world.
Sachin Tendulkar who belongs to Mumbai Maharashtra made his appearance in six world cups for India and was the member of the 2011 World Cup winning squad of the nation.
Sachin Tendulkar made his Test debut against arch-rival Pakistan at Karachi in 1989. He made his ODI debut against Pakistan in 1989 in Gujranwala. He currently holds the record for most hundreds in both Tests and One Day Internationals. 

In 198 Test matches, Sachin Tendulkar scored over Fifteen Thousand Eight hundred runs at an average of 53.86. He slammed 51 Test centuries and an unbeaten 248 against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2004 was his best ever. 

He made 49 hundreds in the one-day format, including a double hundred which is the first in this form of cricket and 96 half centuries.

In 2012, Sachin Tendulkar became the first player to score 100 international centuries.

Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement from Test cricket after playing his landmark 200th Test match against the West Indies on 15 November 2013. Earlier, Sachin Tendulkar announced retirement form one day cricket on 23 December 2012 and from Twenty20 cricket format on 26 May 2013.

About Bharat Ratna award

• Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian Award of the country was instituted in the year 1954.
• It is awarded in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour. 
• The recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister himself to the President. 
• The number of annual awards is restricted to a maximum of three in a particular year.
• The last recipient of Bharat Ratna award is Pandit Bhimsen Joshi in 2008.
• The first ever Indian to receive this award was the famous scientist, Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman.

Lord Swraj Paul presented with International Indian of the Decade Award

Lord Swraj Paul, a leading NRI industrialist and educationist was presented with the International Indian of the Decade award on 15 November 2013. Swraj Paul was presented the award for his outstanding achievements in the fields of industry, education and philanthropy. 
Virender Paul, the acting High Commissioner of India to the UK presented the award to Lord Swraj Paul at the 20th anniversary of the publication of India Link International (a monthly magazine). 

18th International Children's Film Festival of India Inaugurated at Hyderabad

The 18th International Children Film Festival of India (ICFFI) was inaugurated on 14 November 2013 at Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari was inaugurated the week-long (14 to 20 Nov 2013) event popularly known as Golden Elephant. 
The film festival was thrown open with the screening of Hindi Animation Film "Gopi Gawaiyya Bhaga Bajaiyya" Over 200 films from 48 countries scheduled to be screened at 11 theatres in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. About one lakh 50 thousand children are expected to take part in the biennial event. The film festival is jointly organized by the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry, Children’s Film Society of India and the Andhra Pradesh state government.

22nd Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM) began in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Salman Khurshid

The 22nd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGM began in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 15 November 2013. The Summit was inaugurated by Prince Charles of England, who is representing Queen Elizabeth at the Commonwealth Summit. The theme for CHOGM 2013 is Growth with Equity; Inclusive Development. 

The official symbol for CHOGM is Water lily flower. The logo symbolises the blue water lily (Nil Manel), the national flower of Sri Lanka. The multi coloured petals represent the diversity, liveliness and unity among different Commonwealth countries within a global perspective.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is represented the India in the 22nd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). This year, CHOGM in Sri Lanka, the first time an Asian country is hosting the summit in 24 years. The last CHOGM Summit (in 2011) was held at Perth, Australia.

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is held every two years to enable leaders of Commonwealth countries to come together to discuss global and Commonwealth issues, and to decide on collective policies and initiatives.

Every CHOGM is jointly organized by the host country and the Commonwealth Secretariat. These biennial meetings serve as the principal policy and decision-making forum to guide the strategic direction of the association.

Commonwealth leaders have been coming together for discussions since 1949, but the title Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting was adopted during a session in Singapore in 1971. This specific classification was used to depict the gathering of both presidents and prime ministers in the event.

One unique aspect of the meeting is that the formal opening ceremony and the formal Executive Session are followed by a where leaders meet privately for discussions. With an informal atmosphere, this session allows heads of state to freely and frankly exchange their views on important issues and come to a consensus.

Previous CHOGMs have focused on a range of global issues, including international peace and security, democracy, climate change, multilateral trade issues, good governance, sustainable development, small states, debt management, education, environment, gender equality, health, human rights, information and communication technology, and youth affairs.

The theme of the 2011 CHOGM in Perth, Australia, was Building National Resilience, Building Global Resilience.

About the Commonwealth of Nations

The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary association of 53 countries, many of them former territories of the British Empire. It was established in 1949. The head of the Commonwealth is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Member countries
Fifty-three countries are members of the Commonwealth. These Countries are from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific and are diverse – they are amongst the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries. Thirty-two of our members are classified as small states – countries with a population size of 1.5million people or less and larger member states that share similar characteristics with them.
Leaders of member countries shape Commonwealth policies and priorities. Every two years, they meet to discuss issues affecting the Commonwealth and the wider world at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
All members have an equal say regardless of size or economic stature. This ensures even the smallest member countries have a voice in shaping the Commonwealth.
The last two countries to join The Commonwealth - Rwanda and Mozambique - have no historical ties to the British Empire.Four countries - Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Fiji and Pakistan - have been suspended from the Commonwealth in the past.
The Gambian Government on 2 October 2013 announced that it is pulling out of the Commonwealth with immediate effect.  Gambian, a West African country joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1965.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

India successfully launched its Maiden Mars Mission from Sriharikota

India's premier space agency, ISRO, on 5 November 2013 successfully launched its historic mission to Mars from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, about 100 from Chennai. It was India’s first mission to the red planet. The mission follows India’s successful 2008-2009 Chandrayaan-1 moon probe, which discovered water molecules in the lunar soil. The total cost of the Mars mission is 73 million US dollars.
The main features of the Mars mission are as following:
• The main objective of the mission is to develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission.
• The main objective of the mission is to explore Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and search for methane in the Martian atmosphere using indigenous scientific instruments.
• The satellite carries instruments such as Lyman Alpha Photometer, a methane sensor, a composition analyser, a camera and an imaging spectrometer for studying the atmosphere, particle environment and surface imaging.
• The satellite is scheduled to reach the Mars orbit in September 2014 and is designed to circle the Red Planet in an elliptical orbit of 366 km X 80000 km.
Mission Objectives
one of the main objectives of the first Indian mission to Mars is to develop the technologies required for design, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission.

A. Technological Objectives:
• Design and realisation of a Mars orbiter with a capability to survive and perform Earth bound manoeuvres, cruise phase of 300 days, Mars orbit insertion / capture, and on-orbit phase around Mars.
• Deep space communication, navigation, mission planning and management.
• Incorporate autonomous features to handle contingency situations.
B. Scientific Objectives:
• Exploration of Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere by indigenous scientific instruments.
1.    Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP)
2.    Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM)
3.    Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA)
4.    Mars Colour Camera (MCC)
5.    Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometre (TIS)

About Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)

Primary objectives of the Mars mission are to demonstrate India’s technological capability to send a satellite to orbit around Mars and conduct meaningful experiments such as looking for signs of life, take pictures of the red planet and study Martian environment.

The main aim of MOM to be to seek whether there is methane, considered a precursor chemical for life, on the red planet. Methane sensor, one of the five payloads (scientific instruments) on board the spacecraft, would look to detect the presence of methane.

The XL version of the Indian Space Research Organisation's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) would be used for launching of the mission.

The satellite will carry compact science experiment instruments, totalling a mass of 15 kg. There will be five instruments to study Martian surface, atmosphere and mineralogy.

After leaving the earth’s orbit, the spacecraft will cruise in deep space for about ten months using its own propulsion system and will reach Martian transfer trajectory in September 2014.

The spacecraft subsequently is planned to enter into a 372 km by 80000 km elliptical orbit around Mars.

Launch Date
Launch Vehicle
Type of Satellite
Mars Orbiter Mission Spacecraft
Space Mission
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Geo-Stationary/Meteorological Satellite
Navigation Satellite
Earth Observation Satellite
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Earth Observation Satellite
Experimental / Small Satellite
Experimental / Small Satellite
Earth Observation Satellite
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Earth Observation Satellite
Experimental / Small Satellite
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Experimental / Small Satellite
Earth Observation Satellite
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Earth Observation Satellite
Experimental / Small Satellite
Earth Observation Satellite
Space Mission
Earth Observation Satellite
Earth Observation Satellite
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Earth Observation Satellite
SRE - 1
Experimental / Small Satellite
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Experimental / Small Satellite
Earth Observation Satellite
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Earth Observation Satellite
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Ariane-42L H10-3
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Technology Experiment Satellite (TES)
Earth Observation Satellite
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Earth Observation Satellite
Ariane-42P H10-3
Geo-Stationary Satellite
January 1998
Ariane-44L H10
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Earth Observation Satellite
Ariane-44L H10-3
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Earth Observation Satellite
Earth Observation Satellite
Ariane-44L H10-3
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Earth Observation Satellite
Stretched Rohini Satellite Series (SROSS-C2)
Space Mission
Earth Observation Satellite
Ariane-44L H10+
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Ariane-44L H10
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Stretched Rohini Satellite Series (SROSS-C)
Space Mission
Earth Observation Satellite
Delta 4925
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Stretched Rohini Satellite Series
Earth Observation Satellite
Earth Observation Satellite
Stretched Rohini Satellite Series
Space Mission
Shuttle [PAM-D]
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Rohini (RS-D2)
Earth Observation Satellite
Delta 3910 PAM-D
Geo-Stationary Satellite
C-1 Intercosmos
Earth Observation Satellite
Ariane Passenger Payload Experiment (APPLE)
Geo-Stationary Satellite
Rohini (RS-D1)
Earth Observation Satellite
Rohini (RS-1)
Experimental / Small Satellite
Rohini Technology Payload (RTP)
Experimental / Small Satellite
C-1 Intercosmos
Earth Observation Satellite
C-1 Intercosmos
Experimental / Small Satellite